(While we did find 12 movies that can be considered "bad" or "awful" in some sense of the word, we randomly mixed them up and put them in no particular order. I think this made for a much more scientific presentation of the facts.)
MOVIE #1 - THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMAN, or LXG
10:34am IT BEGINS. Jacob brewed a pot of Trader Joe's 5 Country Espresso Blend while I stuck with my ever present beverage of choice these days, Diet Pepsi. LXG was a comic book put out by Alan Moore's ABC imprint, a division of Wildstorm, a division of DC Comics. Goddard and I are both fans of the comic book series which ran 6 issues (there have been 2 subsequent mini-series following the original series but the movie was based on the 1st series alone). James Robinson wrote the screenplay for the film - he is a well respected comic book writer known for his Starman series. So this would potentially lead to a good movie right? So. So. wrong.
I had seen the movie before and knew what I was getting into. Goddard had not seen it but was still able to discern the end of the movie not even halfway through the film. Now you would think this would be easy considering he had read the series but characters were added and the plot was rearranged to add certain elements that the producers deemed "essential" for American audiences. Like adding Tom Sawyer (how are them dum Americans going go be able to follow around a team of foreigners?) and the rather Johnny Depp-ish looking Stuart Townsend as Dorian Gray. Mina Harker (from Bram Stoker's Dracula) was the leader of the League in the comics, but no way was a girl gonna lead the LXG! Nah, Sean Connery as Quartermain is the obvious leader of the group. After all, he is old enough to be every one's great grandfather. But Mina needs to be sexy guys! So let's make her a vampire! Hilarity ensues. This movie was more annoying than anything else for Goddard and myself as we felt the book was bloody great and the movie was just plain stupid. I know I shouldn't blame Mr. Moore for the outcome of other people adapting his comic book work to films...but dammit! Tom Sawyer doesn't even fit into the time period! I hate the misconception that it needs to be violent, bloody and American for the US to understand or like something.
MOVIE #2 FANTASTIC FOUR 2 : THE RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER
12:26pm. It now being lunch time, Goddard and I order Dominoes pizza and get to watching the sequel to FANTASTIC FOUR, which was actually a movie I liked. What can I say? Johnny Storm is hot and the film was fun. I have always said that the Fantastic Four are the lamest Super-hero team ever - just a bunch of nerdy scientists and a guy that says "Flame on"? Utter silliness. But nevertheless I was a fan of the 1st film and was actually looking forward to the sequel.
The fun first part, where the Silver Surfer is cruising around ze earth, wreaking havoc and messing with Mr. Storm's powers is like watching a sitcom. A pretty funny one too. Then it has to get all serious and the Fantasticar has to show up. Why doesn't Victor Von Doom have an accent? Isn't Latveria a foreign country? The biggest disappointment of this film is Galactus whom I've grown to have an increasing fondness for over the past year. If you know anything about Galactus, then you know he is this HUGE bloke with a silly purple helmet that devours planets. Silver Surfer is his "herald" that prepares the planets for Galactus' ravenous appetite. The Fantastic Four need to stop the planet from being eaten, and as Galactus approaches Earth, there is a shadow of his helmet on Saturn as he inches closer to our world. But then he arrives...and he's JUST A STUPID CLOUD!!!! WTF?? Things get serious, Silver Surfer loses his illustrious shine and helps the nerdy 4 save the day simply because Invisible Girl is hot and kinda reminds him of his gal back home. Awww....how terribly cute. I swear to god if I hear "It Clobberin' Time" ever again (even if darling Johnny Storm says it!) then I might just lose it.
NOTE : 1st appearance of blind character, Ben Grimm's girlfriend. Also 1st appearance of Stan Lee, who may be dressed in a tuxedo but still is stumbling drunk and couldn't put his toupee on straight.
MOVIE # 3 - DAREDEVIL -- aka DD (or as I like to call it "my own personal Hell")
2:09pm Oh how I regret not starting to drink during this film. At least I could've laughed a little bit at the absolute absurdity put before me in the shape of a movie. I have never read Daredevil before and after seeing this movie, I will run screaming at the thought of Ben Affleck in tight red leather. This movie wins for number of name drops alone. Quesada, Miller, Mack, Bendis, Romita, Lee, Kirby. But nobody really wins with a movie like this. There is only pain.
So Ben Affleck is blinded by some hazardous chemicals (2nd occurrence of blindness) and hones his other senses with the help of a montage (you gotta have a montage!) so much that he actually saves Stan Lee (2nd occurrence of Stan) because Lee is too drunk to realize he's walking into oncoming traffic. And yes, Lee's toupee was still crooked. DD is a bit bitter when it comes to criminals and uses snappy one-liners ("Half a Nice Day" before pushing a low-life named Quesada onto subway tracks where he is cut in half) and has the foresight to write his initials in lighter fluid on the off-chance that news reporter Ben Urich will throw his match onto it, igniting the flaming "DD" with such dramatic stupidity that I felt myself getting dizzy.
It's pretty cool when you have a pal like Batman to build your apartment for you. I don't know how much Daredevil paid the Dark Knight but it was worth every penny. The best part of DD's pad is his water isolation tank that he sleeps in to block out all the noises he can't help but hear because of his heightened senses. Funnily enough, DD doesn't wake up as a prune-man every morning, and still takes a shower after spending the entire night in water.
And what about that snappy soundtrack? All the main characters get their own type of music. Daredevil has that angst-ridden generic rock so popular with teenage boys these days. Bullseye (Irish!) has House of Pain to herald him in. The Kingpin has N.E.R.D. to illustrate to the viewer of his status, and Elektra gets the sweet Evanesence for her tunes of both anger and sadness.
Bullseye needs to get revenge on DD because as our Irish dead-aim so eloquently puts: "He...made...me...miss." Spoken like a true William Shatner student. Bullseye requires one thing from the Kingpin to accomplish this revenge kill. Why - a costume of course!
To pay homage to Batman for tricking out DD's apartment, bats inexplicably fly out of a huge pipe organ during one fight scene, and somehow Bullseye makes it all the way to the end to ensure a funny "after the credits start rolling" scene. If only this film was mocking Daredevil. Nay, they were trying to be absolutely serious. And that's what makes me ill.
MOVIE #4 - THE PUNISHER
4:10pm. This movie wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected. Except for John Travolta and his toupee (3rd toupee of the day kittlings!) and an inexplicable R rating. I mean, they really could've shown Frank Castle just getting medieval on plenty of people. Instead, he's really a bit of a nice guy, but with that "revenge" thing that most all those super-hero guys have got going for them. His mastermind plot to seek vengeance? A fake fire hydrant. Brilliant? - maybe. Exciting or inherent to the character of The Punisher? - no way. Seems the R rating was to show one pair of Bazooms and drop the F-bomb a bit. Although I gotta give big props to the 2 assassin scenes featuring the musician/killer Harry Heck and an unnamed Russian bloke that doesn't say a damn word (moral of that story: people in glass bathrooms shouldn't throw grenades).
MOVIE #4 - GHOST RIDER
6:30pm. I'm not gonna lie. I have despised Nic Cage for a long time now. I hate the way he talks. There are 2 movies that I like that he is in (Raising Arizona and Leaving Las Vegas) and that's it. He bothers me. The previews for this movie bothered me. And after seeing Daredevil, I was just horrified that the next thing I would be watching was a Nic Cage movie. But that was how the chips fell, and I had to bite the bullet.
So Ghost Rider signs his soul away to Mephistopheles, or Mephisto, or some dark demon lord played by Peter Fonda, who made a good motorcycle film. He tries to save his dad, but then that mean old devil dude kills his father anyway! How rude! Then some other demons come out (element demons, the main one played by American Beauty weirdo Wes Bentley) and Ghost Rider must do away with them because he's under contract to Mephisto. At night he becomes a demon rider and must perform Mephisto's will. Along the way he meets grizzled old gravedigger dude played by Sam Eliot that gives the Ghost Rider the know-how on what he is and what he has to do.
I find it utterly laughable we are meant to believe as an audience that Nic Cage and Eva Longoria are the same age. I also found the "Penance Stare" more annoying than Nic Cage himself. Donal Logue saves this pic somewhat...but not really. The worst part this film? The video game element that Ghost Rider must beat all the "level bosses" to make it to the "head boss." I probably would've hated this movie more but Daredevil saved it.
MOVIE #6 - ELEKTRA
8:45pm. It was during this movie that Goddard made a SPARKS alcoholic energy drink run and we commenced watching Elektra, the Daredevil spin-off starring Jennifer Garner with (thankfully) no Ben Affleck or DD to be found. I couldn't really place the time of this movie but I feel that it was after the DD flick because she talks about dying and being brought back to life. This is a power that certain ninjas known as "The Hand" possess. We get some background knowledge on Elektra's training, Terrance Stamp plays Stick, who trained DD in the comic books but does not make an appearance or get a mention in the DD film.
Apparently Elektra has a killing problem, she's more like The Punisher than The Punisher is in his movie. Elektra is a paid assassin, and I guess is so high-profile that she needs an agent to handle all her jobs. In this movie Garner's character is fleshed out more, so we get some flashbacks, we get to see her set up her bathroom which reveals her OCD. Elektra is sent to some location to do some killing, but before she gets her assignment she makes nice with the neighbors down the street. Oh snap! Those are the peeps she has to kill. I mean, she's a stone cold assassin with a "killing problem," does dinner really make it that hard for her to finish her mission? You bet it does. She can't do it and actually ends up saving the man and daughter she was sent to murder.
Some cool team (reminded me of the villains from Ninja Scroll) from The Hand sets out to find Elektra and the family she is protecting...and you know, action and adventure ensues.
Oh yeah, and Stick is blind. That's the 3rd blind character. And the 2nd grizzled old man that helps the super-hero overcome some obstacle or issue (Remember Sam Eliot in Ghost Rider?). This movie was silly, but still not nearly as lame as Daredevil.
End of PT 1. Stay tuned next week for PT 2!!!!
~Till Next Time Kittlings.
The movie starts out with a young Dewey Cox accidentally chopping his much more talented brother in half with a machete. The brother’s dying wish is that Dewey become “double good” for both of them, and Dewey swiftly promises to make his brother proud. Blessed with “the blues” at such a young age gives Dewey the talent he needs to get the attention of not only the African-American patrons of the general store in which he belts out his first blues…but also the high school talent show where the girls rip off shirts and the guys punch out older folks proclaiming Dewey’s song as “The Devil’s Music.”
DEWEY COX is played throughout his life by JOHN C. REILLY from the age of 14 to the age of 75. It’s a great gag that rings true of other biopics that show the “young” musicians looking not really young at all. No attempt is made to make him look younger, his pock-marked haggard face is just a great visual. After his 1st talent show appearance, Dewey stands up to his father who believes “the wrong son died,” grabs the first girl he spotted in the audience, and heads out on his own to “make it.”
What ensues is a Pop Culture fanatic’s dream team of cameos. It's not just the REALLY famous people but the people that have starred in previous APATOW films. Paul Rudd as John Lennon? Check. Jack Black as Paul McCartney? Check. But there were some great random musical cameos as well. Besides Jewel, Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett, and Eddie Vedder playing themselves, my personal favorite of the entire film - Jack White played KARATE/SWITCHBLADE Elvis!!!! And no surprise there...he was brilliant!!!!! Perhaps the funniest part of the movie and honestly, cannot wait for the DVD to see the extra/deleted/extended scenes so I can only hope that I get more Jack White for my buck!While the movie can be quite slow in parts, the funny moments do a great deal of making up for the dragging within the story. If you like TALLADEGA NIGHTS and ANCHORMAN, then you are going to dig on this film more than you can realize. Dewey Cox learns the true meaning of family and love after many many many failures, which follow a similar path of the typical musician's explicit drug use, experimentation with different types of songs, groupies, and the like. While it may seem cruel to those that find the lives of Ray Charles or Johnny Cash as tragic, it really is a great spoof of their films rather than a mocking of the people themselves.
And the songs themselves are pretty damn funny too - with my personal favorite being the song that runs during the end credits, Dewey Cox singing about his own death. "Did you hear the news today? / Dewey Cox has died." Classic.
MR. JONES and ME.
BY JD LOMBARDI
DC Comics’ superstar artist isn’t like most of us who are here on the internet. You won’t find him blogging away about his life and you won’t find him on myspace. The only forum he has been seen posting on with anything resembling regularity is his own, which is located on PaperFilms. The best place to find J.G. Jones though, is on the shelves. Whether he is creating gorgeous covers for Wonder Woman or 52 or currently doing full art chores on Grant Morrison’s latest mega-crossover epic Final Crisis, one thing is sure; the man’s word commands mass attention. He doesn’t need to seek anymore via the internet.
Usually I’ll drop my friends an email when I haven’t seen or heard from them for a while. Since J.G. is mostly persona non grata from his fans as well, I thought I’d switch it up. Instead of seeing what my pal was doing privately, I thought I’d just interview him so that his fans could find out what the reclusive artist is up to as well. Here is what transpired:
J.D. Lombardi: Admittedly, I’ve never read your and Mark Millar’s “Wanted” mini-series (don’t kill me), but I just saw the movie trailer and well…that movie looks pretty damned good. How did you feel that first time you watched it?
J.G. Jones: The first time I saw the WANTED trailer, it made me want to kill something; and seeing as you never read the book…It was actually a thrill to see the trailer. I first saw it online, and then when I went to see American Gangster, there it was on the big screen, larger than life. What a kick! The opening scene where Fox find Wesley in the store is lifted straight out of the comic, so that was really fun to see on the screen.
J.D.: I swear I’m going to read it; really wanted to, but I since I don’t buy trades, I’m hunting down the individual issues at the moment. Gotta support your friends, right? But I saw it with a buddy before American Gangster too. When I told him that it was based on a comic book, he was stunned. For the life of me, I can’t believe that so many people think comics equal superheroes….didja like American Gangster?
J.G.: I did like American Gangster. It had a nice, slow burn throughout the whole picture. Ridley Scott is a master of the filmmaker’s craft, and he proves that you don’t need fifty car chases and multiple explosions and gun battles to make a good crime movie. I liked the way it was photographed, as well…nice looking film.
J.D.: Did Universal come to you at all for input? Maybe consult you for movie poster advice?
J.G.: Come on, seriously. Universal paid for the rights to do whatever they wanted (sorry) with the story. They didn’t need me to tell Timur how to direct a film. I’m sure that they found a real artist to do the movie poster. I’m just a comic book artist, after all.
J.D.: Buzz on the internet for the film naturally shoots both ways. People seem to be really pumped to go see the movie, regardless of how it was adapted to the big screen while others rant and rave how it supposedly isn’t anything like the initial concept. As a co-creator of the series, do you think the screenwriters did a good job adapting the book?
J.G.: From what I’ve seen, it is a lot like the original concept. The bones are all there, although the costumes and junk have been given the heave-ho. I think that was a good decision, given that Universal, who plunked down a major budget for this film, was going for a hard ‘R’ rating. The kid and teen crowd are already shut out, so they need an older audience to make their money back.
The first couple of scripts that I saw drifted far from the source material, but at some point, Timur decided to bring it back to the core story, leaving out all of the comic book in-jokes, of course.
J.D.: I’ll bet you didn’t know that you’re now a searchable entity on the Internet Movie Database. Can you believe that currently, your “Star-meter” on the site has risen a whopping 585% from the previous week that I searched you? Soon you’ll be too good for us.
J.G. That’s because I received my Fraternity pin and now I can do whatever I want with impunity.
J.D..: What really impressed me about “Wanted” becoming a film was the relative speed that it all came to fruition. This went from a book with the last issue hitting stands in 2005 to a feature film starring Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman in 2008. Unofficially speaking, that has gotta be the fastest comic-to-film adaptation in history. Was there a particular driving force behind all this that made it come together so quick?
J.G.: Pretty good, eh? Top Cow and Kickstart really pushed this thing through, and Universal picked it up almost immediately. I was not surprised that the rights sold, but I was stunned that it actually made it to film so quickly.
J.D.: Will you be hanging out with Angelina Jolie at any upcoming comic cons? Maybe escorting her to the big Hollywood premiere?
J.G.: Not if Brad Pitt is as ripped as he was in Fight Club. And remember that crazy eye he had in Twelve Monkeys? I ain’t going anywhere near that guy’s wife. Forget it.
J.D.: On the print-side of things, will there be a new trade or hardcover collection of the series to coincide with the release of the film? More importantly, will you be contributing any new cover art if there is?
J.G.: Yeah, Top Cow is putting out a new edition of WANTED in time for the film. They needed to at least do another printing of the first edition, since it all sold out. I won’t be adding anything new to the book because Top Cow did not give me enough notice that they needed a new cover. I’m grinding away on my DC project, Final Crisis, and I would have needed more that the week and a half notice I was given to slot another piece into my schedule. Unfortunate. I think that there will be some new material in this edition, though. Mark and I both did new interviews for inclusion, for whatever that’s worth.
J.D.: Has Mark ever tossed out the idea to you of doing a comic sequel?
J.G.: Hah, Mark tossed out the idea every time Top Cow asked him to do one. He had no intention of doing a follow up or sequel or prequel or anything like that. He had this one concise story to tell and then just let it stand or fall on its own.
J.D.: You’ve mentioned doing this little mini-series over at DC Comics that is being promoted for release in May 2008 with writer Grant Morrison. How are things progressing on the Final Crisis?
J.G.: I hope that it really is the Final Crisis. The story is great and I’m thrilled to be working with Grant again. I can’t believe what just happened on the page I just finished. Holy Crow!
J.D.: Yeah, like you’re going to tell me. Tease! How many characters were on the page? That won’t really give anything away, right?
J.G.: You gotta be able to tease if you wanna be a playa.’ I would say, ‘several.’
J.D.: Can we expect to see anymore teaser/promo images from you in the near future?
J.G.: I’m doing a Final Crisis cover for Wizard Magazine at this very moment.
J.D.: Is this series the whole of your output for the foreseeable future?
J.G.: Oh God yes! These issues are all oversized. I’ve never drawn more than six issues of twenty-two pages of anything in my entire career. It’s intimidating enough without adding more output. I’m putting everything I have into these pages. It’s exhausting.
J.D.: When all is said and done on Final Crisis, who will have drawn more characters in a single series; you or George Perez?
J.G.: Oh, George wins hands down. George always wins.
J.D.: Your work at DC has been pretty prolific. You did 52 consecutive covers for a year-long weekly series and then followed that up by doing what, an 8-issue series featuring nearly every character in the DC Universe. What in the world do you do to follow this up?
J.G.: I’m going to take two weeks off, lol! I have the next few years mapped out. I’m writing a graphic novel that I want to begin drawing when Final Crisis is done. In fact, I’ve been sitting on a number of story ideas for years that I’ve been too busy to work on. I’d like to begin a series of my own books after this.
J.D.: Does this mean you may not re-up with DC when your current deal is up?
J.G.: I’ll have to see how things go, but the current plan is to publish my own stories with my own characters. I’m sure I will continue to do mainstream work as well.
J.D.: All-Star Batgirl. Is that one still going to happen?
J.G.: Could be, but I won’t be drawing it.
J.D.: You’ve worked at Marvel and DC as well as having worked at a decent number of smaller studios across the industry. Even with what you’ve just said in reference to working on your own projects in the near future…is there one character out there that you’d still really like to get your hands on?
J.G.: I was always a Spider-man junkie, and I love The Thing and the rest of the FF. Wolverine is a kick to draw, too. I would like to write and draw a book with all those characters in it; oh and maybe throw in the Silver Surfer and Galactus, just fort the hell of it.
I’d like to thank Mary for posting this here in her blog, as I didn’t quite have a home for it. While I love interviewing friends and others, it just isn’t something I’ve got time or desire to do full-time here on the web anymore. Now that this “chat” with J.G. has finished, I’ll humbly go back into my own self-imposed exile and get back to focusing upon my fiction writing, which looks like I shall have a book or few out soon myself. Thanks gang and see you on the comic shelves!
~Till Next Time Kittlings!
And here I am, full of film and food, ready to lay down some knowledge in regards to some classic horror, classic violence, and Neo-Classic Eccentricity. Oh its the most wonderful time of the year!
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (directed by Tobe Hooper). Um...why hadn't I watched this movie until 2 days ago? This is THE classic American horror film. And this is coming from a HALLOWEEN franchise FREAK! Rob Zombie and many others have used this film as a primer if not a traceable plot. Oh - that 1st kill scene, that metal door!!! What a infinitely creepy film, so so superior to the laughable remake whose only positive was how smokin' hot Jessica Biel looked in a straw cowboy hat, dirty jeans and THAT WIFE BEATER!
Yet I digress; We had an issue with our Netflix copy of TCM but I was able to finish the film tonight and was glad I had eaten dinner before watching the rest of the film. Even if you're not a horror fan, you should watch this movie. You will not regret it. And if you've seen it, isn't it time to brush off the copy and re-watch it? Just in time for the holidays!
DEATH RACE 2000 (directed by Paul Bartel) This movie will soon be a remake starring Jason Statham and directed by Paul Anderson. No, not that Anderson. The one that did EVENT HORIZON. Anyway, I'm talking the 1975 Roger Korman-produced gore-fest which turns out to be quite an interesting ride. An early film for both actors David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone, it reminded me of Robocop or Starship Troopers in violence, gore and satirical message. Robocop and Starship Troopers are WAY more interesting though. DR2000 is only 1 hour and 18 minutes long and my boy Goddard couldn't stay up EITHER time we tried to watch it. Nuff said.
INLAND EMPIRE (directed by David Lynch) From almost the very first scene, I felt as if I was watching Lynch pay homage to himself and his other films with INLAND EMPIRE. It was either that or just a beautiful enigma that fits like an awkward glove (as par for the course with Lynch's movies). So on edge with eerie, yet so delightful in its confusion.
Having a boyfriend as theater tech, Ze Brickthrower has begun to notice when stage and lighting comes into play within films, and so I particularly enjoy the "bunny stage scenes" as I'll call them - which are reminiscent of both the Philly Fringe Festival as well as the Sylvania Family toys of my youth.
I have never been too thrilled with Laura Dern ever and yet I see why Lynch chooses her again and again. She acts with everything she has and is easy to watch. I have had a crush on main actor Justin Theroux ever since his stint on HBO series 6 FEET UNDER (and a 1 or 2 eppy thang on SEX AND THE CITY too!) and I think he is just conceited enough to play his character correctly. Even if he does look like a short man, I can see the prowess he exudes.
Any movie with Jeremy Irons automatically goes up in awesomeness a notch. The handheld camera style is fresh; it does not seem "BLAIR WITCH" or "REALITY SHOW" yet simply real. My favorite concept within the film is the scene changes. Let me explain - the plot in a nutshell is that Dern and Theroux are actors, filming a "cursed" movie of sorts with Irons directing them. The audience is given the guide of a fade out/fade in but twice I was fooled by scenes within scenes of the film being filmed in the film. You follow me? I hardly do.
An 3 Hour long film that is well worth the time. Do I know what it all means? Probably not - but I have me theories and will be watching it again to further research them. Won't you do the same?
Do you know a geek like me? Here are some gift ideas for the upcoming X-mas / Hannukah Holidaze:
-Games that interact with the TV like JEOPARDY, MEGAQUIZ, etc.
-Wallet and accessories by CUPCAKE CULT - too cute!
-HARRY POTTER themed scarves (Slytherin is my boy personally)
-TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET V. 2
-DEGRASSI JR HIGH and DEGRASSI HIGH - the ORIGINAL series DVD
-Scarves, hats, arm-warmers, fingerless gloves and any other winter accessory item that is cute and preferably had skulls
-Old video games like MORTAL KOMBAT ANNHILATION and other fighting games
-DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION (with foam mats)
-Cute Change Purse
-LOMO camera - Urban Outfitters is carrying a sick amount of Lomo cameras, all of them are awesome. Lomo's make everyone look like a pro.
So as NaNoWriMo draws to a close, I can only say that I barely broke 11,000 words. I do not have any semblance of an actual novel; only scenes here and there that don't really coagulate. Lesson learned; I am not a novel writer. But I do still have this idea that I'm an editor or would really like to be. And I have been sorta given the unofficial official title of "editor chick" for an upcoming FOO (that would be FRIENDS OF OEMING) anthology. More details to come ! But just think of all the talent Oeming knows! It could get crazy!
Enjoy your weekend. ~Till Next Time Kittlings.
My main Scrabulous (i.e., Scrabble on Facebook) competitor M. Sean McManus is in Dublin for the con going on over there this weekend; Mike Oeming makes his way down to Wizard World Texas in an unofficial "booth boy" capacity for the ass-kickin' Taki Soma, and the likes of Scott Wegener and Chris Moreno head to NYC for the Big Apple Con. The last comic book convention for many of the season - it seems everyone is making the mad dash for finish line this year. Me? I'll be nowhere. I was thinking NYC but that's most likely not happening. Look for me in 2008, where I hope to hit Paradise Con and Dragon*Con in addition to Wizard World Philly.
I need to stay home and write my novel anyway. Oh - I forgot to mention? I'm writing a novel during the month of November. It's actually National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo, where people around the nation (and world) attempt a 50,000 word novel completely from scratch. Think 24 hour Comic Book Day but in terms of prose. I am a poetry and short prose type of girl, my college thesis was a page short but you couldn't will me to write more. I am determined in writing what I mean and saying no more.
Meanwhile I had this idea bubbling in my head. A basic story idea that had transformed itself from the beginnings of a novel, to a poem, to a comic book script...and yet nothing worked. I heard about National Novel Writing Month from a message board I frequent and thought -"why not?" I could try in a controlled environment (read: November) to get through this story idea I've had FOREVER and finally decide whether its worth it or not. What a fantastic idea right?
Never did it run through my mind that I'm a notorious procrastinator and certified time-waster. Very convenient that I started my new hobby of Scrabulous right around the time as this novel eh? Not convenient at all but well calculated. The goof-off part of my brain knows what its doing!
I hit problem after problem in what I was doing. I get bored in writing exposition easily. I feel myself mincing words just to get to the end of my thought process. Perhaps outlining might work better for me? I had some support from fellow writers and that helped, and I bumbled along to 5,000 words after losing 1,000 to computer error. I started to fully realize how I could loosely tie vague ideas together and wrote 1,000 words more.
That was over a week ago. We're now at the halfway mark and I only have approximately 6,100 words. Through this past week I have realized that my own personal goal should be about 15,000. I'll be happy if I make it to that daunting mark by the 30th. I have learned so much about myself so far. Namely, that I'm not a novel writer. But when it's all said and done, I can say my brain thoroughly took in and spewed forth all it could in regards to this story and this character. Then, I'll collaborate with someone else and make it a story that everyone can read.
Are you interested in knowing what my story is about? The working ti tle is THE JACKET THIEF. Feel free to read my excerpt which is available on the official web site of the NaNoWriMo:
For my Halloween Edition of my column (see 2 columns ago) - I wro te about comic book cover artist Dave Johnson's awesome "Cyber Samurai" costume made from Rubbermaid trashcans. Well get this - Rubbermaid contacted Dave with quite a interesting gift - read on the email I received from Dave:
> -----Original Message----- >
From: dave johnson > Sent:
Tuesday, November 13, 2007 1:16 PM >
To: Mary E. Brickthrower >
Subject: HAHAAHA!!!!! SOmeone at
Rubbermaid > contacted
me about my > Costume
> I really would have thought that
they'd be pissed
> off, > but I
guess they have a sense of humor. > Read on....
> > > Dave
---- > > > >
:: Rubbermaid Garbage Can for Costume
I recently was alerted to your creative use of a
Rubbermaid trash can in the making of a .
We were very impressed with your imagination and
We never envisioned that our trash cans could
like you crafted. We found the pictures at:
I am Ryan T. smith, the Brand Manager for Rubbermaid
Home Products managing the Outdoor Refuse category,
the group that makes Rubbermaid trash cans.
Seeing as an innocent, apparently new trash perished in
the creation of
your costume, I would like to send you a new one.
Whether you use it to haul trash to the curb, make
costume, or something altogether else, please accept a
Just contact me with your name, address and phone
number and I'll get it sent out to you.
Have a great day,
~Till Next Time Kittlings!
I am knee deep in National Novel Writing Month, and plan a full update with some excerpts from my novel. In between that time, take a look at some past movie reviews I did. Enjoy!!!
THE RING 2
Dane bought me lunch and we saw THE RING 2...which was extremely disappointing. The previews intigued me more. WAR OF THE WORLDS looks insane (and TOM CRUISE is still GIRL PORN APPROVED©), THE AMITYVILLE HORROR looks even creepier, and DARK WATER should be interesting to say the least. But that brings along its own connotations. Follow my circular logic here=====>>>>SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! THE RING took the rather lame and disjointed plot of Japan's RINGU and made it quite the thriller. The CGI "girl-out-of-the-TV" creep fest was fine b/c of all the urban myth and jump-worthy imagery injections throughout the first 2/3 of the movie. And then I was tipped off to JU-ON and any regular reader of this blog knows my extreme interest in J Horror and Asian cult, particularly ghost stories. RINGU did not impress me but DARK WATER did. Some went too far and some were just terrifying. So the news the THE RING 2 would be directed by the original Japanese RINGU and RINGU 2 made me both hopeful (in the sense that THE GRUDGE/Shimizu partnership that translated to a pretty neat adaptation of J Horror for American audiences) and worried (the fact that I was not a fan of his RINGU work). Hope won out over my fears and I knew that seeing THE RING 2 opening weekend was a must. And yes, the jumps were there, I was covering my eyes at many points in the film. But to turn your film into the simplistic plot of ghost that wants a mommy is "universally stupid" as Cereal Killer would say. While it is a theme that is a good idea--LOOK AT YOUR SCHEDULES PEOPLE! DARK WATER will be out this summer. It is being touted as being from the people that made "RINGU" and "RINGU 2." About a girl...that wants a mommy. People are going to get sick of the genre before they've even given it a fair chance. Oh yeah--CGI is not scary. Especially CGI deer that are supposed to be menacing. EVIL DEAD is a great movie and it used rubber prosthetics and fake blood. Take note.
+++++++++end of ZE BRICKTHROWER RANT #33++++++++++
AMITYVILLE HORROR [remake]
First and foremost, RYAN REYNOLDS used to annoy me. He doesn't annoy me anymore. Mr. Reynolds Sir, you are now officially GIRL PORN APPROVED©. And your axe dragging is JACK TORRANCE worthy! My favorite part of the body on a man? The indentation on either side of the six pack below the waist. I'm just sayin'.
Let me preface this by saying Friday night I spent researching the AMITYVILLE stories on a few sites and getting myself creeped out for the film. I'm new to the horror genre as I have been a card-carrying Scaredy Cat for most of my life. Discredited as a publicity stunt did put a damper on the visions of ghosties dancing in my head but I was still in the mood for a movie that would make me jump (just like KRISS KROSS!!)
I started saturday morning by watching the original Amityville Horror on the Mystery Channel, and laughing at the pure silliness of it all. There are scary movies made in the 70's--this was not one of them. The editing is horrible...but we're not here to talk about that...we're talking about the inevitable remake. Inevitable b/c I'm quite sure its the END OF DAYS and there are no stories left to tell.
The Amityville Horror is for the most part a mish-mash of past horror cliches and recent stylistic staples. The jump cut/sped up film technique that is being used in EVERY horror film is now just getting ridiculous. Its not scary anymore. DAMN YOU GOTHIKA!!! While I did jump--several times--I was left with mostly just a glazed over look of confusion that someone would actually attempt the "indian burial ground" story again. Seriously. The house was not the menacing part...it was the apparitions...the original JU-ON takes the cake on this type of scare so I won't even compare. The way they could've made this movie better was by having REYNOLDS' shirtless more. Nuff said.
STAR WARS : REVENGE OF THE SITH
Don't Listen to the HATERZZZ!!!GEORGE LUCAS--you have redeemed the STAR WARS name and made it cool to be a geek again!!! As the first 2 episodes of the Star Wars trilogy only proved to be convoluted messes of wooden dialogue and cheap laughs with the best character to be introduced dying MUCH too soon (DARTH MAUL was the shizzy, killing him that soon was perhaps the dumbest moment in the entire series of films). The second film with its "love story" and "petulant child" acting of Hayden Christensen was cringe-worthy on all accounts. I think you could tell my annoyance with the trilogy was high and my trust in the third film being good was shaken greatly.
REVENGE OF THE SITH opened with a massive STAR FIGHTER/and speeding air ships that led to a kickass action sequence, the less talk the better it seems. The light saber battles could not have been topped and were almost dizzying to watch. Everything that needed to be explained to lead you into the 2nd Trilogy was done so and not in a rushed way. It all made sense and was coherent. I still am not convinced of the love between Padme and Anakin but I blame this more on the dialogue than the actors--who have both proven themselves excellent in their craft. EWAN MCDIARMAND (sp?) is brilliant as PALPATINE, watching his transformation is stunning and he is able to give the story much credibility in his subtle yet sinister voice. It is EWAN MCGREGOR that shines as a young OBI WAN--his voice is dead-on and he even nailed such simple things as SIR ALEC GUINNESS' gait.
(((Left: The Bad Guys Always Make it Better!)))
Again, I must comment on the speed and talent exhibited by all those that held a light saber, even little YODA upstaged his previous fight with COUNT DOOKU, this time taking on PALPATINE with a zeal that he saves for the true evil of the Empire. I have always been a fan of the dark side, and to watch the origins of MY Darth Vader were awesome and saddening at the same time. This holds true for the JEDI's fate as well. To not give JAR JAR one speaking line is simply ici ng on the cake. LUCAS has given the fans something to be proud of...and confirms my theory that the titles that contain the a reference to the DARK SIDE are the better films (i.e. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK)
BIRTH stars a pixie-ish NICOLE KIDMAN as a 2-year widower, ready to marry a rich and pompous suit until a boy played by CAMERON BRIGHT (of GODSEND fame) enters their home and pleads with KIDMAN not to marry her suitor. Why would a little boy whom doesn't know KIDMAN even care whose she's marrying? B/c he claims to be the reincarnation of her dead husband SHAWN . This is the beginning of a story about love and love lost and more piercing stares by KIDMAN and BRIGHT than actual dialogue between them. This does not gloss over the obvious problems of a 10-year old boy claiming to be a dead man; sex is talked about, how BRIGHT will support his "wife," the sheer craziness and unbelieveable chance that KIDMAN has found her "Shawn." LAUREN BACALL, KIDMAN's mother, plods along with constant reassurance that her daughter will wake up andANNE HECHE has long hair (sorry, its a shocker to me) and plays a mysterious friend of KIDMAN's, whose secrets reveal that Shawn is not all that he seems. She is surprisingly good in this, with a wounded seriousness in her acting.
Although the resolution is ambiguous and the dialogue often left me asking "Why aren't they REALLY talking to each other???" I really enjoyed this film. The soundtrack was jarring at times; all classical and booming and majestic at times then quiet and morose at others--but it fit the story well. The real stars were the eyes of KIDMAN and BRIGHT, whom seemed to be speaking oceans of words to each other without uttering a single sound. This movie will not skeeve you out like a LOLITA but will twist and turn you on your head. Go. Rent. Now.
~Till Next Time Kittlings.
Happy Halloween to my dear kittlings and readers!!! I attended a costume party this past weekend - here is a rather cell phone quality shot of my costume to the left. WHERE'S MY DYNAMITE?
Some treats are in store for you as we catch up with Mike Hawthorne, aka "Hellthorne" and participate in some Halloween Mad Lib fun with some of my favorite creators. Check it out :
A monster a day keeps the boredom away! Mike Hawthorne has been working diligently on his "Monster Blog" available right here on his web site. I asked him some questions about what seems like a daunting undertaking:
MARY BRICKTHROWER:I'm going to do a Special Wed column, for - my formerBRICKTHROWER: So seriously, a monster a day?
editor Alex [Miller] has mentioned your blog????
Tell me more about it!
MIKE HAWTHORNE: You're telling me you have NOT gone
to my new site?!
Check here - http://www.thinktankcomics.com/mad.asp
HAWTHORNE: Oh yeah, one a day. Color monster on Sunday. ((see the photo to the right))
BRICKTHROWER: What a great idea - is this a hard task for you?
HAWTHORNE: Well, yes and no. My wife actually helps me come up with names by reading the dictionary. She's brilliant. All I gotta do is let my sick imagination run with it :) It has proven to be tougher then I expected to keep it going just b ecause I can never find enough time. BUT, it's worth it. Great fun to do.
BRICKTHROWER: Do you feel its a way to stay fresh and keep in "practice" so to speak?
HELLTHORNE: Well, I never feel too stale! But, yeah. It's a nice thing to do at the end of the night and just relax and let myself run without a leash.
BRICKTHROWER: What is your favorite Horror Film?
HELLTHORNE: Oooh.... tough one. I think is way up on the list. The "tarman" scared the shit out of me, when I was a kid. And, you can't beat a naked punk rock Zombie chick! Two of the coolest zombies ever from the days before CGI.
Tarman - http://a2.vox.com/6a00c2251dc877f21900c2252a3462549d-320pi
Punk Zombie - not a good pic http://www.popcorntalk.com/rotld5.jpg
BRICKTHROWER : Do you decorate your house for ? Are you into the Halloween season?
BRICKTHROWER: What else you got going on right now Mike?
HELLTHORNE: Oh yeah. Nothing too crazy, as we're out
on Halloween. I actually did
some handmade monster window hangers.
I'll get you pics. (((pics pending)))
HELLTHORNE: Mostly the Hysteria web comic http://www.thinktankcomics.com, my series of prints: http://www.thinktankcomics.com/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=14 And the Un-men
BRICKTHROWER: Thanks Mike! Happy Halloween!
100 Bullets cover artist and Warner Bros. darling Dave Johnson really goes all out for Halloween. Like firreal yo. The past 2 years were bad-arse Vikings from hell but this year Johnson really stepped it up a notch. I will describ e this costume as a "CYBER SAMURAI" and say its an absolute TRAVESTY that he didn't win "best costume" @ the 4th Annual LACME MUSE Costume Ball in L.A. Just look at this thing!!!
Dave was able to secure runner-up though so Congrats to him on that! You can view some more pics here: http://flickr.com/photos/28813576@N00/sets/72157602787207066/ . As for Johnson's favorite Horror Movie? "It was DELIVERANCE. It took place on the Chattahoocee river in Georgia where I grew up. It scared me because used to play in the woods all the time and being "attacked" by a couple of amorous hillbillies became my biggest fear."
And finally, here is some fun Mad Lib action with David Mack (Kabuki), M. Sean McManus (of THE LAST SIN OF MARK GRIMM), Mike Hawthorne (Hysteria!) an d others. Click on the thumbnail to read the WHACKY ZANINESS of Haunted Mad Libs!