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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fan-made Dancing Baby Groot

Guardians of the Galaxy is perhaps the most fun movie to grace multiplexes in many a year.  Jaded cynics can surely find fault with it, but many people, including me, just sat back with a large ice cold beverage and enjoyed the frak outta this movie.

I don't know what kind of merchandising Marvel/Disney has out for the movie, but I know they are kicking themselves they didn't think of this little gem like Patrick Delahanty did: an actual Dancing Baby Groot!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Star Trek Action Figures

As a huge Star Trek fan you'd think I'd have a ton of Trek-related toys, figures, statues, games, books, movies, merchandise, swag, what-have-you.  I do have some of that stuff, but not nearly as much as I might want.  Plus, I simply have no space to properly display things like that if I even had it.

One of the things I have unfortunately had to stay away from is Star Trek action figures.  I am so picky about likenesses, details and such, that I have none of that stuff in my "collection" save for an awesome Mego Gorn figure sent to me by a good friend.

Star Trek fan James Sawyer knows a thing or two about collecting ST action figures.  In fact, here's a neat post from his blog A Piece of the Action, about collecting the figures for the seven main stars of Star Trek.

(photo copyright James Sawyer)

Mad Max: Fury Road - The Road Warrior Returns

The Road Warrior (1982) is one of my all-time favorite movies.  The bleak, desolate world created and brought to life by director/co-writer George Miller, actor Mel Gibson and their amazing team of filmmakers, artists, craftspeople and, lest we not forget, stunt drivers feels so real, you want to shake the dust out of your clothes after watching the movie.

Road Warrior, or Mad Max 2 as it was known in its native Australia and other parts of the world, was so influential that to this day, over 30 years after it was first released, cheap knockoffs are still made that ape aspects of the movie - mainly its football shoulder pad, leather-clad fashions.

I'm always drawn to characters like Max.  A wounded man who just wanted to be left alone after the tragedy he suffered, but who did the right thing when no one else did, or could do.  That fits the mold of many a classic Western film character too (and more than a few characters from Samurai films).

Now, finally, MAD MAX IS BACK.

Mad Max: Fury Road, scheduled for released May 2015, puts George Miller back in command, with Tom Hardy donning the weathered and tattered Main Force Police uniform of Max Rockatansky.  Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron, sporting a very cool mechanical arm, co-stars.

Start revving your engines.  The chase is about to begin...again.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Divert Away From Divergent


This Harry Potter/Hunger Games/any high school-set story was a terrible crush of a bore.  It's set in a dystopic, post-apocalyptic Chicago just so we can see all the familiar city landmarks overgrown with weeds.

Shailene Woodley, who I enjoyed in the movie The Descendants, is our focus here as Triss, a young girl on the cusp of womanhood who has a decision to make, and it's not what frappaccino to order at Starbucks.  In Future Chicago, everyone is divided amongst five factions: Abnegation (selfless); Dauntless (brawny law enforcement); Erudite (brainiacs/nerds); Amity (peaceniks); and Candor (honesty).

When you come of age you have to take a sort of future SAT test to determine which faction you will belong to -- think the sorting hat scenes from Harry Potter.  The silly thing is, even if the test determines which faction you should be assigned to, you can still just chose whichever faction you want to be in.  So why have the friggin' test in the first place?

This movie is so serious that it is unintentionally funny.  Early on, we are introduced to the various factions.  We see the Erudites teaching school, the Abnegationists running the government, etc.  When the Dauntless people arrive by running up the street grinning and laughing, I fully expected them to break out into song, as if Divergent were channeling Newsies or West Side Story.  Not only do the Dauntless-ites run onto the scene, they immediately started climbing the framework of the L Train, which they seem to ride a lot when they aren't running everywhere.  It was a supremely stupid, silly scene, although 12 years old doubtless thought it was rad.

Triss goes against the SATs/sorting hat and picks Dauntless, and the rest of the movie is her getting schooled at their rock quarry HQ.  When we first see the digs, all the Dauntless kids are hanging out and chatting away; it looked and felt just like high school.  And this movie had that extremely juvenile feel of high school, with the jocks (among an entire faction of jocks) bullying Triss and her other non-steroidal friends.  Plus it included a couple of High School Cafeteria Scenes (TM).

The cast was uniformly pretty and bland (see the usual casting on any show on The CW).  Woodley has large expressive eyes, but she tears up a few times in the movie and, I swear, it was like somebody held up a Fresnel lens in front of her because her eyes become ENORMOUS when she cries.

At some point the movie remembered it should have some kind of plot since the whole waste of movie was Triss training at/for Dauntless High, so they shoehorn in something about a mind-control drug and one faction wanting to take control of the gubmint.  South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone hit it on the head in their movie Team America that every movie should have a montage.  Divergent could have seriously benefited from that axiom with all the training nonsense. 

I can't believe there are supposed to be two more movies after this one.  I think they're called Astringent and Detergent.

Ed Wood - Interesting facts about this Tim Burton gem

Well, kids, Halloween is right around the corner.  One of my favorite movies to get me into that Halloween spirit is Ed Wood, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as the "worst director of all time."

It's an amazing film, featuring lush black and white photography and a great cast, with Martin Landau winning an Oscar for his moving portrayal of the legendary horror film icon Bela Lugosi.

Film School Rejects has posted an article that pulls 40 interesting items from the DVD commentary track.

Coherence movie - Big Ideas in a Small Package

I have it on good authority that the 2013 indie movie Coherence is a smart, engaging work of sci fi.  The story concerns the strange events that unfold among a group of friends gathered for a dinner party after a comet is sighted.

It's got a big idea in a small package, with a feel reminiscent of the best of the original Twilight Zone TV series.  The film was shot largely at director/co-writer James Ward Byrkit's home; the main cast of eight worked with a loose script and improvised their dialogue.  If you recall, this was how The Blair Witch Project was done, and also the way the great Christopher Guest shoots his improv comedies like Best In Show and A Mighty Wind.

Here's the trailer of Coherence from You Tube: