Sunday, December 8, 2013

Nine Years Without Dimebag Darrell

Nine years ago today we lost a modern day legend. Dimebag Darrell Abbot was senselessly taken from us far too soon in an event that shook the heavy metal community. I was 20 years old and had just come home from class at the local community college I was going to at the time when I logged on to the internet and the first thing I see is a front page news article that said the following:


The picture under the headline was of Dimebag, and before I could even click to read the rest of it, I felt my heart sink. I felt tears start to drop down my cheeks. I couldn't believe what the fuck I was reading...and I hadn't even clicked on the link yet to read the whole story.

We all know what happened to Dimebag. We all know how tragic and senseless it all was and all the ramifications that came from it as time went on. What I want to talk about here is what Dimebag Darrell meant to me.

In my youth, I was a devoted metal head. Most of the crowd I ran with were metal heads as well, although they were more into Korn and Limp Bizkit than Megadeth and Slayer like I was (granted I guess I indulged a bit in the "nu-metal" wave that was escalatingly popular back then, just to be a poser douche I guess in retrospect), but above nearly all the metal bands I loved, I loved none more than Pantera. There was so much to love about Pantera that really spoke to me personally: Phil Anselmo's angst-ridden lyrics, the ballsy and dark subject matter, and of course those shredding, extreme, cock fucking your ear guitar solos that helped set Pantera apart from most of the rest of the pack. Their music spoke to me, and I loved them so fucking much.

I had gotten to see Pantera five times in concert before their breakup. At one of those shows I got to meet Dimebag in person. I was a teenager. He gave me a beer. From that point forward he was my favorite in the whole world.

Besides that, it was Dimebag's manner and how he presented himself to the fans and to others. He never came off with that "rockstar" attitude where by the end of talking to him you thought that he was a total ass hole. He was just one of the guys. He never let success and all the admiration he had received over the years get to his head. Dimebag (and generally speaking most of Pantera) treated their fans wonderfully. Always happy to sign autographs. Always smiling. Always having the time of his life on stage like he was a kid all over again.

That was Dimebag Darrell.

The events that led to Dime's death make his untimely death all the more tragic. The heavy metal community has never been the same since, and in all honesty it never really will be ever again. That's how beloved and revered Dime was, and just how unforgettable he ended up proving to be, as an artist and a person.

Nine years gone Dime, and we all still miss you madly.

Monday, September 2, 2013

My Thoughts on BatFleck

Oh that Affleck.

I've wrestled around in my head quite a bit the idea of Ben fucking Affleck playing Batman in the upcoming sequel to "Man of Steel", something that the denizens of the internet have been going apeshit over quite a bit. In all actuality I was going to post something about this earlier (but more important things have since come up), so now that the dust has settled, let's take a look at just what Affleck being Batman could entail.

For starters, and I'm not necessarily old enough to remember this, but the backlash to Affleck playing Batman is apparently nowhere near as bad to the backlash Michael Keaton faced when Tim Burton first announced him as his choice to be Batman...and we all know how that worked out. When I first heard about the casting, I did think it was a joke. In fact, when I was reading the breaking article online, I kept looking around the page to see if it was from The Onion, but no, it is indeed a fact. I wasn't crazy about the idea at first, but now I'm at that stage where I've just stopped caring. Why? Because really folks, just how bad could he be?

Could he be any worse than George Clooney or Val Kilmer? I doubt it. And for the love of fuck, it's not like the last guy (Christian Bale) was truly a show-stopper in the role. If anything, Affleck has redeemed himself after a string of horrifyingly bad starring roles with his directorial efforts, and his acting hasn't been too bad either, so why not give the man a legitimate chance before we all take turns shitting all over him. Remember how Christopher Nolan was called an idiot over casting Heath Ledger as The Joker in "The Dark Knight"? How'd that work out exactly again?

To close things out, I wouldn't say I'm excited to see Affleck in the role necessarily, but come the fuck on, he isn't gonna be that bad, so everybody please stop crying.

And besides, it's a more inspired choice than Bradley Cooper being the voice of Rocket Raccoon.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Belated "Man of Steel" Review

It's been a while since the last time we had a Superman movie, namely 2006's underwhelming "Superman Returns". In that movie, we got a Superman take that did little more than jerk off the legacy of Richard Donner's classic film of the 70s as well as present to us a Superman that was more of a wanky emo brooder turned Super-stalker. Needless to say, not many liked it, and Warner Bros. and DC decided that rebooting it was the best course of action.

Fast forward to 2013, and here we are with "Man of Steel": a more modern take on the classic superhero as envisioned by director Zack Snyder ("300", "Watchmen") and producer Christopher Nolan. Now without further adieu, here comes my belated review of "Man of Steel", so strap yourselves in assholes.

Be warned, spoilers aplenty are ahead:

"Man of Steel" presents a much harder look at the Superman mythos than has ever been presented in film form before. It also packs some of the most unbelievable wanton acts of destruction to probably ever be seen in a summer blockbuster or "disaster porn" film. Seriously. Metropolis gets obliterated so much that it's amazing there's anything left of it. In those regards, the action sequences are brilliant and the wanton acts of destruction are set pieces that I personally have always wanted to see in a Superman film.

The casting and characterizations are mostly well done as well. While main star Henry Cavill didn't leave the lasting impression on me that someone that plays Superman rightfully should be able to do, the rest of the principal cast was mostly great, in particular Russell Crowe as Jor-El. Even Kevin Costner as Supes' earthbound Papa Kent does great in limited screen time, but it's Michael Shannon that really stole the show for me as General Zod. He isn't Terrance Stamp, and who could be, but he leaves a lasting impression. I also enjoyed Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White (irony!).

Now, here's what so many fans have been having a shit-fit about: the ending. Yes, Superman kills Zod in the film's conclusion. He breaks his neck like a twig to stop Zod from killing more innocent civilians and screams in sorrow at what he's been forced to do. Now I know what you're thinking because I thought the same exact fucking thing when I saw it happen on the big screen: since when the fuck does Superman kill? In retrospect, the idea itself is infuriating, because if it's one thing that Superman stories have been telling us SINCE THE FUCKING 1930s is that Superman always finds another way to save the day. Superman is supposed to represent the best in humanity and put himself over the law...or something. Well, here he broke Zod's neck.

Now, looking back on it, while seeing that bothered the shit out of me, I think I understand why Snyder, Nolan, and screenwriter David Goyer went down this route. Maybe since this was an origin story, they're going to use Superman killing Zod as a benchmark for future events, as to something that Superman can never, ever bring himself to do again, and this is the beginning of Supes deciding to "find a better way" to save the day without having blood on his hands.

That, or maybe film executives still don't get Superman after all these years.

Either way, regardless of its flaws, I enjoyed "Man of Steel" for what it's worth, even more so than I enjoyed "Avengers" or most of the Marvel movies since 2008. That's right, I said it. And since its huge opening weekend, Warner is fast-tracking a "Man of Steel" sequel to lead into an eventual "Justice League" movie. Part of me wants to see that all happen, and part of me doesn't, only because it would never be quite as huge as "Avengers". "Avengers" has the monopoly on safe, family-driven popcorn entertainment that's fairly okay for kids, while DC's properties seem to be going in a darker direction (which I love) that looks like it'll eventually lead into making kids shit themselves.

In 3-D.

Anyway, go check out "Man of Steel", fuck the haters.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Why the Next Generation of Gaming Will Suck Massive Ass

Get ready folks, there's another console-war a comin'.

Last time I was here I talked about the Wii-U and the sad state that Nintendo appears to be in. Since I wrote that post, Microsoft has revealed their upcoming XBox One console, which has pretty much all the bells and whistles that Sony's PS4 appears to have, plus more besides.

Yeah, things aren't looking so good for Nintendo these days. But that's a different story for another time (again).

Anyway, the XBox One managed to wow XBox fanboys across the globe with it's seamless Kinect features and voice-controlled app-switching on the fly, etc. etc. etc. What it didn't show though: games. Now, let it be said that Microsoft has pretty much ruled this current-gen console war, which is in itself kind of surprising. They cornered the multiplayer online component of video games and managed to make a shitload of money with XBox Live: a service that by all rights and purposes should be free to use right off the bat. Sony's is free on the PS3, but goddamnit, do those XBox fanboys ever love their "Halo" and "Gears of War" multiplayer action.

What's most alarming about the XBox One is what it appears to offer and not offer. It looks like an old VCR and appears to be able to function as the all-in-one media console that Microsoft has tried to pimp the 360 as since 2005. Hell, you may be able to even watch cable TV on the damn thing. Regardless of that though, there's some alarming things about this console that need to be addressed. It may not have to be an "always on" machine that requires a constant internet connection (maybe), but it may be charging you an extra fee to play a used game. Now Microsoft and a majority of game publishers are being fairly mum on this thing, but it wouldn't be a surprise. Most games from EA and even recent hits like "God of War: Ascension" and the rebooted "Mortal Kombat" require a purchased online pass if you buy the game used, so this new used fee isn't too much of a surprise. Microsoft, like Sony, EA, Activision, etc., is a mega-conglomorate that wants to make as much money as they can from you, and goddamnit, they are gonna do it no matter what.

So ya know what? Fuck 'em.

Is this really the future of video gaming? Nickel and diming the gamer every chance they get? It's been happening for a decent amount of time now, and it's only going to keep getting worse. Microsoft is suffering a lot of flack since the XBox One reveal, and rightly so. Still, people will flock to the new console for "Halo" and "Gears of War" alone (two franchises which in all honesty I've never ever understood all the hype surrounding them) no matter what they have to pay upfront and in the future, and as long as that keeps happening, we'll all still keep getting fucked in the ass and wallet by these companies like EA and Microshaft.

For me personally, I've often felt like I've been playing the same games for nearly the past 20 years. That's one reason why after this generation of consoles and gaming is over, I'm out. That's no bullshit either, that's all she wrote. I really hope that more people follow suit so that when Microsoft an the rest of the money-grabbers look at their profit margins, they see a steep enough decrease to actually consider to themselves "maybe we're being too greedy here".

Of course that will never happen because the fanboys will flock to these new consoles (except the Wii-U apparently) in droves to play prettier versions of old games, and when you've got a money making scheme like that going well and strong, only an idiot would pull the plug on that operation.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nintendo Needs to Stop Sucking

Oh Nintendo, what have you gotten yourselves into now?

The beloved video game giant seems to have fallen on hard times. After 2009/2010, it looked like no one gave a shit about the Wii anymore, only a few years after it set sales records and had everyone going apeshit over it. Truth be told, other than "Wii Sports", the "Super Mario Galaxy" games, Mario Kart, "Madworld", "House of the Dead Overkill", and a couple others, I didn't really enjoy much of what the Wii offered outside of the novelty of the Wii-mote. Last year for holiday time, Nintendo unleashed the Wii-U, their first HD console, which promised to introduce new gameplay elements including a touch-screen based controller and a library of intuitive games as well.

Well, it sucks...and so does Nintendo these days too.

Now let's get one thing straight here before you all start calling for my head. Even though I grew up primarily a Sega kid, the first home console I ever owned as a kid was the original NES. I also ended up owning every iteration of the GameBoy since its original launch, and I grew to love the Super NES on a journey of discovery after its prime. After that though, that was pretty much it for me and Nintendo. Although I loved the original DS, their home consoles on the other hand never did much to rock my world. The Nintendo 64, Gamecube, and Wii all just looked like shit to me, but then again around those times when they came out, I was too busy with my Dreamcast and Playstation's 1, 2, & 3 to ever really give them a deserved shot.

Now here we are in 2013, and Nintendo's profits are falling fast. They even made the curious decision not to have a featured presentation at this year's upcoming E3.

Let that sink in.

While Sony and Microsoft will be pimping out their new, upcoming next-gen consoles, the granddaddy of all video game companies will be absent.

Now granted, Nintendo has made strides with selling their products and making big announcements through social media outlets instead, but to option to not be included in the industry's biggest jack-off fest is disheartening, and kind of frightening, to say the least. Even though I said Nintendo sucks these days, the idea that there is a legitimate possibility that they could possibly end up bowing out of the video game hardware business if the Wii-U falters any farther is scary. That means that only Sony and Microsoft, two mega-conglomorate corporations, would be the only horses running in the video game race. That is scarier to me than anything else.

If Nintendo did bow out of making consoles and switched to being a third-party software developer/publisher like Sega did after the discontinuation of the Dreamcast a decade plus ago, that would mean we'd be seeing Nintendo's classic characters hitting XBox and Playstation. Could you imagine that? Seeing Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, and the rest on the same consoles that offer up "Halo", "Killzone", and the thousands of "Call of Duty" knock offs and wank-fests? Would anybody even care? Probably not...and that's sad.

So yeah, fucking suck. You fucking suck for possibly having to say R.I.P. to making consoles, and waving the white-flag as being the only true video game company left. Do I really want Sony and Microsoft being the only two console developers left only because they have an endless amount of money and resources that could absorb any kind of loss that companies like Nintendo and Sega could only hope to dream of? Fuck no.

Stop sucking Nintendo, for the love of the video game gods, stop fucking sucking.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Reviewing the Third Season of "The Walking Dead"

Hello assholes, it's been a while I know. But since I'm back from the dead for time being, let's talk about the "dead" shall we? Case in point, the third season of "The Walking Dead". If anything from the time it started, this was a season in which it seemed like the fans got what they wanted from the get-go...before it felt like everything turned to shit and what seemed like so much promise that was built up just became nothing more than wasted potential. Be warned that spoilers are ahead for anyone who hasn't watched the third season yet, so read at your own risk.

Like I said, throughout the season it felt like the fans got they wanted in terms of a few things: Lori and Andrea get killed in horrible ways, Carol isn't annoying anymore, Merle comes back, and there's more Daryl. We also got to see what happened to Morgan, Michonne kicked ass, and after a bit of a rocky start, we saw The Governor become a pretty damn good villain. But for all the promise this season delivered, so much of it became wasted potential.

While we finally got to see Michonne and The Governor, it took a while for their characterizations to really make their mark. When they did though, both characters became magnetic and some of the best parts of this season. Their bloody showdown in Woodbury set the stage for The Governor really losing his shit, and his thirst for revenge against Michonne was wonderfully orchestrated.

On the other side of that, we got to see both Lori and Andrea bite the big one, and oh how satisfying it was. While Lori died in childbirth and Andrea died from being a fucking idiot, both deaths proved satisfying as both characters had become just so goddamn annoying and far from their comic book counterparts that seeing them both meet their demise was worth the wait. My biggest gripe with "The Walking Dead" in television form is how different the characters are portrayed on the show than they are in the comic: case in point Andrea. In the comic, she's awesome. She's a strong-willed, intelligent, and cool under pressure character that has been a fan favorite for years. On the show, she's a selfish bitch whose motivations change at the drop of the hat. With her dead now, maybe that will be the end of the show's tradition of poorly written female characters. Then again, probably not.

While I've chastised the show for veering down different paths than the comic, seeing Andrea die was a welcome deviation. Some things that made me want to pull my hair out, like The Governor still being alive, irked the shit out of me. Add to that what they've done to Carl lately, and I'm torn between yawning to myself and saying "this is fucking stupid" whenever I watch an episode. The fact that the show is now veering further from the comic also sets up a feeling of not knowing what to expect to happen next, which is one of the few reasons I continue to watch the show, just for the fact that I don't know what the fuck is going to happen next.

With all that said and done, the one thing I absolutely cannot stand is how AMC keeps on slashing the budget of the show. Glen Mazarra, who was the showrunner up to the end of this season, was shit-canned in favor of a showrunner who will make the show more "character driven", which is code for someone who will keep things going with only half the budget at his disposal. This isn't a surprise, considering AMC shitcanned Frank Darabont over the fallout the show's budget getting slashed because AMC is apparently run by "Mad Men" (other AMC shows, like "Breaking Bad" suffered the same fate, while "The Killing" got cancelled), but neither of those shows are the ratings juggernaut that "The Walking Dead" is. It's just infuriating that once again, here we are with budget cuts, all so "Mad Men" can keep moving forward.

All that aside, this season of "The Walking Dead" wasn't as much of a letdown as the second season was, as viewers got what they wanted for the most part, despite a particularly disappointing season finale.

Let's hope things get better come October, though I've got a sinking feeling that they probably won't.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

"Clerks 3" and Why I'm glad Kevin Smith is Saying So Long

Kevin Smith recently announced that he will be writing and directing "Clerks 3".

That sound you just heard was me blowing my load in my pants.

Kevin Smith also announced that this will be his final film as a director.

That other sound you just heard is me laughing my ass off.

Let's get one thing straight right off the bat now: as a teenager, I fucking loved everything Kevin Smith. The original "Clerks" was my introduction to the Askew-niverse, followed by his beloved films "Mallrats", "Chasing Amy", "Dogma", and "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back". Some I liked more than others, but all in all I was mad about anything Smith had done and would go on to do. Hell, I even loved the shit out of the "Clerks" animated series. You know, all six episodes of it. Regardless, even though "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back" would supposedly be the end of Smith's stoner/New Jersey-centric flicks, I looked forward to see what he would come up with next.

Then we got "Jersey Girl".

Yeah, things kind of went downhill from there. Granted he redeemed himself to me with "Clerks II", a film that helped get me through one of the roughest periods of my life, it still didn't have that same feel to it that his previous films had on me. I couldn't figure out why this was exactly, and then when "Zack & Miri Make a Porno" came out, I realized just why all this was: I was getting older and less angsty in life, and what Smith was selling just didn't hit me the same way it used to.

After that realization, it got to the point that almost anything I saw Smith appear on just annoyed the shit out of me anymore. His interviews, his stand-up specials (The "An Evening with Kevin Smith" DVDs, which started out charming and then just got boring and way too overlong), and his podcasts just started boring the ever-loving shit out of me. That, and the products he was producing at the time were just plain shit. "Cop Out" was godawful, and have you ever seen "Comic Book Men"? Here's a piece of advice...don't.

All that shit-talking aside, I have to admit that I am absolutely dying to see "Clerks 3" become a reality. Why? Because I love Dante and Randal and even if it's a movie with just those two talking about ANYTHING I will gladly watch it. That, and it makes me happy that this will be Smith's final film. Now do I honestly believe that this will be Smith's last hurrah behind the camera? Fuck no. Remember in 2001 when he said "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back" will be the last Jay & Bob flick? Yeah, how'd that work out exactly?


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Love Letter and Goodbye to "Hellblazer"

You all know me pretty well it seems, i.e. you know I'm a comic book geek. Though the medium mostly revolves around people in tights punching the shit out of each other, there's one comics line in general that re-affirmed my faith in the medium back in the days of me being a super cynical teenage know-it-all: Vertigo Comics. Vertigo is the mature-themed adult line of comics that is a part of DC Comics as a whole. Over the decades, there have been numerous titles, mini-series', and ongoing series' that have become nothing short of legendary. Just look at these titles for fuck's sake: "Sandman", "Saga of the Swamp Thing", "V For Vendetta", "Preacher", "Y: The Last Man", "A History of Violence", "Orbiter", "Transmetropolitan", "Lucifer", "Deadenders", "100 Bullets", "Scalped", "DMZ", and many many more. But there was one title in particular that drew me to Vertigo. One title in particular that drew me into dark comics in general and was the stepping stone for me getting into the aforementioned titles.


Now what the fuck is "Hellblazer" you may be asking yourself? Well, it's Vertigo's longest ongoing title. It mostly revolves around the horrific adventures of John Constantine. Wait, now you're thinking to yourself "John Constantine? The John Constantine from the movie 'Constantine' that starred everyone's favorite wooden actor extraordinaire Keanu Reeves?" And yes, you're kind of right about that. However, unlike how he was portrayed in that piece of garbage 2005 adaptation, John Constantine is a blonde, British, chain-smoking, master of black magic and super street smart con-man. He was created by Alan Moore (!) during his seminal run on "Saga of the Swamp Thing", and eventually got his own title in the late 80s with "Hellblazer". It was writer Jamie Delano that really molded John's backstory, history, and supporting cast as he took the original reigns on the title, followed by celebrated and brilliant runs by Garth Ennis (which made him famous and led him to create the brilliant "Preacher"), Paul Jenkins, Warren Ellis, Brian Azzarello, Mike Carey, Denise Mina, and currently Peter Milligan among others. Even industry legends like Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison have dabbled on the title before to boot.

The stories of "Hellblazer" weren't quite what the shitty "Constantine" movie made them out to be. John Constantine is not a demon hunter that is constantly at odds with Satan. In fact, John Constantine is a bit of a prick. There have been numerous occasions where he's put the lives of his friends and loved ones at risk strategically just so he can get the upper hand (most of the time). And while John has had a couple run-in's with Satan and various demonic forces, John's biggest enemies usually wind up being those in the use of black magic that are using it for wrong purposes. That, and there's a laundry list of people that John has managed to piss off over the years (he ages in real time).

Now, you may be wondering why I'm having a "Hellblazer" themed wankfest here, and that's because towards the end of this month, the 300th, and final, issue of "Hellblazer" will be hitting the stands, marking John Constantine's last hurrah as part of the Vertigo line. Why is this happening? Well, because ever since DC launched the "New 52" over a year ago, they re-introduced a younger and less foul-mouthed John Constantine into the mainstream DC universe. That, combined with the fact that it feels like Vertigo is getting squeezed to death by its parent company (leading to the departure of Karen Berger, the longtime editorial leader at Vertigo that helped bring so many legendary titles to life) means that my beloved John Constantine will be laid to least in his chain-smoking, foul-mouthed, rip your guts out of your stomach version that we've come to know and love for over 20 years now.

So, it goes without saying, that "Hellblazer" will be supremely missed, and in my honest opinion, it seems like Vertigo Comics as a whole isn't far behind. It's a crying shame too, because things just aren't going to be the same without John fucking Constantine the way we know and love him.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

JJ Abrams and "Star Wars": My Honest Opinion

The announcement that J.J. Abrams will be directing "Star Wars: Episode VII" sent shockwaves through nerdom all around the universe. After all, this is the guy that helped resurrect the "Star Trek" film franchise more so than anything else. Granted he's done more than that, directed the love-letter to Spielberg "Super 8", produced "Cloverfield", directed "Mission: Impossible III" and had a hand in "Mission: Impossible 4", and co-created "Lost" and "Alias" to boot. So yeah, the guy knows how to get nerds and geeks on their feet. Now for the record, I absolutely adored the "Star Trek" reboot and look forward to the sequel "Star Trek Into Darkness", and I absolutely loved "Lost" despite all the flack it received over the course of its run, but now that I've had some time to think about it, the idea of Abrams handling "Star Wars" blows my mind on so many levels that I can barely comprehend it.

Now, like I had said before, I really think that "Star Wars" should be left the fuck alone. It was bad enough we had prequels, but we really don't need sequels. Even though there's a huge part of me that would like to see new adventures unfold for Luke, Leia, Han, and the rest of the crew; that doesn't mean that we necessarily should. However, the one great thing about having Abrams be the man behind the camera is that I do believe he is the right guy to handle it, in terms of the Star Wars universe being so big that he has the mind's eye to capture it the right way in terms of cinematic amazement.

Then again, it's also more than likely that anything Abrams comes up with (or that Disney allows him to come up with) will be wholly predictable. Out of all the directors mentioned and rumored to be attached to the new Star Wars movie: Matthew Vaughan, Peter Jackson, Zack Snyder, and more besides, Abrams is without a doubt the safest one to go with, just from a visual spectacle standpoint, and because he's the least likely to want to do his own thing and instead go with how the studio directs him to go in terms of making the product the most marketable. That's understandable, considering this is Star Wars and Disney and throwing both of them together makes instant dollar signs, so of course Disney will go the safest route in terms of making the most marketable product imaginable, and that's what Abrams will make: more of a product than a movie.

Just a couple days ago, Jim Chadwick, an editor at DC Comics and a Facebook friend that I often converse with, brought up a valid point: why not hand the franchise off to a director that you would least expect? He brought up Takesi Miike, the brilliantly deranged director of "Ichi the Killer", "Audition", and "13 Assassins" among others. Though he's known by many as a gorehound, Miike has one of the most unique eyes for storytelling in all of modern day filmmaking. Getting someone like him that would inject the perfect blend of darkness and "Seven Samurai"-inspired storytelling (which Star Wars was semi-based on in the first place) would make for a truly unique take on the Star Wars universe, and I would absolutely kill to see such a thing happen.

Now, we know having Miike on board would never in a million years happen, but even someone like Zack Snyder would possibly deliver something a little different that we the fans wholeheartedly deserve. I mean for fuck's sake, we survived three shitty prequels and years of re-shat out "special editions" of the original films that we deserve something special for George Lucas making us look like douche bags. It is my personal hope that Abrams really delivers and proves me wrong at least a little bit, because as apprehensive as I am about this, I can't lie, I am kind of looking forward to it.

That, and I wanna see Han come from work and discover Leia having an affair with Chewbacca. That would be the tits.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The NHL Lockout is Over...Why You Shouldn't Give a Shit

At last, at last...the NHL lockout is finally over and we'll be getting an abbreviated version of the 2012-2013 season. A 48-game season is way better than having no season at all, and while I'm glad to see both sides finally come to an agreement, the whole affair leading up to this did nothing but piss me the fuck off in the process, along with practically every other NHL fan as well. With that in mind, this is probably going to be my last post in regards to anything involving the NHL (unless there's some major shit that winds up going down between now and playoff time), just because I've reached that breaking point in my life as an NHL fan, now having survived 3 (!) lockouts and plenty of piss-poor decisions from league executives, team owners, and players alike.

Gary Bettman, the beleagured NHL Commish that has run the NHL for 20 years now through 3 lockouts, handfuls of expansion teams in ridiculous markets, and some just as insane relocation projects as well, has to be on his way out you would think. The main focus of his job, other than "growing the sport" as he puts it, is to get the best deal on the table that he could for the league's 30 owners, and goddamnit, that's just what he did. When negotiations between the league and the players first took place and equally insane demands were exchanged between both sides, Bettman managed to get a good deal for the owners, albeit not the best he could have, given the fact that the NHLPA were no longer represented by a talking head to get walked all over by, but instead by Don Fehr, a put-foot-to-ass negotiator that helped make the MLBPA the powerhouse it is today. While Bettman did his job for the owners, you can't help but think that his time running the league has to be coming to an end. I mean for fuck's sake, it just HAS to. You can argue all day long about both the good and the bad he's done for the league (and believe it or not, he did have a hand in legitimately growing the sport after the potentially crippling lockout of 2004 that wiped out the whole year).

On the other side of that table is Don Fehr, who took little to no prisoners as he hardassed his way to get the NHL to soften on their deal with the players...and it worked at the 11th hour. While concessions were taken at both sides, it appeared for so long that neither the owners or the players would budge from their proposals/demands, and during the whole process, this NHL fan came to one startling conclusion: no one really gives two shits about the fans in all of this mess. Bettman, Fehr, and whatever other players or owners can say all they want in terms of how sorry they are about the whole thing and how they feel bad about the suffering fans going through life without the NHL, but they don't. Not. One. Bit.

Billionaires VS millionaires is all the lockout boiled down to, and both sides wanted more than either side was willing to give. And not one of them gives two shits about you or me, i.e. the people that help put money in their thick enough as it is wallets. And I for one believe that if we really want to make our voices heard, in this 48 game season about to begin, we just simply choose to ignore the proceedings.

Now don't get me wrong. I love hockey, and I even love the NHL even after all this bullshit. But goddamnit, enough is enough. Anyone with half a brain knows that whatever financial framework the league says needs tinkering will once again crumble by the time the next CBA expires. Within the next 8-10 years when this new CBA ends, we'll be at the same spot yet again, with another lockout and more bullshit to follow. Mark my words. And it isn't so much due to the league politics, but just because you've got 30 teams in a league based on what really is a niche sport, in unconventional markets like Columbus, Dallas, Carolina, and Phoenix that don't offer the fan support that a big league team deserves, and thus, will just continue to hemmorage money and never turn a profit.

We'll be back at this spot again next decade, and we all know it.

Oh, and hockey's back.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Thoughts on the "Evil Dead" Remake

I've been asked a lot by friends and some other fine folks in the little horror community I find myself part of just what my thoughts are of the upcoming "Evil Dead" remake, especially since the much-talked about redband trailer debuted a couple months ago. Now before I go into the trailer, I just want to say that horror remakes, especially remakes of classic horror films, tend to bring my piss to a boil. I've heard talk of a remake of "Evil Dead" for years, along with plenty of talk of the long-awaited "Evil Dead 4", which would feature both director Sam Raimi and star Bruce Campbell return.

Well, here we are...and we sure as shit don't have an "Evil Dead 4" do we?

Now, I know that Raimi and Campbell have some involvement in this remake, which is fine of course, but the fact that Diablo Cody of all fucking people helped write the script makes my head want to explode. Do I want to hear poppy dialogue to go along with scenes of bloody dismemberment, mayhem, and tree rape? Not really no. But then something happened: the redband trailer got released to the internet...

...holy fucking shit.

Calling it intense is an understatement, as it looks like this new take on "Evil Dead" (minus Ash) is a wall-to-wall gorefest that pulls no punches. Even the film's teaser poster is labeling it as "the most terrifying film you will ever experience". And it just might be...for this generation of teenage movie-goers that grew up with the "Saw" and "Paranormal Activity" franchises.

No matter how this redband trailer makes the "Evil Dead" remake look (and I do have to admit, it does kind of make me want to at least check it out), I know damn well in my heart of hearts that this is going to be nothing special in the least. It may wind up being passable, and it just as well may wind up being one huge pile of shit. Regardless of whatever shocks it may throw your way, I can tell already that it threw away all that sickening grittiness that made the original "Evil Dead" so fucking good and horrifying for Hollywood-level special effects trickery.

That, and it doesn't have Bruce Campbell's mighty chin as the centerpiece of the show either.

Fuck it.