Dear Troy Duffy:

 

Congratulations to you on the epic failure that was The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day

 

Despite your success in the making of the original Saints film, I must say that I am not, in the least, surprised by the horrible piece of s**t that was the sequel.  After viewing the eye-opening documentary Overnight which detailed your rise and dismal fall from the Hollywood spotlight, I was amazed that anyone would give you the time of day, let alone provide you with the capital and means to create a sequel.  Although I enjoyed the first Saints, even I was not looking forward to the second film. 

 

I think that the title of the sequel alone speaks volumes as to the quality of the film.  Much like Michael Bay with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, you must have felt that we required a colon-laden title with further explanation as to what we might expect in the film.  Well, sir, much like Michael Bay, you made it quite clear that by adding more money to the film, we could expect more s**t and less plot.  Thank you for clearing that up; I would have been quite confused if you had simply left the title as The Boondock Saints II.   

 

I really love Alien 3.

 

To many, it is bizarre that I would so cherish what is, in their minds, a cinematic disaster. Others can see enough of my point of view to admit there was, at the very least, potential for a great film. A select few understand exactly why I love this film and love it themselves.

 

Where others see bad acting, I see unique and interesting choices by the actors. Where others see a retread, I see a return to roots of the original film. Where others mourn the death of Ripley, not to mention Hicks and Newt, I see sobering, painful, and fitting endings to beloved characters. Maybe it’s a matter of opinion. Maybe it’s unresolved expectations on the fan base’s part. I’m not arrogant enough to state that I am unequivocally right, but, like most people, I do trust my instincts.

 

Now, there’s been a lot of negative buzz about The Wolfman out there for some time. Not unlike Alien 3, it has been plagued with bad luck, messy studio/director disagreements, and angry departures, not to mention the death rattle of any film: massive reshoots. Also, not unlike Alien 3, I have found myself very impressed with The Wolfman and on the opposite side of a slew of bad reviews.

 

Everyday life in the ‘burbs comes with its fair share of mundane problems. Just don’t sweat the small stuff, right? Unfortunately for the characters in The Details, they fail to let go of the small stuff and, before they know it, their suburban life is on the edge of complete disaster. Jacob Aaron Estes, director and writer of The Details, reminds us just how absurd these suburban issues can be with an exceptional cast and a darkly comedic plot that entertains but doesn’t really bother to go past the superficial.    

Tobey Maguire (Spiderman, Pleasantville) and Elizabeth Banks (Wet Hot American Summer, The 40 Year Old Virgin) star as unhappily married couple Dr. Jeff and Nealy Lang. They decide it’s time to expand their family and have another child. Jeff takes this opportunity to focus on landscaping his backyard in a mission to create the perfect backyard lawn. He puts down new sod one day, and, the next, he wakes up to a catastrophe: raccoons have torn up the grass. Thus, this wildly absurdist film begins, and the actions Jeff takes to rid himself of the raccoons simultaneously mirror and enhance his problems.

So, last night was the big night. As I stated in my last post, there are very few things in this world that I love more than Star Wars. When my uncle called a month ago and asked if I wanted to see Star Wars in Concert, I didn't even give him a chance to finish his sentence. I didn't even know what the hell it was! I hear Star Wars and I'm there. So, it was me, my uncle, and my two younger cousins. The older of the two is obsessed with Star Wars, so we have a lot in common. While I do have a great deal of knowledge of the prequels, I haven't seen them nearly as many times as he has. And, although I feel like less of a man when someone younger than me knows more about Star Wars than I do, I just have to remind myself that he was raised on the prequels.

 

The car ride there was pretty funny, because my uncle and I kept singing Bill Murray's lounge singer version of Star Wars from Saturday Night Live. My cousins were not as amused. For those unfamiliar, here's the video.

Well, I just got finished watching Disney Pixar's Up. First and foremost, I would like to say, John Lasseter and crew, you sneaky sons-a-bitches, you did it again. As the menu screen slowly burns into my TV, I sit here wiping my eyes (equally from tears of laughter and from other squishy emotions) and pondering what makes a Pixar film so great. I don't want to say that their works are formulaic, but they do have a rhythm and rhyme that is distinctly Pixar.

 

Most are aware that there is no great story without great conflict. Hamlet, The Divine Comedy, Porky's Two: The Next Day; they all shared this ethos. Pixar has taken spinning tragedy into a wonderful plot to an art form, though. Let's run down a quick list. Toy Story 1 and 2 (soon to be 3) all dealt with loss of some kind.  With Monster's Inc., it was a loss of home for poor Boo. A Bug's Life, well, you have me there; maybe going through changes, metamorphosis, and what not. I don't really remember that one well. Touching, but not to say so tragic that one feels the immediacy of the loss. Childhood playthings, the home and friends you grew up with: these are the things that we look back on with nostalgia and ennui. Moving on.

Ahhh, where do I begin? I should start by saying that I was in no way all that excited to see this movie. My first beef was that Cameron had a bit of a dispute over changing the name of his movie, so that it wouldn't be confused with the live action Avatar: The Last Airbender movie. Cameron, of course, got his way; his name stuck, and theirs needed to change. So, already this dude is rubbing me the wrong way. Not only that, but when I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with the Titanic. I had read so many books on the subject, it could make your head spin. But, did I see the movie? Nope. Looked lame to me. I did catch parts of it on TBS sometime this past year or so and wasn't impressed. Terminator 2 was the last flick of his that I enjoyed.

 

When my Twitter was blowing up about James Cameron's motion picture epic Avatar, I just kind of rolled my eyes and said, "Whatever."  I can't be fooled by super amazing CGI. I need story! Why is it that we can't have a visually-brilliant movie with story to back it up? Because the general public doesn't care about story anymore. This is really sad. I get grief for liking the Star Wars prequels sometimes. Fine! I will be a Star Wars geek until the day I die. I hope my friends fulfill my dying wish to be cremated and my ashes scattered across the Tunisia Desert.

Sorry for the slight ruse, Rocky Horror Fans (of which I am one), but this post will not be about a young Susan Sarandon getting it six ways from Sunday by everyone except the dude in the wheel chair. That post may be coming soon though.

No, this post is about that great American institution known far and wide as the Drive-In. These bastions of celluloid hearken back to days-gone-by, when teens would pile into a car, have an orgy during a B-rated horror film, and then go to a malt shoppe - all for under a nickel! Drive-Ins took a big hit in the '80s and '90s with the advent of VCRs and DVD players, but they are making a come back; partly because of the kitsch factor and cheap prices and partly because if you wanna see someone going at it, by themselves or with a partner live,  chat roulette is a pale comparison to the Americana that is the drive-in theater.

It’s almost here!  Thor opens this Friday, May 6th (Pacific Standard Time) and we, here at Sam’s Wednesday Slog Corporation International, couldn’t be more excited.  Over the past two weeks, we’ve looked at Thor, his family, and his enemies, and now it’s time to learn about his Asgardian warrior pals, The Warriors Three!  After all, what would a Norse thunder god be without a little bromance in his life?  These colorful gents fight alongside Thor and are willing to die in the name of Thor and Asgard!  They have journeyed with him to the furthest realms dispatching foes and bravely facing evil for their friend and master!!  They are even there for him when he needs to just vent about work or whatever!!!


Fandral, played by Josh Dallas

Fandral the Dashing, as he persistently refers to himself, is a brave swordsman who accompanies Thor on many of his adventures and is one third of the trifecta that is The Warriors Three!  Based on the persona of Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, Fandral’s bravery and nobility are matched only by his relentless optimism, whimsy, and super sweet facial hair.  No matter what the odds or how many foes Fandral faces, he unfailingly fights fearlessly and never flees (this sentence was brought to you by the letter “F”).  His skills with edged weapons are unmatched even when compared to other Asgardians, and Thor refers to him as “the best of us with a blade,” thus explaining the killer facial hair.

Recently, the Fanboy Comics staff has been trying to keep their social scene extra geeky by hosting movie nights at Fanboy Comics HQ for staff and friends.  We usually discuss current geek culture, chow down on appropriately geeky snacks provided by FBC Managing Editor Barbra Dillon (she’s like Martha Stewart, if Martha Steward was also a Jedi!!!), and get the chance to casually watch a film as we socialize.  We have found that humorous or goofy movies selections seem to work best, so that our guests can fade in and out of the film while enjoying the others in attendance (hence why our first event was a screening of the hilarious Roger Corman Fantastic Four film!!!).  That was not the case for the last evening.  While I loved Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, I had yet to tackle the three-and-a-half hour long Ultimate Cut.  Given the film’s controversial standing in the geek community, I was unsure of how it would play for our crowd, but I proceeded undaunted.  I am proud to report that everyone, myself included, seemed glued to the screen, no matter what their feelings of the film may have been afterward. Yes, we may have had to pause mid-way through the film for a blue penis cake break, but the geeky die-hards that make up Fanboy Comics and its followers made it to the end!  Nice job, gang!

The first thing I noticed about Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut was how easily I forgot that I had seen this film five or six times in theaters, as I got lost in its world once more.  I know there’s a lot of criticism out there for the film and I have my own issues with certain parts of the film, but damn is it a good film!  The first scene where The Comedian meets his end followed by the amazing opening credits sequence set to Bob Dylan’s "The Times They Are A-Changin’" is honestly worth the price of admission, alone! Anyways, let’s get to the unique pluses of the The Ultimate Cut.  (But, if you have the opportunity, I would implore you to give Zack Snyder’s Watchmen a second viewing... and then, go read the graphic novel again just for good measure. You know you want to.

I was very excited to see this film.  Aliens and Predator were my bread and butter as a kid, and Predator, in my opinion, still stands strong to this day, outdoing most current action films. Robert Rodriguez returning the Predator franchise to its former glory was not something I was about to miss! Sadly, while Predators makes a fine chapter in the Predator universe, it squanders the opportunity to upstage the original the way some feel Aliens did to Alien.

 

SPOILERS BELOW

 

The setting for this movie is brilliant, and it’s a shame that it is not used to its full potential. Royce (Adrian Brody), a deadly mercenary, finds himself stranded on an alien planet with other expert killers gathered from all over the earth. Apparently, this tribe of predators has prepared this planet as a game preserve with prey from all over the galaxy, and now it’s trophy hunting time! The scenario is ripe with potential! Instead, the film treads too closely to the original, never seizing the strength of its new and unique plot.

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