Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Works Network Airs The Weirdest Movies

There’s a new(ish) over the air channel called The Works.  A quick Google search shows that it’s another one of those “retro” channels (like Me-TV, Cozi, etc); for movies it pulls from MGM’s library as it is owned by that studio.

Now MGM is one of the oldest and most prestigious of movie studios; their inventory also consists of the libraries of such companies as Orion Pictures, The Samuel Goldwyn Company, and United Artists.  From  all those companies, there's a lot of great, interesting movies to choose from.

So, why the hell are they showing Mr. Hercules Against Karate?  It’s a martial arts movie from 1973, directed by Italian Antonio Margheriti, where “Two Americans go to Hong Kong to rescue the son of a Chinese restaurant owner who is being held hostage by his stepmother and the sadistic owner of a kung fu school.”

In that one paragraph, it’s a virtual United Nations of moviemaking: Italian director, American cast, Hong Kong locations and Chinese kung fu.  So naturally the title includes “karate” which is Japanese, you nitwits! 

The Works had previously aired Jon Voight’s first feature film, a surreal superhero comedy from 1967 called Fearless Frank, written and directed by Philip Kaufman of all people.  It was heavy on the surreal and light on the comedy as far as I was concerned.  It was just too wacky for me.

If The Works is going to continue to air this kind of strange, off beat fare, they really need to showcase it by having someone like Joe Bob Briggs (world’s greatest drive in movie critic) or Michael J. Nelson (star/head writer of Mystery Science Theater 3000) host the thing.  If not, I suggest they rename the channel WTF, because every time I switch over to it, my first reaction is, What The F—k?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

So Long, David Letterman!

On May 20, 2015, David Letterman is signing off the late night airwaves.

Between his 11 year stint at NBC hosting Late Night and his current gig leading The Late Show at CBS, Letterman has graced us nighthawks with 33 years of late evening entertainment. The pop culture landscape was graced with Stupid Pet Tricks, fast food drive thru hijinks, Top Ten Lists, Velcro suits, and all sorts of things thrown off the tops of buildings (from TVs and bowling balls to full paint cans and a zillion bouncy balls).

But all good things come to an end.

To celebrate and commemorate Letterman's long tenure of late night greatness, here's an interview he did with none other than Max Headroom.  Yes, Max Headroom.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


In the tradition of weird/silly/stupid shit like Sharknado, Dinocroc, Piranhaconda and Mega Python vs Gatoroid (basically 99% of the flix The Asylum craps out), we present WASPATULA.

Yes, it is only a matter of time before some unthinking scientists - blinded by their own hubris and marginal cooking skills - tamper with Mother Nature to create GIANT WASPS WITH SPATULAS IN PLACE OF THEIR STINGERS.  (Suggested by friend of the blog Greg G.)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road Legacy Trailer

You know his name.


Mad Max.

The Road Warrior.

He's fueled up his V-8 Interceptor and is heading our way.

If you're up to no good, I feel sorry for you.

Mad Max: Fury Road opens May 15.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The X-Files and Breaking Bad - The Vince Gilligan Connection

Everything old is new again.

Fox is set on testing that adage by reviving the beloved once-cult-then-mainstream-hit series The X-Files by bringing it back to television as a limited event series in 2016.

Before we see if creator Chris Carter can capture magic in a bottle (the last X-Files movie simply wasn't very good) next year, put together a fun list of X-episodes that were written by Vince Gilligan, of Breaking Bad fame. Yes, before he got Walter White hooked on the meth business, Gilligan was putting the screws to Mulder and Scully in inventive and often funny ways.

So join me in boning up on some great X-Files episodes in anticipation of discovering that "The Truth Is (Still) Out There."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kubrickian Homages in Star Trek: TNG

Friend of the blog David O. has been catching up on Star Trek: The Next Generation while hitting the gym (who says all Trekkies are couch potatoes) and he noticed something that he passed on to me to pass on to you.

In Season 4, the episode "The Mind's Eye" Geordi LaForge is kidnapped and brainwashed by Romulans to assassinate a Klingon official visiting the Enterprise.

David noticed some homages to Stanley Kubrick's work in a few areas. One is when the brainwashed Geordi is walking down the Enterprise corridors; the tracking shot echoes similar shots in Kubrick's The Shining, with a similar creepy feel.

Also, the contraption the Romulans strap LaForge into to conduct the brainwashing looks like nothing so much as a 24th century Ludovico device used by the authorities to brainwash Malcolm McDowell's character in Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange.

Television productions, by their nature, are often rushed and chaotic, but anytime you can pay homage to a master filmmaker like Stanley Kubrick, as Martha Stewart was fond of saying, "That's a good thing."

Screencaps from Star Trek: TNG is a Registered Trademark and Copyright 2015 by CBS Studios, Inc.  No infringement is implied with this review.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Now He's Voiced EVERYTHING

The movie Virtuosity just ended.  That's the flick where a pre-Training Day Denzel Washington plays a cop who has to take down a virtual reality program which is a composite of notorious serial killers ( played by Russell Crowe) that has escaped into the real world (don't ask).

I spied in the end credits "Special Vocal Effects by Frank Welker."  Frank Welker, the voice of Freddie in Scooby Doo, the source of "Spock screams" in Star Trek III, and the voice of billions (okay, millions) of cartoon characters over the last 40+years.

Frank Welker: the John (he's been in every movie ever made) Carradine of voice over actors.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Leviathan - Acclaimed Short Film To Be Made As a Feature

"Admiral, there be whales here!"

Scotty's exclamation was referring to humpback whales in the 1986 film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, however, sky whales look to figure prominently in the proof of concept short film, The Leviathan.

This recent VIMEO viral short by Irish filmmaker Ruairi Robinson has been optioned by veteran producer/writer Simon (X-Men franchise films: The Last Stand,  First Class, Days of Future Past) Kinberg and Neill (District 9, Chappie) Blomkamp.

The sky whale, looking like something from a Ralph McQuarrie concept painting come to life, soars through the thick cloud cover of some unnamed planet, and is given chase by futuristic whalers.

Here's hoping we seen the feature in a few years hence.

Found at

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Key Star Trek Producers Pass Away

Star Trek has lost three key figureheads in a very short span of time. 

Major media outlets picked up the passing of Leonard Nimoy on February 27, but not much press was generated February 24 over the death at age 75 of Maurice Hurley, a producer/writer of Star Trek: The Next Generation during it first two seasons.  Mr. Hurley will likely be remembered by Trek fans for his creation of the classic villains the Borg and co-creating Data's brother Lore.

If you watched sci fi TV in the 1970s, you owe a debt to producer/writer Harve Bennett, who passed away on March 4 at the age of 84.  He worked on series such as The Invisible Man, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.  But Star Trek fans owe Mr. Bennett a huge debt of gratitude for saving ST by producing 1982's Star Trek II, which is seen by many fans as the best of the ST feature films.  The popularity of the Trek films overseen by Mr. Bennett (ST II - IV) led to ST's re-emergence on TV with ST: TNG in 1987.

Mr. Hurley, Mr. Bennett, you will be missed.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015

Leonard Nimoy passed away this morning at the age of 83.

Growing up as a skinny kid who wore glasses, read comic books and did well in school, it is safe to say that Mr. Spock was my hero.

Thank you for all you gave us Mr. Nimoy, not only in your acting, directing and photography, but in your basic humanity and decency.

Live Long and Prosper.

Screencap from  Image copyright 2015 by CBS Studios, Inc.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It's Gun Fu Time - Equilibrium's Gun Kata Fight Scenes

The movie: Equilibrium.

The stuff: the Gun Kata fights. (You know you love 'em.)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gary Owens, Voice of Space Ghost, Passes

"Spaaaace Ghooost!"

If you were a kid who watched Saturday morning cartoons in the late 60s and 70s, you recall the battle cry of the intergalactic superhero, Space Ghost.

The voice of Space Ghost, the great Gary Owens, who also found fame as the announcer on the classic Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In passed away on February 12 at the age of 80. 

Mr Owens had a long career as a disc jockey and voice over actor, lending his distinct smooth baritone to hundreds of commercials and TV series such as Roger Ramjet, Dynomutt and Ren and Stimpy's Powdered Toast Man.

More at

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day, Humans

Star Trek is a Registered Trademark and Copyright 2015 by CBS Studios, Inc.  No infringement of those rights is intended with this parody.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Earth Star Voyager - Cheesy 1980s TV Sci-Fi

Hey, Internet.

Here's Earth Star Voyager, the failed TV movie pilot from The Wonderful World of Disney that aired in 1986.  (I dare you to say Earth Star Voyager six times fast.)

I recall it had a very "Teen Star Trek" feel to it, with young cadet types who range in age from 16 to 24 holding down the usual Enterprise bridge crew positions of captain, science officer, navigator, communications officer, and engineer.  They are the crew of the titular spaceship Earth Star Voyager on one of those standard "Earth is falling apart, so we're looking for another planet to colonize" scifi stories.

The movie opens in outer space on a field of stars, so naturally the on-screen card reads "Outer Space 2082."  Disney wanted to make certain you knew where this was taking place.

Despite being directed by James Goldstone, who directed for the actual Star Trek, and featuring Duncan Regehr, this thing is terrible: poorly acted by the child stars, plastic-looking production design (seems to be a lot of off the shelf furniture and whatnot), and sub-par visual effects (that two foot long model spaceship at the beginning looks like a two foot long model spaceship).

Oh, and this cult gem has about the LONGEST plot write up I have ever seen on Wikipedia.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Star Trek 3 Gets A New, Yet Familiar, Writer

Star Trek 3 is getting a rocky liftoff from the launch pad.

First, novice director Roberto Orci, co-writer of the first two Trek films helmed by J.J. Abrams, was removed from the center seat due to "creative differences," only to be replaced by veteran Fast and Furious franchise director Justin Lin.  Orci was also working on ST3's script with new writers Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne.

Now, word came down that neu-Scotty himself, Simon Pegg, will be co-writing Trek Tres with Doug Jung (writer of Confidence).  We don't yet know if they are re-writing the Orci & company script or starting from scratch.

Pegg is a big fan of sci fi in general, and Star Trek in particular, so this hopefully is a step in the right direction.  He did some fine work co-writing Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz with Edgar Wright (I wasn't too crazy about their capper to their Cornetto Trilogy, World's End).  Pegg also co-created with Jennifer Stevenson the British cult series Spaced.

This just might be the bumpiest ride that a Star Trek film has taken to the big screen since all the sturm und drang of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  That film was rushed into production with an unfinished and constantly changing script.  It made a ton of money at the box office and launched the film franchise, but it is not looked at fondly by the general public, or even most Trek fans.  It's the only Trek film I own on DVD, so I'm in the minority that loves this movie, warts and all.

We'll find out how this all plays out in summer of 2016.  This is the 50th Anniversary of the franchise - for Gorn's sake I hope they don't screw it up.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sci Fi Movie Cinemagraphs Are Stunning

Cinemagraphs.  If you haven't heard of them, you aren't the only one.  Cinemagraphs are a cross between an animated GIF and a video; a still image where only a small element is given motion.

BuzzFeed showcases 24 science fiction movie cinemagraphs from films as varied as Alien and Metropolis to The Empire Strikes Back and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The image from The Fifth Element of the tear rolling down Leeloo's cheek is particularly affecting because the tear is the only moving item - the actress's face is rocky steady as in a still photograph.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Groove to Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy Tunes

It's a brand new year.

I'm going to have to put you on the Game Grid.

Or, maybe you'd rather listen to the Daft Punk soundtrack from Tron: Legacy.

Family Guy's Peter Griffin Roams NY Comic-Con

In the future (or at least during the annual New York Comic-Con) everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes. 

Just ask a man named Robert Franzese, who in his own words: "I'm like a nobody—I have a nobody job, making nobody pay—but I go to New York Comic-Con...I'm freakin' Brad Pitt. It makes me feel like a million bucks."

Well, he's not exactly Brad Pitt, but Franzese does don a white dress shirt, green pants and round eyeglasses to dress up as Family Guy head of the household Peter Griffin, complete with a voice impression that would do creator/star Seth MacFarlane proud.

Franzese looks to be having a great time, and the crowds genuinely seem to love him.  

The friggin schweetness was first found at AdWeek.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Buffy Fights a Demon She Can't Defeat: HD Reformatting

Do you want to watch the acclaimed TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer in High Definition?  It is 2014, after all, well into the 21st century, so why not?

Well, according to this article, titled "What's Wrong With Buffy's HD?" you might want to stick with your old standard definition DVDs.

Apparently the cable channel Pivot has been airing a much-maligned HD version of creator Joss Whedon's Buffy in 16:9 format, so it fills up the whole rectangular screen.  Trouble is, Buffy, which premiered in 1997, was shot in the TV standard-of-the-time 4:3 closer-to-a-square ratio. 

Just as wide-screen theatrical movies have long been bastardized when they aired on old square TVs in chopped up, panned and scanned versions, now the same thing is happening with TV shows being converted to HD screens.

Good grief.  Just slap some black bars on the sides and give me the WHOLE remastered HD picture.  Don't do this bad, often silly, re-framing and cropping; to illustrate what the issue is, just have a little five second intro showing WHY reformatting 4:3 images to the full 16:9 screen is a bad idea (visually, aesthetically, artistically).  I would hope viewers today would be more informed of this kind of thing.  Maybe not.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

May The Names and Faces Be With You

After percolating and circulating on the interwebs for a couple weeks that nifty teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has received a postscript.

JJ Abrams and company, via Entertainment Weekly, finally have put names to faces.  Find out who Finn, Rey, BB and Kylo are here.

Still no word on what the story is, but we'll take what we can.  And doing this "announcement" in the style of the old Topps Star Wars cards is a very fun and cool way to do it.  Props to whomever came up with this idea.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Extraordinary Artist Kim Jung Gi

This is beyond amazing.

Artist Kim Jung Gi freehand drawing in ink - with no sketches laid out - an incredible fantasy tableau.  The control he has in that pen-brush is exquisite. It is truly breathtaking.

James Bond Will Return... SPECTRE, which was announced today.  (See article on

Yes, it seems that the Daniel Craig-helmed super-spy series is getting back to its roots in a major way by bringing back the fictional terrorist organization SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion).

And where SPECTRE goes can Ernst Stavo Blofeld, he of the bald pate and super-fluffy white Persian cat, be far behind?  Even though his character is listed as Oberhauser, acclaimed actor Christoph Waltz is believed to be the new Blofeld in the film.  (If that is the case, I hope it comes across better than the silliness of Benedict Cumberbatch as "John Harrison" who every one KNEW was Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, despite all the denials of the filmmakers.)

The new film appears to be more in the mold of a traditional Bond film: for the first time in a Craig-Bond movie, we will have Q (Ben Whishaw), Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), M (Ralph Fiennes), a new Aston Martin (yea!), Dave Bautista as a classic Bond uber-assassin named Mr. Hinx and James Bond facing off against SPECTRE.  Could a giant hollowed-out volcano base with jump-suited henchmen be far behind?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Comic Book Art from the 1980s

A picture is worth a thousand words.

I'm a firm believer in that old adage.

The awesome blog Marvel Comics of the 1980s has many pictures worth many thousands of words.  Two posts recently caught my eye there: Favorite Last Pages from the 1980s.

Here is a sample, an incredible piece from Bill Sienkiewicz's run as artist on The New Mutants.

The second post was Favorite Splash Pages from the 1980s.  Below is a fun splash page by penciller Paul Smith and inker Bob Wiacek from The Uncanny X-Men.

(Artwork and characters copyright 2014 by Marvel Comics.  No infringement is intended.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Glen A. Larson, Veteran TV Producer/Writer Passes

If you grew up in the 1970s and 80s and watched TV, you owe a big debt to writer/producer Glen A. Larson.

He created series such as Alias Smith and Jones, Quincy, M.E., Magnum, P.I (co-created with Donald Bellisario), The Fall Guy, Knight Rider, Automan, Manimal, Buck Rogers and the original Battlestar Galactica.  He also produced series such as The Six Million Dollar Man and The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. 

Mr. Larson seemingly defined American television in those periods.

He passed away Friday, November 14 at the age of 77 according to

Thank you, Mr. Larson, for the endless hours of fun and adventure.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

To the Falcon Cave, Robin!?

Did the Batmobile/Tumbler make the Kessel Run in less than 3 bat-parsecs?

Check out the video link to at the end to find out the latest tit for tat shenanigans between Star Wars: Episode VII director JJ Abrams and Batman v Superman helmer Zack Snyder.  LINK.

Move over Baby Groot, Baby Chewbacca In Da Hizzy

The Award for Cutest Photo EVAR (this week) goes to this ridiculously cute pup in the Chewbacca getup (first seen at

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kirby Glass Beats Google Glass

Google Glass?  I'd prefer Kirby Glass.  Just look at that image.  WOW!  Please, someone out there, one of you amazing prop/model makers, make this thing a reality -- maybe not with the all Cosmic Implications that usually come with a creation of Jack Kirby's, but a nice prop replica would be awesome.

I am so surprised that more movies or TV shows are not using Jack Kirby's incredible, even far-out designs, such as the one above from Captain Victory, as inspirations.  With CGI anything is possible now, so what say you, filmmakers, production designers and concept artists? 

(Image copyright its respective rights holder. No infringement is intended.)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1

Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy is simply the most fun movie to hit theaters in years.  Its soundtrack of classic rock staples only adds to the film's many charms.  Give the tunes a listen, and you'll be groovin' like Dancing Baby Groot in no time.