Thursday, December 08, 2005


Some time off. Not much, but it's nice to be home before midnight for once. Seems this week all I did was work, and if I wasn't working I was spending money on Christmas. I haven't even finished my next column, due tomorrow. Time is definitely not on my side this week. BUT! It could be, and very soon. But maybe not

I'm applying for another (or maybe just a second) job that would be three 12 hr shifts a week. I'm crossing my fingers, but I have very little faith that I'll get it. I have an inside chance because I know one of the guys, but it's still a slim one. Starting pay would be fantastic, including paid vacations and other benefits. But, I'm not getting my hopes up.

I've got two discs of the Prisoner waiting to be watched, but I just haven't had the time. I'm hoping I will tomorrow afternoon, but that all depends on if I get the column done tonight. I also need to update my sidebar and throw out some links I haven;t had time to get to. So what's say we make this one massive ass post, complete with reviews?

Gunslinger's Revenge

It's been a while since I've seen an Italian western, probably not since I went out and bought the special edition of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. I think that was almost a year ago. Veronesi (the director) doesn't have the eye or the dramatic sense that Leone brought to his pictures, but he's still pretty good. The plot is as simple as it needs to be; a gunslinger retires and returns to a family he's never known. When his past catches up to him him, his family and their friends put their lives on the line to stay together. It sounds like something Leone would have directed.

Harvey Keitel playes the old gunslinger, and while he isn't bad, I didn't buy it. The guy can play bad ass, he even pulled of a priest-you wouldn't-fuck-with role in From Dusk Til Dawn. But here, he just seems too tame. I was expecting "The Wolf" and I got a sheep. But, the man's still a great actor and he brings a lot to the film despite all of that. The rest of the "good guys" are filled with actors who's names I can barely pronounce, but they're all pretty good. Especially the young boy, Yudii Mercredi. The story relies a little too much on humour, but when it's provided by the town drunk, played by Jim van der Woude, it's at least funny. And then there's the star of the movie, David Bowie. I know what you're thinking, but the movie is worth a watch for this reason alone, nevermind anything else.

Bowie plays this odd British/Southern/Italian type of character, who's seems to be after Lowen (Keitel), just for the fame it might bring him. He's uniquely perfect, and probably the best description I can give is "The Joker of the Old West". He definitely steals the movie.

Veronesi's biggest problem is that he can't decide if he wants this to be a family film or a gritty, violent western. It could definitely do with some better editing, although the dub is almost spot on. Like I said, it's worth the time for Bowie's performance alone, and outside of that it's still a decent movie. Worth a rent, or even a buy if you find it cheap enough.


Think of it as Dodgeball for our British friends. The movie got distribution in the U.S. through the National Lampoon's label, probably ensuring at least a few watchers. Which is a shame, because it's not a bad movie. Plot: Cliff Starkey is a bad boy from across the tracks. He's exceptionally good at bowls and would like nothing more than to represent his country nationally. The only thing stopping him? Ray Speight (played by James Cromwell) and his country club buddies, who want no part of this new rebellious kid and his disregard for tradition. Enter Rick Schwartz (Vince Vaughn), agent extraordinaare. He turns Starkey into the British Dennis Rodman, and suddenly bowls is the most popular thing on TV. Eh, I probably took too long explaining the plot there. Vaughn turns in a small but decent performance, and Cromwell is as good as he ever is. Paul Kaye plays Starkey as over-the-top as he should be, but still keeps him relatable and you can't help but root for him. Written by Tim Firth (Calendar Girls) and directed by Mel Smith (best remembered as the albino from Princess Bride), it's a good movie, something that's predictable, but still funny, mostly because of the British wit. It's not a bad way to spend a few hours, and probably worth the rental fee.

Hero at Large

I can't help but feel Sam Raimi cribbed the plot of this movie for parts of his Spider-Man films. Only, with a real hero instead of John Ritter. Ritter plays an actor looking for work who happens to foil a robbery while wearing a Captain Avenger costume. It send sales for the movie and it's merchandise through the roof and the producers (as well as the mayor) draft him to foil fake robberies and the like. Now Ritter must find a way out of the deception, get the girl of his dreams, and keep the hopes of the city alive.

I liked this, probably more than I should. It's a typical 80's flik, but it seems out of the mold for what Ritter normally chose. His character is far more competent (despite being out of work) than most roles you see him in. It's goofy and sensible, probably has too much heart, but the Hollywood/politics stuff rings as true now as it ever did. And there's a part of me that believes that Marvel/Sony/whoever as well as Warner would gladly do what the producers in this movie do if given the chance.

Just the Ticket

Ticket scalper Gary Starke (Andy Garcia) has a chance to finally get his big score and start a legitimate career for himself and his on-again/off-again girl Linda (Andie McDowell). Now he just has to dodge the cops and the new scalper that's moving in on his territory, and convince Linda that he's doing the right thing. Garcia is charming as hell here, but the movie is far too happy, even in the midst of despair. The real story is in the exploration of Starke's relationship to his runners, not in the star-crossed romance between him and the too-cute-to-exist McDowell. I lost interest about halfway through and screwed around on-line while the rest of it played out. The end looked promising, then everything just turned into typical, and I couldn't wait for it to be over. Unless you're just bored, I'd stay clear.

Jay & Silent Bob Do Degrassi

The three episode arc of Degrassi: The Next Generation that Smith and partner in crime Mewes guest starred in. The "reasons" are easily explained, Smith is filming his next movie (the brilliantly titled) Jay & Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh, and is using Degrassi High as a location. The episodes do a good job of introducing newcomers to the world of Degrassi, and it's clear that the writers and director are familiar with Smith's world. His dialogue, as well as Mewes', is perfect, but after the first episode I was more interested in the kids and the parents on the show than I was in this fictional Smith/Mewes pairing. I know the season are getting released, so this may be another Netflix addition. Smith came back for another two episode stint in the 5th season, and I'm hoping those hit DVD as well, just to add to the collection. Anyway, the DVD does it's job. I picked it up just because, and now I'm genuinely interested in the show and its characters.

One Tree Hill-The Complete First Season

It was hard to like this show at first. The plot is convoluted; two half-brothers are thrown together on the varsity basketball team after years of animosity have separated the two. Believe me, that doesn'n't do it justice. But, it's well written, and most definitely well acted. There are times when it wears it's heart on it's sleeve, and there are times when it's as subtle as a baseball bat to the head, but even then the actors pull you through. Chad Michael Murray isn't someone I would feel comfortable in saying "he's good", but, really, he's not bad. Fortunately he has Moira Kelly, James Lafferty, and Paul Johannsen to carry him when he stumbles. The soap operatic twists and turns the story takes definitely hooked me, more so than any other teen drama to come along in forever. It beats the pants off all the other similar crap (except Smallville, but that's because it's friggin Superman) out there, and most of what's come before it. It's like 90210 with a Melrose make-over, only with better actors and writers. That saud, if it hadn't been $15, I'd never have bought the damn thing.

Loveless #2

The best thing I can say about this is, at least it's pretty. Azzarello goes the typical route with the plot and everything just seems convenient, but Frusin can draw the hell out of it. He tries to give it an epic feel, bringing in historical elements, but it just feels confined and claustraphobic. I liked the first issue okay, but this was just bad. Definitely my last issue.

Angeltown #1-2

Nate Hollis is a private dick hired to find a missing basketball player suspected of murder. As he investigates he finds nothing is what it seems. Blah. Chinatown this aint. Shawn Martinborough does a good job on art, infusing crime-noir with a bit of urban sprawl, but the writing is just disappointing. Predictable, especially if you've ever seen any crime-noir story, or even read one. Hell, the plot for Ford Fairlane is leaps and bounds over this. I only have the first two issues, so I didn;t get to see how the story played out, so maybe I'm judging it prematurley. But, after the first two issue, I didn't really care to see what happened next.

Identity Crisis #1-7

Hmmm...what can I say that hasn't already been said about this? Nothing. Well, apparently Brad Meltzer saw Presumed Innocent a few too many times as a kid (or even an adult), because if you take away the damn costumes, that's almost exactly what this is. You're probably better off watching that than reading this, unless you just have some desire to see you're favorite superheroes behave in immoral fashion (well, some of them). It reads like fan fiction that's not about what it says it's about. Meltzer seems to be commenting on the state of comics, and how "dark" they've become by using those very tools to make his case. If Watchmen were the beginning of it, and this were the end, then it would serve as a perfect bookend. It showcases just how horrible a good idea can become when it's used as a blanket for the entire damn universe. And I'm not so sure that's what Meltzer was trying to do. In fact, I'd bet my life it wasn't. Mostly though, I just didn't care. About any of it. The only good thing in all seven issues was Slade kicking the shit out of the League. I heart Deathstroke the Terminator.

Burnout Revenge

Hey, a video game! And damn is it a good one. If you can operate a controller, buy this game. Saying anything else would only ruin the experience. Buy it, rent it, just get it.

Man, there's been so much put up at the Galaxy that I don't even know where to start. Well, okay, how about my last column and a review of a damn good comic, Happy Birthday Anyway. After that, just go to the front page and read EVERYTHING ELSE!~!!!!!!!

And hey, ADD is back to blogging! Go say hey.

Mrs Tegan got name dropped in a comic. I'd be jealous if my name wasn't Logan.

I didn't make the list, but a few of my friends did.

There's more, but that's all I have time for right now. Maybe this weekend!


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