Friday, May 18, 2012

Miscellaneous Debris May 2012



There are a few things I want to talk about, but none of them are going to take up a whole post and I haven’t done one of these odds n’ ends type updates in a long time.

First I want to talk about Cabin in the Woods.

Cabin in the Woods

I’ve been very excited about this movie since I first heard about it a couple of years ago. I didn’t have any details other than that it was a joint effort between Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard (both reliable Buffy alum) and that it was a sort of skewed tribute to horror movies in general and Evil Dead in particular.

I really don’t need much more reason to want to see a movie.

When I am excited about a movie or television show I tend to have the opposite reaction to many people. I don’t want to know anything about it. And I managed to avoid spoilers for this one. The funny thing is that I needn’t have bothered because Cabin in the Woods gives you pretty much everything from the get-go and still manages to deliver a fully satisfying experience. I hope this movie serves as a lesson to any M. Night Shyamalan wannabes out there – you cannot base a movie around a single surprise or twist.

Also, Eric from Billy Madison was awesome.


Dear God, No!

I said I would write a review of this after I saw it at Days of the Dead and I never did. I guess it’s because Dear God, No! is such a wretched monstrosity devoid of any redeeming qualities that I didn’t ever feel compelled to. And I mean that in the best way possible. The movie is gross and awful and repellent, and that’s exactly what the filmmakers were going for. It’s almost a total inversion of my favorite bad movie of all time –


– in that it achieves a kind of senseless ugliness that is fascinating to watch. The big difference is that THINGS never intended to be that way and no movie trying to be that way will ever do it as successfully.

But Dear God, No! is still a masterpiece in its own way and should be seen by any fan of depraved cinema, cult films, or classic exploitation. It lives up to its sordid reputation.


Game of Thrones

Still fantastic. Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister is the best thing ever, and I say that without any intentional hyperbole. I won’t read the books until the show is cancelled (unthinkable!) or ends because I don’t want the same thing that happened with Harry Potter to happen here.


Drive

Don’t read anything about this movie. Just see it. Don’t talk to anybody about it. It’s such a good surprise. And I just want to say this because it is a correct observation and makes me feel smarter than I am for realizing it – Drive is very Japanese.


Haywire

I wanted to see this movie when I heard about it, but after it was mentioned in the 2012 Saga Reader Survey I felt I needed to go ahead and watch it. I’m glad I did. This is a great movie. The lead actress – Gina Carano (sp?) – isn’t the best actress in the world, but she is very interesting to watch and her fights are the most convincing you’ll ever see. The rest of the players in this one are great. Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton, Michael Douglas, and more all class up the joint quite a bit. Two of the males were particularly noteworthy. Michael Fassbinder is outstanding as an opposing agent and the fight between him and Carano is awesome.

The other impressive male is, shockingly, Channing Tatum. This is the first movie I’ve seen where he wasn’t a total sack of duh. He plays an associate of Carano’s and is actually quite convincing.


The Alien Blu-Rays

FOX put the Comic Con Exclusive set with the sculpture up on eBay for cheap a couple of months ago and I bought it because I kept hearing how amazing these transfers looked. And they do. I haven’t made it to Alien 4 yet, but the first three movies are some of the best, sharpest movies I have ever seen. There are details in Alien that I had never even seen before. And the Special Features are mind-boggling. I doubt very much I’ll ever have time to take them all in. There are introductions from the directors on all of the movies except for Alien 3, because David Fincher is still all mad about what the studio did to it. Personally, I like the third one a whole lot; and not just because the eighth Doctor is in it. If you have the means, you should pick this set up next time you see it on sale, with or without the sculpture. It was an upgrade for me as I already had the DVDs and it was well worth it.


The DC Super Fun Hour

I can’t remember what this block is called, but it is pretty amazing. The first thing I love is that it comes on Saturday mornings like good, premiere cartoons should. Green Lantern is very good and probably the best overall representation of Hal Jordan yet. Sometimes the backgrounds get a little bland and the stories tend to be fairly formulaic, but overall it is a fun show. The characters make this one shine. The stories of Razor and Aia have been compelling so far, with lots of opportunities for change and growth – something you don’t always see in animated fare.

Young Justice might be the best cartoon on television right now. It certainly is one of the bravest cartoons I’ve ever watched. To jump five years into the future and drastically change the dynamic of the whole show – skipping character arcs, adding new members, and dropping others entirely – was brilliant and daring. From a narrative standpoint YJ might be the most complex animated show I have watched. Even more so than Justice League, which it is clearly a spiritual; successor to. More importantly, Lil’ Troublemaker enjoys it just as much as I do. He always chooses it first out of our inevitable buildup of DVR recordings.

Side Note: It is a true fucking shame that Mattel fumbled as badly as they did with the Young Justice toy line. The show is full of great, defining versions of DC characters and I’d love to have toys of them. I bet toys from Green Lantern would do well also. Idiots.

Finally, the shorts. There are several different shorts that play between the anchor shows. Some are good and some are not so good. I can’t remember the exact names of the shorts, but here’s what I think:

DC Arsenal – or something. This is where experts test out stuff like boxing glove arrows, Batarangs, and collapsible bo staffs. It’s a great segment, even if the results are a bit questionable.

Super Best Friends Forever
– This is the one everybody is raving about. While I do think it is the best of the shorts, I don’t think it’s quite as good as everybody thinks it is. And I really don’t like fatty Supergirl. Sorry.

Plastic Man – These are a lot of fun. The best ones are reminiscent of “Duck Amuck”.

Animal Man – This is actually my favorite, but the shtick might wear thin over time.

Aardman Batman – The first one was kind of cute, but now they’re just annoying.

Japanese Superman – Awful. Crap. Garbage.

Tiny Teen Titans – These have all been great so far, capturing the fun of the old show, as well as all the voice actors. The only reason they’re not my favorite is they kind of bum me out that we’re not getting new full episodes.

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