Found on the Internet: Skeletor & Skeletor play with their Skeletors.

That’s Brian Dobson, who voiced Skeletor in the 2002 CN Masters of the Universe series, and the great Alan Oppenheimer, who voiced Skeletor (and about half of the rest of the characters) in the original 80s series.  They’re playing with figures of the characters they helped make famous (infamous?).

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Phoning It In: The Crow (1994)

The CrowIt’s pretty much the end of October, and I still haven’t posted yet!  Since I’m not about to churn out my first impressions of the first 3 episodes of The Walking Dead Season 4 tonight, I’m pretty much going to have to phone one in this month.

But, hey!  It’s Devil’s Night!  I haven’t watched The Crow in about 5 years.  The following is a review I wrote on Epinions.com pretty much exactly 10 years before my wife’s labour kicked it into high gear before our daughter was born.

I can’t say I actually remember the night, but I can pretty much assume how it went.  Mel and I got wrecked at a mutual friends place, came back to “our” (my) room in the dorms, watched The Crow, and headed off to the computer lab to waste time on the internet.  Sometime after 2, I probably played some Wild 9 on the PS1 and watched an episode or 12 of Rurouni Kenshin.  Yeah, even back then our Saturday nights were off the hook.

Anyway, click Continue Reading if you want to read my assessment of my 50th or so watching of The Crow, that was probably watched high, possibly written high, definitely written poorly.

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

texas-chainsaw-3d-posterTexas Chainsaw 3D is the newest “official” sequel in a long line of sequels, prequels and reboots in one of the pre-eminent Slasher film series of all time, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  This particular movie picks up right where we left off in the first film, making it a sequel/soft-reboot combination, similar to Evil Dead 2, or The Incredible Hulk.  But that’s pretty much where the similarities end, seeing as one of those is comedy-horror, and the other is Super-hero Action.  Texas Chainsaw 3D falls pretty well into the slasher-horror genre, or as my father calls it, a “spooker“, where we see a bunch of stupid young people make a bunch of stupid decisions that get them very, very dead.

Since this is one of mine and my father’s favourite genres, we usually see this type of movie together, in theatres.  It’s a tradition that goes back to the late 80s or early 90s.  Over the years, a formula of sorts has been developed.  Of course, when dealing with this kind of movie, you shouldn’t be expecting high-art.  I’m not saying there aren’t artistic horror films.  There are several.  Having a critically acclaimed spooker is an anomaly, and should be regarded as such.  In order to be successful as a spooker, a movie must really only pass Dad’s three question test:

  • Is it a jumper?  Did it make you jump, if so, how many times?  No-Jumper is a piss-poor waste of time.  A One-Jumper showed up to the party.   A Two-Jumper is a very enjoyable experience, and has done well.  Three-Jumper is fantastic, and very rare.  I don’t think there’s ever been a Four-Jumper, I certainly couldn’t name one.
  • How’s the gore?  Is there a lot of it, and what kind?  Describe it… Is it Tense?  Gross?  Funny?  CGI?  Fake-looking? Realisic? Cringe-worthy?
  • How stupid is it?  How stupid are the character’s choices, and do they at least make a little bit of sense, most of the time?  More importantly, how stupid are the film-makers?  Do they show you a car driving off a cliff, only to see there’s no engine or drivetrain in the car?

If a film can pass most of these questions, then it has succeeded in landing itself a place in the pantheon of films known as “Pretty Good Spookers“.

Now let’s take a look, and see how Texas Chainsaw 3D fared, shall we?

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The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-ManI was very, very against the making of this movie from the first moments I heard about it.  I had several objections, but the largest one was that I really didn’t feel that Spider-man 3 had failed so terribly that we needed to revisit Peter Parker’s origin.  I felt that was covered perfectly in the first movie.

Sure, Gwen Stacy wasn’t there, and Mary Jane was, there were organic rather than home-made webshooters… but they weren’t… aren’t… the main focus of Peter’s origin.  The main focus is Uncle Ben, the acquisition of great power, and the consequences of a lack of great responsibility.  That’s all handled brilliantly in Raimi’s masterpiece.

So to hear that we were going to visit that again so soon, while attempting to make it more “realistic” and “grounded”… my FGWG feathers rustle.  I avoided this movie for a long time.  Almost six months exactly, apparently.  I guess that’s not really that long… but it felt like it.  If 13 year old me knew that 33 year old me was avoiding a movie about Spider-man, 13 year old me would have a cow, man.

I didn’t wait a specific planned amount of time, or anything.  Teletoon was running a Spider-man cartoon marathon yesterday, which got me thinking about this movie.  That combined with the (on average) good things I’ve heard and a post about fanboyish prejudice of entertainment at williamjepma’s blog, got me thinking about how I should give it a chance.  I love movies.  I love Spider-man.  I should love even a mediocre Spider-man movie.  So, I kept my expectations low, and gave it a shot.

I didn’t hate it.

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