Sunday, September 24, 2017

Gained in Translation: The Dark Crystal

I won't lie- I built up a small collection of these when I was away from my Computer.  More for you though.

This time, how about we look at Japan's take on a Cult Classic from Jim Henson...

Could you imagine seeing this Poster as a young child?  Could you imagine how hyped you'd be?!?

Here's the untouched version...
I didn't have to change much, but I did add some contrast and brightness.  You're welcome.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

New Flix: Instant Death (2017)

Sadly, this is not part of the Van Damme 'Death' Series.  Instead, this is a new Action Film Starring...Lou Ferrigno?
The Plot is basically a mix of Taken, Death Wish and First Blood.

Lou is a Soldier with some mental instability who is going to see his Daughter after a Decade.
This guy- who is NOT Ray Winstone- is a British Gangster killing fools to get to the top.
In the United Kingdom (the Film never gets more specific than that), the two cross paths as Lou stumbles across a shooting and escapes via his 'specific set of skills.'
Afterwards, he immediately goes to see his Family.  Sure- what could go wrong?

No SPOILERS on the exact details, but they are bad enough to make Lou emote!
This leads to Lou going on a killing spree.  Will he get his vengeance or will the ineffectual Police stop him?

To find out, watch the Film.
Damn dark!  Damn derivative.  As a straight Action Film, this works fine.  There is a certain novelty in seeing a 60+ year old Lou Ferrigno beating up fools.  To his credit, he still has the physical presence to pull this off.  This isn't like seeing a pasty Seagal just sort of wave his arms at people to knock them over.  On the other hand, Ferrigno is not exactly famous as a fighter (unless you watched the Cage Films).  He doesn't embarrass himself, but he also doesn't shine in this regard.  When it comes to looking intense and shooting people, he has that down though!  The biggest thing about the Film is just how bleak it is.  There is no moral.  There is no lesson.  It is just bad people doing bad things to each other and then another pretty bad guy doing bad things to them (at least with some reason).  I guess I could give the Film credit for not trying to make him out to be a hero or to make this 'fun' (like the new Death Wish seems to be going for).  Speaking of Death Wish, there is nothing new here.  Isn't that right, new Richard Crenna?
A bleak, violent Film without a real moral.  If that's your thing, then have at it!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Twin Piqued: Part 16

After Irma took my power and delayed my viewing, I'm back on track!  Three to go!
Important Moments
- BOB Cooper takes Richard Horne to a rock, which does something magic and disintegrates him.  Damn you, Tesseract!  He's apparently his son too...but good luck figuring that one out with the information available thus far.
- Dougie (or Doug-E) is in a Coma.  Mitchum Brothers hijinks ensue.
- After nearly 8 Episodes of build-up, 1/4 of the Hateful Eight wait around Dougie's House...and get shot by a crazy Lawyer all of a sudden.  Alright...
- We learn the truth about Diane.  More on that later.
- Cooper is finally awake...and Cooper.  He says good-bye to everyone and goes to find BOB Cooper.
- Audrey FINALLY leaves her house, watches Eddie Vedder and then dances, before...dammit.
As far as Themes go, this one works...Death and Revival.
- Those killers seemingly die.
- Dougie is finally 'dead'
- Richard Horne seems to be dead(ish).
- Diane is...whatever that was.
- Dale Cooper is finally back!
- Oh and whatever is going on with Audrey.
Weird Moment(s)
Runner-up is the casual way that everyone takes the transition from Dougie to Dale.  It's all 'oh, Electricity does that.

The winner is, of course, the bit with Diane.  Here's Wikipedia's summary of this...
"Having received a text from the doppelgänger, Diane tells the task force that, years ago, Cooper raped her and took her to an old gas station. Exclaiming "I'm in the sheriff's station... I'm not me", she pulls a gun but is shot by Albert and Tammy. Diane is drawn to the Black Lodge and dissolves into a seed. Tammy realizes that the "Diane" they had been associating with is actuality a tulpa"
About freaking time!  Yes, I'm going to be that guy.  Dougie (or Doug-E) Cooper was an interesting idea.  Should he have lasted for 15 Episodes out of 18 though?  No.  Nobody makes Lynch do what they want when it comes to this Series (unless it is that one time with the Network in 1990)- fine.  I just wish that someone would have reigned this one in and maybe focused more on him solving the mysteries of the area.  For instance, what about those people torn to shreds in New York?  How about the people who keep showing up with the Major's DNA?  How about the Woodsmen?  The guy with the rubber glove that gives him super-strength?  Diane's whole deal?  Hell, just have him constantly trying to figure out what BOB Cooper is doing and play up the idea that he's a Doppelganger.  Why couldn't we get that Show?  Don't get me wrong- I do enjoy this quite a bit.  I like the quirky stuff in Season 2 more than most seem to.  That one was just balanced out with the actual Plot and fun stuff like Cooper's crazy rival.  Hey look- my idea for having Dale trying to stop/catch BOB!  On the plus side, things seem to be moving...  
Next time, I feel like I'm in for a trick here.  Will the Plot finally move towards the big climax?  See you then...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Impossibly-Cool Cover Art?: Liquid Sky (1982)

I haven't seen this Film either...but this Poster makes me want to...

So what is this Film about?  Well...

According to IMDB, the Plot involves Aliens looking for Heroin, said Aliens farming sex pheromones and lots of Drugs.

I kind of want to see this more!

Here's the original piece...
The thing is a year older than I am, so it just needed a little touch-up.  Who wouldn't?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Streaming Flix: Wolf Warrior (2015)

A not-so-notable Action Film from China now stands out as the Country has propped up its Sequel!  Let' see how it all started...
Our Hero is a bad-ass Soldier who can't follow orders.  When he kills a Mob Boss' brother, he's being promoted to a Wolf Warrior, essentially the 'super soldiers' that challenge/train other Soldiers.

What a lesson, kids!
The Warriors are immediately sent out on a Training Mission!  Pacing!

Things go wrong when...
A) Actual(ly terrible CG) Wolves attack.
B) The Boss sends some Foreign Soldiers out to get revenge.
The mission changes when one of the men- who they give past tense pathos to- is killed.  The two groups unite to take out the Foreigners...I mean, Villains.
Scott Adkins is the lead Villain of the group.  He likes to taunt the Soldiers and make way for Frank Grillo in the Sequel.
Can our Hero defeat the evil Foreigner?  Can he somehow shrug off 4 bullet wounds and a near-death explosion or two?
No matter what happens, just know this- the Film literally wears its feelings on its sleeve.  The End.
There is some fun to be had with this one.  Right off the bat, the Film does Action well.  It is about *all* it does well, but that's alright.  The Plot is not really that deep, but they try to hide it.  It all boils down to 'Guy wants Revenge' and that's it.  They keep changing the focus to help you not realize this.  Having said that, it isn't a bad Plot.  They attempt to give all of the Mercenaries their own identities, which is nice.  Not much really comes of it, but I appreciate the effort.  The Pacing is a bit odd near the end as things seem to turn WAY too easily for our Heroes.  National Pride is just that good, I guess.  Putting aside the silliness and melodrama of the Film, it is a fun, enjoyable Action Film that just doesn't become any more than that.  It is a thinly-disguised version of one of our Go Army Commercials.  This is notable because China decided that Wolf Warrior 2 needed to be a hit to help push that agenda.  As such, they locked out every other Film for about 2 Months, including stuff like Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming!  The actual Film seems to have a very similar Plot to, of all things, The Marine 2 (aka the one without John Cena or The Miz).  Whenever we get it over here, I'll have to check it out.  Just some final food for thought now: Frank Grillo's recent Films have grossed over $3 billion (counting the Marvel and Purge Films).  Yes, him.
A decent Action-Adventure Film that could certainly set the stage for more.  Just be prepared for tons of Nationalism on display with zero subtlety.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Impossibly-Cool Cover Art: Demonwarp

I survived Irma and this is your reward!

This is a Film that I intend to watch quite shortly.  To wet your appetite and build up way too much expectation, here is a kick-ass Poster for the Film...
Aliens!  Hunters!

Please don't be Alien vs Hunter!

Seriously though, how amazing is this thing?!?

Here's the original...
Mostly just clean-up here.  What else could you possibly improve?!?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Twin Piqued: Part 15

I won't let the Weather keep me from visiting my favorite crazy-ass Town...
Important Moments
- Out of the blue, Nadine gives Big Ed permission to hook up with Norma.  They agree to get married...which they already did TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO (and 16 Episodes ago).  What's up, Mr. Lynch?
- BOB Cooper goes to the Gas Station and talks to a giant Teapot, which is now the representation of David Bowie's Character.  Only on this Show, folks.
- BOB takes Richard Horne with him to do something.
- Drug Addict Asshole Boyfriend is freaking out with Gersten Hayward.  After a Warren Frost Cameo, he fires a shot.
- Audrey continues to be stuck at home.  This is going to be The Cabinet of Caligari isn't it?
- 1/4 of The Hateful Eight kills a random Supporting Character No Country-style.  Alright.
- The guy with the super-strength glove helps James in a Bar Fight.
- Log Lady gives one last message and dies.  Aww.
- After seeing a fateful bit of Sunset Boulevard, Dougie Cooper is inspired to...stab a light switch.
With this hodge-podge of Plot, I'm going to have to be pretty vague here.  How about...The End.

- One Character meets his bloody end.
- Did we see the end of Dougie Cooper?
- Did we 'hear' the end of another Character?
- A lady freaks out at 'the end' (shut up- you write this at 1 am!)
Weird Moment(s)
This has slightly-less crazy than last time.  With a random, silly death, a pair of super punches and sudden Big Ed Plot, this one had some still!

I still have to go with the bit with BOB Cooper meeting Tea Pot Bowie, awkward voice dubbing guy (a shame that Bowie couldn't record some lines for this!) and the Bray Wyatt-style Editing.

Another crazy Episode where a lot happens and nothing happens.  Am I the only one that remembers how Nadine gave Big Ed permission to be with Norma?  Did that fill-in book somehow undo that major Plot Point just to abruptly take up 10 minutes of Screen Time as the Show is more than half over?  I love Big Ed and Nadine, but what the hell was this?!?  It kind of reminds me of the 'Norma's Mean Mother Comes to Town' Sub-Plot from Season 2.  Getting past that, the stuff with BOB Cooper was more of the usual insanity.  It is a real damn shame that Bowie could not film/record something for this Show- not that I hold it against the guy.  Speaking of people that are no longer with us, Log Lady's final Scene was great, even if it was sudden.  She still appeared way more than I expected, so good for her.  All of the Sub-Plot stuff seems to be going somewhere- save for Audrey's bit-, so that is sort of a plus.  I don't pretend to understand what Lynch is 'up to' here, but I still hope that it ends with something better than 'the 2 Coopers meet and merge back together.'  Will this strange journey be worth it?  I sure hope so!  What do you think, Obvious Dummy?
Next time, some Plot and closure- right?  At this point, it could be anything really.  See you then...

Friday, September 8, 2017

Prime Viewing: The Tick (2017) - Part 1

After reviewing the Pilot long, long ago, I can finally see the actual Show.

Well, okay, the first half.  Yes, there are apparently Mid-Season Breaks with Binge-Watchable Shows on Amazon!

How does it turn out?  Let's see...
The Tick steals the suit for Arthur from some Villains.  He is going to make him accept his destiny, no matter what.
Arthur is now stuck with the suit and he's a target of many criminals, including Ra and Lint.

Kudos to the Show for addressing the obvious too...
It all revolves around The Terror, the Dr. Doom of this Universe who is seemingly-dead, but connected to most of the Cast.
In lieu of Die Fledermaus or American Maid, we get Overkill.  He's an over-the-top he's just The Punisher.

Is he evil or just a violent good guy?
With Villains after him and The Tick trying to push Arthur to embrace his destiny, how will things work out?

To find out, watch the Show (that they gave us so far).
Great fun!  The whole thing totally worked for me and I make no apologies!  I've always liked The Tick.  As a kid, I grew up on the crazy-ass Cartoon.  As a Teenager, I liked the Live-Action Show, even if it only ran for like 2 weeks on TV.  After a long wait for the official Series to debut, this one had a lot to live up to.  Thankfully, it worked.  Peter Serafinowicz totally nails the character, playing him as both insane, fun and sincere.  I still prefer his actual accent, but the voice grew on me after 5 Episodes.  The rest of the Cast is quite good, as they balance Arthur's awkwardness and give depth to all of the Villains.  The Show continues to be quirky, but still maintains some stakes.  Within 6 Episodes, I still don't know all that much about The Tick,, that's kind of the point.  His background mystery is played quite well.  If they don't ever pay it off, I'll take an issue with it.  All in all, these first 6 Episodes are quite fun, delivering on the premise and making me yearn to see more.  If you're wondering about the original Tick Actors, one is a Producer and the here voicing a Dog.  Of course I'm not kidding.
Coming back from the arguably-overly-dark Pilot, this one gets the crazy balance right!  I still want Chairface Chippendale though.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Streaming Flix: Little Evil (2017)

Another Netflix Original?  Why not?  After all, I love Comedies and Satan...
Adam Scott is happy.  He's got a good job.  He's newly-married to Evangeline Lilly.  What could go wrong?
Oh right- her Son appears to be the Anti-Christ.  Who hasn't been there?
Can he prove this?  Can he try to get along with the kid either way?  
Will this kid be the end of mankind as we know it or just the end of our Hero's marriage?
It is up to Scott and a cadre of Stepdads to save the World.

We're boned, right?
Can he get through to almost-Damien and save the World?  Will he have to kill?

To find out, watch the Film.
A good mix of Comedy and Horror.  As I've mentioned many, MANY times, Horror Comedies are not as easy as people seem to think.  You have to balance the jokes, the Plot AND keep a life-or-death scenario going at the same time.  Why does everyone think that they can do this?!?  Thankfully, this one gets it pretty right.  Adam Scott, as always, is funny and relatable.  He's a good foil to Lily's seemingly-naïve Mother and the kid's silent, steady evil.  As things get stranger and stranger, you need him there as a Lead.  Things certainly get mighty strange!  The Film is chock full of strange folks, strange sights and is just all around weird.  It does manage to stay grounded in a certain reality, which helps.  Without SPOILing anything, the Film shows that it has some ideas other than just 'Make a Comedy Version of 'The Omen.''  The Story goes in a neat direction, which I liked.  All in all, Little Evil can be big fun.  Yeah- I made a pun.  What are you going to do about it?  Oh...crap...
Seriously though, the Film works as a Horror-Comedy.  That's a bigger achievement than many realize.