Wednesday, November 05, 2008


My new favorite color... is blue.

k Obama 364 - John McCain 163 - Ties 11

This country just got a lot smarter. Well done, voters.
Congrats to our new President. Congrats to America.

And my pal Timmy gets my vote for Secretary of Awesome.

Theatrical Reviews
Police Story ****

DVD/Home Video
Ghostbusters (1984) ****
Ocean's 11 (2001) ****
Face/Off (1997) ****
Frost & Pegg's Perfect Night In (2007, UK TV) ***1/2
Star Wars: Deleted Magic (2005) ***1/2
Angel Heart (1986) ***1/2
Bob & Doug McKenzie's Two-Four Anniversary (2007, Canadian TV) ***
Billy Joel: The Stranger Tour (1978, German TV) ***
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story ***
Building Empire ***
Returning To Jedi ***
The Big Easy (1987) ***
Top Gun (1986) ***
The Seven Minutes (1971) **1/2
Desperate Hours (1990) **1/2
Angel Guts (5 Film Series) **1/2
Kill Switch **
Legends of the Superheroes (1979, TV) "0" stars


Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Haruki Murakami) ***1/2
After Dark (Haruki Murakami) ***1/2
After The Quake (Haruki Murakami) ***
Gone To New York (Ian Frazier) **1/2

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Midnight Caller

Nearly Four Months Later...

Where have I been? I, friends, have been traveling the lands of commerce and communication, enjoying the thrills of many hunts and the viewings of priceless objet d'art -- meaning I've been catching up on work, reading, scouring the internet for rare film soundtracks and seeing a few movies. One recent Saturday night, though, found me making my "professional" radio debut as a guest on a popular Boston AM radio talk show.

A little backstory: For a few years now, some people -- friends, family, even complete strangers -- have been telling me I have "a great voice." Granted, as a film/media fan I've been "doing voices" for years; acting silly as a general form of communication and trying on various accents, ever the hopeful-yet-under-the-radar actor, I suppose. I mentioned these random compliments one day to my employer, DL. A short time later yet another unsolicited compliment was paid me, this time in DL's presence, when a client asked me if I'd ever done any voice-over work. This had to be the twentieth such kind word paid to me in three years or so, I joked.

DL, a genuinely good person and always ready to lend someone a hand, offered to put me in touch with a certain well known Boston radio personality. As a follower of certain spoken word and vocal performers (we miss you, Don LaFontaine) I've long been interested in their world and work. I wouldn't want to be an on-air personality, necessarily... but movie trailers, animated programs, books-on-tape... those in particular interest me. So I took DL up on his offer and spoke to the Radio Professional. He was kind, instructive and complimetary to the utmost, even going so far as to asking me to read from a few sample scripts in order to get a feel for my performance range and comfortability with the mic.

Old superbuddy and audio engineer extrordinaire Tim Hulsizer answered the call to arms, arriving with his trusty hi-tech digital recording device, and we recorded a few takes from the sample scripts. Later, after giving them a listen, the Radio Pro was again very complimentary, but it seemed that my recordings must have lacked whatever specific magic touch necessary to be considered pro-level work. Suggesting I take a class or two, which I couldn't do in my present situation even if I had the time, I thanked him for giving me a listen and that was that.

Cut to a month later, give or take. It's a rainy Saturday night and big boss man DL is scheduled to make a recurring appearance on said Radio Pro's nationally-heard late night chat show. I offered to tag along. It'd been a very long time since I'd been in a television/radio broadcast station of any kind and I'd said it would be a real treat for me to join him, help carry some props and such for his appearance, listen to the show from a quiet, out-of-the-way spot in some remote green room, and in general just perform as a sort of overgrown helper monkey. He accepted, and off we went that night into the wind and rain to the nearby radio broadcast station.

As he parked the car, I went inside with the closed cardboard box of props and stopped off at the Security Desk to sign in. "Hello," I offered. "I'm here for the live show tonight." The Guard picked up the phone, calling to the host and saying fairly obliviously, "Hey, the dinner delivery kid's here."

Nice. Nothing boosts one's self confidence in the den of one's peers more than being mistaken for a 38 year old sandwich "kid."

Anyway, once all that was cleared up, DL and I were greeted by the Radio Pro and we went to the studio. As I walked through the atrium and into the broadcasting area, soaking from the rain, arms loaded with the box of props, I was hit by that Old Feeling. The one minor league baseball players must get when they walk the grass at Fenway Park... The one budding concert pianists must feel when they grace the stage of Symphony Hall. The cameras, the sets, the desks of seasoned broadcast professionals, the wired and rigged grids above my head leading to various booths and control rooms. I'd felt it before a few times -- touring the local cable access studio when I was 14, visiting the various levels of the film studies building in college at 22, waiting for a job interview at The Boston Globe at 30. It was a feeling I was well acquainted with and here I was feeling it again. I'm a thirty eight year old child in more ways then I'd care to admit.

With about three minutes to go, we set things up in the performance studio. The round table, the microphones, the warm glow eminated from the panel readouts of the recording equipment nearby, it all gave me a palpable sense of belonging and brought me back to my college radio days where I was not only a DJ but a news program writer and producer as part of my pre-Keene State College 2-year media communications studies. The Engineer signaled to the radio Pro that magic time was approaching. And as I turned to excuse myself... I was told to pull up a chair and have a seat. I was being invited to join the broadcast.

In a split second, my wistful comfort was transformed into nervousness. "I'm not ready for this," I shuddered to myself. "I don't belong here tonight... I'm supposed to be outside listening to the show, not in here being part of it... I'm no expert in anything that could be part of this discussion... I'll frig this up... I'm going to crash and burn." As the show's opening theme began, the Radio Pro asked me to remind him of my full name for the necessary introductions. I gave it, adding (and requesting, in nervousness) "...but you don't have to use my last name." DL and the Radio Pro chuckled at what they thought was my little joke. I later told DL that I wasn't actually kidding. The intro theme faded down, the ON AIR light came on, and off we went...

And I was... not great. Where DL and I work, the business is a good one, full of life and knowledge and wonder and happiness. It's a great place to be and it's DL's labor of lifelong love. And I enjoy it fully, myself. I'm just not an expert in the field, is all. I can't tell yout the history of any of our products nor the origins of the methods used in creating them. In fact -- as anyone who really knows me can tell you -- if the subject of a particular conversation isn't film, screenplay writing, original film scores or somehow cinema related in even a slight sense, I'm pretty much useless in said conversation. Imagine you're a lifelong sports nut, the kind who can name the batting average of every pro ball player since the Ted Williams days, who happens to shelf books at the library, and you're asked to co-chair a symposium concerning the use of subjective narrative structure in eighteenth century Russian poetry. The sensation of being a fraud whilst being beamed out to thousands of listeners is really quite something. At least now I know what it must feel like to be a Republican.

As the show went on, though, I got a bit more comfortable. Granted, I was still a relative no-nothing. I had only the slightest on-air-banter ability, I confused Bob Dole for Al Gore (yikes) and the one time a movie trivia question was lobbed, I didn't know the answer. (The film was nearly sixty years old and one I'd never seen, in my own defense.) But the Callers were fun as they phoned in to answer logic and trivia questions, the night was lively and in the end a good time was pretty much had by all. Afterwards, the Radio Pro and I shook hands and DL and I left the station, venturing back out into the chilly, stormy night after our two shared hours of national media exposure.

So what did we learn, Charlie Brown? In the end, I'm not really sure. These radio appearances happen quite often and if I'm asked to join in again sometime, I'm not sure what I'll say. While it's great to be helpful and give DL, the Radio Pro and the Callers someone else to play off, I'm just not sure what I have to offer. I know a second chance could yield a certain feeling of further confidence and maybe even ability but I'm not sure what I'd get out of it personally or professionally. It's best to go into certain situations with absolutely no expectations, I think. That way, if something doesn't go your way it's no big loss. While I'm confident I could host the hell out of a certain, specific kind of film/cinema related talk radio situation -- and while it's always nice to be asked to step up to the plate -- not everybody hits a homer their first time up to bat. I still think I could be a fairly decent to actually quite talented voice performer. And we'll see what happens with that, if anything.

And who knows? Perhaps it will. Perhaps... Someday, somehow... In a world... Where Silence Rules... One Man... Will Rise... And Awaken the Hero... Within Himself! This Summer! VOX HUMANA! Rated "R." Children Under 17 Not Admitted Without Parent Or Guardian...

...Or at least a 38 Year Old Sandwich Kid.

Theatrical Reviews
Raiders Of The Lost Ark ****
The Big Lebowski ****
Mongol ****
Jaws ****
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson ***1/2
The Dark Knight ***1/2
Iron Monkey (HK) ***1/2
Burn After Reading ***
Hancock ***
Choke ***
Star Wars: The Clone Wars **1/2
Hellboy II: The Golden Army **1/2
The X-Files: I Want To Believe **

DVD/Home Video
Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982) ****
Hyperdrive: Series One (BBC-TV) ****
Akira (Japan) ****
Hot Fuzz (UK) ****
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) ***1/2
Commando: Director's Cut (1985) ***1/2
Futurama: Bender's Big Score ***1/2
The Warlords (Hong Kong) ***1/2
Batman Begins (2005) ***1/2
The Doors (1991) ***1/2
The Jerk (1979) ***1/2
Closer (2004) ***1/2
Sharkskin Man and Peach Hip Girl (Japan) ***
Warm Water Under A Red Bridge (Japan) ***
Amazing Stories: Season One (TV) ***
Where the Buffalo Roam (1980) ***
Battlefield Baseball (Japan) ***
SF: Short Films (Japan) ***
Hold Up Down (Japan) ***
Love And Honor (Japan) ***
Three Businessmen (UK) ***
Demon Pond (Japan) ***
Dead Run (Japan) ***
Shinobi (Japan) ***
Be Kind, Rewind ***
Hellboy (2001) ***
Ashura (Japan) ***
The Ten ***
Redbelt ***
Around The World In 80 Days (2005) **1/2
The Submersion Of Japan (Japan) **1/2
Windtalkers: Director's Cut **1/2
May 18th (South Korea) **1/2
Another Battle (Japan) **1/2
Explorers (1986) **1/2
Izo (Japan) **1/2
The Postmodern Life Of My Aunt (China) **
Everyone Sinks But Japan (Japan) **
The Go-Master (China) **
Pistol Whipped **
Kichiku Dai Enkai (Banquet of the Beasts) *

Star Wars: Episode III ***1/2
The Martix: Reloaded **1/2
Cloverfield **1/2
Daredevil **1/2

Monday, June 23, 2008

Strange World

"There may, in fact, be no such thing as coincidence." --Kyle MacLachlan as Agent Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks)

This morning was the first of two consecutive days off from work. I'd requested these two particular days off so that I could go to New York to attend a special screening of the film Ryu Ga Gotoku (Like A Dragon), a film by Japanese director Takashi Miike. I'd seen the film before once on DVD but always feel it's a great opportunity to be able to see a Miike film on the big screen with an audience. Once, in a fifteen-viewer screening of Ichi The Killer, I counted at least five walkouts... so as a fan it's always interesting to me how an audience reacts to Miike's work.

But many things can happen just before a trip that can sometimes make the trip more tricky than others. The bus I usually travel from Boston to New York on -- usually a bus from the Fung-Wah company, an inexpensive travel option -- typically departs Boston at 6:30am. I usually try for this one, as it gives me the maximum amount of time in the city after the four-hour-or-so trip, which means I have to be out my door by 5:30am in order to plan on subway and walking time from my house to the bus station on the other side of Boston. Also, I rarely enjoy going on these trips by myself. It's far more fun sharing the big city moments with a friend. I've gone with college pals and roommates on many occasions and unfortunately on this particular occasion (this morning) nobody could join me. Also, lastly, there are the issues of weather and money. Hitting the Big Apple can be a pricey time when done correctly, and since I rarely step onto a subway, heat and humidity (and this morning's forecast of thunderstorms across the New York area) can be a large factor in my walkabout enjoyment of Manhattan Isle. This is all to say, there are many things that can happen that might make me, at the last possible moment, decide not to make the trip after all. Many rather mundane things. Today, though, a new one cropped up...

Having woken up a wee bit late at 5:20am, I saw I had a few moments before my fail-safe must-leave time for that first morning bus. So I layed my head back down for another quick couple of zzzz's before getting out of bed. And when I fell under, back to sleep, I had this strange dream... This dream that I'll do my best to relay to you now.

Firstly, time in the dream was abstract, as it often can be in dreams. I don't remember how it started, but the dream representation of myself -- I call it this because it felt both like me and unlike me -- was on a bus. I recall the sense that I was heading either to or from a large city. There were others on the bus, and my seat was on the right hand side, about eight or ten rows back on the side opposite the driver. Nobody sat next to me. I can't remember if I had the aisle seat or the one by the window, but either way I could see outside just fine. All seemed normal.

Then, at some point, I noticed that the bus was surrounded by darkness. The inside of the bus was visible, not lighted by interior bulbs or anything... just visible. But there was pitch black darkness outside, as if surrounded by a midnight fog inside which distance and proximity were unintelligible. And just as suddenly, I was alone. There were no other passengers. And no driver. But the bus and I were moving. There was no engine noise and no sound of the road passing beneath us.. just silent motion. I wasn't afraid. There was no fear. Only interest. As if my dream-self had noticed all this and thought "how weird this is." I had a sense of concern, certainly, but it was a calm concern.

After a moment of not knowing what was going on, I saw something out in the dark approaching the window of the bus, but not in the normal way. Normally in a moving vehicle you'd be approaching something head-on and would see it coming from the front window toward you. But this thing, this
whatever, this shape, approaching through the darkness, was coming at me, at the side window, as if I and the bus were moving sideways toward it. It became more visible as it got closer (or as the bus and I got closer to it), as if coming into focus like a newly taken Polaroid.

What was approaching us was a depot of some sort. The bus and I got closer to it, sideways mind you, and I could see that there were people there a few rows deep looking as if they were waiting to board once the bus and I arrived. We (the bus and I) got closer and closer and eventually I got a good look at them. There were at least 30 people there, three rows deep and maybe more. They were all standing there, immobile, like statues. They were gray; their faces and skin and clothes were all the same shade of gray, and their hands were clasped at their waists. They were dressed in some sort of uniform I didn't quite recognize - -vaguely military. And they were at a level of height that was higher than I was, meaning I was looking up at them as the bus and I finally slowed to a stop... right before them, underneath them.

A brief moment passed, three seconds or so it felt like. I looked at them all. They remained still. Lifeless. Immobile. Grey. In the dark. Outside the bus. I got closer to the window... and without warning... the people I was looking at... all opened their eyes at once... and stared straight at me... into me.

And then I woke up.

Now, I'd hasten to call this some sort of nightmare. I didn't wake with a start. There were no cold sweats, nor hot sweats. No shriek of alarm. I simply opened my eyes, still comfy on my pillow. As the real world came into focus, I looked again at my clock. Roughly ten minutes had passed since I last looked at the clock at 5:20am. I was surprised at this, my grogginess and the level of detail made me feel as if it had been hours. But I saw that I was running late for my trip to New York and so I got up, showered, brushed my teeth, get dressed and took a look in the mirror before heading out for the train to the bus station. And, just as strangely, as I looked in the mirror, my eyes looking back at me, I suddenly decided not to go on the trip.

"Ugghh, this isn't going to be as much fun as I'd need it to be," I thought to myself, mentally remembering all the walking, the racing around, the money, the heat, the probable rainstorms forecast for the day. Thinking that I might as well hold off on a New York trip until better circumstances, I quickly undressed, lied back down in bed in front of my fan and fell back to sleep until close to 1:30pm that afternoon. I woke up rested, got out of bed, put the tea kettle on the boil and tuned in to my usual WBZ-AM Newsradio daily wake-up routine. And then I heard about this...

Local Woman Killed In NYC Fung Wah Bus Crash

New York (WBZ) ― A local woman was killed and four others were injured in an accident involving a Boston-bound Fung Wah bus and a dump truck in New York City Monday morning. Fung Wah is well known in the Boston area for its low fare Boston to New York routes. The dump truck, from CPQ Freight in East Rutherford, N.J., apparently lost control after crossing the Manhattan Bridge. The truck crashed into a delivery van, a fire hydrant and a light pole before slamming into the Fung Wah bus. The bus in turn crashed into the United Commercial Bank building in Chinatown, striking and killing a 57-year-old woman who was getting ready to board the bus. The driver of the dump truck and two people inside the Fung Wah bus were taken to Beekman Hospital in stable condition. A fourth person was pulled from the scene and is listed in stable condition at Beekman Hospital. Investigators are trying to figure out how the dump truck lost control. There are reports the driver told police his brakes failed.

Now, I'm not saying anything here. I'm not suggesting I'm a psychic. I'm not saying I'm lucky to be alive, since the bus I would've been on wouldn't have been anywhere near the accident scene for at least another two hours. In fact, I'm not really sure what I'm saying.

I just can't shake the fact that I had... this dream... in which time and detail were at odds with one another... in which I was on a bus... heading toward a major city... alone... moving sideways, as if being pushed... to a spot in which several people were waiting... who were motionless and grey, as if they were dead... and opened their eyes, seemingly to wake me up as if giving me some sort of warning... I don't know...

It's a strange world we live in, folks.

Please say a prayer tonight for the family of the woman who passed away in this morning's accident. Thank you.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"We All Need Another Heeeeeero!"

It's no secret that as far as the cinema goes, superheroes are the new hotness. When once we had buddy cops (1980's), troubled inner city teens (1990's) or man-child savants (the Bush administration) we now have a shiny, new, superpowered, big-screen extravaganza on our silver screens for every month of the summer plus a few leftovers into the fall. Now, I'm not complaining, but these titanic stories of heroes and villains are starting to get... I don't know... a little bit "samey." Though Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk got a lot of mileage out of their stars and their fellow actors, they still managed to wrap up their climaxes in pretty much the same way: a full-CGI or primarily-full-CGI special effects slugfest where said heroes and villains are tossed about over and over until someone either dies or gets a TKO. Granted, such superfights are the essence of the comic book world they are derived from. But we can do better, cant we?

Perhaps the key is in the characters. Maybe the first step to creating an original superhero storyline is in creating an original supercharacter. Will Smith's upcoming Hancock looks to be a step in the right direction even if it does seem to be a tougher, edgier take on the 80's television classic The Greatest American Hero.

Recently, my good friend Tim Hulsizer and I were talking about a comic experiment he's working on -- he's creating a legion of humorous superheroes and villains for a series of illustrations. The sight gags will come from the ridiculousness of the names and outfits with details about origins and powers to possibly to follow at a later time. I jumped on board with a few suggestions, seen below.

Feel free to have a look, offer up some of your own, and -- if you happen to be a producer looking for movie material -- everything here is already copywritten 2008 by Tim and/or myself, all rights reserved. (But feel free to make us an offer. Our people are standing by.)

Assault and The Battery (a tag team)
General Warington

The Eye-Scream Man


The Dahli Slamma

Pac-Mangler (
in conjunction with Namco/Midway)

Republicon (or Robopublican)
R.E.O. Bleedwagon

Boulder Holder


Orange Krushh

Trouser Pilot


The Frequent Frier (
a pyromaniac)
The Marlboro Manster

Cream and Sugar (
two pixie-like little girls)


Heart Breaker (played by Scarlett Johannson)


Brain Tomber

Tunnel Bunny

The Handicapturer (
uses a wheelchair but actually has three times the limbs that we do)
The Gaffer and The Gripper (
primary weapons: gloves and tape)

Mason Dixon: The Northern Southerner

Chef Boyardoom

Fudge Packer (
he's like Magneto, but can control sweets)
Scotch Guardian

Son Of Samurai

Alien McBeal

Predatori Spelling

Our apologies if you found any of the above offensive.
But then again, some were sort of supposed to be.

Theatrical Reviews:
The Friends Of Eddie Coyle (1973) ***1/2
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ***
The Incredible Hulk **1/2

DVD/Home Video
Chungking Express (Hong Kong) ****
Scars Of The Sun (Japan) ***1/2
Bitter Films: Volume One ***1/2
Mad Detective (HK) ***1/2
9 Souls (Japan) ***1/2
Hamlet (2002) ***1/2
Blast Of Silence: Criterion Collection (1961) ***
Space Ghost Coast To Coast: 1988 Episodes ***
Sukiyaki Western Django (Japan) ***
Ambition Without Honor (Japan) ***
Days Of Being Wild (HK) ***
The Long Good Friday (1979) ***
Everything Will Be Okay ***
Flash Point (Hong Kong) ***
Bullet Ballet (Japan) ***
Runaway Train (1985) ***
Hysterical (1983) ***
Dead Run (Japan) ***
24: Season Six ***
The Lookout ***
Suture ***
Ryu Ga Gokuto aka: Like A Dragon (Japan) **1/2
The Third Yakuza (Japan) **1/2
Waru (Japan) **1/2
Blood From The Mummy's Tomb (UK) **

Jurassic Park ***
Spider-Man ***
Spider-Man 3 **1/2
Fanatastic Four **

Monday, May 05, 2008

Good Guys Finish Fir$t

Maybe you've already heard...

There's a little film directed by Jon Favreau...
starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jeff Bridges...
featuring a character that isn't (wasn't) necessarily a household name...
that just made over two hundred million dollars in just under four days, across the globe.

In an industry in which mediocrity hits our theaters week in and week out, it's nice to have proof-positive that there's still fun and wonder to be had at the movies.

Iron Man ***1/2

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Know Art... and I Know What I Like.

As far back as I can remember I'd always wanted to be a cartoonist.

This was before the advent of the VCR, laserdisc, DVD and digital sound, stadium style cinemas. Back when my main forms of entertainment were Marvel Comics and the $2.50 paperback digests of Peanuts and Popeye I'd grab at the local King's Department Store. Back when at the age of nine I'd figured out how to write a fan letter to Charles Schulz, to which he kindly responded by sending me a couple of sketches... and back when at the age of ten I'd called up the Boston Globe myself and asked if I could be their new daily comic strip artist. (Naturally, it didn't work, but I did get my 5th grade homeroom into the Sunday "Fun Pages.")

I still like sketching here and there, but realized a long time ago I couldn't make it my adult career choice. Call it lack of discipline, call it moving on to other interests. But... If I had to do it every day to survive, if I was enforced to do so -- not as simple entertainment, but as a vocation -- it wouldn't be as much fun. Still, I often have a look at the work of some artists and smile, as if feeling some sort of kindred connection; these people, the ones that continue and grow and thrive as artists, they are people to look up to. The ones that never fell out of love with what they do. They are the lucky, the skilled, the few and the wonderful. And here are a few of my favorites...

Homestar Runner (Mike and Matt Chapman)
This internet Flash-animation cartoon success story needs no introduction or kudos from me... It's been going strong for more than six years and continues to grow by leaps and bounds, self-releasing DVDs, a music CD, figurines and soon a Wii-ware game. The amiable Homestar Runner, the lovable-but-dim hero, might be the title star, but cantankerous troublemaker Strong Bad is the breakout star who's weekly e-mail segments continue to bring in millions of hits per week and have gone on to make "Trogdor," "Thnikkaman" and "Dangeresque" household names. (Don't know them? Ask around.) It's a weekly-visit necessity for those who want to remember what it was like to be a kid, or just those who want to laugh their heads off.

Megatokyo (Fred Gallagher)
Three times a week (give or take), Megatokyo brings us the epic adventures of Largo and Piro, two American videogamers stuck in Japan, the women they each love (whether they can admit it or not)... and the ninjas, magical girls and Rent-A-Zillas they encounter in their lives. Part slapstick action and part introspective drama, Gallagher's strip (co-created by Rodney Caston) is widely beloved by internet travellers worldwide, and for good reason. A favorite feature is the site's "console" section below the comic itself where Gallagher and his fellow personnel blog about their creative processes and daily lives. Something this good that's been running this long is proof that sometimes the good guys can finish first.

Odd Todd (Todd Rosenberg)
Some time ago, I, like many others, had a well-paid job that sadly came to an end due to recessionary cutbacks. So did Todd, a dot-commer in New York. But where I didn't do much with my time off, Todd created a one-man, web-cartoon empire based on his experiences with being out of work. Very much an R-Rated series featuring adult language ("f-bombs") and sexual situations ("boobs in the face" is a great recurring motif), offers more than just cartoons. There are hilarious movie reviews, amusing photo collections from Rosenberg's travels and a lot more. The site has so many fans that Todd's even done original animations for ABC News and had a few offers from Hollywood. Good vibes, all around.

Chemical Comics (Tim Hulsizer)
A close friend from my Keene State College days, Timmy keeps his daily cartooning requirements filled with his 5-day-a-week entry into the Daily Grind webcomic contest entry. Whether blogging about his day or exploring recurring characters like Caska the Cat, Warhare and Sandwichbot5000 (my personal favorite), Tim's posted a comic every weekday since February 2005 in competition for comics greatness. However the contest turns out, he's already a winner as far as we're all concerned.

Bellen (Boxbrown/Brian Brown)
With his daily webcomic that features with more heart and emotion than is even fathomable, Brian's work never fails, and I mean never fails, to raise a smile and lighten one's day. His main characters, Ben and Ellen, share those sweet, romantic, silly moments that those in love know so well. And for the many of us not currently in love... well, for us this comic is the next best thing.

Goodbye, Foom! (John Campbell)
Updated sporadically but always worth the look, this webcomic features simple but elegant line drawn figures with a sharp, wicked sense of humor. Recurring storyline strips intersperse with satirical slams on everything from life to language and are often full of the type of wild cynicism that keeps one coming back for more. His "hourly comic" experiments even inspired me to try my own, once. Unlike my attempt, though, his work never gets dull. Adult themes, on occassion.

Theatrical Reviews:
The Last Emporer (1987) ****
There Will Be Blood ***1/2
The Forbidden Kingdom ***
My Blueberry Nights ***
Semi-Pro **1/2
Superhero Movie *1/2

DVD/Home Video:
The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen (1988) ****
An American Werewolf In London (1981) ****
Super Troopers ****
The Shining (1982) ****
Heat (1995) ****
Samurai I ****
Samurai II ***1/2
Samurai III ***
Voice Of A Murderer (Korea) ***1/2
Bicycle Thieves (Italy) ***1/2
Le Samourai (France) ***1/2
Snake Eyes (1998) ***1/2
Manhunter (1986) ***1/2
Children Of Men ***1/2
Thief (1982) ***1/2
Crime Story: Season Two (TV) ***
Arthur and the Incredibles ***
Eye In The Sky (Hong Kong) ***
Natural City (Korea) ***
The Monster (Italy) ***
Retribution (Japan) ***
Thunderbolt (HK) ***
Big Bang (Korea) ***
Apocalypto ***
Borat ***
Yangtze River 7 aka "CJ7" (HK) **1/2
The Sea Is Watching **1/2
Eraserhead **1/2
Hunter (TV Pilot) **1/2
Big Bang (Korea) **1/2
Mulholland Falls **1/2
Southland Tales **1/2
Shoot 'Em Up **1/2
Loft (Japan) **1/2
Diggers **1/2
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift **
Tokyo Drifter (Japan, 1966) **
Paradise Murdered (Korea) **
Princess Raccoon (Japan) **
L.A. Takedown (1986) **
M (Korea) **
Saw II **
M (Korea) **
Branded To Kill (Japan, 1967) *1/2
Saw III *1/2
Turistas *

Raiders of the Lost Ark ***
Aeon Flux **1/2
X-Men **

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Quick Reviews Now & More Stuff Later


Cloverfield ***1/2
Monty Python's And Now For Something Completely Different ***
Beowulf ***
In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale **

DVD/Home Video:
Blade Runner: Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition ****
Sin City: Recut-Extended-Unrated Edition ****
Drunken Master 2 (1994, Hong Kong) ****
Night On Earth (1991) ****
Hard Boiled (1992, HK) ****
Day For Night (1979) ****
Manhattan (1979) ****
Magnolia (1991) ****
The Ultimate Matrix Collection ***1/2
*The Matrix (1999) ****
*The Matrix Reloaded (2003) ***1/2
*The Matrix Revolutions (2003) ***
*The Animatrix (2003) ***1/2
Aeon Flux: The Complete Animated Collection (TV) ***1/2
Homestar Runner: Everything Else Vol. 2 ***1/2
Homestar Runner: Everything Else Vol. 3 ***1/2
Angel-A (France, 2005) ***1/2
Triangle (Hong Kong) ***1/2
Ronin (1998) ***1/2
Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Season Five ***
Drunken Master (1978, HK) ***
New York, New York (1977) ***
No Blood No Tears (Korea) ***
A Dirty Carnival (Korea) ***
Security Unlimited (HK) ***
Invisible Target (HK) ***
Dark City (1998) ***
Die Bad (Korea) ***
The Brave One ***
Se7en (1995) ***
Wo Hu (HK) ***
Master Of The Flying Guillotine (HK, 1975) **1/2
The January Man (1989) **1/2
A Bloody Aria (Korea) **1/2
The A-Team (TV Pilot) **1/2
Tokyo Zombie (Japan) **1/2
Blood Brothers (HK) **1/2
The Restless (HK) **1/2
Urban Justice **1/2
Soo (Korea) **1/2
Bloodrayne 2: Deliverance *1/2
Invaders From Mars (1986) *

Rifftrax (from
Star Wars Episode One **1/2
Star Wars Episode Two ***1/2
Predator ***
Terminator 3 ***
The Fifth Element **1/2
The Grudge **1/2
The Matrix **1/2