Monday, May 31, 2010

Wolfman Review

So I just got done watching the remake of the Wolfman. This 2010 remake stars Benecio Del Toro, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Hugo Weaving. Below is the official trailer for the movie. (If the video is cut off, right click and say "show all")

Upon watching the trailer, I was fairly excited to see this take on a classic horror character. After a little under an hour into the movie, my excitement really started to dwindle, and I still had around an hour left to sit through in hopes that it will pick up. The make up on the wolfman just was not as great as I would have liked it to be and the story seemed recycled. I mean, the visuals of the werewolves in An American Werewolf in London were much better, and that movie is at least 25 years old. It didn't seem like there was anything original added to this movie.

Now, I am no animal trainer or expert or anything. Hell, I can barely get my own dog to stop barking at a cool breeze in the air, but I am pretty sure that predatory animals kill out of necessity, or for food, or whatever. For some reason, when Del Toro (or the original wolfman) turns into the wolfman (to me, meaning part wolf) there is an abundance of killing for no other reason than because a person is there. He doesn't even feed off of the people that are killed.

At the 29 minute mark, where there is the final confrontation between the protagonist and antagonist, the special effects looked sloppy, almost laughable. The actors or puppets or whatever the hell they were, were being tossed around almost like it was a comedy. There was even a fire that was lit that started to completely consume the 19th century, brick mansion in no time at all. I know some basic chemistry and physics to know that brick doesn't catch fire, but here we were, with a brick mansion completely engulfed in fire.

I guess I have to add some positives. The picture quality was fantastic. I especially like period pieces, where the costumes and buildings look authentic. The sound for this movie was fantastic and just lit up my speakers. It was aurally pleasing.

It is sad when there is a movie that I was really jonzing to see, and it turns out to be a let down, especially when it stars some big names, but I guess a bad movie happens to even the best (I am looking at you SIR Ben Kingley in Bloodrayne. I will never forget that. Never!)

I usually rate movies by whether I would purchase the movie to add to my collection or not, and I rate this as a "not to add" to my collection.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Old Man Back

This is a special installment of Rants, and I am angry, angry at genetic make-up. You see, I have bad back genetic make-up. I feel like I have a back like a 90 year old man, assuming that 90 year old men are sore in the backs all the time. In all honesty though, I am not sure that I can blame genetics more than stupidity of a 15 year old young male.

The year was 1994, and I was taking the bus back from ye olde comic emporium. I believe the name of the old stomping ground was Another World Comics and Sports Cards, which sadly is non existent now. If I recall, that was the year that DC was putting out the Zero Hour cross over. I am sure I had one of those, as well as a Superman and Batman comic. Some things just don't change. Anyway, I was getting off the bus, across from a Taco Bell with a friend, Steve, and thought it would be a good idea to try to beat the light and try to cross the busy street on a red. All was fine, but we forgot about the stupid advance green, and I got smucked by a mini van.

I know, the usual question pops into a person's mind, such as "Did you not look before you crossed the street?" or "Could the driver not stop?" The answers are: I looked and no, she could not stop. I was weaving in the traffic to cross the street, and she was racing to make the light. It was just bad luck for both of us (me a little more).

When she hit me, she obviously stopped the van immediately, but in doing so, parked on my ankle, which was snapped. I have to throw out here that I was wearing a pair of Dr. Martens, which likely, with their thick soles, saved my food from being crushed. I have always owned a pair or two since then.

Anyway, after the hit, my left knee and back have never really been correct, and that is likely the source of all my ills.

So let this be a lesson, don't cross the road unless at a side walk and always wear your Docs out.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Deftones Diamond Eyes

I figured that since the idea of the blog was random rants and reviews, I should actually put my two cents towards a real review. So today, I am going to talk about the new Deftones album that dropped a couple of weeks ago called Diamond Eyes.

A little history first. Deftones are a hybrid metal, rap-rock, experimental band from California that formed back in 1988. There musical style is unlike that any other type of band that is around, in my opinion. They broke on the scene with their debut album, Adrenaline, but really came into the mainstream with their third album, White Pony. Since their debut, Deftones have released six studio albums, with a seventh of B-sides and rarities. The most recent album saw the (hopefully temporary) replacement of founding bass player Chi Cheng, who was severely injured in an automobile accident which damaged his brain, with new bass player Sergio Vega.

The album starts off with the title track Diamond Eyes and never lets up. Chino's lyrics and vocals show a lot of emotion for their fallen comrade. Fans of Deftones previous work will easily relate this album to the White Pony, found by some to be their best disc. For new listeners, I would recommend this album, but also recommend going back and listening to their earlier recordings, to get a better feel for what kind of music this band produces.

Key tracks are definitely Diamond Eyes, You've Seen the Butcher, and Rocket Skates, but the whole album is worth a listen through more than once. I rate this a 4/5.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Rant

You know what really burns my ass? Many big production American made movies (and TV shows to some part). Don't get me wrong, I love them, I own lots of them, but many don't require the viewer to think. It is insulting to the intelligence of the viewer to always need to be spoon fed everything to make sure that we get it. In addition, there are many Hollywood movies that are fantastic: Tarantino flicks, Wes Anderson movies...

A great example of a foreign movie that didn't spoon feed the audience was The Lives of Others, which takes place in USSR controlled East Germany. This movie played off the paranoia of people being wire tapped and conspiring with the West Germans. By the time the end of the movie occurred, we, the audience, were left to make up our own mind as to "what happened next," and not told that everything was going to be OK.

A great American movie that makes the person think and talk about was The Usual Suspects. For anybody who hasn't actually seen this movie, do so please. It is a fantastic movie. This movie made you think and wonder all the way through, right until the very last second of the movie. When it was done, I recall looking at my wife in shock as what we just witnessed for two hours. Only thing to say is Keyser Soze!

A great movie or TV show should leave the viewer wanting more, and allow the viewer to make their own choices as to why things occurred. If you leave a movie or finish watching a TV show and you talk with the person/people you were with about the story, about the ending, ask questions and make statements like "Maybe the character did this because of that." Or "Wasn't it great how this character said this, alluding to the big reveal." But, if you leave a movie and say "Wow, the special effects were pretty good," or "Man, the trailer for ___ looks great" usually doesn't make for a memorable movie experience.

I started thinking about this rant because of the many complaints I have read about the Lost finale, and how there were some many questions that remained unanswered. But in the end, did the answering of those questions really need to be told to complete the story, to make it full? No, they didn't. Little details are fun to know, but in character driven dramas, those little details and questions don't need to be answered.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost Finale

So the end of Lost finally occurred. I was reading some posts (well over 1500 in two different threads) over at io9 and there is a good mix of love and hate for the finale. All of the hate is directed towards things like them all being dead, heaven, was it all a dream by Jack?...

By way of it being a Jack dream, I don't think so. I thought that they all had survived the crash, and essentially everyone just died (like what Christian said) at different times. The island-verse was the "true" universe and everything that happened there actually happened up until the point where a character died. Charlie died in the Looking Glass, before Jack died. Rose & Bernard and Hurley died on the island after Jack, but they all died.

Furthermore, because everyone was flawed, and they found and relied on each other on the island was likely the reason that they needed each other to move on.

I would assume that Faraday, Charlotte, Miles and Frank, weren't in the church at the end because they weren't an original cast away, as they were sent there by Charles Whidmore.

I personally liked the finale. With a show like Lost, you can't expect that all the questions will be answered. A good TV show (and a good movie) leaves off with the viewer wanting more, asking questions and discussing, and this finale, and this TV show as a whole left the viewer in that state.

It is hard to think that there will be another show so widely accepted and far out as Lost to come along again.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Empire Strikes Back

30 years ago today, the greatest sequel ever made was released to the masses. The sequel, the Empire Strikes Back, is considered to many an even grander movie that the Original Star Wars. Below is the original trailer for Episode 5.

Who wouldn't want to watch this movie after watching the trailer? Only crazy people, that is who!

So what makes it so fantastic? What makes it that this movie the crowning jewel of the Star Wars universe? Well, it may be because in this movie, the bad guys take the lead. At the end of Episode IV, the good guys, win, the Death Star was destroyed, Han Solo is still a scummy space pirate, but he came to save the day.

In episode V, Luke loses a limb, Vadar becomes even more evil, Han become encased in Carbonite, Lando betrays his people on cloud city, only to be redeemed at the end, there is a fantastic battle on Hoth. The dialog is better. The acting is better. There is nothing that isn't to like about it.

I suppose, because this is the second act, there is the tragedy that need to occur so that the Heroes can come back and kick some butt in the end.

My quest now, is to somehow get it so that I can raise my child/children without knowing the the big reveal at the end of the movie, so that I can see the shock on their faces at the big reveal.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Michael Emerson

So over on the io9 message boards, I got to talking with vinylrake about the idea of Michael Emerson doing a one man stage production of the entire six seasons of Lost. If you don't know who Michael Emerson is, he is the actor that plays the character Ben Linus. The man truly steals the scene whenever he is on the screen. The fact that, no matter what universe that he is in, he is beaten up just makes me laugh, not from the violent point of view, but the ridiculousness of the whole idea that everyone hates Ben and has to hit him when they see him.

Ben, since he was introduced in mid season one, has been the driving force of the Antagonists on the island. He was originally captured by the survivors and tortured by Sayid, before the survivors realized who he was. Whenever Ben is on the screen, you can never tell what he is planning. Throughout the entire series, he has double and triple crossed everyone what he comes in contact with, which makes a perfect villain. You never know what is going to happen when Ben is on the screen, and the way that is portrayed by Michael Emerson couldn't be any better.

After the power of the internet and facebook in getting Betty White to host Saturday Night Live, why not have the power of the internet to show our love for Michael Emerson.

here is the link to the website:


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


So yesterday was the second to last episode of Lost. As excited as I am to watch the show each week, a small portion of my heart is getting ready for the inevitable ending of a show that I (and Sylvia, who always "reluctantly" watches the show, but secretly loves it as much as me) have invested so much time watching and thinking about.

We learned many-a thing. Why did Charles Whidmore come back and how? (He was invited and told he had a mission to do by Jacob). Who is going to replace the ghost of Jacob as the islands protector? (To "everyones surprise", it was Jack. Definitely didn't see that coming (please note the sarcasm)). We also find out that the big concert at the Whidmores seems to be the focal point of everything that is going to happen in the alternate universe. I suspect Faraday, along with Miami Vice Desmond, will allow the Castaways to choose the universe that they want to stay in. It will be Jack's decision that will be the toughest, I think, because he has a real life with relationships off the island.

It certainly was one of the best shows this season, and maybe one of the best shows period. It is leading up to a great finale (I hope). Just a few more days and we will see how it all plays out.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


So I was in rural Nova Scotia over the weekend. For any who don't know, it is like night and day with the English language. Anyway, on our trip, we (the family) came across a yard sale. Never ones to pass up a deal, we pull over and check it out.

I was in the car, and was waiting for Sylvia to return. When she came back, she said the following to me:

"The batteries into it work?"

I said "Excuse me?!"

"The batteries into it work?"

Now, I had no idea what the hell she was talking about. Apparently, at said yard sale, someone was asking the above to the person who was selling a cordless phone. What the person was actually asking was "Do the batteries in it work?" which still isn't really a correct sentence.

Now, I know that I am not prize winner when it comes to English; it was never my strong suit. I do say intelligently accepted terms like "There's nine birds in the back yard" and not the proper english "There are nine birds in the back yard." Granted, I only will say "There's" I would never write it down, nor would I ever say "There is nine..." because that just sounds odd.

In the words of the great Ralph Wiggum "Me fail English? That's Unpossible!"