December 30, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: "As A Man" Line from Clash of the Titans

Before everyone starts giving me shit about this, let me clear about this. I paid money to see "Clash Of The Titans," and due to the times available at the theater I even saw it 3D. And while the movie is now infamous for being a example of how awful post production 3D conversion can be, I found the movie to be an example of just a bad movie. But wait, TPG, why did you even bother? Well, let be honest here, I thought the trailer was pretty damn fresh:

Great trailer right? You got babes, monsters, fighting, epic music, and Liam Neeson bellowing. However,  while the movie just didn't deliver the goods, you can read my review here, it  did deliver one incredibly thing-

I do this as a man...

Perseus, played Sam Worthington can literally not stop saying this all movie long. Every time he is asked to do something he replies that "he'll do it as a man," because he doesn't want to be associated with the gods. Why he wouldn't want to be associated with super powers is beyond me, but this tagline was hilarious all summer. Someone wanted to go the beach....if I go I go as man. Go grab a me a glass of water.....If I grab you a glass of water I do this....

You get the picture. Apparently though people loved the movie for more than this one line. It made almost 500 million dollars worldwide and a sequel is already set for March 2012.

December 29, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: Landon Donovan's Goal To Advance

Prior to this goal many people were casual fans of the World Cup. They knew it was going on, that they should care about it, and the US would make a showing, but not win anything. That all changed with Landon Donovan's goal vs Algeria. When the World Cup rolls around in 2014, people will be watching and expecting big things from the US.

There are so many factors that made this one of the best things in 2010. Peep the list below
  1. A singular team for people to root for. This wasn't like the Superbowl where people are rooting for one side of the other, most Americans were united in rooting for the US
  2. Do or Die Time - If he didn't score that goal the US would not advance to the next round, everything was riding on that kick
  3. The Clock - The goal was scored at almost the last possible second. It's like a superbowl hail mary, world series grand slam, buzzer beater combined in that one moment
  4. The Man - Donavan talks a big game about the US soccer game and for once he totally backed it up.
I remember watching this with my buddy in a bar in Los Angeles and people were getting buck when it happened. That being said, this video of the world's reaction is pure gold, it brings a red white and blue tear to my eye (doesn't hurt that Rudy music is bumping)

December 24, 2010

December 23, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: Chilean Miner Jumpoff

Look at that dude on the right throwing up the thumbs up! Hell yeah, thumbs up to the max brotha. I'm a fan of the thumbs up, but you know what I'm a fan of? The human spirit and that's a fact. And there was no other event this year that exemplified the human spirit more than the miners in Chile.

The whole thing starting on August 5th 2010 when there was a cave-in in the mining area and 33 miners, all men, realized that they were stuck beneath the surface (must be a shitty realization). It's important people know this wasn't some old school wicked cramped mine, this area that they were trapped in was relatively big. Big enough they could drive around fork-lift type machines. Sure, TPG, that's great, it still doesn't take away from the fact that these dudes were trapped 700 yards beneath the earth where it as my pals on twitter put it "dark as shit."

By now you know that the miners were rescued on October 13th after a multi-national effort to get them out completely succeeded. This is my favorite "news" story of the year because while other stories may have been bigger (Oil Spin, Wikileaks) this is one of the few stories that are 100% positive. Someone once said (maybe it was a James Bond villain) "There is no news like bad news" and if you look around it's true. Most of the "news" is just pretty depressing. However, sometimes there is a news story that is just overwhelmingly positive. 1 Billion tuned in live to watch those miners emerge from the ground and in a bigger sense, watch the human spirit triumph. THUMBS UP TO THAT

December 22, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: Franklin On True Blood

"True Blood" is the ultimate summer television show. Each week it brings the heat with trashy characters, ridiculous violence, and some wild sex. That being said, I thought the season finale was type F- in it's quality. The show feels like it has to introduce witches, fairies, werewolves, werepanthers (there is a difference!) and all other types of magical creatures, but I'm only concerned about one character. My main meng Franklin Mott (featured above).

Franklin was a season 3 character that was completely batshit insane. In the beginning of the season he's on a mission for the Vampire King, but who cares, somewhere on his quest he falls in Beyonce style crazy love for Tara and then spends of the rest of the season complaining about how much he loves her. His lack of backstory and his bizarre temperament made him unpredictable, disturbing and fun. (VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE)

December 21, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: Raekwon's Verse on Kanye West's Gorgeous

At the end of 2010 Kanye West made up for all his previous antics by dropping his new disc "My Beautiful Dark Fantasy." To say that the album was good would be a huge understatement, the album is fresh like farmer's market strawberries after your rode your bike there on a nice spring morning after you just head a strong cup of organic free range coffee. But while many songs stand out on the album, my favorite part of the whole thing would be Raekwon's verse on the featured song above- Goregous.
 A member of the Wu-Tang Clan and one of the most underrated rapper in the game, over a rhythm change and soulful guitar, he destroys the verse. And man there are some serious verses on the album. Jay-Z, Pusha T, Nicki Minaj, and Rick Ross all tear up tracks on this album, but it's The Chef's that stands out, peep this sample of the verse

if you can’t live, you dying
you give or buy in
keep it real or keep it moving, keep grinding
keep shining, to every young man, this is a plan
learn from others like your brothers Rae and Kanye

Damn, that sounds like a New Years Resolution!

December 17, 2010

Tron Legacy: A Great Music Video

"Tron Legacy" is a two hour Daft Punk music video starring a Jedi Jeff Bridges. Sure other people appear but none of them come close to matching the techno-zen-rave-diety status of the almighty J. Bridges. In fact it's pretty far out to think about the entire film as some type of bizarre sequel to "The Big Lebowski," where our protagonist is still looking for his rug, albeit in a fourth technological dimension.

Directed by first timer Joseph Kosinski and the film is sleek techno adventure ride with a killer soundtrack. Notice that I referred to the movie as a ride and not a film. The plot is here is a garbled mess involving data discs, computer program genocide, epic daddy issues, and motorcycle riding. "The Grid" were all the super cool business goes down is a land of "infinite possibility" but the filmmakers never embrace this. For all it's visual trickery and innovative sound design and score, the whole thing just feels very safe, there is no risk here. I mean where is my Julian Assange cameo?

Now that you know that the plot and everything else is a mess, let's just talk about the film as techno adventure. Here the film succeeds.  Daft Punk's score overpowers the movie and if it wasn't for Bridges' zen (lines include "you really messing with my whole zen thing" the score would totally overpower the film. Visually the 3D is really trippy and even without the 3D, the glowing robes and colorful outfits pop off the screen. Peep the progression below to understand the film

Cool looking people roll into a techno future club in slow motion to this music

Cool looking EVIL people show up at the club and huge battle breaks out.

That's pretty much the movie right there. Cool looking people fighting, driving, exploding to rocking techno. If that sounds like your jam, then you probably already saw it or have your tickets. If not, then maybe try out "The Kings Speech."

December 16, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: New Takes on Toy Story Characters

When Toy Story 3 was first announced I immediately wondered just why they had to make a new one. I remembered "Toy Story 2" as being almost a perfect film, and I didn't see the need for new one. But boy was I wrong, "Toy Story 3" was nothing short of a masterpiece. Sure the end with the giant ball of fire is way too intense for kids and the villain Lotso The Bear is the scariest Disney villain ever, but "Toy Story 3" just brings it all around. You can check out my articles on the film here and here.

But I really wanted to commend the good people at Pixar for taking our beloved classic characters and putting a hilarious new spin on them. The Mr. Tortilla Head sequence above not only showed off impressive animation but had me rolling in the aisles. But not even that could compete with Spanish Buzz Lightyear. Hearing him speak in the same tone and with the same swagger but in a different language was just too much and in my book the funniest moment of the year. Gracias Spanish Buzz! And as a bonus the great Flamenco band The Gypsy Kings even covered "You Got A Friend in Me" on the soundtrack

December 15, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: Bed Intruder

Bed Intruder was an absolute monster in 2010. When I saw the original youtube video on barstool , I initially thought that it was average at best. However it wasn't til a friend sent it out again with the accompanying auto-tuned version by the Gregory Brothers (above), that I realized that, yeah that was pretty funny and I was wicked into it. Little did I know that it would become an anthem.

In the past when people inadvertently end up on the internet, they run from it, they don't want the celebrity. The "Star Wars" kid is a great example of an internet celebrity who tried to fight it. However, Antoine Dodson, the star of the Bed Intruder video is a business major and rather than run from the video, he embraced. Today he has appeared on numerous talk shows, performed at the BET awards, has iphone apps, halloween costumes, and a hit itunes single. He moved out of the projects and now lives with his family in a brand new home. Talk about an internet celebrity!

Yet depending how you look at it, the bed intruder craze is either a blight on world culture or a great example of innovative minds at work. Some people think the video perpetuates African American stereotypes. However, then you look at the massive creative response to the video, including the most recent performance by the Liberty University A Cappella group (founded by semi-bigot Jerry Falwell), it is amazing how different people responded and interpreted the video.

With over 75 million combined views and counting, Dodson is still counting that loot, but where he goes from here is unknown. Not like he can hide cause "we gonna find you we gonna find you!"

TPG Talks 2010 ( Aka The Realist Best Of Compilation You'll Find Anywhere In The Universe)

It's that time of year when people like to make "best of" lists to show how much they ingested in 2010. Usually these lists are full of big words like "tendentious" and "umbrage," but as you readers know I don't deal with SAT words, I deal with truth bombs. Over the course of the next couple of days, I will be revealing what I think were the best moments in everything in 2010. News stories, films, tv-shows, video games, people, youtube videos, foods, events, it will all be there. I'll keep a sidebar maintained so you can follow the progress and I'll have a twitter #hashtag of #TPG2010. Stay tuned.

December 14, 2010

Rango Trailer Drops

I'm really into this trailer. Maybe it's because while other animated films vaguely refer to their "green" audiences, this one seems to wear it's "yes this is totally trippy and far out" as a badge of honor.

December 13, 2010

Life The Movie: Secret Codes on Mona Lisa

Leonardo Da Vinci was one smooth dude. Think about it, the dude died in 1519 and even today he still has people losing their minds over his painting, a best-selling book, a smash hit franchise, and a dope supporting role in a hit video game series. And now, if he can't get any cooler, according to this recent news story, art historians have discovered secret letters and numbers on "The Mona Lisa." Yes, yes, basically it confirms everything you already knew, "The Da Vinci Code" is real.

Above is the close up the eye where the symbols are discovered, now I'll be honest I don't really see any symbols there except the Assassin's Creed logo (above), wait, what? But according to the Silvano Vinceti you need a magnifying glass to see them. Who is Silvano? He's the head of the National Committee for Cultural Heritage and apparently a little bit of Da Vinci fanatic, check out his history of obsession here.

Either way, let's give up for Leonardo. The guy is still making people lose their shit almost 500 years after he died. Not too mention he has the coolest Ninja Turtle named after him, and there is no higher honor than that.

Thanks to adventurer @AjMattero for the tip

December 10, 2010

UPDATED WITH TRAILER - Can The Marvel Machine Sell Thor?

Today is Kenneth Branagh's birthday. And so it is fighting that on his 50th birthday, the advertising blitz for "Thor," the film he directed should begin. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how this summer's "Green Lantern" and "Thor" represent a risky departure for the super hero film genre. And now we have our first official poster for Marvel Entertainment's "Thor" and the word is we should have a trailer tonight (check back in for updates).

Sometimes it's hard to remember that in 2008, "Iron Man" was a middle ground super-hero and making the film, let alone casting wild card Robert Downey Jr. was a gamble. Now "Iron Man" is the anchor of the entire Marvel Universe, a household name, and capable of creating nerd poetry. With "The Avengers" on the horizon, it was announced recently that "Iron Man 3" will be a direct sequel to not only "Iron Man 2," but also "Thor" and "The Avengers."

But "Thor" is not Iron Man. And while the initial posters look similar (striking background, heroic weapons), it is no doubt easier to sell a playboy bachelor surrounded by hot babes and cool toys to the world than a Asgardian viking warrior with some serious domestic issues. With this poster and the upcoming trailer, Marvel certainly has it's work cut out for it with Mr. Hammer Time. However, I'm hopeful, Marvel sold "Iron Man" on some simple images. Iron Man blows up tanks, beds hot chicks and flies around kicking ass.  Thor kicks ass with a hammer, makes things explode, and beds Natalie Portman, who is number one on many bros list of ultimate babes, so they have that in common.

I think "Marvel" is going to try to sell "Thor" kind of the same way. I mean, people have to show up if we see someone getting destroyed by a gigantic hammer right? Right?

December 9, 2010

Robot Boxing With Real Steal

This script was actually kind of cool and while it is unclear if this is a prequel/sequel/spinoff/transformation of the "Transformers" franchise, it's good to know that robots will rumble in 2011.
(via The playlist Blog)

December 8, 2010

Finding The Humor In WikiLeaks

As I said last week, I am fascinated by the Wikileaks saga. This Assange fellow seems to have the world on his finger tips and with him now locked away, he basically is getting his Obi Wan / Darth Vader on and saying that if they strike him down he will become even more powerful. Thankfully, someone is looking at the organization with smile on their face ( a laughing smile, not a "we're gonna nail this sonafabitch Gary" smile). The people I'm speaking about are the good folks at always reliable The Onion and pretty much every Star Wars nerd out there who follows the news.

Since I brought up the Assange Jedi connection earlier, let's start with WOOKIELEAKS, the twitter hashtag that hilariously puts a star wars twist on it the real life political debacle. The tweets contain both deep Star Wars references and casual ones and they really remind me of the great short film TROOPS, featured above. The stellar LA TIMES blog Hero Complex has a great collection of the wookie leaks here. Here is a sample from @gideonyago
Whistleblower claims 2 meter thermal exhaust port leads directly to reactor core, Death Star vulnerable 
But they aren't the only ones cracking jokes at the leaks. The Onion now has a hilarious entire section devoted to the leaks. The top story is "Julian Assange Fired From IT Job At The Pentagon," and the hits keep coming after that. Unlike the wookieleaks, these are full stories and almost all of them in some way reference the original leaks.

And of course, Saturday Night Live, once the leader in hilarity also weighed in on the controversy last weekend, including a mildly funny TMZ like sketch. Sure it got me to smile, but I'll stick to the Star Wars references and witty commentary that makes me cry.

December 7, 2010

New Trailer for "I Am Number Four" Is Nerd Fantasty Come To Life

This is the stuff my dreams are made of. Yes in my dreams I have super powers, date Quinn from Glee, and are involved in situations with explosions and cars flipping over. 

December 6, 2010

TV FInale Showdown: Boardwalk Empire vs. The Walking Dead

Forget fancy lead in sentences, I thought last night's finale of "The Walking Dead" was weak at best. It left me completely un-excited for the next season and worse, left me questioning why I really enjoy the show in first place. For me the most exciting part of the show was the last 3 minutes, when our heroes/victims finally got back to stopping the dead from walking with their axes, shotguns, pistols, and crossbows. AMC knows their audience, and the audience wants some zombie killin. Prior to that, we basically got a groovy explanation of how zombie brains work complete with an Enya soundtrack, great they're dead, but they walk, I get it.

That being said, where did the show leave us? Our survivors are back on the road, that's all, destined to go to another quarry where they can post up, catch fish, hunt zombie deer, and brood about how screwed they are. Yes, I know that the doctor, (expertly played by Noah Emmerich) whispered something to our hero Rick, but he could have been talking about another hot shower location and not something crucial (you realize that twice on this show, characters have enjoyed hot showers in montages). Don't get me wrong, I like seeing zombie heads explode as much as the next guy, but I'm going to need a little bit more plot to keep me truly interested.

Speaking of important conversations we can't hear, last nights "Boardwalk Empire Finale" featured one hell of a trio speaking about something which really will impact next season. Nucky's brother Eli, his father figure Commodore, and his metaphorical son Jimmy all met and plotted while the rest of the country celebrated the election. This is how you set up a second season, with three characters of different power levels scheming on how to take down the central protagonist of the show. 

Did you catch the shot in closing montage of Jimmy Darmody walking along the ocean? It looked just like Nucky walking the ocean in the opening credits, that's foreshadowing yo.  The show is once again proving to be exciting, visually gorgeous, and loaded with metaphors. The final montage set to "Life's A Funny Proposition" was brilliant in how it showed all the characters both where they've been and where they are heading. And while both shows have second seasons shrouded in mystery, only "Boardwalk" has created drama through their characters emotions and actions, not the characters skill at bustin' zombie skulls (although that still is cool).

December 3, 2010

Life The Movie: Julian Assange

21st Century Outlaw

Julian Assange is living a movie. Come on, picture the scene, it's Washington, maybe a Sunday, the Redskins are playing, politicians are drinking swanky cognac and talking pawlitics and then someone gets a call. "The Wikileaks guy is putting all our of diplomatic cables on the internet!" "Got dayum Aussie hacker bastard!" Meanwhile, somewhere in his techno lair Assange drinks a swanky cognac and smiles.

It might not have gone down exactly like that, but can we take a second to comment on how crazy this wikileaks business is. On Sunday, he basically spilled the beans on all types of top secret documents, sending the international community into a chaotic apologetic/oh shit frenzy. Then two days later, Sweden issues an arrest warrant on him for sexual assault (is that because he just @#$!ed the world's politician's?). The following day his servers come under immense cyber attack and transfers them all to Amazon's cloud servers, but even this can't stop the people who wanna stop the leaks, so he has to switch up domains again. And now on Friday, wikileaks is forced to switch the game up again, moving his servers to that great neutral state, Switzerland. As for Assange, he gave a press conference recently, even though he's technically a fugitive. For a great timeline of wikileaks insanity, check out this link here.

News stories like this get my imagination churnin and burnin. An international hacker fugitive who whereabouts are unknown, are you serious? This is like "Enemy of the State" combined with "Mercury Rising" mixed in with 70's paranoia thrillers with a side of "Hackers" and a sprinkling of "The Net" and some trace elements of "24."

But wait, there's more! More! In the words of Men In Black, there's morrah. Apparently Assange is going to reveal the UFO DOCUMENTS soon.  When that happens either, it won't happen because the Men In Black themselves will stop him or he will reveal that the UFO documents is actually a wonderfully drawn version of his family tree.

December 2, 2010

What Exactly is Triple Frontier?

There is a new film brewing in Hollywood and it's a big one. In time you will hear lots about it, so consider this the preview to the hype. It's called "Triple Frontier" or "Sleeping Dogs" no one seems to confirm the title, but for now we'll go with the first option because "Sleeping Dogs" sounds like a sequel to "Marley and Me." Wait, did I say, this is a preview to the hype? Sorry, this is the start of the hype train.

Simply put "Triple Frontier" is the follow up to the Academy Award winning "The Hurt Locker." To be directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the script by by "Hurt Locker" scribe Mark Boal, focuses on the piece of land featured above.  What's so special about this little piece of land? Evil bad dudes love it. According to Wikipedia, the area, kind of a neutral zone between three countries is hard to police and therefore it's a hot bead of organized crime, and not just South American drug lords, recent reports indicate an Islamic Extremist presence as well. So basically it sounds like "The Hurt Locker" minus the sand.

The talent behind the camera is enough to get excited but the cast coming together for the project is equally impressive. Yesterday it was announced that Tom Hanks will be in the film and it remains to be seen if we will be getting noble ass kicking Tom Hanks (see left) or noble diplomatic Tom Hanks (See "Charlie Wilson's War"). Other rumors have pegged Johnny Depp as a cast member, but those aren't confirmed. I mean a Depp-Hanks team up would be thrilling.

Bigelow is a masterful director, "The Hurt Locker" is an incredibly gripping film and "Point Break" is on the list of 80's action films that are awesome because they are just great films, not great "80's" films. But I have to point out that after last year's Academy Award race vs her ex-husband James Cameron, I can't help but think in some corner of her mind she wants to go make a movie in the jungle too. Hopefully her film will be rooted in spec-ops military government espionage goodness and won't involve blue-people**

*That isn't a knock on Avatar, Avatar is still the shit.

November 24, 2010

Famous Robots

This comes from a great friend who has just revealed his astute observations about Robots. Hey Buddy, your Transformers 3 ticket is on me!

November 22, 2010

Boardwalk Bar Mitzvah

Al Capone is one of the most fascinating characters on HBO's incredible "Boardwalk Empire." While other characters like Enoch Thompson, Arnold Rothstein, and Lucky Luciano were all real people, none of them have the notoriety of Al Capone. Portrayed on the screen by the talented British thespian Stephen Graham, Mr. Capone is one of the most intriguing characters on the show, and it was never more clearer than last night's episode entitled "The Emerald City."

Since the first episode, when he and Jimmy Darmody where standing by their cars, waiting for their prospective bosses, Capone has behaved like a juvenile frat-bro madman. He lost his cool during the liquor heist in the first episode, blasting away on some "innocent" bootleggers because he got spooked by some deer. He repeatedly flies off the handle, stomping out people who he doesn't enjoy. And whether it's a joke cigarette to his boss or a gun getting fired next to Darmody's head, he loves a good prank.

Well all that changed last night with a Bar Mitzvah? A what? Yeah, a Bar Mitzvah, and while I was a little disappointed we didn't get to see the reception, the scene was effective awakening for the future crime lord. A helpful Jewish elder basically explained the Bar Mitzvah service to Al and you could see in his eyes the message of becoming a man resonating with him. I have no doubt in future episodes/seasons we will see a new Al Capone, particularly one that rises up to inherit Johnny Torio's mob empire.

But as much as the kind Jewish's elder's words had an effect on Capone, the actual scene of the Bar Mitzvah was clearly an homage to the greatest gangster film of all time: "The Godfather." In that film we witness Michael Corleone's "Baptism of Fire" where he systematically offs all the rival crime lords and comes into his own as The Godfather, all intercut with a Catholic baptism. In "Boardwalk" there isn't much killing, but the use and effect of a religious ceremony to show a criminal's growth is the same.

I could go on forever about all the loaded religious references on this show. The obvious one is the fire and brimstone pontificating of ATF agent Nelson Van Alden. But there are many more subtle undertones. Jimmy Darmody is essentially living a violent version of the prodigal son story-line and Rothstein seems to only speak in almost biblical parables. And fan favorite Richard Harrow (the dude with the mask) is on some path of twisted redemption. And as for Capone, I can't wait to see how his Italian heritage accepts his conversion to Judaism.

November 20, 2010

Behind The Scenes Harry Potter Photo

This behind the scenes photo comes from the excellent series that Aint It Cool News runs. Man, I love this picture. Watching these films I always see the characters, I never see an actor. And this picture, while it kind of pulls back the curtain on the magic, shows how much these people care about the franchise

November 19, 2010

Harry The Big Boss Potter And The Kick Ass Deathly Hallows

The hype train has left platform 9 and 3/4 and is barreling full steam towards July. "Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt.1" is easily the best of the Harry Potter film series and one of the strongest and most entertaining films of the year. Full disclosure here, thislalife readers know that I love hype and may or may not have been wearing a Ravenclaw (what's good) prefect badge at the screening, but seriously this film delivers the goods better than owl post.

What struck me the most about the film is that it managed to take everything that worked from the previous films and combine them all together. The excellent Order Of The Phoenix (that's the good guys) vs The Death Eaters (bad guys) combat sequences from the fifth film are ratcheted up now to the point where blood is flowing with the spells. The funny emotional comedy of the sixth film is here too, with Rupert Grint still bringing the comedic thunder as Ron. And finally, the innate sense of wonder with the magical world hasn't left either. Dirigible fruits, dangerous wands, disfiguring spells, and dastardly magical characters all figure into the story.

This is the third film from director David Yates and his comfort shows in every frame. Series leads Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint easily do their best work of the series under his guiding hand. Together with screenwriter Steve Kloves, Yates and his very adept technical army create a real powerful spell of moviemaking. Kloves even creates an entirely new scene which will probably make some hardcore potter fans wanna Avada Kedavra themselves, but the scene is fresh take on the characters.

Let it be known that I also saw the film with a muggle (aka someone who didn't read the books) and he loved it. And that's what great about the film. It has the action to satisfy the thrill junkies, it's got the special effects (many that look like they were made for the film's forgotten 3D version), and it's got the emotions for everyone else. Without a doubt, it's in the top 5 of best films of 2010 and if you are wondering, lemme tell you two things. First, it's going to be hard waiting for part 2 this summer, and two, part 1 is so good I will have no choice to but dress up for part 2. What do you think I should be?

**Big Ups to Olly Moss for the cool poster featured above

November 18, 2010

Green Lantern, Thor, and the Super Hero Bubble

What do you see in the image on the left? A super hero? A green one? A ring? A weird purple Kool-Aid spill in the background? Planet Earth? The Green Lantern**?

Warner Brothers certainly hopes that you see the Green Lantern. Coming out this summer, the studio that brought us "The Dark Knight" is delivering their next big hope at a mega franchise. However, this film is more than just another "super hero" film. It's a huge step for the genre.

Notice I didn't say "huge step forward" for the genre, because the fact is, "Green Lantern" is going to be different than any super hero film people have seen. When I say different, I mean it's going to be full of some hardcore sci-fi insanity. Think giant purple headed extra-terrestrials, alien landscapes, and giant green shapes coming out of a ring. Peep the trailer here if you haven't yet.

In the past the super-hero genre of films has been grounded in "reality," meaning that people buy into the concept of the "hero" because it's rooted in our reality. People love the "Dark Knight" because it's basically a crime movie that happens to have Batman in it. Spiderman is cool because he's just a normal kid with some average powers, nothing too nuts. However,  Green Lantern and also Thor, which will feature some far out Techno viking realm are full blown far out super heroes. Will general audiences be able to handle this?

I guess we'll know the answer this weekend. Tonight the trailer for "Green Lantern" will debut on the big screen with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1." If the multi-plexes go nuts when they see the Lantern regulating, I guess the audiences will be ready, but if they don't, looks like our super heroes might be grounded back in reality for a while. Also where the hell is our "Thor" trailer?

** My Dad loves the Green Lantern, me on the other hand, I'm more of a Batman dude, Green Lantern, not so much.

November 16, 2010

The Green Lantern Trailer

Not sure why it's in Spanish, but hey the Green Lantern is multi-cultural and multi-colorful

November 12, 2010

Battle Los Angeles Trailer Drops

For a movie where the filmmakers wanted to create an alien invasion film that "looks like a video game" this trailer is way too serious. I mean let's be honest here, this is an alien invasion movie not a spiritual sequel to "Saving Private Ryan." I'm sure the movie will be great, I'm just very thrown by the trailer.
(If you can watch on Full Screen in 1080P)

November 11, 2010

Mind Melt: Holographic World Cup in 2022

Consider this an an ultra supreme super sized mind melt with Manchego, Gouda, Bacon, Chives, Mayo, and caramel syrup.

According to a report released today, Japan in a bid for the 2022 World Cup has announced a plan to broadcast 3D holographic images of the games into stadiums around the world. And I when I say project, I mean basically have the broadcast be life size on the field just like the game was actually there.
Japan's bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup includes an initiative called Universal Fan Fest, a $6 billion plan to treat fans around the world to live 3D telecasts of tournament matches. Four hundred stadiums in 208 countries would provide some 360 million people with live 3D feeds of games played in Japan, where each game would be captured from 360 degrees by 200 HD cameras.
Take a look at the image above and then just imagine it on a much larger scale, like stadium scale and that's roughly how it would work. As if the World Cup isn't awesome enough. Yeah, I know it hurts my mind too.

*All I gotta say is that if they are broadcasting the World Cup there is no reason that couldn't broadcast original programing into stadiums as well. And if you're not following my train of thought here, I'm thinking about broadcasting epic gladiatorial battles into stadiums.
Thank You Veterans

Hollywood's New Villain: The Moon!


Have you ever thought how shady the moon is? Unlike the sun which give power to all things and makes us tan, the moon just chills up there and controls our tides. The sun is always the same, a big ass circle in the sky, the moon is in a perpetual identity crisis, always shifting up it's shape on us. Well if you've ever thought this things, consider yourself one of the masses, because Hollywood, with it's looming crop of "moon movies" has now determined that the moon is a shady evil deity that wants to kill us.

The first movie is the recently announced "Apollo 18" from the Weinstein Brothers. The film is the latest in the "found footage" genre and tells the story of two astronauts stuck on the moon with some evil little alien buggers trying to kill them. The "found footage" is supposedly the tapes that made of the encounter which have been classified by Napster, I mean, NASA. I've read the script and it's a cool two person thriller which does a great job of not letting us see the evil moon based aliens, but still making them terrifying.

But wait, stop your mooning, there is more. Titled "Dark Moon," this film is set up at Dark Castle Pictures, the production house behind films like "Gothika" and "The Reaping." It's a little different from "Apollo 18" in that we actually see what the astronauts are up against and it's full on hardcore Sci-Fi insanity with aliens and alien structures, but that's all I'm saying. It also has the moon rover, which is the greatest non-fictional vehicle ever.

And if those two aren't enough, there is also the long rumored Doug Liman and Jake Gyllenhaal moon thriller coming eventually. Yes, I know it's a little bit of moon overload, but just in case you can't handle all these small little art house films, the new "Transformers" flick will also have some moon related business, Pink Floyd be damned, check out the title below.

November 10, 2010

The Eagle Trailer (Channing Tatum Action Star?)

I'm always on the lookout for future action movie stars. History has proven the fastest way to establish yourself as a badass on the screen is to star in a movie with raw physical action. Not gunfights or car chases, just fast, brutal beatdowns. Here is a brief list of reigning action stars and how they proved themselves

Jason Statham -Everything
Stallone - Rocky
Daniel Craig - Casino Royale
Arnold - Conan
Tom Hardy - Bronson
Christian Bale - Newsies

Channing Tatum is trying to join that list, and no, I don't count "Fighting" as making him eligible. But this film, "The Eagle" has some potential. Nevertheless, here is the trailer, looks like a more serious "Centurion," which was pretty sweet by the way.

November 9, 2010

Call of Duty Brings War To Your Door Once More

Today as it has happened for the past four years, a brand new "Call of Duty" game has been unleashed on the masses with the force of napalm attack. Titled "Call of Duty: Black Ops," the game no doubt already has millions of people of every race, age, creed, gender, and political belief on their video game device at choice shooting, stabbing, and exploding the enemy. I am, reluctantly, one of those people.

Previous games in the Call of Duty franchise have taken place during World War II and the present day. The most recent offering, from mega game publisher Activision Blizzard puts the gamer in the midst of the "Black Ops" of the Cold War.  Once again, the horrors of real life warfare have been digitized for the  enjoyment of the masses. This has disturbed me in the past, but now with the newest advertisement, featuring NBA superstars and young girls smiling as they lock and load, I feel like the game is now ultimately "dishonoring" the soldiers it tries to portray as grizzled badass heros.

The message that "there is a solider in all of us" seems like an army catchphrase it is because it basically is (see right). One generations previous conflict has becomes a means of mega profit for the next generation. The fact that Activision wants us to be soldiers on a fictional battlefield when two wars are still raging in present time is in poor taste. Not to mention that Veterans day is coming up on Thursday.

Yeah I know it's only a video game, but with any portrayal of history, whether it's a book, a film, or a video game, there is a certain element of responsibility. Many people died in conflicts based out of the Cold War, there are monuments to them. Now for many people the imagery of the real life war will be replaced by the digital one. Activision is bold enough to tell us that everyone from Jimmy Kimmel to your concierge has the potential to be a killer on the battlefield, however I can only wish they'll also be able to be bold enough to realize the responsibility they have in portraying America's soldier heroes.

Call Of Duty Life

Real Life

November 8, 2010

Mexicans, Montages, and Mothers: The Brilliance of Eastbound & Down

Kenny Powers is the rawest, filthiest, hilarious, and honest character on television. He also happens to be a perfect microcosm of what it means to be an American in today's world. Now before you get all freaked out about a racist drug using washed up pitcher representing our country, think about what really drives Kenny: love and the need for acceptance.

Last night's finale to the second season of "Eastbound & Down" was about our getting his life back on track, sure that track might be constructed on a bootleg budget, but nevertheless it looks like Kenny is really finding his way. Opening with a hilarious scene at the border, where Kenny, like many people in our country was able to use his celebrity to get out of jam, the script saw Kenny really make some tough decisions about his life. Also, there was a lot of montages.

Jody Hill, Ben Best, and Danny McBride, the creative gurus behind the show clearly love taking a crunchy track and showing some wild shit in slow motion. Looking back, almost every episode of this show has a montage set to some semi-obscure jam. For everyone that wonders, the theme of the song, is actually a scorching blues song by Freddie King called "Goin Down," hopefully you'll feel a little bit like Kenny himself when you listen to it.

Can we talk about Kenny please? This is by all means a terrible person. He does drugs, treats most women like objects, and is insanely arrogant. Nevertheless he is a lot like all of us. He's a sucker for love, he's got one dream girl. He wants to succeed professionally, even if it means some tough personal decisions. And finally, like everyone at one point in their lives, something happens that brings reality right into their strike zone. For Kenny, it was the realization that he will be a father, and his dream girl is the mother.

This realization reminded me of the end of the "The Graduate," suddenly Kenny has everything he wanted: a chance a the majors, a lunch with his dream girl, and a chance to be a better father than this own, and his was terrified of it. The show closing out with Kenny and April walking together (are they holding hands?) was a great way of showing how real life has finally caught up to Kenny. No more Mexican cock-fighting, jet ski riding, or other shenanigans, just real life sitting in Kenny's glove, ready for him to throw some heat.

November 5, 2010

Clint Eastwood is Too Cool For Handshakes (At Least With Me)

You do not meet Clint Eastwood, you encounter him.

About two years ago I was doing temporary PA on the Warner Brothers lot. I was having a grand time driving around on a golf cart, picking up props, almost running over John Stamos, and doing whatever the higher ups told me to do. And so it happened on a brisk Friday night in September I was asked to deliver a package to an office on the other side of the lot.

The sound stages where ghastly buildings and I was the lone gunslinger cruising through their shadows with my objective. I wasn't the only gunslinger on the lot that night. In a particularly narrow part between two buildings, legendary came around the corner.

Eastwood, when you think about it, is larger than life in every single way. First off, he is tall, over six feet. In real life he comes across as the western hero he embodied but with a dash of Obin Wan Kenobi mysticism. And then you look at his career. The guy was TV star, who became a movie star, who became one of the most acclaimed film directors of all time. Did I mention he is a wicked jazz musician as well.

He was walking like a boss at me. I was just walking at him. I thought, damn TPG, this is it, better man the hell up and do this shit. So I approached him and said:

Mr Eastwood?


Uhhhh....I'm a big fan of your movies....I'm from Boston....and I think Mystic River is a great're a big inspiration

Thanks Son
No handshake. No nothing, just a piercing stare and an acknowledgement that I was was lucky to meet him and he was feeling in a not handshake mood. But hey, at least I talked to him. And after that I realized that now it was time to start diving into thislalife. Now we start.

November 3, 2010

Finally, the Commando Musical

Pulled this from SlashFilm, but seriously this musical comedy duo who just dominate the 80's action movie musical genre are some of the funniest around. I have featured their previous videos on CONAN and RAMBO here.

November 2, 2010

Explosive Data About 24 Feature Film Revealed

Today it was announced on Deadline Hollywood that Kiefer Sutherland will be starring in a production of "The Championship Season" on Broadway. Sure this is great news, Kiefer will be reflecting on not only one season, but multiple season's of saving America's ass in 24 hours. Just kidding, the play is about depressed basketball players, it's actually really good.

But buried in the article is confirmation that TONY SCOTT IS CIRCLING THE 24 FEATURE FILM. Yes, Tony Scott who specializes in making explosive action cinema with strong protagonists may direct the film about the most strongest american protagonist ever. Just as a reminder, some of Tony Scott's badass films include "Top Gun," "Man on Fire," and "Enemy of the State."

Scott is not confirmed, but this is still explosive news.

November 1, 2010

A Brief Update on All Things Spielberg

Steven Spielberg is a national treasure. I once argued that he is one the biggest cultural forces on the planet. The movies he made: "Jurassic Park", "Indiana Jones", "Saving Private Ryan" "Jaws, Schindler's List" are cultural landmarks for the entire world. Simply put he is one the world's most valuable creative minds. Of course, as I stated before, I'm a little terrified that he has single handily created the entire WWII narrative for the United States, but whatever, he introduced us to the velociraptor so who cares. Anyway, "the beard" as people call him has been absent from the screen as a director for about two years now. His last movie was "Indiana Jones & The Crystal Skull" which wasn't as evil as people make it out to be. But anyway, back to the point, Spielberg is coming back to movie theaters in a big way, so in order to prepare for what is coming, I've prepared this little guide for you.

War Horse

Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, this is a period piece set during World War I. The film is coming out December 28th 2011, which means this bad boy is a straight Oscar contender. I'm excited about this one because Spielberg's period pieces usually deliver and it stars David Thewlis who is one of the world's most underrated actors. Audiences know him from his part playing Professor Lupin in the Harry Potter movies, but all this guy does it tear it up on screen.

Spielberg has been working on this project with the other bearded film director: Peter Jackson for over two years now, and courtesy of EMPIRE magazine we have our first look at the film. Based off the beloved graphic novels, the film is the Spielberg's first "animated effort." It is being shot using Motion Capture (like Avatar) and will be in 3D. It could suck or it could be amazing, I'm more inclined for it to be good cause I read all the books as a kid.

This is a movie about robots taking over the world and the humans trying to stop them. Let me rephrase that, giant big budget human vs robots combat directing by the guy who did "Jurassic Park" and "Saving Private Ryan." Let me rephrase that. This movie is going to be the shit. Coming in 2012, hopefully the world won't end before we see this.

October 27, 2010

The Dark Knight Rises To Face Superman (An Insane Hypothesis)

Hypothesis - Superman, played by Tom Hardy will be the "villain" in the recently announced "The Dark Knight Rises"

  1. Tom Hardy is the only announced new actor in the Batman film (source)
  2. Reports indicate that Superman Producer / The Dark Knight Rises Director is looking for a "middle aged" Superman (source)
  3. Tom Hardy is 33 years old and resembles Clark Kent/ Superman in middle age (photo)
  4. WB is trying to re-launch the Superman franchise and there would be no better to do that to introduce the Superman character in The Dark Knight Rises a movie that every person on the planet is going to see. (source>my mind brah)
As much as I want this to be true, Nolan has said that there will be no crossover in the past, yet I have always wondered just how factual that statement could be when Metropolis is mentioned in "Batman Begins" and Nolan is the mastermind behind both series.

I also imagine that the shooting dates wouldn't line up with both films slated to come out in 2012 with "Dark Knight Rises" in the summer and "Superman: Man of Steel" in the winter.

As you saw in my title, this is clearly an insane hypothesis, but it would be mind meltingly awesome if it was true.

Movie News Avalanche (The Dark Knight Rises & Avatar 2 & 3)

I hope the avalanche rescue teams are ready, because Hollywood is burying us with epic news today. Just this morning my friend was asking me about "The Dark Knight" sequel and today we have a title:


The news comes from the always wonderful playlist blog (via LA Times Hero Complex Blog). Nolan also states the film won't be shot in 3D. However, a quick note here, I don't know if this is completely final. Nolan is a very technical director and I think he still might be intrigued by shooting in 3D further down the line. Also, he didn't confirm or deny the rumors that he will totally be shooting the whole film in IMAX. People salivating for any details about plot or characters should know that he did say THE RIDDLER will not be the villain.

Not content with Batman stealing all the thunder, FOX and James Cameron announced today that they will be shooting AVATAR 2 & 3 back to back next year. This is actually pretty news considering just weeks ago Cameron was considering making Cleopatra with Angelina Jolie. But now we will have the Avatar sequels in 2014 and 2015 and they will star Justin Bieber, I'm just kidding. One also has to wonder why Cameron is releasing these films in 2014 and 2015 because being such a nature-science-hollywood diety he probably know the world will end in 2012 anyway.

October 26, 2010

My Tron Hype Machine Begins Now

I've been holding off a little bit with my hype for this film, but this trailer really gets techno robot battle part of my brain going. Family members, we will be seeing this at Christmas in IMAX 3D.

October 23, 2010

This ALS Life

On October 11th my mother Deborah Goessling passed away. I have been back East with my family. My Mother had ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease. She was the biggest fan of my writings and one of the biggest reasons why I continue (don't worry, I will continue) to blog. She was an avid reader and commenter on this site. She too had a blog: called "THIS ALS LIFE." I encourage all of you to read it, it will help you learn about the disease and also see a incredibly awesome woman my mother was. 

October 11, 2010

Under The Boardwalk: "Anastasia"

Gather round folks and come witness the great marvel of storytelling called "Boardwalk Empire." By now I imagine many of you have been watching HBO's new series and I've decided that I'm going to get back in "Lost Compass" and "24 Points" mode by doing a weekly recap called "Under The Boardwalk." I chose this name for because it is under the boardwalk that everything lands, and it will be my job to collect it all and make sense of it for you.

Last night's episode was titled "Anastasia" and no, I don't think they were referencing the 1997 animated film. Rather, our story last night used a newspaper story about a famed Russian princess maybe being alive to present the soaring dreams and the harsh pull of reality on our characters.

1. Let's focus on the coolest guy on the show: Chalky. Seen here on the left rocking a mean bowtie, he shared a similar fairy tale like story about his father. According to him, Chalky's Dad was a master artisan, capable of creating beautiful wood carvings, however, reality struck and his father was lynched. Chalky, trying to determine who lynched one of his bootleggers tortured the wrong man, a twisted way of the truth hitting you hard. The show is intense every time this character is on the screen, and you can thank Michael Kenneth Williams for that.

2. Can we please talk about Kelly MacDonald. This actress who plays Margaret Schroeder dominates every single scene she is in. Her story last night started off princess like with her doing well professionally and with her family. But by the end, once she got a taste of the high life, she was stealing clothes right off the rack. Her character's change is central to the show as it is in her that we see how the toxic shores of Atlantic City can corrupt even the purest of hearts. After all it was only two episodes ago she was refusing charity for Nucky.

3. The title of the show may change but everyone knows that Max Casella who plays Leo D'alessio on the show is the kid from "Newsies" and "Doogie Howser." Granted his outfit hasn't changed much but good for him to get back into the vest game. Now, if only he can bust out a sweet version of "King of New York" on HBO, that would truly be something.

4. For a gritty show about gangsters, booze, sex, and violence "Boardwalk Empire" certainly has tons of kids on it. Both Margaret and Jimmy Darmondy's wife have kids that get serious screen time. I think they're there to remind the viewers of both what is at stake and how childish people on the show can be. Darmody & Capone are basically men behaving like children, complete with zany pranks like firing guns next to each other's heads and bromantic dates like getting fitting for suits together (note to my bros, getting fitted for suits together is cool, firing loaded weapons next to my ear is not).

5.  Martin Scorsesse only directed the pilot episode of the series, but that hasn't stopped the show from having a top malt of directors. Last night's director Jeremy Podeswa continued with the subtle trend of showing the ceilings and high walls of every interior, a very subtle way of showing how trapped the characters of the show are.

6. I've been really enjoying the slow burn of "Boardwalk," sure sometimes the dialogue is a little watered down and there could be more action, but each week I return back to Dirty Jerz to my weekly drink.