Monday, December 29, 2008

Nothing Cooler Than Man vs Polar Bear

I have always maintained that no matter how tough you think you are you are never gonna be as tough as the polar bear in your driveway. I love these pictures because no matter how big our human brains get and how great we think our opposible thumbs are we will never be a more efficient bastard of a killer than a hungry five hundred pound polar bear. Claws win out over thumbs any day of the week. Besides everyone knows that polar bears drink Coke and get a mad on whenever they are around us Pepsi drinkers. But making the guy do laps around his own truck just to get away is straight up mean. Welcome to North Amercia Bitches!

The Resurection of Mickey Rourke

If there was ever a movie star that I could almost see going to seed and Britney Spears level failure it would be Mickey Rourke. He never made the A-list movies (if you concider 8 1/2 weeks an a-lister) and he did some pretty bizarre things in his personal life to make everyone write him off as a loser. However I always knew that there was something great inside that damage form. Then came SIN CITY where he played the 'human tank' MARV in a role that brought back Rourke and made him a bankable actor again providing he could continually find the right role. Of course he was never going to be Harry Potter but for the role of a tough, take no prisoners killer with a heart of gold then he needs to be your current go to guy. So after his mistaken lack of awards for SIN CITY (a sin in itself) bacause MARV was a comic book creature that I thought could never be brought to life he was just looking for his next great role and he found it with THE WRESTLER. Here he plays washed up former wrestler RANDY 'the Ram' who has fallen on hard times and is wrestling weekends just to keep going. Definately not the big room or televised gigs. We see him involved in the kind of match that involves barbed wire and bug spray and being body slammed on glass. Such matches are beneath him though concidering all he has done and achieved in his chosen sport. He even has a heart attack when his broken down body seems to be almost out of juice. With his sadness we also see a men with respect from his peers and respect for the younger wrestlers on their way up who to them he is a god. And through all his suffering (losing his girl and his daughter - both he is trying to establish a new life with) we see a spirit that refuses to be snuffed out-a spirit that has learned to put one foot in front of the other and soldier on. This movie creates the same vibe as the original ROCKY and for both actors playing such 'down and outers' with one last shot of redeption you need the actor at the center to radiate sadness and hopelessness but also unswerving bravery. Create someone for all of us to root because he represents the fighting spirit in all of us...the desire to leave this life with a mark - to leave it as a MAN. I have a soft spot for these kind of characters where you just know the downworld spiral that is his life will be redeemed by his love for a good woman. And having seen the movie it would be a crying shame to deny Rouke or Marissa Tomei an oscar nomination for best actor and the movie itself for best picture. Darren Andoronsky (who also made the genius REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and THE FOUNTAIN) has always created films that grabbed my attention after so many multiple viewings and for this reason I hope he gets the directing props this movie deserves. Now for the trifecta Mickey - you owe us one more great role.

"I don't get hurt in the ring...the only place I get hurt is out there."

A lesson to all of us to find that small part of our world where we fit in and hold onto it like grim death cause it will never come this way again.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

No One Does Superheroes Better Than Alex Ross

Superstar comic book artist/painter Alex Ross revolutionized the genre with his photorealistic painting first seen in MARVELS and later in what I concider to be his greatest work KINGDOM COME. All three presented works and their photorealism really create a world where these larger than life heroes could actually exist. With Ross we get a look at true Gods as they walk this earth. Recently he brought back the 1940s so-called PIRATE SUPERMAN with his BLACK TERROR comic book. I love the image of the Terror with his sword riding a missle to the white house. Vintage Ross.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Third Greatest Comic Book Cover and Ultimatum

Why is it that Jeff Loeb can write such a great comic as HULK featuring the new all different RED Hulk and the totally appreciated SHE-HULK and her LADY LIBERATORS and in the same month release the totally crappy ULTIMATUM from the Marvel's Ultimate line. Now I understood that Marvel created the ULTIMATE line so that they could avoid the 30+ years of continuity that they felt was keeping new readers away from their comics (when in truth its the desire to know more about their character's histories that makes one want to dig into the vast backstories and adventures). But Magneto breaking the neck of Professor Xavier??? What was so wrong with the way things were in the regular Marvel Universe that needed to be fixed by such a radical change. Just so Captain America can be an asshole and Colossus can be gay? How ground breaking -urg!!! The only character that I think benefited from the ULTIMATE way of re-imagining comics is Ultimate Spider-Man. There was plenty of room for stories involving a young, inexperienced Peter Parker and there always was because the original concept was so strong. Many argued that the mixed up continuity from 30 years of Marvel stories cried out for a reboot but I fear that the reboot has itself gotten away from what makes Marvel comics special. I am supposed to go into reading the Ultimate Line without knowing anything that had happened to these characters before - they all have fresh histories. I can deal with a black Nick Fury - in fact I kinda like that he looks like Samuel L Jackson and is played by that actor in the Iron Man movie but if you want me to feel for a character like Magneto after the death of his children Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch then you have to give me time to get to know these characters so that their deaths are relevant and shocking. It seems like change for change sake is all the Ultimate Line is about. Bendis understands that hitting us over the head with these 'shocks' can become numbing after a time and ineffective. Maybe that is why ULITMATUM much like everything that lead up to it like ULTIMATE ORIGINS leaves me with that hollow, unsatified feeling. Even Ulitmate Fantastic Four suffers from the fact that Reed Richards is a child and that was a role that he was never meant to play. He was always the father figure of the group and to reduce him to some kind of child protegy creates a whole new relationship dynamic between him, Sue, Johnny and Ben - one that I would argue gets away from the FAMILY dynamic that makes the Fantastic Four special. So I will continue to read the ULITMATE line because it free to do so but I remain unimpressed and underwhelmed.

Coolest Things You Can Do With Your Dead Body

#3.Become the Strongest Material on Earth

The jewelry industry doesn't want you to know this, but diamonds can be made in the lab. It's not even all that hard. You start with carbon and apply heat, pressure and time. Wait a second! Human ashes have carbon in them! You know what that means Yes, if you died right now your family could cremate and wear your dead body as a rather morbid article of high end bling-bling within 6 to 9 months. This is the promise of Illinois-based, dead-human-to-pretty-diamond converters LifeGem. Once a body has been cremated (or a lock of hair is obtained) LifeGem scientists perform science all over it, first placing the separated ash carbons into an evil looking crucible that may as well have been a terrifying artifact found on the floors of Auschwitz, foreboding serial number and all. This crucible is then heated to around 3,000 degrees Celsius, converting the carbon into pure graphite. This graphite is then placed into a diamond press that replicates the heat and pressure generated by the earth in order to form a diamond. These are molecularly identical to naturally occurring diamonds, and contain all of the same traits. This will help tremendously when your family inevitably pawns the fucker for beer money. But don't just take our word for how valuable these things can get. Apparently, LifeGem borrowed 10 strands of hair off the head of Ludwig van Beethoven from a celebrity hair collector, and pressed it into a diamond that was valued at $1,000,000


Guilty Pleasure Cinema - Curse of the Komodo

Boy I have been on a role lately with bad bad Sci-Fi channel movies. But I have to give them credit for putting out some of the cheesiest crap this side of Plan Nine From Outer Space. And like that Hoff crapfest about the giant snake, CURSE OF THE KOMODO is awesomely bad. Of course it involves science run amok on a tropical island where the military and science have gotten together to create giant mutated komodo dragons for what purpose I don't know but suffice it to say it will only create drama and death for our plucky group of survivors. And what a group it is....

The ex-military helicopter pilot who is hired to transport 3 casino thieves off another island - who of course is smart and resourceful and will no doubt live to fly off the island before the military can napalm it to hide their involvement in giant lizard experiments.

The three casino thieves which include the dumb guy, the surely, greedy loner in the muscle shirt and his hot blonde girlfriend (also in a muscle shirt) who wants a better life. Of course they will all die. The 'brains' of the gang dying after choosing to go for the duffle bag full of casino loot rather than run for the helicopter escape.

The scientist and his neglected wife/lab assistant. He will die because it was his experiments that started this whole mutated lizard problem in the first place. His wife/lab assistant will live cause she is the least attractive blonde and has the evidence to screw with the military who is trying to supress the truth. But of course none of this happens until he can confess that he was wrong for 'playing with nature'. Well DUH!

The scientist's hot hot daughter who of course roams around this island in her white tank top and shorts and wastes not time stripping down to nothing to show off her ample surgically enhanced busoms whenever a waterfall pool becomes available. Of course she should die and be eaten by the giant mutated lizard after having or while having sex with her boyfriend but he is eaten early on in the movie so against all cheesy b-movie conventions she actually lives but spends most of the movie crying and screaming while adding nothing of value to the group exept giving someone for the brave hunky ex-military helicopter jock to protect.

Several employees of the monster island who are there to be eated by our large komondo dragon buddy whenever they need to ramp up the action.

And who can forget the GENERATOR that powers the electric fence around the scientist's island home that will conveniently sputter and die at night just as the huge dragon gets hungry forcing our group to make a run for the helicopter that was suppose to be broken down but for some reason fixed itself in time for some to make it to safety.

BONUS - and why is it that the most deadly combat rifles known to man always prove entirely inefficient against anything larger than a pineapple in these movies. They must spend 2/3rds of the movie shooting at this mutated lizard bastard and not a single shell bursts its skin. This of course doesn't stop them from trying again and again and again hoping that history will be proven wrong. It takes the scientist being eaten with a huge brick of C4 in his jumper to kill this thing by exploding him from within. Thats why HE is the the smartest guy in the room.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cuspers, Tweeners or Generation Jones

Hey..I just read that I am officially a 'CUSPER' or a TWEENER the generation of people born between 1954 and 1965 who lie between the BABY BOOMERS and GENERATION X (who in my opinion got the absolute coolest moniker -its like being an X-Man) Okay I came at the end of that 'cusp' but in a year when the baby boomers who can officially go from saving the world to fucking it up (thank YOU George Bush and Wall Street) the torch has been passed to my generation who the articles say never really wanted to grow up - 50 being the new 30. I can relate to that. I would prefer never to work another day in my life cause one ever died wishing they had worked a few more days. Maybe my generations has learned to have fun with less or maybe we are just selfishly waiting for our boomer and pre-boomer parents to die and leave us enough to live on the rest of our lives. And I am a simple man with simple tastes - if you can call my own BAT CAVE simple. We are also the first generation to come to age in the digital revolution who were there at the start of videos and computers and who actually remember how cool and silly the 80s were. We all know they blow the hell out of the 60s and we smelled better. And since brother Obamma was born in 61 he is officially in our 'gang'. That makes him cool for ANOTHER reason. Its just never ends with that guy. Of course he has gone a bit further than I but he had all the opportunities. A white man just can't get a break in this life. American social commentator Jonathan Pontell has refered to us as GENERATION JONES and that is now officially my favorite name for a new band. They say that we have no HEROIC narrative like those who lived through the civil rights movement did but I don't agree with that. I think we have heroic potential because we have lived with that example to study and aspire to. Our moment is coming - that crucial moment when we will make it all right - either aliens or Skynet robots will rue the day when they tried to take it all away from us. My god I am suddenly imspired to do more with my life. I hope that horrible feeling goes away sometime soon. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy - Ich bin ein cusper

I imagine that boombox is playing RELAX by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The ray gun was stolen from our alien invaders and the bug mask is just our cool way to mock the aliens for invading us in the first place. And the suit and tie? Well if we are going to fight for the freedom of our planet and our race it just won't do to look grubby.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just a Cool Quote

"Know this: There is nothing on all the planes of existence that can stay the hand of justice when it is brought against them. It may unmake armies. It may sunder the thrones of gods. Know that for all who betray justice, I am their fate. And fate carries an executioner's axe."


Monday, December 22, 2008

I Love X23

Because goth girls with dark hair and claws are cool.

Wasted LOL Cat of the Week #4

See even prescription drugs can be bad for you. Always followed your Dr's directions

Four Reason Why I Also Love Brad Pitt

Now as a heterosexual man its not always PC to admit the truth but today I saw an article that has prompted me to take a bold step and admit that I love Brad Pitt. Not for how he looks but for being someone I can no longer hate just because he is good looking and having babies with Ms Jolie. He is not an empty suit or a psuedo-human celebrity nutjob like Tom Cruise -he is a genuine talent worthy of my respect for the following reasons...

1. He puts his money where his mouth is and is actually doing much to help New Orleans get back on its feet after Katrina. He also keeps his actions low key. He does what is right for the right reason and to be honest he doesn't have to.

2. He can do comedy and heavy drama and is so good an actor that his looks work against him so imagine how huge a talent he would be if he looked like some mutt. DeCapprio has the same burden to overcome but he will never be Pitt cause Pitt would have NEVER done Titanic. Sure he did Interview With The Vampire but only Bradly could bring the moody (and boy was he MOODY) Louise to life and portray all that characters complexities in a realistic fashion (well for a vampire picture).

3. He refused Angelina's marriage proposal without first doing couples counselling. YOU GO BOY! She may think she is all that with her dark smokey eyes and puffed up collagen lips and her own one women UN refugee center but you are Brad and you will marry who you want to marry when you want to marry her and that is all you need to say about it. Both her and Jennifer aren't good enough for you anyways. Got to be some real honest to goodness royal princess SOMEWHERE in this world that is worthy. Who is handing your introductions these days? They need to be fired!

4. He was Tristan in Legends of the Fall and for that reason alone - because he "broke every rule of god and man and they all still loved him more" - he is the man.

Oh Batman - Say It Ain't So

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Best Childhood Cartoons #2 - Feed the Kitty

Of all the Warner Bros. cartoons this is by far my favorite and its amazing that is doesn't feature any of the top Warner characters like Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck. But Mark Anthony more than makes up for it in his appeal and Oscar worthy performance. You totally love the way he tackles his ordeal of getting to keep the little kitten he has fallen in love with (dancing with the powder puff is inspired insanity). There is no funnier moment in cartoon history as when the Lady gives him the kitten shaped cookie and you see the reaction on his face. CLASSIC!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Favorite Childhood Cartoons - Birdman

When we lived in Europe there was very little TV for us to watch. Mostly 3 German channels that went on the air late in the afternoon and went off the air very early in the evening. Besides musical entertainment shows there was very little to enjoy. Except for Saturday and Sunday afternoons when we got ENGLISH cartoons and programs from some French stations though my father said it was because Santa liked us best. Amoung the gems we got to enjoy were shows that probably started my lifelong love of superheroes.

Birdman - lived in a volcanic headquarters with his large pet eagle AVENGER. Birdman was my favorite. I loved the way the music changed and got all heroic and funky when we were inside his super volcano aveary. Even his boss FALCON SEVEN was cool. He wore a patch, smoked a pipe and was only ever seen on the Birdscreen in Birdman's lair. Birdman shot lazer sun beams from his fists (usally accompanied by that cool sound effect all the Hanna Barbara cartoons had for lazer energy blasts) He could also materialize a sun shield out of thin air. Of course since all his power came from the sun the villians he fought always seemed to get him in some dark room, or cave or tunnel that sapped his strenght until he could contact Avenger on their matching necklaces and Avenger could find some way to break a window or flip a lever so Birdman could then recharge. Having the stupidest villian ever didn't hurt his superheroics either but why quibble. He rocked! I also liked the way he called out his name "BIRDMAN!!!!" whenever he flew away much like I used to do with my birdman cape and stuffed parrot (we had to do superhero on the cheap back then).

Anti-Television Propoganda

This is the worst cartoon I have ever seen. Cause this will NEVER happen. TV loves us and is our friend. It is always there to make me laugh and cry and would NEVER go all evile on us. Where is the media decrying this kind of hate speech? Sure...say a few off colour jokes about minorities in the United Nation's lunchroom and you are forced to brown bag it for the rest of your LIFE cause some jr cub reporter got a hot tip and media just ran with it because its been a slow news week. But this cartoon goes virtually unnoticed and this HACK gets to pick up his pencils again and live another day without broken fingers. Where are the TV loving muslims lighting fires and putting out FATWAHS (death threats) when you need them?? Did I go too far? Sure. I love you TV. I love you I love you I love you. Its okay. The bad man didn't mean to suggest you were evile.

This TRUE news release is for all you haters out there who have something bad to say about televsion...

"The Fox network is developing "Bitches," a dramedy about a quartet of female friends in New York who are werewolves." read that correctly...they are WEREWOLVES!! We live in a Golden Age people!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bossy Bear

Bossy Bear is very cool...but not as cool as Bossy Turtle. What is the lesson here? There is only room for ONE king at a time and if you give a turtle a crown the first thing he will do is boss you around. And turtles live a long time so its a century worth of being told what to do. Might as well have a wife. Its turtle soup time. Proff positive that capes and crowns is a look that is so due for a return.

Second Greatest Comic Book Cover Ever

Thor - the Mighty THUNDER FROG - Doesn't get any cooler than that!

Top Ten Movies # 8 - Donnie Darko

Basic Movie Summary: During the presidential election of 1988, a teenager named Donnie Darko sleepwalks out of his house one night, and sees a giant, demonic-looking rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. He returns home the next morning to find that a jet engine has crashed through his bedroom. As he tries to figure out why he survived and tries to deal with people in his town, like the school bully, his conservative health teacher, and a self-help guru, Frank continues to turn up in Donnie's mind, causing him to commit acts of vandalism and worse

Of all the movies that I have ever seen the one that gives me most pause to think is Donnie Darko. Its hits on so many of the themes that I have an interest in. I had heard the movie had a cult following but it wasn't until many years after the movie came out that I saw it on TV. It affected me so much that I watched the repeat airing right away that night. I have read much on the internet about the meaning of the film because its the kind of movie that demands multiple viewing and elicits multiple interpretations of the themes it presents. From all that I have studied my belief is that it comes down to the nature of time travel and belief in God. If you believe in God then you believe that 'He' knows your fate and the direction your life will take. For that reason time travel is IMPOSSIBLE because you cannot do anything to change or affect your life. Basically its predestination and your are basically stuck on that hill hurtling foward towards your inevitable doom. Sucks doesn't it. (Of course this negates Kangs Third Law of Time Travel - conservation of causality - that postulates that time travel doesn't CHANGE your timeline it just creates an alternate time line - so killing your grandfather or Hitler changes nothing in the original timeline - it just creates a new timeline where your grandfather or Hitler are dead. Nothing in your original timeline is altered) Now for some reason Donnie avoids his death by not being in his room when an airplane engine falls through the roof of his house. This creates the alternate timeline that will reset itself 28 days later and brings us to my other point. If there is NO God then your fate is not known or 'written' and you can use time travel to change your destiny - to alter or correct one mistake or in Donnie's case sacrifice his life for the life of the girl that he loves which gives some meaning to the suicidal thoughts and actions that haunt him. The movie ends with his laughter because he realizes that he does have control of his destiny in the most profound of ways. His death can have meaning for himself and the world. Wow...there is a philosophy I can get behind. And does anything creep you out more than Frank...the demonic bunny? YIKES! When the voices start talking to me I hope they sound more like Whoopie Goldberg or Dave Chapelle. That ghetto street speak is so much more comforting than Frank's hollow echo. There are so many aspects to this movie that are unpredictable and errie and its impossible to predict where the movie is going which makes it all the more rich with repeat viewings. The mysteries of the film call out to be solved and it took me many years to give myself a satisying explanation. You can see how I would be drawn to something like that.

Gretchen - "Donnie Darko...what kind of name is that? It sounds like some kind of superhero or something."

Donnie - "What makes you think I am not?"

Batgirl - Is There Any Better Costume?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Spider-Man Noir

Every once in awhile an "elseworld" story comes along that re-imagines a popular character like Batman - Gotham By Gaslight (what if Batman existed during the time of Jack the Ripper?) or Superman - Speeding Bullets (what if Superman had been found by the Waynes and not the Kents and became a Super Batman?) For the most parts I have enjoyed these stories because they take what is best and strongest about the mythos of a particular character and by setting the story in an unfamiliar world or time show that their stories are timeless. What is great about Superman or Batman will always be great no matter where the story is set. Superman - Red Son was a particularly strong take on this genre. It imagined Superman leaving his exploding planet of Krypton and landing in Soviet Russia instead of Kansas USA. (Try to imagine how communist ideals - the good of the state - would contrast with capitalist ideals - truth, justice and the American way - and you have the beginnings of a great read)

Today I read issue one of Spiderman - Noir which postulates a world were Peter Parker lives in a crime and poverty ridden city during the Great Depression. We get the same backstory - Dead Uncle Ben, Aunt May but we are given a city where the main villian is a ganster named the Goblin who was responsible for Uncle Ben's Death. He was killed for being a protester and agitator much like Aunt May is. Peter is taken under his wing by Ben Urich a drug addicted reported who is somehow protected from the Goblin and who works for J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle. (And who we also find was there when Uncle Ben was killed!) Except for the cover and one scene on the initial splash page we get no images of this black suited gun weilding Spiderman but that only adds to the interest. I so wish I had all four issues to read at once because I want to see how he got his powers or if he even has powers. We see that he has his webs but why the gun? The costume is totally 'noir' inspired with the trenchcoat,the homemade, awkwardly sewn mask and goggles. Villians like Kraven and the Vulture are tweeked a bit here but are still familiar to any Spidey fan. Marvel recently released an X-men Noir title but its conciderably less memorable. I guess for someone like me who has seen it all after 30+ years of reading comics this seems like a fresh take on an old character. But then again most of the 'elseworld' type tales are satifying just in their approach. By setting the character in a fresh environment you lose the burden of decades of continuity while retaining the details that make the character interesting in the first place.

Bad Ass Obama: The College Years

If there was ever a set of pictures that predicted that this man would one day be President then these are them. How cool does he look in that 70s Black Belt Jones style 'fro and enjoying a sweet dooobie in his old jewish man from Florida hat. I just want to vote for him all over again even though I couldn't and didn't the first time. (because it Calvins CANADIAN Cave Of Cool...duh). I used to think Link from the Mod Squad was all that but brother Obamma got him beat...and Clarence Williams III was da bomb let be honest. Who knew he would go from cool and slinky smooth to this....I am sure that he imagined himself to be this guy after a few doobies

Every old white man in pantaloons must be just rolling around in their graves. One of these things is NOT like the others. Suck on THAT...slave owning wig wearing BITCHES!!!!