SMEE?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob Hoskins played a wonderful Mr. Smee in the 1990’s Spielberg film: Hook. he and Dustin Hoffman were near perfection.

Amazingly, he has reprised the role for SyFy’s “neverland” mini-series!

First off, Hook was not that good of a film (Despite Rufio and that one fat Lost boy), but it is practically Shakespeare when compared to Neverland. This aims to tell the “origin story” of Peter Pan. In it, Peter is a early 1900’s street urchin who, and his band of lost boys, are led by a Faginesque James Hook.. There is a magical Orb that transports people to the planet of the center of the universe (Oa?), which here is called Neverland. There are 400 year old alchemists, Holograms of the Galaxy, 300 year old Pirates (Smee!), Indians and of course the freakiest fucking Tinkerbell to ever invade your dreams.

This is the best image I could find, but trust me- she is not adorable in this. She’s akin to some evil crystalline demon. So, apparently there is some plot to move all the elite of English society to Neverland, and leave the poor behind on Earth, and the Pirates are gonna commit genocide against the fairies to get to their supply of “Fairy Minerals” (pixie dust) blah blah blah. This thing is total garbage, and a waste of a great cast…but at least it had more Smee!

Devil’s Double

I have certain habits when I am on the computer. One is that I always have the TV on. it has become one of the better ways for me to discern how good/bad a movie/tv show is. If it can grab my attention and keep it while the wonders of the Web lay before me, then its pretty good.

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The First film in my reactivated Netflix queue is The Devil’s Double, based on an autobiography of a body double for Saddam Huessein’s eldest son- Uday. Dominic Cooper, who came to my notice as Howard Stark in Captain America plays the 2 roles of Uday, and Latif the double.

Sadistically evil is the only way to describe Uday. Dominic Cooper has shot forward in my estimation as one of the best actors out there. He is on a tear right now, with this, Captain American, and My week with Marilyn (review forthcoming) all out this year. Mark my words- he is an actor to watch.

The lovely Ludivine Sangnier, who blew me away 8 years ago in The Swimming Pool, finally returns to my film viewing as Sarrab, one of Uday’s girlfriends.

If you have not seen this movie yet, I encourage you to do so. Lee Tamahori has finally redeemed himself after Die Another Day with this amazing film. I expect this to be among the “Best Picture” nominees come Oscar Sunday.

Am I am Muppet, or a Man???

Hi-ho there everybody! Michael the Ponte here with another entry in Das Blog!

Comics: The haul 2 week ago was great- best was Fantastic Four #600! Human torch lives! Last week was the rare “5th week” and the haul was small. best of the bunch was Uncanny X-Men 2 just for having a San Francisco populated by Mr Sinister clones…who get shot in the head. 🙂

I ventured out to the local cinema for the first time in a while to see The Muppets!

This movie had to really perform to impress me…and it did. The marketing campaign (now legendary) was a series of trailers spoofing EVERY major film that opened this year. It was genius, and it worked. It also opened up a potential problem for the finished product- Could it be better than the trailers? The answer is a resounding yes.

Jason Segel wrote, and starred in, the best Muppet Film since their heyday of the late 70’s early 80’s. Their treasure Island and Christmas Carol offerings were ok, Muppets from Space needed some work, but overall the Muppets have been out of sight, out of mind for nearly 20 years. This film addresses that, with the Muppets trying to get the act back together. Its got catchy songs (written by Brett McKensie and others) and a lot of heart. The Muppet “Vibe” is back, and I am really glad I saw this on the big screen, as it was intended to be seen.

Jack Black…was awesome in his Cameos, which makes sense as he is practically a Muppet himself.

Go see it, revisit your childhoods.

 

Comix…..not this week (or at least later on this week)!

Spent all day cleaning my house in preparation for the family that will be staying with us for Thanksgiving. I picked up my mighty stack of comics….and promptly did not read them. I can’t promise anything, but I “might” have the article done for Thursday Night/Friday Morning. Sorry for the inconvenience.In the meanwhile, please look at this artistic rendering of Robocop on a Unicorn.

What is best in life? … not this.

I love Conan the Barbarian. The original Robert E. Howard stories are required reading in my home. The comics are superb and the Arnold Schwarzenegger film (first one at least) is one of my favorite films.

Arnold became a superstar thanks to this great film by John Milius. Everyone can quote it, and most of us love it. In recent years, I have come to be a huge Jason Momoa fan. I first saw him Stargate: Atlantis, and he absolutely rocked my socks as Khal Drogo in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

When I heard that Momoa would be cast as Conan, I was very happy. Physically he is a very good match for the literary Conan, and based on his Drogo performance, we knew he could pull of the role. Sadly, the finished product was nowhere near the quality that he could deliver.

Right from the start, this movie was bad…and I literally mean the start. The opening scene devolved into utter nonsense as Conan is born on a battlefield as his father cuts him from his mother’s stomach. He then hefts the infant above his head and lets loose a battle scream. I nearly turned off the dvd player at this point. I thought twice, and continued.

The biggest problem with this film is that there is no barbarism. Conan and his cohorts are far too trusting and honorable. Conan is supposed to be a thief at this point in his life…a lying cheating, whoring, barbarian. Here he is the noble savage, who stays true to his friends. There is nothing wrong with that, and Conan has certainly done this before, but he is literally giving his full trust to people he just meets in this film. The “Mcguffin” is not used at all. A magical mask that can raise the dead and control demons….which really does none of that in the course of the film.

Steven Lang is not a bad villain, but honestly it should have been his daughter Rose McGowan. In the end, she dies and he fights Conan to the death. She should have killed her father and used these awesome demonic powers to make a REAL threat to Conan in this. Instead, we bumble from one action set piece to another, with absolutely no gravitas or substance on screen.

I really hope that Momoa gets another shot at Conan, but they need to write a film that is worthy of the name Conan.

My Tattoo is done and some SWTOR goodness!

I was one of the chosen 1/4 million who got to participate in the SWTOR beta last week, and I must say that the game is awesomely awesome. No lie. I rolled (played) each character type (Smuggler, Trooper, Jedi, Consular, Warrior, Agent, Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter) up to about level 5. I wanted to get a little taste of what each class offered to aid in my final decisions at game launch. As a gamer that is big on Lore, SWTOR does not dissapoint. Each class seems to have its own quest lines and there was so much effort put into the story of this game world that one cannot help but be sucked in. I am in this weekend’s final beta as well!

Today was the day I finished my tattoo. Bob at Federal Hill Tattoo in Providence is simply the best. Here is the finished product:

Comix This Week! 11-16-2011

Greetings Program!

Welcome to another edition of “Comix this week!” and a fine week it was. On to the goodies:

Worst of the week

Nightwing #3: While hardly a “bad” comic, when examined in the group of comics I purchased this week, it was clearly the weakest. With no action, this third issue of the rebooted Nightwing focuses on character as Dick attends the funeral of Mr Haley (of the Haley’s circus that Dick grew up in), tries to find out what “secret” Haley died to protect, all while nurturing another romantic attatchment. I had hopes for this title, but it has definitely moved down a few pegs this month. I will probably give it one more issue before I make a decision to keep/drop.

Average of the Week

Captain America #4: Brubaker delivers a mind bending episode as Cap is trapped in Johnny Jupiter’s alternate dimension as he sees what Codename Bravo went through as he lived in the dimension for 70 years. Not the best, but its all leading up to the finale of this first arc. Good stuff.

Fearless #3: Bunn delivers another knockout issue of this Fear Itself follow up. Is it bad that I like this more that the series it spawned from?? Valkrie fights the Secret Avengers and Vampires to continue her quest to collect the Magical Hammers, as SIN devises the ultimate doomsday weapon.

Green Lantern Corps 3: From a title that was not impressing me, I must admit I am impressed. Guy, John, and other Green Lanterns are stuck on a planet fighting some strange Alien army,  who are nearly immune to their Rings! Some awesome cross-galaxy warping, and some battling later, we get John and others stranded and taken as POW’s to this alien threat.

Supergirl 3: Denying the truth about Krypton, Kara tries to track down the Space Pod that brought her to Earth, only to discover that it was stolen by and taken to an orbital space station, where she is tested in various attacks to see how powerful she is. By issue’s end, the is introduced to a little something called “Kryptonite”.

Best of the Week

X-Men 21: The border dispute, between the Eastern European nations who’s fictitious names I forget, heats up as a whole army of drone Sentinels are taught to kill regular humans in addition to mutants. War Machine jumps into the fray as the race to take out the Sentinels continues.

Avengers 19: This is it, one of those great moments where the world is introduced to the latest line-up of the Avengers! As Steve assembles his team, adding Storm and a rebuilt Vision, their great press conference is interrupted by Fugitive Norman Osborn! What he wants: Due process over his imprisonment without trial! Unexpected, and awesome.

Amazing Spider-Man 674: The cover says it all! The Vulture is back! Now operating a sort of Mob boss who is setting up a whole team of Vultures to carry out his crimes! For some inexplicable reason, Vulture is my favorite Spidey villain. i’ve always hoped they would cast Stan Lee as the Vulture in a cameo.

Incredible Hulk 2: Jason Aaron delivers again as this issue shows us how Bruce Banner dealt with being physically separated from the Hulk…going batshit crazy and creating his own Island of Dr Moreau! Hulk is enlisted to stop Banner, but he wants nothing to do with it, and jumps away- Just as 2 of Banner’s wild boar monsters break into the underground city Hulk has been living in, and starts killing the residents- to hurt Hulk’s friends. Great stuff.

Runners up of the week

Justice League 3: Johns and Lee deliver another terrific issue of the Justice League! As Darkseid’s Parademons invade the Earth “For Darkseid!”, Green Lantern, Flash, Superman and Batman are joined by Wonder Woman and Aquaman to face this threat! WW centric, we see a bit of what Diana did upon traveling to America for the first time, and it is great to see that Steve Trevor is still a part of that origin. This also presents us with the construction of the Hero we will come to know as Cyborg! A great issue.

Batman #3: This was a tough choice. I was inclined to make this my #1 comic this week, but it narrowly lost out. In the previous issues, we have seen a mysterious Owl assassin trying to kill Bruce Wayne. The killer supposedly works for a mythic secret society known as the Court of Owls. Batman thinks they are just a myth…until he discovers that hidden in the 13th floor(the hidden floor in buildings) of a whole series of skyscrapers in Gotham are hideouts for the Court! In them are weapons, suits, and photos dating back over 150 years! It blows our minds, and actually blows Batman mind too. A rare instance of seeing Batman a little scared that there could be this big giant secret in Gotham that he never knew of. Snyder is a great writer, and Capullo is perfectly suited to drawing this title.

Pick of the Week!

Wonder Woman #3: By Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang.

So few writers can do Wonder Woman well…Brian Azzarello is one of these chosen few. I have always enjoyed WW, but there were just no great stories that sucked me into the character, not for years. Azzarello gets it. In this issue, we get some expert storytelling as the Amazons prepare to have a funeral for the Amazons killed in the last issue. Diana has a talk with her mother over the revelation made by The Goddess Strife. Hippolyta admits that Strife IS Diana’s sister. She and (ZEUS!) were lovers and Diana came from that union. The whole backstory of Diana being fashioned from Clay and turned to life was revealed to be just a cover story to keep Hera from killing her. Diana swears off her alleigance to Paradise Island and lives now only known as Wonder Woman. Cliff Chiang does an outstanding job with the artistic duties on this issue. He brings a great Indie feel to the comic that to me is reminiscent of a lot of stuff I was reading about 10 years ago in the small press publishers. Now if they could only make a decent WW movie…