Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dork Art: Peter Stults' What Ifs

Earlier this month I posted the Alternative Hollywood of Sean Hartter.  Well, looks like fanboy Peter Stults saw his work and took it one step further.  His What If posters are freaking killer!  I want to live in a world where James Dean's Driver took on Spencer Tracy's Rose!  Where William Shatner Avatared!  Where Leonard Nimoy Died Hard!


Dork Art: Lando Rising

Well, this print is amazing.  The artist is Brent Cheshire and it's your's if you've got $35.  But here's what Etsy has to say:

"The only Black man in the rebel alliance finally gets his due in this screen print. 18" x 24" 3 color screen print on French Speckle Tone Sand. Depicts Lando sticking it to Whitey and raising his gloved fist in defiance."


Dork Art: Mondo Drive

Tonight Mondo had a screening of Drive to celebrate the DVD/Blu Ray release.  Those in attendance were rewarded with this absolutely gorgeous Ken Taylor print.  Now word yet if and when this poster is going on sale but I want, want, want.


Matt’s Week in Dork! (1/22/12-1/28/12)

    Things calmed down a bit this week, and I got a bit more movie watching done. 

Moon:  Classic, story and character based science fiction is a refreshing change of pace in the CGI action movie field of recent years.  Sam Rockwell is almost a one man show, and carries the weight of this film quite well.  The score and effects (using models!) are fantastic.  Check this one out for a nice break from all the Avatars and Transformers.  Enjoy a good Heinlein/Clarke style story.  And just think, this was made on something like one sixtieth of Avatar’s budget.

How to Steal a Million:  A charming caper film featuring two leads in their prime.  Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole play a sort of cat and mouse game, while goofy Hugh Griffith plays a lovable old rogue art forger.  The movie looks very pretty in that 60s sort of way.  Movies like this, from this era, always feel a little off when they don’t have Cary Grant starring in them.  However, it’s still plenty of goofy fun.  And young Eli Wallach is a trip and a half.  

Hard Ticket to Hawaii:  Not nearly as much nudity as Malibu Express, it still has more than a dozen movies today.  It’s silly, poorly made, awfully acted, and utterly stupid.  Also, tons of fun.  If you like this brand of stupid, it’s worth checking out.  And man, the finale is just amazing.  Cancer Snake!!!

Attack of the Crab Monsters:  A very, very weird atomic horror film from Roger Corman.  Is it someone eating corn chips?  Or is it…CRAB MONSTERS!?  The film manages to ramp up the weird beyond a simple giant atomic monster, with mysterious voices calling folks out to their deaths.  The production on this one looks surprisingly good, though the creatures could use some work; mostly not having human eyes would have helped.  If you enjoy Corman type movies, it’s worth checking out.  (And don’t worry, the lady scientist still makes the food for the menfolk).

Island of the Fishmen:  The sound on this movie is like a bad cassette tape being played in an old church.  Everything echoes, yet everything is muffled.  Horrible dubbing.  Bad effects and choppy editing.  Mix in some voodoo, colonialism, and the like.  Oh, and Barbara Bach.  Not really as pretty as I remember her.  Still, I found the general story/setting interesting.  Voodoo.  Atlantis.  Sunken treasure.  And yes.  Fishmen.

Doctor Who: The King’s Demons:  A very short (only two part) story, it still manages to feature the Master, hamming his way through some Medieval Times reenactments.  This episode features the debut of the short lived attempt to have a robot as companion on the show.  It’s an interesting idea, but clearly technology hadn’t caught up with imagination (still hasn’t, really).

Underworld Awakening:  Kate Beckinsale’s Ass stars in this craptastic orgy of bad CGI and cornball dialog.  Every cheesy line of dialog feels like it stepped out of the scriptwriting classes of James Cameron and George Lucas.  Every slow motion walking shot looks like it was inspired by Michael Bay.  The plot is a whole bunch of who cares.  Most of the actors look like they just walked off a GQ photo shoot.  And man, those CG werewolves just looks awful.  About 20 years later, and they don’t look any better than An American Werewolf in Paris, and nowhere near as good as pre-CG practical effects.  Still, star Kate Beckinsale’s Ass certainly does a lot with the screentime allotted, flexing, shining, and generally looking perfect.  Too bad there wasn’t a script half as meaty.

Razorback:  The 2001 of giant killer boar movies?  Well, it’s certainly a trip.  There is something darned peculiar about Australians (heck, most folk from below the equator).  Everything from the way the movie is shot to the actions of the characters are somehow off.  Even the way the movie progresses isn’t quite right.  Bits of this remind me of the South African film Dust Devil.  Other parts have obvious similarities to Walkabout and the Mad Max films.  And it’s more than just the accents and locations.  Something in the mindset of the production.  Make the effort and find a copy of this movie to watch.  It’s something special.  Or at least unique.

The Gray:  A handful of crash survivors are stalked by some tough wolves in this intense thriller.  Liam Neeson is a man driven to edge of society, living as a wolf killer in the wilds of Alaska.  An alpha male, he may be the group’s last hope.  A very good cast of relative unknowns back him up, as the weather and the wolves take their toll.  The film is a nice reminder that we are beasts, for all our posturing and high mindedness.  We’re still a part of nature, and nature is still a part of us.  When the chips are down and the hounds of hell are coming, I hope I have someone like Neeson at my side.  Wolves are beautiful and majestic creatures.  They’re also the product of evolution, and packaged to kill.  And so is Man.

F#%@ it!  I'll do it myself.
    And I checked out a handful more Star Trek episodes from season 3.  Again, some good, some really bad.

    I read and reviewed a new Dark Crystal graphic novel, a new Aliens graphic novella, and the first of the D’Argo centered Farscape graphic novels.  I also finally wrote my reviews for the last three volumes of the new Conan series.

    And another installment of Prodigal Son went up.  It’s a short one about music for games.

Comic Review: Farscape: D’Argo’s Lament

    OK, I know he’s hugely popular among Farscape fans, but I must admit, my love of D’Argo comes almost entirely from the actor who played him, and the friendship bond he and Crichton shared.  When the show began, he just struck me as another Worf clone, and only over time did he become more interesting (actually, that was the same with Worf).  When he was the first character to get his own spin-off comic series, I was a bit disappointed.  But, I do love me some Farscape, so I picked ‘em up.  And after running into writer Keith R.A. DeCandido at a comic convention last year, who turned out to be a super nice guy and super excited about the comic, I felt a bit guilty for not having read it.  Finally, with my recent increase in comic reading, I picked this one off the shelf and gave it a go.

    I’m glad I did.  I hadn’t realized that DeCandido was also the author of the only Farscape novel worth a frell, House of Cards.  He knows the characters, and he can write for them quite well, each in his or her own voice.  This was something I always paid attention to when reading the occasional Star Trek novel.  Can the writer tell a good story and put words in the mouths of characters that seem like they belong there?  Some can, some can’t.  And DeCandido can.

    The basic plot isn’t anything special.  Basically, it’s D’argo as the Continental Op, Yojimbo, or the Man With No Name, walking into a bad situation with two rival gangs trying to control a little backwater world.  But, there’s plenty of good stuff for fans.  We see more details of D’argo’s history, meeting a key person from his time as a soldier.  And there are some fun aliens running about.  The art is serviceable, if not especially impressive.  But that seems to be the case with a lot from Boom! Studios.  And there is a nice little short story at the end of the volume as a capper.

    You don’t need to read the regular Farscape comic series to pick this up.  It’s a stand alone adventure, set in the third season of the show.

Farscape: D’Argo’s Lament
Author: Keith R.A. DeCandido
Artist: Neil Edwards
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Pages: 112

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Release Tuesday (1/31/12)!!!

Yep, yep, yep I've been waiting for this one...

Must Buy DVD of the Week!

DRIVE:  What more can I say about Nicholas Winding Refn's brutally simple crime tale?  Since last year's A Fistful of Fall Anticipation post we've been ranting incessantly about this flick.  True, it's not for everybody--in fact I know several folks who downright hated the film.  But if you're a fan of that Michael Mann/Elmore Leonard/Winding Refn thing than you'll do your nut over Ryan Gosling's collision with Albert Brooks' psychotic mini-mafioso.  Yes, that is a Fake Criterion cover above but one can dream, right?


COLD MOUNTAIN (BLU):  Here's a film that seems to have been willfully forgotten.  Personally, I think this is a fine bit of Civil War melodrama worthy of old school epics like Gone With The Wind and How The West Was Won.  But Anthony Minghella's brand of high drama seems not to be so popular of late and both Cold Mountain & The English Patient catch a lot of flack these days with cries of Oscar Bait and the like.  Pish posh, I say.  Sure, Renee Zellweger's Ruby takes some getting used to but it's much easier to get absorbed by the collection of British actors in disguise:  Jude Law, Brendan Gleeson, Ray Winstone, Cillian Murphy.  Plus, it's an absolutely gorgeous flick.  If you've dismissed it in the past I think it's time to give it another visit.


DREAM HOUSE:  The trailers for this spooky haunting hopefully don't do the film justice, and they definitely kept me away from the theaters last year.  Still, it appears to have a sure-fire cast with Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, and Naomi Watts.  But man, am I sick of the same haunted house stories being told over and over again with the same tired twist endings.

THE MILL & THE CROSS:  This Polish-Sweedish co-production got a lot of raves last year, but you had me at Rutger Hauer.  The film depicts the characters of Pieter Bruegel's 1564 painting "The Way to Calvary" and also stars Charlotte Rampling and Michael York.  That's worth a rent if not a blind buy right there.

TEXAS KILLING FIELDS:  Is this another by-the-numbers serial killer flick or something special?  The presence of Sam Worthington is troubling, but you've also got Watchmen's (and more importantly Supernatural's) Jeffery Dean Morgan.  And Michael Mann has slapped his name on the cover so that means...absolutely nothing probably.

TWO-HEADED SHARK ATTACK:  Not to be confused with the recent string of Corman produced Mega Sharks and Dino Crocs, Two-Headed Shark Attack is an Asylum production starring no one's favorite playmate, Carmen Electra and the Hulk Hogan spawn Brooke Hogan.  It looks like utter garbage but I've rented worse (see Thankskilling).


THE THING (REMAKE):  What a tremendous piece of shit.  Sorry to be crass, but that's the only way to sum up this dreck.  There could have been an interesting sequel, prequel, or remake to John Carpenter's The Thing but this most certainly was not it.  Wasted opportunity.

IN TIME:  Here's another wasted opportunity.  Shades of Logan's Run and another dozen or so sci-fi tales, In Time manages to squander its roots with the blandest of Bonnie & Clyde tales.  Timberlake and Seyfried are decent together, and Cillian Murphy is an interesting lawman...but not interesting enough.

THE BIG YEAR:  No one cares.


Dork Art: The Fandom of Francesco Francavilla

I've been ranting and raving about Francesco Francavilla for the last couple of months here at ITMOD.  I haven't quite pinpointed what it is exactly about his style that triggers the primordial desires, but I'm definitely in love with His Love for classic (& not-so-classic cinema).  Today, the postman brought me Schermoscuro Vol 1: A 30 Day Journey In The Horror Silver Screen.  It's a nifty little book in which Francavilla illustrates and briefly discusses some of his favorite fright flicks.  And it comes with a bonus hand drawn sketch at the back of the book!

After quickly devouring the book I headed on over to Francavilla's website and started devouring more of his art.  I Am Just Head Over Heels In Love with his artistic nerding out, and I so want these below images hanging on my wall.  Apparently he sells some of these as prints, but you have to inquire.  After I've saved up some cash, I will surely do that.


Italy Gets Caged: Ghost Rider 2 Clips

Geek Tyrant just posted this crazy long clip of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance embedded in a rather whacky Italian Interview show.  I only looked at the clips briefly cuz I don't want to be too spoiled as far as this nutjob sequel is concerned.  What I really enjoyed here were the Interview segments.  It's a mad, mad world out there.


Dork Art: Mondo Kill List

Slash Film has revealed the latest Mondo poster promoting the American release of Kill List.  Designed by Iron Jaiden, measuring 18 x 24, and it will cost ya $30 on February 23rd.  I've heard a lot of good buzz about the film and I'm definitely looking forward to checking it out, but as of right now, this poster doesn't do much for me.  It's nifty, but appears to lack that oomph.


Poster: Resident Evil Part V!

The first two teaser posters for Resident Evil: Retribution have arrived and they promise Global terror.  Frankly, I could watch Milla kick zombie ass in these silly little movies every year for the rest of my life. Just keep it going, I'll keep watching.  And I'm really looking forward to blitzing through the other four films before checking out the new one.