Saturday, August 20, 2016
Over the past few years, there's been a rise of 80s nostalgia appearing in film, music, and video games. Notable examples include the video game FAR CRY: BLOOD DRAGON, the short film KUNG FURY, and everything produced by synth-pop band Gunship. I find myself enjoying just about all of this stuff quite a bit, but there's something I hold above and beyond all of that since I first discovered it: motherfucking TURBO KID.
TURBO KID is the fever dream of 80s born kids with no budget and big hearts. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic future (well, a post-apocalyptic future that would be predicted in the 80s) and revolves around our titular hero as he struggles to both be a kid and survive against evil marauders (led by genre stalwart Michael Ironside) while contending with a very strange, would-be female companion named Apple. Everything about this film is an over the top blast to say it lightly.
I had heard about this film online for quite some time before it managed to squeak its way onto Netflix where I finally got to see it. After viewing it, I tracked it down and purchased myself a copy. I recommend you all do the same. Granted that TURBO KID doesn't do anything revolutionary with the genre, nor does it try to, but it's a bloody and brilliant good time that tugs on your nostalgia strings. It's still streaming on Netflix right now, and I encourage you all to check it out while you can. You won't regret it.
Monday, August 8, 2016
Well, here we are. We’ve finally gotten around to SUICIDE SQUAD, and of course, it’s getting trashed by most critics, much like BATMAN V SUPERMAN did. Truth be told, it’s easy to see why: the film is hacked to hell editing-wise (it was a victim of re-shoots in an effort to lighten the tone since since BvS was lampooned for being too dark), so much so that even Jared Leto’s much hyped about role as the Joker ends up with him being barely in the film at all. Not to mention the fact that director David Ayer (FURY) was handcuffed by the studio; the end result being an uneven film lacking a true identity.
Flaws aside though, I really enjoyed it. Hell, I enjoyed it more than BvS. The characters were well cast (jury is out on Leto, just because there wasn’t enough of him to get a true reading) and they all looked the parts, even Will Smith who I’ve never been crazy about being Deadshot. It’s a mess, but it’s a very enjoyable mess, and the fact that we now have all these great DC characters on film for the first time ever (ARROW on TV doesn’t count) makes my little black geeky heart swoon.
Like BvS before it, don’t pay attention to the critics and just go see it. Also like BvS though, I’m hoping we get an uncut version down the line where Ayer’s original tone remains intact. One can only hope.
Monday, August 1, 2016
Out of all the slasher franchises from the 80s, I think the one I have the softest spot for is the FRIDAY THE 13TH flicks. I really wish I could give a concrete reason why that is, but I can't. I guess I've always been kind of drawn to Jason Voorhees more so than Michael Myers, and even Freddy Krueger. Or maybe it's the buffet of boobs the series is known for as well? Who knows?
Anyway, today marks the 30th anniversary of a fan favorite of the franchise. On August 1, 1986, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES was released theatrically. This was the first film in the series to feature an undead Jason Voorhees after he is idiotically brought back to life (he was legitimately killed in Part 4 and wasn't in Part 5 at all), and was also the first film in the series to inject a lot of humor and self-awareness into it as well. This is apparent based on the film's storyline, characters, and plot elements; all of which are gleefully tongue in cheek and just totally damn fun.
While Part 4 is, in my opinion anyway, the best film in the series, JASON LIVES is pretty damn close to it. Even if you're not a fan of the franchise, you should give this one a look at the very least; it's really seriously that damn enjoyable. And it also has that amazing Alice Cooper theme song as well, which switches between cracking me the fuck up with laughter or wanting to make me rock the fuck out every single time I hear it.
Oh, and there's not a single boob in sight either, go figure.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
I'll admit this here and now...I've never ever liked THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. I know it was a massive indie hit and became a phenomenon and all, but I could just never get into it. Well, I couldn't get into the film that is. The mythology of it on the other hand, I definitely got into. It's sequel a few years after, BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2, is ridiculously awful, but should be seen just for how bad it truly is.
A while back I saw a teaser trailer for something called THE WOODS, boasting that it was directed by Adam Wingard. Wingard directed some great segments in the first two V/H/S flicks, as well as recent favorites of mine YOU'RE NEXT and THE GUEST. Needless to say, given what the teaser offered and having him attached to it made me excited for it. Well, ComicCon was here, and guess what? Somehow one way or another, THE WOODS is now BLAIR WITCH. That's right, the film has been rechristened a Blair Witch movie (thanks post-production wizardry!) so now we're getting a long-awaited (?) third Blair Witch flick.
This feels kind of cheap to me. I seriously doubt there was any intention of this being a Blair Witch movie to begin with, but considering Lions Gate (the film's studio that owns the rights to Blair Witch after buying out Artisan years back) often bleeds money and has a dormant, once profitable name lying around, why not slap it on the film and re-edit some shit to make it a new entry in the franchise? And why not? This way it's guaranteed to make more cash than it probably would just being called THE WOODS or something.
Either way, I'm still going to see it because I'm a big believer in Adam Wingard and what he brings to the table. I just wish that some franchises would stay dormant and more original horror ideas would be pushed to the forefront.
Yeah, like that would ever become the norm. That shit makes no money.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Well, I guess we're getting another SAW movie after all...sigh...
Of all the horror franchises I can think of, the SAW series is probably my least favorite, so much so that I've never seen a few of the franchise's entries. I think I just got burned out because there was a long period of time when we were getting a new SAW movie every single year, and each one was worse than its previous entry. But hey, they made a shit load of money and were made for dirt cheap, so you really can't beat that kind of profit margin.
Eventually, fans started to grow tired of the franchise, and the SAW series has been dormant since 2010's SAW 3D. Well, next year we're getting another SAW flick, though details on it are a little murky. Is it a reboot? Is it a whole new entry? Is Cary Elwes going to be the new Jigsaw (he doesn't really have much to do these days)? Who knows, but for me though, it's more like who cares? I know this series has its long-admiring fans, and that's all well and good, please don't think I'm shit talking here, but I just could never ever get into the whole torture porn sub-genre. And those that praise the overarching story of the SAW series that continuously got more and more convoluted and confusing with each passing film? Yeah, after the third film, I said enough was enough.
One positive thing I will say about SAW (and which I've often said about it) is that when the first film hit theaters in 2004, it really was a breath of fresh air to the mainstream horror genre. At the time, all we were getting were shitty PG-13 rated remakes of Japanese horror films. They were watered down garbage aimed at teenage girls, and it was just a big, bad, and boring time for horror. When the first SAW hit, the bloodshed and dark tone was what we needed. Audiences thought the same because it became such a massive hit that it birthed a franchise with new installments every year...before that imploded that is.
Regardless, we're getting more SAW movies...ugh...
In the meantime, I'm still waiting for that new Phantasm flick that's been stuck in release and distribution hell.
Monday, July 4, 2016
25 years ago, we were graced with what is probably the best sequel of all time: James Cameron's Terminator 2. I was six years old (going on seven) and I actually managed to see this in theaters. How did that happen exactly? Well, I whined and begged to see it, mostly because I knew who Arnold Schwarzenegger was and because the movie was being marketed everywhere (I didn't see the first Terminator film until much, much later in life).
I remember enjoying what I saw, and being very, very sad over Ah-nold lowering himself into the molten steel at the end, and it wasn't until later on that I watched the film again and started understanding things better. As the years would follow, my love for Terminator 2 only grew (as well as my love for the first film), and the more I learned about it, the more appreciation I had for it. The long shooting schedule, the massive budget for its time (it was at one point the most expensive movie ever made), the way ahead of their time CGI effects (that mostly somehow still manage to hold up today).
If there's any negatives to Terminator 2, it's that there were additional films that followed it. What's ironic though is that no one was asking for a sequel to The Terminator to begin with, but with Ah-nolds since-catapulted global fame and Cameron's status as a blockbuster director, it became something that needed to happen. And low and behold, it was the biggest movie and phenomenon in the world for a period of time.
Terminator 2 has a special place in my heart and always will. It's that perfect mix of action, science fiction, and even a little tree-hugging that doesn't miss a beat and gets every little thing right. Seriously, I can't think of many, if any at all, negatives about this film to this day. The first film was a perfect mix of action, suspense, horror, sci-fi, and even film noir elements on a micro budget. James Cameron really knew what he was doing, and the end result was something very, very special.
You should go watch it again one more time. You'll be glad that you did.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Video games are changing.
E3 happed not too long ago, where it appeared that more games were going to begin following the path of VR (specifically the new "Resident Evil" game) and even current consoles are going to be receiving upgraded forms that can handle doing virtual reality shit. I have no clue how this shit works, nor do I care too much.
Now I've said before on here many times, that I'm sitting this console cycle out for the most part. I bought myself a Wii-U because I got it on a super cheap deal (and now I'm one of eight Wii-U owners across the planet, yayyyyyy) and I don't regret that purchase because I've had a shit load of fun with the console believe it or not. PS4 and Xbox One though I've decided to stay away from. I honestly haven't seen too much that's turned my crank as of yet, and part of me thinks I'm not going to either (granted there's a new "King of Fighters" game coming out that I would love to get my hands on, but I digress). VR accessibility doesn't make things any more appealing for me either.
Yeah, I know I sound like an old man here, and I don't care either. I remember when the Wii came out and everyone shit all over the motion controls gimmick; most saying it was just a fad and didn't really add much to the gameplay experience. Well, those people turned out to be right for the most part, and I think VR is more or less in the same vein. The technology itself is amazing, don't get me wrong. Video games have come a long fucking way since the Atari 2600 and all, and it really does seem like the future has arrived.
But ya know what? Fuck the future.
Maybe I've gotten to that age finally where I want to be left in the past as far as video games are concerned. Maybe the more technologically advanced they become, the more alienated I feel. When games started getting all about DLC and microtransactions and milking the fuck out of gamers for every cent that they can get, I started to feel out of touch. Now I feel even more out of touch than ever before. It happens to us all eventually though I guess, so there's that. Maybe I can hook up with other jaded gamers that have no interest in this shit huh?
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.