As a succinct illustration of the sophisticated yet wacky humor of comedian Steve Martin, Cruel Shoes successfully functioned as a social commentary on the rise of stand-up comedy during the1970s. Consisting of over fifty comedic poems and short stories, Cruel Shoes creatively encompassed Martin’s distinct comedic style, which differed so drastically from the counterculture icons of the1970s. While this first published compilation received countless accolades by comedic and literary critics alike, his popularity only skyrocketed from his already rock-star status as a stand-up comedian. Having benefited from the myriad of television and stage venues that appeared during the decade, Martin and countless other comics were catapulted to stardom by performing their stand-up acts on shows like Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show. In retrospect, Martin’s Cruel Shoes literally demonstrated his career aspirations, as stand-up comedy had always been a mere stepping stone towards his main goal of writing and acting in film. Now an accomplished writer, producer, actor, and art collector, Martin has come a long way from his days of stand-up and his publication of Cruel Shoes.
Earlier this month the final five episodes of Caprica were finally released and devoured by the remaining small, yet rabid, fan base. Initially available only on the Caprica Season 1.5 DVD set, SyFy aired all five episodes, back-to-back, a few weeks after. It was an unceremonious ending for such a poignant and intellectual series that got stronger with every passing episode, even till the bitter end.
Buried, written by Chris Sparling and directed/edited by Rodrigo Cortez, was an ambitious and amazing concept of a film. It follows Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds), an American truck driver working for a private company in Iraq, who was buried alive in a coffin-sized box. We start the film in the box with Conroy, and we never leave it for the duration of the film. He initially finds a lighter and an Iraqi cell phone, which provide most of the light for the film, as well as advancing the plot as Conroy receives calls from his kidnappers and dials various people back in America, including his wife, 911 operators, and the company for which he works. As he frantically tries to get someone who can help him, he is repeatedly confronted with answering machines, unfriendly officials, and muzak (as he is put on hold), from which we enjoy some of the only humor in the film. So, although we hear other actors talk to Conroy over the phone, Reynolds commands the screen the entire time. It sounded to me like an amazing concept and an incredibly risky endeavor; sadly, it failed.
Hey Fanboys & Fangirls,
Here is a quick look back at one of my favorite blogs from the past. For those of you who haven’t already had it beaten into their skulls, I have a pretty heavy and unapologetic Buffy addiction. Over the years, many individuals have voiced their dissent against all things Buffy, which makes what happened even better. Happy reading, Scoobies!
PS: Fanboy Comics is holding a Faith print giveaway, so read on for more information!!!
Greetings to you, noble internet surfer. It is your humble correspondent heretofore known as YHC. YHC has not taken the time out of his busy schedule of watching others polish his ivory tower in order to traipse into a plebian “movieplex,” so YHC would like to take the time to diffuse this seemingly glaring obstacle regarding the ability of his effectively reviewing Boondock Saints II: All Saints’ Day.
In this age of technological dependence, you’re nobody unless somebody follows your blog. Over the past twenty years, the popularity of blogging has reached epic proportions, pervading the mainstream mass media, employment searches, pop culture, and even politics. Job search engines encourage job seekers to beef up their resumes with links to their blog and/or personal website. Major media outlets encourage their correspondents to blog (yes, it’s a verb!) to maintain a personal connection with their viewers and fans. Your mother probably has her own blog, detailing her latest attempt at Paula Dean’s Chicken Chili recipe to her Book Club friends. While the blog has become a tool for both major corporations and Justin Bieber fan clubs to reach as many individuals as possible, the communication method is without order. No harm will come to you if you do not use proper grammar or spelling. The MLA and APA police will not show up at your door, if you do not cite your reference material. Aside from the occasional questions of liability or defamation, bloggers can say whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever will click on their blog link.
Black Swan doesn’t really need my help. It’s a film that has been flooded with gushing reviews, is nominated for a number of Academy Awards, and has a brilliant, visionary director at the helm. Still, in a culture full of overhyped and prepackaged Oscar films, Black Swan deserves to be recognized for the stand out original that it is! Below, I outline my reasons for why this film deserves the best picture award and why it should be considered a herald of glorious things to come by every proud, comic-sniffing geek out there!
Hello, my dozen of fans. It is I, your jovial misanthrope, Paul Pakler. I am going to briefly explain why I review movies (without having seen them).
1: I live in New York City, where ticket prices harbor around $12 a pop.
2: Most movies are f@#%tarded.
3: If you still don’t understand, reread Reason Number Two (and replace “Most movies” with “You”).
So, without further (Midsummer Night’s) ado, let’s review some s@#$%y movies!
Audition opens with the lead, Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), watching his wife pass away in her hospital bed, and it just gets worse from there. Admittedly, the first hour of the nearly two hour film isn’t terribly disturbing. The inciting incident occurs when Aoyama confides his longing for a partner to his friend; the friend agrees to set up a fake audition, the pretense being that they are looking for a lead actress for a movie, but in reality it is designed so that Aoyama can have statistics and backgrounds on many different women and ultimately take his choosing. The two men enjoy the experience of the numerous desperate women parading in front of them, and when Aoyama finally settles on one, things start to look very bad for him. Very bad, indeed. He eagerly begins his pursuit of Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina), a beautiful former ballet dancer who strikes him as both emotionally experienced and wounded, yet optimistic. The audience begins to get little flashes of this young woman’s hidden life, which involves a human-sized burlap sack that contains something living, and several forms of manipulation. Also, the friend character begins to check her references, none of whom can be reached, and warns Aoyama to slow down. Aoyama, blinded by love, fails to heed this advice and continues down a disturbing path of psychological and mental torment at the hands of his “prize,” leading him to a harrowing conclusion. Aoyama says of Yamakazi’s abusive past, “It’s hard to forget about... but someday you’ll feel.. that life is wonderful.” These are the closing words to Takashi Miike’s 1999 gag-inducing film Audition, and I would apply them to the movie, as well.
“Holy celluloid, Batman! There’s so much pressure on these upcoming comic book-to-movie-adaptations! If they fail, could it spell the end of comic movies?” The short answer? No, you’re stupid.
Sure, there are a ton of comic movies coming out in the next two years: in 2011, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, Thor, Priest, Captain America: The First Avenger, Cowboys and Aliens, and then, hopefully, The Adventures of Tintin and Dredd by the end of the year. In 2012 we’ll see Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Superman, and possibly, The Wolverine, The Flash, and Runaways. It all adds up to a big couple of years for nerds. The pressure IS ON!!!! Oh wait, no it isn’t.