Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

So……

June 6, 2014

……which one is the raccoon and which one is Captain Treeman (TM)?

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FCBD – The Reading Pt 1

May 7, 2013

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So I saw the movie Kick Ass, then read the book Kick Ass, now have read the book Kick Ass 2 before the movie Kick Ass 2 comes out. So I’m all set, right? You’d think so but when I got to the end of KA2, it stated that it was the end of book 3. Whatinthewhonow? Seems there a prequel book I missed somewhere. Ug.

Spider-Man in Flour City -Day 2

May 1, 2013

Hey! Is that John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman?!

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Spider-Man in Flower City – Day 1

April 30, 2013

A few months ago I was visiting my family in Rochester NY and heard on the radio that Spider-Man 2 was going to film there. “What? Really? Wow” was the direct quote from my brain. Being on a film set couldn’t be boringer, but if i was still living there, I would extra-up.

Seems that this is a second unit shoot of a car chase, so no stars. It started today and goes on for ten days. Here’s an on-the-scene photo from my friend Diana Powell-Keery.

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Me…on the big screen!

May 30, 2012

…for a very small amount of time.

I’m in my friend Shari Berman’s* film My Life as Abraham Lincoln playing a waiter. It’s a very small part. As a matter of fact, I think she may have turned the restaurant scene I’m in into a black and white silent movie, so you won’t be able to hear me.

The film is playing at the New Filmmakers NY series tonight. I know I did a poor job of selling it based on my appearance, but go see it cuz it’s good.

* I met Shari a couple of decades ago when we cast her as the girlfriend in our never-finished horror/comedy Johnny: Nobody Said He Was An Angel.

Comics go to the movies…kind of

January 22, 2012

 I do have a weakness for odd movies about people trying to be superheroes. While I was picking at the carcass of an almost-closed Blockbuster I luckily found these.

I had seen Defendor (yep, that is the spelling) on the shelves before and was curious because of Woody Harrelson. Super was on my radar because it was written and directed by James Gunn who made great funny horror movie Slither (think Tremors). Unfortunatley, neither was showing up on Netflix streaming. (With a toddler, our primary way of watching movies is in bed on our iPhones.)

I don’t want to give too much away, so let be just say this: I would  recommend both but Super is certainly more challenging, so it’s not for all tastes.

Comics go to the movies – Bordello of Blood

October 31, 2011

For Halloween, how about a horror movie based on a comic? OK, so it’s not actually based on one of the actual stories from the comic. It’s based on the TV show that was actually based on the actual stories from the comic.

Perhaps this will be a little less confusing. First there was the infamous EC horror comics of the 1950s (published by MAD’s William Gaines) of which Tales from the Crypt was one of the titles. Then there was the HBO series of the same name that ran from 1989 to 1996. (Each episode was based on one of the original stories.) Then there were a few movie spin-offs that were not based on any of the original stories. Bordello of Blood was the second.

So let me say this – I do recommend this movie, but it is a really bad movie. And not in the “it’s so bad it’s good” way, it’s just bad. But the saving grace in this excuse to add boobs to the franchise is Dennis Miller.

I’ve always loved (the non-political) Dennis Miller. And it appears that he rewrote his lines for this movie. So what you have is snappy comebacks in a sea of bad dialog. It’s unintentionally meta. It’s as if Dennis Miller was dropped into the alternate reality that is this movie and is riffing on it.

I saw Dennis Miller at the Disney MGM Studios theme park in 2000. The appearance was to promote him starting as a commentator on Monday Night Football. He put his hand prints in cement in from of the pseudo Mann’s Chinese Theater and then, of his own accord, happily signed autographs for the on-lookers. It really looked like he was going to do so for the whole crowd – and I was just a few people away from him – when the handlers intercepted. Dang. Then there was a Q&A in the Beauty and the Beast theater (I think). I wanted to ask about Bordello of Blood but I didn’t think the Disney people would appreciate me saying the word “bordello” into the PA system.

What I’m reading – The Executioner

May 13, 2011

This is one of the 10¢ bargain comics I bought last Saturday during Free Comic Book Day. I got a couple dozen – it’s such a good way to check out things you’re curious about.

Being a child of he 1970s, I grew up during the era of The Executioner paperbacks, the granddad of all men’s action books… and they all start with “the.” The Penetrator. The Butcher. The Destroyer*. And, speaking of comics, The Punisher. And they’re all about men who kill bad guys. Plain and simple

How’s the comic? Surprisingly dull.

* which was the basis for the fun action movie Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins starring Fred Ward and Joel Grey. Check it out.

Comics go to the movies – MAD Magazine presents Up the Academy

April 21, 2011

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So, I was picking around Netflix’s streaming movies and I looked up “Up the Academy.” This is an infamous flick with a tenuous cartooning connection. In the days after National Lampoon hit it big with their name in front of Animal House, William Gaines, the publisher of MAD Magazine, decided to get in on this action. The result was Up the Academy, a movie so bad that Gaines paid to have all mentions of MAD taken out of the movie, including the statue below that now resides in the MAD offices.

Fellow MADman Anton Emdin and I snap to attention last May

So I found Up the Academy figuring that I’d watch it and take bullet for you, dear reader, and report on it.

I must shamefully admit that I ducked when that shot was fired.

I couldn’t make it more than 20 minutes, it was so bad. It stars a pre-Karate Kid Ralph Macchio in the story of four misfit high school students sent to a military academy. Gay stereotypes. Abortion humor. And not just tasteless, but boring. Directed by Robert Downey Sr. (yep, Iron Man’s dad) in a way that reminded me of a quote from Paul Reiser’s character on the TV show Mad About You. He was a TV director and, while showing his fake wife a tape of something he wasn’t particularly proud of, he (more-or-less) said, “You know how I directed this? I turned on the camera and went and made a sandwich.” The only part that was at all interesting (and probably directed by someone else) was the credit sequence featuring a bunch of tin soldiers falling down like dominos while Alfred E.Neuman, dressed as a general, looks on.

Wait a sec… I’d thought that all references of MAD had been scrubbed from this bomb.

A trip to Wikipedia turned up that the film had been produced by Warner Brothers and when they bought MAD (after Gaines’s death) they reinstated all the MAD stuff.

That’s some fine cross-marketing, there.


Comics go to the movies – Red

April 1, 2011

 

Not as bad as you think it might be. Sure, that’s faint praise, but, c’mon, it’s a standard movie – you can figure everything out from any trailer. (SPOILER ALERT: the good guys win.) But it’s done really well, with enough twists and charm to make it quite enjoyable instead of an ordeal.