Thursday, March 31, 2016

My Tops of 2016 - March

BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is just more of the same with DC Comics and Zach Snyder except it makes completely no sense, even with comic book knowledge.

ZOOTOPIA brings a lot of laughs and beautiful world building but also a surprisingly dark look at racism.

DEADPOOL is a bonafide superhero treat that is enriched by harsh violence, black humor, and a stellar lead performance by Ryan Reynolds.

Another month where all the films seen end up on my year-end lists. Too bad Zach Snyder couldn't make a good movie for once and join the others.

I guess my annual Ryan Reynolds Award for The Biggest Failure to Jump to Stardom will have to be renamed!

Best Films of 2016

1. The Witch

2. Zootopia

3. Deadpool

Worst Films of 2016

1. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Monday, March 28, 2016

Poster Review - March 2016

It's been a very, very, very long time since I last did one of these, so let's stop pussyfooting around and get straight to it.

We start off with what has to be one of the absolute worst movie posters of all time: a flat, non-threatening image posted on Instagram. How do you do, fellow kids!

It's an average animated film poster but I put this in the spotlight due to the sheer fact that the voice actors of the titled characters are fifth and sixth behind four actors kids will have no interest in hearing (save for former Disney star Bella Thorne).

Look everyone, somebody's trying to replace the teal and orange color scheme! And that woman's push-up bra is being pushed out!

Boom! Striking image, barely overcoming a possible copyright claim. Fantastic tagline. Informs us of the star, writer and director. Thank you.

It's very sad that this Wondercon exclusive poster for the upcoming Turtles sequel is a complete lie. The Turtles don't look this cool at all.

Oh no... somebody ruined my light switch... was it ghosts? Seriously, this teaser is awful.

By "Last to Die", you mean when this movie is the lowest earning new release come August, right? It looks like a third-rate Nathan Drake cosplayer was badly photoshopped in another pointless remake.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Garry Shandling - RIP

Legendary comedian Garry Shandling has died suddenly. He was 66 years old.

Shandling will forever be known for his two groundbreaking television shows: It's Garry Shandling's Show, a sitcom that routinely played on the artifice of the format and enjoyed breaking the fourth wall, and most notably The Larry Sanders Show, where he mocked the popularity of late shows by standing in as a Johnny Carson-like figure who was often besieged by backstage problems.

He sadly had a very hard time translating his stature in the film world, most infamously with the bomb What Planet Are You From?, but he eventually found his place with the recurring role of Senator Stern in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His utterance of "Hail Hydra" proved to be one of the most popular quotes in recent time.

He will be missed.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Phife Dawg - RIP

Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor has died from complications from diabetes. He was 45 years old.

One of the lead mcs of the legendary group A Tribe Called Quest, Phife's simple but impressive wordplay and easy-to-relate demeanor made him one of the most lovable rappers in the golden age of hip-hop. "The Five Footer", who kicked the mad style so you better step off the frankfurter, helped make albums like The Low End Theory utter masterpieces and made songs like "Can I Kick It?" and "Check The Rhime" pure gold. In my daily life, especially when testing audio, I routinely love to shout out his famous intro to the song "Buggin' Out": "Yo! Microphone check, 1, 2, what is this?!"

His life was best chronicled in the documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, which sadly showcased his struggles with diabetes and his refusal to give up sugar.

He will be missed.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Larry Drake - RIP

Larry Drake has died. He was 67 years old.

For the majority of people, Drake was best known as Benny Stulwicz, the developmentally disabled office messenger on the popular legal drama L.A. Law, which earned him two consecutive Emmy awards for Best Supporting Actor. But for those with a love of cult horror, the actor was one of the most memorable yet underused heavies. His most popular villainous role was as Robert Durant in Darkman, the sadistic mob boss with a penchant for big cigars and cutting off people's thumbs with his razor-sharp cigar cutter. He was so effective that his character magically survived a helicopter explosion to return in the sequel, Darkman II: The Return of Durant. Another quietly evil role came with Dr. Giggles, where Drake cracked crony medical jokes with a straight face as he murdered a slew of teenagers. And those with a rich knowledge of horror will recall his early breakout role in the television movie Dark Night of the Scarecrow.

He will be missed.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Trailer Review - Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War
Final Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Tom Holland as the brand new Spider-Man.

Scene Pop: Spider-Man enters into the battle!

Effective?: Nearly all of the trailer is rehashed supes drama but that last 12 seconds has everybody talking. Should have saved the reveal for the film though and get some more moola at the box office.

Check it Out?: Oh yes.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Pat Conroy - RIP

Pat Conroy has died from pancreatic cancer. He was 70 years old.

He was one of the most popular American authors of the second half of 20th century, thanks to several Southern-themed novels and the prolific nature of them being adapted into feature films.

He started off as an English teacher in South Carolina, including an one-year run at a public school on Daufuskie Island. He parlayed his experiences into his second novel The Water Is Wide, which would later be made into the film Conrack, starring Jon Voight as Conroy's stand-in.

He broke out nationally with The Great Santini, a semi-autobiographical book about the tumultuous relationship between a military brat and his abusive father. It's popularity and graphic nature caused a massive falling out within his family, especially with his own dad who stubbornly tried to refute the stigma from then on. This book too was made into a film, earning Robert Duvall an Oscar nomination of his phenomenal portrayal.

His next book, The Lords of Discipline, drew on his memories of being a cadet at The Citadel, a strict military college in South Carolina. Though fictional, it too drew much uproar among brass and his fellow graduates for its unflattering portrayal of the school and its claim of a secret society within the school who endorsed hazing. Again, the book was made into a film, this time with David Keith as the central role.

In 1986, he wrote was is arguably his most popular and enduring novel The Prince of Tides. The story of unemployed teacher Tom Wingo who ventures to New York City after his sister's latest suicide attempt, and bonds in many ways with her psychiatrist, won much acclaim. Its popularity grew intensively when Barbara Streisand directed and stared in its film adaptation, with Nick Nolte as Wingo. Hailed in 1991 as one the best films of the year, it infamously caused a stir at that year's Oscars when Streisand wasn't given a Best Directing nomination and it was completely shut out. The Prince of Tides would later be famously parodied in a great episode of The Simpsons but also helped partially inspire The Sopranos.

Though he drew notices with his two subsequent fictional novels, 1995's Beach Music and 2009's South of Broad, he never was able to rise back up to his prominence with the public, especially since they weren't made into films.

I am writing out this obituary for Pat Conroy not just for his brilliance in writing but for what he meant to my personal life. My family utterly adored his work; The Prince of Tides was/is practically the Bible for my parents. Though we shared the same last name, myself and my family would occasionally joke with friends and other people at how we are somehow related to him.

He will be missed.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Hayabusa - RIP

Japanese pro wrestler Eiji Ezaki, aka Hayabusa, has tragically died from bleeding in the brain. He was 47 years old.

Hayabusa was one of the most iconic pro wrestlers of the 90's, thanks to his cool ninja outfit, unique move-set, high-flying antics, and a willingness to endure harsh punishment in hardcore matches. Most Western fans will recognize him for his one-off tag team match at ECW Heatwave 1998 or as the inspiration for several "fake" wrestlers in various WCW video games.

He was the "ace" of the independent Japanese promotion FMW, carrying on its legacy after the departure of the original promoter/star Atsushi Onita. Ezaki's high-risk offense drew in fans but also made him susceptible for several painful injuries. He briefly changed his gimmick to a rock star named "H", bringing in more ground-based maneuvers to his repertoire, but the less-than-positive alteration added to the many woes for the promotion. He went back to the Hayabusa character to win back fans but the change would unfortunately prove his downfall.

In October 2001, during a match with Mammoth Sasaki, Ezaki performed a Lionsault (a backwards flipping splash off the middle of the ropes), only to slip and land directly on his head. It instantly paralyzed him from the neck down.

Ezaki went on to be a lounge singer and as a ambassador for various post-FMW promotions, including a recent revival of FMW.

Last year, Ezaki made headlines and caused many a wrestling fan to weep a sea of tears when he publicly walked again with the assistance of a cane. It looked to be the start of a new era for the wrestler but it sadly will remain as his last display of the human spirit.

He will be missed.