Archive for the 'Columns' Category

Dec 09 2014

Fan Edit of the First Two Terminator Movies is Getting Its Own Theatrical Release?

Published by under Columns,Movies


Fan edits are kind of a big deal right now. Pretty much everybody has access to a pretty decent editing machine, and they love nothing more than to smash their favorite movies together and see what comes out. Predictably, most of them are bad, some are amusing, and a few are even good. You can even find people trying to stretch the fan-edit into its own art form (like this presumably misguided experiment).

Now we have Terminator Genisys. Yes, that’s actually how it’s spelled. I think.

The Terminator franchise has been struggling, and some people might almost have forgotten why the heck they even liked it in the first place. Skydance Productions seems to be setting out to fix that, by releasing a fan-edit of the first two Terminator movies into theatres. We’ll have to see how it goes, but it’s hard to deny that we’re seeing a ballsy way to rejuvenate interest in a flagging series, and a huge jump in the street cred a fan-edit can command.

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One response so far

Nov 28 2014

Great Moments in Comic History: Deadpool Saves the World (Sort Of)

Published by under Columns,Comics


Although comic series last for decades and often span hundreds of issues and dozens of stories over the years, there are some arcs that stand out from the crowd and remain especially significant among fans of sequential art narratives. It could be a story that changes everything in its own universe, a tale of such quality that everything before and after seems to pale in comparison, or just a defining moment for a beloved character. Over the next couple months, I’m going to be breaking some of these down for you.

This week, I’m going with that last one and exploring the ultimate motivations of one of Marvel’s up-and-coming superstars, the one and only Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool. As I’ve written before, I’m not super pleased with what Marvel has done with Wade Wilson ever since he broke out as a mainstream favorite after his loathsome big screen debut in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, major roles in video games like Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and an obnoxious number of appearances across the entire comic universe. Wade has long been Marvel’s funniest character, but only in recent years has he become an actual joke.

So right now, I’m taking us back to the late 90’s to revisit Deadpool’s classic heyday and Joe Kelly’s Dead Reckoning storyline that served as a culmination of Wade’s attempt to put his ways of greed and murder behind him and become a true hero. It’s an arc that had a long buildup, a huge payoff, and in so many ways defines Deadpool not just as a zany comic relief character, but as a twisted but well-meaning antihero who uses humor as a defense mechanism to salve the wound of his own hopelessness. There will be spoilers.

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3 responses so far

Nov 26 2014

The Reasons Why It’s So Hard to End a Trilogy Well

Published by under Columns


Well, I’ve done it. 162,000 words later, I’ve finished the final book in my Earthborn Trilogy, The Sons of Sora. But before all six of you out there who might be fans of the series get too excited, it may still be quite a while until release. I’ve just signed a deal with a publisher who will print (literally print, like on paper) all three books in a grand-re-release some time from now. It’s pretty cool and kind of a lifelong dream, and I’ll have more to share on that later.

But for now? I just wanted to spend a little time talking about the third chapter in trilogies, and why it’s so hard to make them good. Is mine good? I have no idea. I’m satisfied with it, but I suppose I won’t know until the public gets their hands on it. But I did try to learn from the successes and failures of other third-trilogy books/movies, and I really understand the plight of trying to close out a series effectively. And also why it can be really, really hard to let go, which is how trilogies spawn more sequels and prequels past what was originally intended.

It’s a pretty well known fact that many times trilogies tend to go downhill in their third installment. I think this is best demonstrated in Dan Meth’s now famous “trilogy chart” seen below which chronicles the successes, and mostly failures, of the third trilogy in a movie series. I always have viewed my books as movies that haven’t been made yet (I’m a dreamer), so charts like this are still relevant to me from a storytelling perspective. Though I have seen it in literature as well. Continue Reading »

7 responses so far

Nov 19 2014

James Cameron’s ‘The Potential Spider-Man’: What Almost Was

Published by under Columns,Comics,Movies


In June of 2002 I had my first real Spider-Man experience. Seeing Raimi’s web slinger swinging through New York City was a spectacle that really struck a chord with me. And it obviously stuck, because Spidey has been a subject of a number of my articles on Unreality. And today I want to talk about the Spider-Man that nearly was.

Jump back another 10 years to 1992, where the world is still basking in the metallic glow of Terminator 2 (I was three at the time, so I’m taking some atmospheric liberties here). James Cameron had stoked a fire under the simmering blockbuster wok, and now had his pick of recipes. Would he stick to the sci-fi world where he’d found comfort with his aliens and robots? Or was it time to scale new territory?

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5 responses so far

Nov 11 2014

At What Point Does an Anti-Hero Become a Villain?

Published by under Columns,Movies


What a great couple of weeks in cinema! I managed to catch John Wick in Paris last week (UK release not until January, what’s the go there?), then Nightcrawler over the weekend, and IMAX Interstellar last night. If you couldn’t tell, one in particular has inspired my scrutiny this week.

Nightcrawler is a rare film. It’s difficult to pitch as a must-see to a friend – ‘It’s kinda like Drive, but darker and creepier, or like Requiem With A Dream without the drugs. Basically if you like Taxi Driver, you’ll probably like this.’ I had this conversation a few times. I should probably simplify it to ‘I loved it, and if you have the stomach for it, you could too.’

Putting aside the excellent filmic execution, there’s one standout reason to appreciate Nightcrawler, and that’s the crawler himself – Louis Bloom. He’s the psychotic mortar between the bricks, the anti-hero who’s much more anti than hero. And that’s what I want to discuss. What makes an anti-hero good or bad? At what point do they become a villain?

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One response so far

Oct 22 2014

Great Power, Maybe…But Who’s Responsible?

Published by under Columns,Comics


I’m fairly new to comic books. I started reading because I’ve always wanted to write my own, and I’m a big fan of passing procrastination off as study. I’m also now within walking distance of new editions for the first time. But I’m no authority on the subject, and I look forward to comments filling any gaps I may leave. Despite my freshness to the medium, I’ve been left slighted by my mates at Marvel this week.

I understand there’s a whole lot of artists – pencillers, inkers, colourists, all that – in the industry. As Marvel’s characters criss-cross their way through the universe, it makes sense that artists will need to share timelines to an extent. And given that there’s a whole multiplex of Spider-Men (whom I’m only loosely familiar with), there’s need of an army of superhero sketchers to pull all the strings of that particular web into place.

This is fine, as long as there’s a logic to the madness. Continue Reading »

4 responses so far

Oct 08 2014

The Rise of the Badaptation

Published by under Books,Columns,Movies


I had such high hopes. Too high, maybe, but that wasn’t the real problem. Gone Girl was technically wonderful, as are most things under David Fincher’s ever vigilant eye. But a big mistake was made in its creation.

Adapting for film is a tricky business. Novels are the most recognised form of adaptation (I’ve heard around a third of all films are estimated to be somehow derived from books), but there are other sources – plays, games, historical figures/situations, websites, and the latest, childhood board games. There’s certainly plenty of inspiration for studios and filmmakers who want the safety net of a pre-existing audience.

The key word here is inspiration.

There’s a reason video games are yet to have a breakthrough film that shows the potential for good RPG to DVD adaptation. The mediums are much too similar! You play a game, you like the game, and you think ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to see this as a movie?’ You mean on a screen? With people moving and talking and stuff? Haven’t you already seen that? Continue Reading »

9 responses so far

Oct 01 2014

Spy For Hire

Published by under Columns,Movies

Spies are some of the most exciting movie characters to watch. Seeing Ethan Hunt soar from rooftop to rooftop or Jason Bourne thwart the CIA’s schemes is a lot of fun. But some spies are all about the theatrics. At the end of the day, would Bond actually be able to hold down a job? M, for one, seems to find him a nuisance. As someone who’s had to hire and fire people in the past, I’m judging a handful of candidates on their performance, ingenuity and efficiency to see who’s the most employable. Continue Reading »

2 responses so far

Sep 24 2014

Clear your DVR, TV is BACK!

Published by under Columns,Television


I’m glad summer is over. Fall is clearly the superior season because of all the great things it has in store for us. Things such as Football (the American kind), Halloween, bbq’s, leaves changing colors, the ability to wear jeans again, Thanksgiving, and last but not least our beloved TV shows return. Not only do we get to pick up where we left off with our favorite characters, but we’re also given new shows to watch to see if they can earn a coveted spot on our DVRs.

This past Monday night was a big evening for television lovers. An Emmy winner and a headless horseman came back to our living rooms while three new shows debuted which turned my social media feed into a mini review thread. A pretty big night that many had been eagerly waiting for. What’s awesome is that there is plenty more to come in the next few weeks with even more new shows and more returning favorites!

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Sep 19 2014

This Week In Movie Trailers!

Published by under Columns,Lists,Movies

Hey there Unrealtors, how goes your week!? Anyone take a break from playing Destiny yet? I know it’s hard for some to pull themselves away from it **cough – Paul! – cough** and yet, my sorry butt hasn’t even played a minute of it. It’s not for lack of wanting to. I guess I’ll just browse the interwebs for more movie trailers to present to the readers. Speaking of trailers, this week was a big one for a particular film that many have been eagerly waiting for…I wonder what film that could be?

Let’s do this.

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Sep 08 2014

It Should Be A Movie By Now: 11/22/63

Published by under Columns,Movies


A time when the United States, and probably much of the world stood still, the death of JFK took everyone by surprise. Sure there have been a few films that have touched on the life of JFK and you might think that I’m just adding to the pile up – but 11/22/63 is different.

I rarely ever read books, mainly because I just don’t have the time. Yet, Stephen King apparently knows how to hook me. For whatever reason this book sucked me in, and was one helluva a suspenseful ride that I just couldn’t put down. The entire time I was reading it, I pictured people who I would cast for Jake, Al, and all the subsequent characters that were intertwined into the well written story. Wait, have any of you read this? Am I jumping the gun … ok, let’s explain some things real quick.

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5 responses so far

Aug 26 2014

You Really Should Give A Listen To…Volume 3


It’s time to deepen your ear holes, Unrealtors! I’m going to be talking about three podcasts you may not have heard yet but you really should give a listen to. Fire up your iPods—since, presumably, you’re a time traveler visiting from 2004—and get your ears in gears. Continue Reading »

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Aug 19 2014

Angels in the Apocalypse: How the Events of “Angels in the Outfield” Led to Humanity’s Extinction


Leave it to the happiest company on Earth to end it.

In 1994, Disney released what’s become a family cinematic staple: the screwball sports comedy classic, “Angels in the Outfield.” The film was fairly star-studded with Danny Glover, Christopher Lloyd, and a pre-Robin Joey Gordon-Levitt all in starring roles, and had future Oscar winners Adrien Brody and Matthew McConaughey as side players. And it had Tony Danza shirtless.

The film was a success, and kids across America owned the clamshell case clad comedy on VHS, myself included. As a kid I must’ve watched the movie just shy of one billion times, and loved it. But it wasn’t until a recent viewing (and more on just why I revisited the film later) that I realized something sinister was brewing behind the bases. “Angels in the Outfield” seemed like good fun…but have you ever really thought about what happens after the Angels (SPOILER ALERT) do win the pennant?

Well…I have…and I’m here to say goodbye to the human race. Continue Reading »

One response so far

Aug 12 2014

Why It’s Time to Start Recommending Deep Space 9 to All Your Friends


It’s time for space to be the final frontier again.

Repeatedly you’ll hear television fans sing the praises long and loudly about brilliant shows like The Wire and Battlestar Galactica, and rightfully so. But while we like to think the current TV renaissance we’re all celebrating is a recent rebirth, I have a theory that it actually began long ago in a far-off time period known as the early 90s. The actual birthplace? A broken down, formerly Cadassian space station formerly known as Terok Nor. But once the Federation took over it became known as…


Deep Space 9.

For those unfamiliar, DS9 followed the adventures of an extremely a-typical group of Star Trekkers. Instead of the standard crew aboard your run-of-the-mill Constitution Class, DS9 had a handful of Federation folk, a terrorist or two, a talking blob of goo, a tailor who may have also been an intergalactic James Bond, and the best bartender in the Alpha Quadrant. Things rarely went to warp in this show, but that didn’t mean it didn’t go places. Continue Reading »

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Jul 30 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Manhunter (A.K.A the original Red Dragon)

Published by under Columns,Movies


Flashback many, many Summers. I am working overnight as a Forest Ranger at a little state park on Cape Cod. Most nights were slow, so I would read to kill time. I will never forget the impact the Thomas Harris novel, Red Dragon had on me. It was one of the last books I ever remember actually scaring me. It was so effective in parts, I would have to put it down to regain my composure. While my surroundings may have factored into that terror at times, there is no denying that book was phenomenal (and kickstarted the Hannibal Lecter saga, which is still going, now on television). So you can imagine my joy when I found out that it was already made into a movie by the time I read it. Yes, there are two cinematic version of Red Dragon out there. Today, I am going to talk about the first one from 1986, which they (mistakenly) renamed Manhunter for the silver screen. Name change or not, why haven’t you seen it?

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4 responses so far

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