Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Killing Joke

The Killing Joke is one of the defining tales of the Joker. It is one of the few stories that the clown takes center stage and Batman plays second fiddle. Alan Moore crafts a magnificent graphic novel and continues his run of amazing work which includes Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Swamp Thing. He really has an incredible way of crafting extremely personal tales and making even the most monstrous of characters seem sympathetic.

The Joker is an incredibly interesting character and throughout the course of the novel he slowly unveils his "origin" story. The reader has no idea whether or not he/she is being told the truth by the Joker, so there is always a sense of disbelief when reading what the Joker has to say. Commissioner Gordon also plays a huge part in the novel and is really put through the wringer. He witnesses his daughter being shot and then is tortured by the Joker's thugs and he never breaks. This shows that not everyone is breakable like the Joker believes. Batman is not as important to the story and is really a secondary character in the book. He is there to set up the narrative for the Joker and to confirm how good of a man Gordon is. The way Alan Moore writes these characters is just masterful and he makes the characters seem believable. The Joker at points seems sympathetic at times and makes you believe that he is just this horribly broken individual. The only problem is that the Joker may be lying throughout the course of the novel.

This is a fantastic graphic novel and it needs to be read by any fan of Batman. The Killing Joke is also an essential graphic novel for any fan of comics in general. I can't believe that I went so long without reading it and I am glad that I finally did. I really wasn't a fan of the Joker before reading this but I now think he is easily one of the more terrifying villains in comics. Give this a read and you will certainly be blown away by the quality.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Reason Why Guardians of the Galaxy Is An Awesome Idea

Guardians of the Galaxy is an awesome comic and was vastly under-appreciated during its run from 2008-2010. It had a very dedicated following and featured an eccentric group of characters and great villains. It really is like Avengers In Space, but that is not the way that Marvel should approach it. These are mostly unknown characters to the viewing public and need to be given interesting back-stories that will make them memorable characters. The movie should be handled as a movie that is larger in scope than Avengers though, because the conflicts in Guardians encompass the entire universe and not just Earth. The characters that were chosen for the movie are Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon. I love that Marvel is keeping the cast to a minimum because each of these characters could fill a movie with their own awesomeness alone. Rocket Raccoon is an anthropomorphic raccoon who drinks and shoots people in the face, that could necessitate a movie on its own. Factor in that the main villain that they encountered in their comic series is the villain in the upcoming Avengers 2 and you have a natural pairing of the movies.

Casting this movie is going to be incredibly important because this is the movie that Marvel is banking on as their first "unknown" superhero movie. Everyone already knew who Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man were, but it will take some work to make this movie successful. Getting Great actors to fill these roles will be essential. My only two requests right now are Nathan Fillion as Star-Lord and Peter Dinklage as Rocket Raccoon. If you do not agree with my opinion in this case you are a complete fucking idiot. Many people thought that Fillion was the perfect actor for the Green Lantern but if you read Guardians of the Galaxy, you will instantly see that he perfectly fits the character of Star-Lord. Dinklage as Rocket Raccoon is just a no brainer, and is the easiest casting decision that the producers could make.

A lot of the recent comic book movies try and keep the movies based in reality and tone down the comic elements but this one is going to have to play up those elements. Over the top battles and special effects are going to be this movie's calling card and it better be fucking funny as well. The comic is a blend of over the top action and comedy and it blends wonderfully.

If Marvel can make Guardians into a successful franchise then they will be able to easily adapt movies from their lesser known character with very little stress. This could lead to a Luke Cage/Iron Fist movie, Dr. Strange, Ant-Man, and even another Daredevil movie. This is a gateway movie, and is really more important than the Avengers because that series can only last for so long before people get tired of it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Breaking Bad- When Did Walt Go Off The Deep End?

Walter White of the show Breaking Bad is one of the most complex characters in television history. He goes from a meek chemistry teacher to a ruthless meth cooker over the course of a few seasons. There are many points in the series that you can say, "this is where it all went south for him". The fact is that there are so many of these events that is hard to really pinpoint where Walter lost his humanity. I have read several articles online debating the time when he actually snapped and there was no turning back. From this point on there will be a heavy amount of spoilers for people that do not watch the show or haven't watched up to season 5 yet.

I my opinion the point where Walt could no longer go back to his former life and lost his humanity is when he let Jesse's girlfriend, Jane, choke to death on her own vomit while she was asleep in her bed. This is the point where he had to start keeping keeping things from Jesse and he was also responsible for her death because of his inaction. From this point on he just kept making decisions that took him further into the rabbit hole with no end in sight. He has been responsible for a few other deaths but this was the most heinous because he had a clear choice to save her or let her die and he chose for he to die. She presented no danger to him and he still chose for her to die because in some misguided way he thought that he was saving Jesse. This is a crock of shit considering all of the terrible things that he has been responsible for in Jesse's life, including forcing him to kill an innocent man.

Walt is a character that seems to be irredeemable at this point because everything he does has poisonous effects for the people around him. His wife has become increasingly involved in his business and sooner or later his wife and kids will come into the sights of a cartel or some other group. Walt is not a good guy or an anti-hero, so in my opinion I'm rooting for him to get caught by Hank or killed by Jesse in the end, both are good possibilities. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Battle Beyond the Stars

I love me some Roger Corman movies. There is Piranha, Humanoids from the Deeps, Death Race 2000, and Sharktopus to name a few. They may not be the greatest movies in the world but they are a good time and keep your attention with their over the top antics. He blatantly rips off the ideas of big production movies and  no matter how bad the story is he just makes the movie work. This is the same type of thing that Troma Studios does for horror, they take these old stories and infuse them with ridiculousness to make them fun and over the top in every way possible.

Battle Beyond the Stars is a combo of The Magnificent Seven and Star Wars. It takes the opening of the original Star Wars and essentially expands it into an hour and a half production. It also lifts its story directly from The Magnificent Seven and simply changes the setting to outer space. This is by no means a great movie in any way but it makes up for it with just ridiculous sequences. You learn absolutely nothing about any of the characters in the movie and have almost no idea why they are fighting for what they are. The main character just asks 6 mercenaries to lay down their lives for his planet and they accept almost immediately with no reasoning behind it. Everything is dated in the movie, the effects are sub-par, and the acting is fucking horrible. But even with all of these negatives against the movie, it is still one hell of a good time.


This is one of the B-movie Classics and deserves your time.

This movie is so bad that it needs to be seen. The actors most of the time are either overacting or not acting at all and it makes for an unintentionally hilarious experience.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Horde

I am a huge fan of zombie movies and pretty much anything zombie related. The Horde is a French zombie movie that looked like it was going to follow in the footsteps of bat shit crazy French movies such as Inside, Martyrs, and Frontiers. The only problem with the movie is that the characters are pretty much one note caricatures and are very unsympathetic in every way. The main character of the movie is very uninteresting and there is no back story given to him and there is no developing of his character in any way. The movie thinks that it is doing all of these edgy things with the zombie genre and in reality it does nothing different in any aspect.

The action in the movie is a huge letdown. After seeing how far French directors are willing to push the envelope in every way possible from gore to story ideas. This movie takes zero chances and it makes the movie the worst type of movie, a generic one. Bad movies take chances and great movies take chances but generic movies just skid by doing the bare minimum. The action is limited and the gore is completely non-existent. Gore-less zombie movies are just the way I like them (don't mind the sarcasm). The blandness of the movie is just soul crushing and makes the movie a chore to sit through for an hour and a half. A stinking piece of shit is what this movie is and it should be treated that way. There is absolutely nothing good about this movie and it should be avoided at all costs.


This movie is a piece of shit

It is great that French horror movies love taking chances and pushing everything to the extreme. This movie does nothing of the sort and is a disappointment on every level. If you decide to watch this movie then you will be putting yourself through a truly terrible experience.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Savages looked like it was going to be one of the most exciting movies of the summer when the original trailer hit the internet several months back. The fact that the movie was being made by Oliver Stone piqued my interest and I was sold on the movie. I haven’t really been a fan of Stone’s last 18 years of work but I am a fan of his earlier movies, so I was hoping that he would return to the quality of movies such as Wall Street and Platoon. It was also a good sign that he assembled a pretty solid cast for Savages which included John Travolta, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Selma Hayek, and Benicio Del Toro.

Savages tells the story of Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) who run a very successful drug operation in Southern California. They share a lover in O (Blake Lively), who also serves as the movie’s narrator. They are propositioned by a Mexican drug cartel to work in a joint venture that would grow their business and allow the cartel access to the duo’s superior product. Ben and Chon also work in conjunction with a corrupt DEA agent, played by Travolta, who may also be in business with the Mexican cartel. When they spurn the cartel, O is taken hostage and the duo will stop at nothing to get their girlfriend back.

The performances in the movie are actually really solid with the exception of Blake Lively who really serves as eye candy for the majority of the film. Travolta gives a great performance as a corrupt DEA agent and provides most of the film’s comic relief. He is also one of the only characters in the movie who uses common sense which is always a plus when trying to keep yourself alive. Aaron Johnson also gives an excellent performance as Ben, who is the brains in the drug operation. His character is the moral center of the film and he has to really decide several times if he is willing to go over the line to do what needs to be done to get O back. This is the first movie I have seen him in since Kick-Ass and he was really solid in this movie. It was great to see Selma Hayek and Benecio Del Toro having so much fun with their characters. They play them in such an over the top way that it is hard to hate their characters even though they are terrible human beings. Oliver Stone made this movie in a straightforward manner and that was a great relief because there is usually a political message that he is trying to cram down the viewer’s throat the entire time. I also loved the twisted romance that the movie is based around because it takes the movie in places that you wouldn’t normally expect for a movie that is essentially a love story with a few action scenes thrown in.

The narration in the movie is completely unnecessary and could have been discarded and the movie would have had a much smoother pace. The acting of Kitsch and Lively were not up to the quality of the rest of the cast and was passable for the most part. At least I didn’t have to hear Kitsch do a Batman impression for two hours like he did in Battleship. Hollywood needs to learn that this guy cannot headline a movie by himself and you need to pair him with another quality actor to balance out his lack of acting ability. It was a good thing that Stone cast Aaron Johnson to play alongside Kitsch. Lively really only contributes to the movie by looking hot as hell and by having one of the most awkward sex scenes that I have ever seen to kick off the start of the movie. It is hilarious for so many reasons and one of them is the use of the word “wargasm”. When I heard that in the theater I laughed out loud, but it was a little awkward that I was the only one who did so in the theater. The ending was a little bit of a copout but it didn’t destroy the movie for me and I thought it was a great ride.

Savages is a good thrill ride and gives me hope that Oliver Stone still has something left in the tank after producing crap for the last twenty years. Overall this was a very solid thriller and deserves your time and attention. I leave you with one word from this movie that you will probably remember “wargasm”. One of the worst terms you will hear all summer.

Drinking Game
Take a shot: When you hear the word “wargasm”.
Take a drink: Every time Benicio Del Toro twirls his mustache.
Take a drink: Every time you see someone smoking weed on screen. (This may kill you)