Saturday, May 7, 2011

Brad's Week In Dork!

We're starting a new feature here at ITMOD.  At the end of every week Matt & I are going to unleash upon you the movies we watched, the book we read, the comics we devoured, and the toys we acquired.  Basically, a recap in the Dorkness that runs our lives.  Sunday-Saturday.

And this has been a decent Week in Dork with plenty of hard earned cash expended on plenty of nerdy goods.


Fast Five:  Maybe technically not the first film of the Summer, Fast Five sure as heck felt like the pistol shot to ignite the Summer Blockbuster season.  For a franchise I started off kinda hating, it's amazing how much entertainment I've pulled from the last two films in the series. The Bromance between Vin Diesel and Paul Walker is at an all time high here, but now they've tossed The Rock into the mix and the Fast & Furious Meathead/Gearhead Madness jumps up a level or two. It's a rather excellent PG-13 Action Extravaganza Cheesefest that will give you a giggle or two.

Rabbit Hole: I think I cried through the entire proceedings of Rabbit Hole, and at times it was too much for me and I had to leave the room as the TV played in the background. That being said, it's an incredible experience with probably the finest performance from Nicole Kidman so far, and I felt like I was Aaron Eckhart. Heartbreaking, but also cathartic. I can't imagine the pain of this movie but there is something worthwhile about suffering through this fictional scenario. 

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1:  My wife and I concluded our week & 1/2 long Potter marathon with this stunning cliffhanger.  And you know you're watching a different kind of Potter film when Nick Cave's "O Children" marks a significant emotional moment in the film. This is the end...or the beginning of the end, and no other Harry Potter movie feels or behaves quite like The Deathly Hallows Part I. As the children grow, each film gets a little grimmer, but The Deathly Hallows starts and concludes utterly black. Folks have died and more are going to; the story drops Hogwarts with our trilogy of heroes (Harry, Ron, Hermione) on the hunt/run from Ralph Fienne's slithery demon Voldemort and there are few distractions away from the group. Sure, it is a Part I and you don't really have a solid climax here but the cliffhanger definitely has me hooked and I'm waiting for my fix to be delivered this July with the climactic Part II.

The Green Hornet:  Not necessarily the pulpy adventure film I once desired, The Green Hornet is nevertheless an entertaining bit of freaks & geeks comic action madness. Seth Rogen is probably the most ignorant crime fighter trolling the streets (and I've seen Woody Harrelson's Defendor), but thankfully he has his Swiss Army Knife kung fu sidekick Kato, played by the scene stealer Jay Chou. And let's not forget Christoph Waltz's insecure Chudnofsky aka Bloodnofsky aka Disco Santa. Waltz is the neo-Christopher Walken--you don't know necessarily what he's going on about but he's fascinating to watch. So, The Green Hornet might not be the film all you Radio Geeks were looking for, but if you can let go of your preconceived notions you might just end up having a good time.

Barbarian Queen:  "I'm not here to torture you, we have a man to do that." Supposedly set within the Roman Empire, Barbarian Queen is a T&A Exploitation Cheesefest filmed in Argentina with an international cast of poorly-dubbed but willing actors including savage women Lana Clarkson, Susana Traverso, and Dawn Dunlap as the Barbarian Queens kicking butt and slaying names in an effort to win back their men. Absolutely ridiculous but loads of fun for the right audience. 

Dylan Dog:  SOOOOOOOOOOO BOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNGGGGGGG. Thanks to small roles in Chuck and Scott Pilgrim vs The World I've become quite the fan of Brandon Routh. Unfortunately, Dylan Dog presents a tremendous blow on that status. Not one single original thought or idea flutters across the screen. Instead we're presented with one cliche after the other and an endless narration that dares you to rip every follicle from your skull. Painfully dull. 

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes:  The first of the Rathbone films to pit Holmes and Moriarty against one another, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is still a bit of a step down from The Hound of the Baskervilles. I absolutely love the courtroom introduction of the archvillain and George Zucco is an excellent Moriarty, but his plot to outwit The Great Detective before he can retire to Abstract Science meanders a bit too much in the middle. Still, it's worth it for the opening and the tumbling climax.

Hanna:  One of the scariest, demented, and exciting PG-13 flicks I've encountered, Hanna is a thrilling Euro chase picture that brutalizes the audience while filling them with horrible giddy glee. The whole film falls on the shoulders of Saoirse Ronan and she is simply stunning (I can finally forgive her horrible behavior in Atonement!) and supporters Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett provide brilliant killer role models. Thumping along with The Chemical Brothers, Hanna shoots for your heart, misses, and delivers a headshot.  After Rango, this is probably my second favorite film of 2011 so far.

Thor: Journey Into Mystery with Marvel's most mondo movie to date! This whackjob fish outta water story sees The Mighty Thor cast from Asgard to Earth Realm where he must battle the always entertaining Clark Gregg and his Shield G-Men as well as...The Destroyer! Honestly, I just love how this film embraces the absurdity of these Norse Gods existing in the same universe as Tony Stark's Iron Man. It just goes for it. And so should you.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:  The first full length animated feature from Walt Disney is a demented little gem that sees an Evil Queen trying to snuff out her step-daughter cuz some whackadoo magic mirror says she's the fairest one of all. The flick definitely captures the creep factor of the Grimm's Fairy Tale but I gotta admit that it drags a little when Snow White shacks up with the Seven Dwarfs. Still, it's a classic and not just for it's historical cinematic place.

Race With The Devil:  As I type this I'm just concluding this excellent Grindhouser.  Yep, an absolutely thrilling exploitation cheapie that pits Husbands & Wives Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Loretta Swit, and Lara Parker against an all consuming group of naked blonde sacrificing Satan Worshipers--And It's All Wholesome PG Fun!!! Absolutely fantastic car chases, wrecks, and stunts plus some serious manly acting from the two leads. Race With The Devil is a must for any fan of 70s trash cinema. VF.


Well, I'm sad to say that I haven't done the typical amount of reading that I would like this week.  I've kinda stalled on Richard Stark's Parker books.  Finished up The Green Eagle Score and I just need to start the diamond heister The Black Ice Score.  One book I did pick up this week was John Sayles' epic tome A Moment In The Sun.  This sucker is a beast, clocking in at 955 pages the novel starts off during the Yukon Gold Rush--well, here's the writeup off Barnes and Noble:  

It’s 1897. Gold has been discovered in the Yukon. New York is under the sway of Hearst and Pulitzer. And in a few months, an American battleship will explode in a Cuban harbor, plunging the U.S. into war. Spanning five years and half a dozen countries, this is the unforgettable story of that extraordinary moment: the turn of the twentieth century, as seen by one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

Shot through with a lyrical intensity and stunning detail that recall Doctorow andDeadwood both, A Moment in the Sun takes the whole era in its sights—from the white-racist coup in Wilmington, North Carolina to the bloody dawn of U.S. interventionism in the Philippines. Beginning with Hod Brackenridge searching for his fortune in the North, and hurtling forward on the voices of a breathtaking range of men and women—Royal Scott, an African American infantryman whose life outside the military has been destroyed; Diosdado Concepcíon, a Filipino insurgent fighting against his country’s new colonizers; and more than a dozen others, Mark Twain and President McKinley’s assassin among them—this is a story as big as its subject: history rediscovered through the lives of the people who made it happen.

I'm not a huge John Sayles fan, but I did absolutely love his film Lone Star and I've read a few of his short stories and they were decent.  Plus, comparisons to Deadwood?  Done and done.


Today was Free Comic Book Day!!!  Matt & I did it up proper visiting three of our local comic shops hauling away plenty of free stuff, but also purchasing far too many singles and trades.  The four trades I scored were Frank Frazetta's White Indian (since High School I've been obsessed with his Fantasy Art, and as just an FYI, if you've seen the Painting With Fire doc than you've also seen me in the background of his museum's grand opening!  Dork Cred!), Travis Charest & Jodorowsky's Weapons of the Metabaron (a must have for all El Topo fans!), Usagi Yojimbo Book 1 The Ronin (I've always been annoyed at myself that I've never read anything from Stan Sakai's cartoon epic and today I will correct that error), and Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. Architects of Forever.  And besides the Free Comic Book Day singles, I also picked up the first two issues of Axe Cop.  Have you guys read this madness?  Brilliant.

But what have I actually been reading this week?  Again, not much.  Lame.

John Carter of Mars:  I bought this massive beast last week and I've been picking at it the entire time, but I haven't really devoted a lot of energy into consuming it like I probably should.  It's great pulp adventure that seems to capture the spirit of Edgar Rice Burroughs with the occasional panel or two that just kicks down the door to my dork heart.  "It was a living Nightmare, and when oblivion came--in the form of a sword pommel crashing down on the back of my skull--I was grateful."


Ooooo...lots of good stuff.   With each new trailer for the Green Lantern film, I get a little more excited to see Ryan Reynolds wield the ring and with that excitement comes plenty of opportunities to throw money at GLC collectibles like the Funko vinyl figure.  And that Funko purchase led to the purchase of Funko's Cthulhu bobble head which now rests watchfully atop the rice bear next to our Easy-Bake Oven in the kitchen.  Also, while making my rounds I stumbled upon that rather nifty Lego Darth Vader alarm clock which just had to be mine. A watchful Sith Lord to guard my ever growing blu-rays.

And last, but certainly not least, I acquired three amazing bits of pop art.  On Wednesday, the Monster Squad and Last Starfighter prints from Phantom City Creative arrived and thanks to my fellow Toy Collector Blogger Brian Adams of Cool & Collected fame, I will soon be the proud owner of the new Mirror, Mirror Mondo print that sold out last week within minutes.  I'll post photos of those once their framed and up on the walls.

And there you have it.  That's been my Week in Dork.


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