Archive for the 'Columns' Category

Aug 19 2014

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

ANGELS 2

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 »

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Aug 12 2014

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

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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…

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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

manhunt

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?

Continue Reading »

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Jul 29 2014

Casting the Amalgam Universe Movies

AMALGAM POSTER

In comics, chocolate and peanut butter are rarely mixed.

As much as we may wish otherwise, the big two remain Houses of Ideas divided. Aside from the occasional mini-series (that, obviously, doesn’t really count in continuity), Marvel and DC usually keep all their toys to themselves.

But once, long ago, in a mystical hazy time we call the mid-90s, where Rangers were Powerful and a hundred thousand Tamagotchis all sang out in chorus, the stars aligned. DC and Marvel squared off against each other in Marvel vs. DC, and the result was…well…this: Continue Reading »

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Jul 23 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: The FP

Published by under Columns,Movies

fp

I have let it be known world wide that I am lover of absurd movies. I walk around, quoting The Room while wearing my Sharknado baseball hat. Not even kidding. I am one of the three people who thought Birdemic was so bad it was brilliant. But what happens when a movie builds itself around that very ideal? What happens when a movie conscientiously wants to be so bad it is good? Isn’t that trying too hard? Shouldn’t that not work? Yes, in most cases, trying to become a cult movie blows up horribly in the faces of those who try to do it. Thing is, with The FP, it works. It is just SO absurd (yet so spot on in its absurdity) that you can’t help but actually enjoy this insane film. Insane is actually putting it lightly. Let’s have some fun this week, kids.

Continue Reading »

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Jul 22 2014

The League of Extraordinary Americans

EXTRAORDINARY AMERICANS

Imagine if a librarian from the Victorian era created the Justice League.

Might not sound incredibly thrilling but in 1999 comics legend Alan Moore made the concept not just work but rock in his miniseries The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Featuring a slew of characters from every corner of Victorian literature, the LOEG was a rollicking, partially demented adventure that made you wish you were a bit more well-read.

Being a proper Englishman, though, Moore of course used (mostly) characters from his home and native land. Being a young American reader I thrilled at the brief Tralfamadorian cameo and the Who Dat Ninja poster in the background, but, for the most part, the USA was MIA throughout the League’s various goings-on.

Today, though, I’m gonna get patriotic and ‘MERICA the crap outta the limey League and present the League of Extraordinary AMERICANS, using ONLY American created characters and concepts. Am I being a rampant, red-white-and-blue-tinted glasses-wearing Nationalist? You bet. But hey, at least I’m not shoe-horning in…ugh…Tom Sawyer to appeal to Americans.

Ready? For the stars and bars! Continue Reading »

3 responses so far


Jul 16 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: I Melt With You

Published by under Columns,Movies

melt

I am going to start this article by saying you have to be a somewhat older guy who has made a myriad of poor life choices to really enjoy this movie. That is not totally true, but boy, does it help. You also have to be, um, prepared to walk away from it a little messed up. I Melt With You is a story about old friends drifting apart and growing into adults they swore they would never be when they were kids. This is the sequel to Stand By Me you never wanted, but never knew you needed. It is about how scary failures can be, and how strong a promise can remain between people who love each other, even decades later. Oh, and it might be one of the most depressing movies I have ever seen. But I am not like most people. That didn’t make it a “bad” film to me. Quite the opposite, really. In some sad and scary ways, I related to these guys.

Continue Reading »

2 responses so far


Jul 09 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Cheap Thrills

Published by under Columns,Editorials,Movies

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I know Cheap Thrills came out last year, and normally, I like to actually give people the time to see a movie before I dare ask them why haven’t they seen it. But Cheap Thrills was a bold enough ride that I want to bring as much attention to it as I can while it can still reap some of the benefits of that. Before I tell you about the film, let me ask you something. How far would you be willing to go once you hit rock bottom to ensure you didn’t stay there? Would you be willing to embarrass yourself? Hurt yourself? Maybe hurt someone else? This is the question that Cheap Thrills so boldly asks of its viewers. It is uncomfortable, hilarious, disturbing, and unforgettable. Kinda like life. Actually, a little TOO MUCH like my life right now, truth be told.

Continue Reading »

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Jul 09 2014

Peripheral Vision: Super Game Boy, GB Hunter, and Game Boy Player

Published by under Columns,Video Games

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Video game marketing can be weird. At one point, a company like Nintendo will have to hard-sell a trimmed-down, handheld version of their extremely popular home console. They’ll claim “it’s just as good as the original, but you can take it with you!”

Then, once the portable version becomes a runaway success, they’ll have to convince people that the only logical thing to do is buy an adapter for playing the portable games at home in front of a TV. The irony is astounding.

Surprisingly, though, the Super Game Boy was not only a bestseller, but it was also a solid investment. Anyone who had put effort into building a quality Game Boy library would get a lot of mileage out of the peripheral.

I’ve already covered how and why the Game Boy became such a hit and managed to revolutionize the portable console industry. That triumph attracted developers who flocked to the Game Boy as a vehicle for cheap and relatively easy market penetration. Soon, game studios weren’t just churning out pathetic clones of their home console games, but they also came up with some original concepts designed to take full advantage of the Game Boy’s hardware.

And they were good. The console didn’t stick around for ten-plus years out of coincidence; titles like Pokémon and Link’s Awakening raised the game design bar for years to come.. The incredible amount of quality Game Boy titles makes the prospect of playing them on a non-tiny screen and sans-batteries appealing, even if the concept does seem slightly bass-ackwards.

In recognition of the paradoxical ingenuity that Nintendo stumbled upon, here are the most noteworthy methods of playing small games on a big screen… Continue Reading »

2 responses so far


Jul 03 2014

Maurice Devereaux: The Horror Legend that Never Was

Published by under Columns,Movies

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This week I’ve elected to shine a spotlight the troubled career of a talented independent filmmaker who could been the next John Carpenter or Guillermo del Toro if he’d been given the chance. Instead, he’s had to fight to scrape by financing his own films only to find them practically buried once the rights were sold, rendering someone who could have been filling our screens with horror classics for years a practical nonentity.

Maurice Devereaux started out as a French-Canadian film geek inspired by the best of the best who set out to make his own visions come to life and hopefully inspire others to do the same. He wrote, directed, edited, and produced four of his own films over a dozen year period through sheer determination and is possibly the most talented director you’ve never heard of.

Devereaux’s style combines horror creeps and gore with creative visuals, satire, and social commentary, all worthy of the Romero comparisons his work invites. But as much strife as Romero has overcome in his legendary career, he never had to wait seven years to get a film finished after he started shooting. In fact, mainstream fandom was always completely out of the question for Devereaux, given the impossible budgets these films were made on. Only indie fans need venture forth.

Continue Reading »

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Jun 18 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Masters of Horror (Series)

Published by under Columns,Movies

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I am throwing you all a curve ball this week. Instead of plugging a movie that I think you guys should see, I am gonna plug a show (that is essentially a series of movies) that I think you guys need to see. Lately, there has been a lot of talk around the Penny Dreadful show on Showtime. But did you know they did a horror show before this, and it was the greatest event in the history of horror? No, it really was. Masters of Horror tapped a different (famous horror) director every week to adapt a famous horror story into a film. The stories were an hour long, and each week focused on one. But in my honest opinion, some of these episodes are better than most full length horror movies that come out. The show was (of course) cancelled, but you can still pick it up on DVD and on various formats across the web. I thought I would take some time this week to talk up a few episodes of the show, and talk about why you should pick up the entire series on DVD.

Continue Reading »

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