Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Thoughts On Chris Evans As Captain America

Let’s get one thing straight:

I like Captain America.

I like his “patriotic weakling to walking symbol of hope and freedom” origin story.

I like his old timey way, and how it juxtaposes so well with the often times annoying immature antics of today’s comic superheroes.

I like his powers and abilities, as the range of his physical capabilities allows him to be “super,” while at the same time quite vulnerable.

Hell, as goofy as it can look at times, I even like his costume design.

Well, except for this, the "flag conspicuously pointing at crotch" variant.

When I first heard that Chris Evans was going to be playing Cap in Captain America: The First Avenger movie, my initial reaction was to say:

“Really?  Chris Evans is in another comic book movie?”

Off the top of my head, Chris Evans has been in 4 comic book movies, playing 3 different characters, with no less than 2 more roles down the road if you count the Captain America film in question, and his appearance in the upcoming Avengers film.

Chris Evans has an acting portfolio. At least I think so anyway.

Make no mistake, comic book movies as still very much “in” at the moment, and if anyone is making bank off of the trend, my guess is it would be Mr. Evans.

Now, while that may have been my initial reaction to the Captain America casting news; my honest to God feelings on the matter were lodged somewhere in the valley between confusion and disbelief.

To date, I still can’t understand why he was chosen for the Captain America role.

With the exception of Street Kings, wherein he played a very vanilla and by the book cop; every role I’ve seen Evans in has had him cast as the “funny guy” or failing that, the “funny guy that can set himself on fire.”

Although he was without a doubt the best part of the Fantastic 4 movies, that doesn't mean they weren't pure ass.

Truth be told, I’ve never been disappointed by any of his performances, not that that’s saying much; but the point is:

Unless he’s hiding some well-concealed stoicism or acting range beneath his “funny guy” exterior, he just doesn’t seem like Cap to me.

Captain America is one of those characters that, to me; is more easily represented as a somewhat older man.

While the First Avenger is most likely going to take place exclusively in the WWII era, when Steve Rogers was cutting his teeth on Nazis, for some reason I’ve always pictured Captain America as being one of those guys that’s been a manly man since the cradle.

Kind of like Charles Bronson, James Coburn, or Anthony Hopkins.

Pictured: Charles Bronson at 9 months.

I know It’s unfair of me to judge an actor, or a film for that matter; before it’s even had a trailer, but in my mind the actors that would have best played Captain America have already aged themselves out of the running.

Despite a distinct lack of physicality, I always felt that Robert Redford could’ve made for a very effective Captain America.

His voice, face, hair color, acting ability and God given aura of gravitas would’ve gone a long way towards legitimizing the character and the film.

Not only that, with movies like A River Runs Through It, and The Natural under his belt, he always had that all-American feel to him.

Some people said the same of Kevin Costner.

Said people are of course, utterly retarded and full of shit, as Costner’s just about the most boring and vanilla pile of feces to ever walk the face of the Earth.

Pictured: Feces with a soul patch.

Sadly, “boring as shit” seems to describe far too many young actors these days.

Maybe it’s just because they’re young, and seem to be cast more for their looks than their acting ability, but to me it seems like most of the big-budget blockbuster movie actors these days just seem to lack “character,” at least in a physical sense.

When you look at the actors from back in the day, they had a look to them that lent a lot to their performances.

Not only that, in the post-studio picture era, subtlety was an acting trait that was considered praise worthy among performers, a fact that has not changed since; but seemingly has eluded many of the young actors of today.

..... Y'know, I'm not even gonna' say anything.

 

I’m rambling.

Anyway, at this point in time, The First Avenger seems like a pretty decent movie on paper.

It has a pretty strong cast, with Hugo Weaving sure to steal the show as The Red Skull, and a competent, if somewhat bipolar director at the helm in the form of Joe Johnston.

If Johnston gives us another Rocketeer or Jumanji, then Captain America’s gonna’ kick some serious ass.

If he gives us another Jurassic Park III though, then I just might have to sit this one out.

In either case, the man has shown considerable zeal for crafting old timey period films, not to mention he has a tremendous visual effects background, so if nothing else; the film will be pretty to look at…

That being said, on a final note, I’d just like to say that I sincerely disapprove of Marvel’s decision to rely on the Ultimate Universe for some of the visual stylings and character interpretations for their current and future films.

I understand that the Ultimate Universe has not been confirmed to be used as direct source material for said films, but from what I’ve seen, that seems to the case.

Maybe it’s because the Ultimate Universe was never targeted at my age group, as it’s intended audience is that of younger, less seasoned comic fans, but honestly I’ve never seen the appeal of it.

I can understand Marvel’s desire to use the black Nick Fury, as Samuel L. Jackson is the bees knees in the eyes of dorky haole kids, but to be perfectly honest; it makes me sad that both the Captain America and Thor movie’s character designs have drawn influence from the Ultimate Universe.

Long story short, Ultimate Thor is okay, but Ultimate Captain America is absolutely hideous in my eyes.

Concept art from the movie. Where's the fuckin' wings!!!??

 

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In Memoriam: Robert Muldoon

"JP: Jurassic Park! Something, has survived!"

I fucking love Jurassic Park.

As a child raised with the perception that dinosaurs were absolutely the coolest shit ever, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park was, and still is, the perfect film to appeal to my young dinosaur loving self.

Pictured: My young, dinosaur loving self.

I suppose it also helped that the movie was legitimately good too.

Anyway, this post isn’t about Jurassic Park as a whole, if it were you’d have to pack your sleeping bag just to read it.

Seriously, this is one movie that I really can talk about FOR-EV-ER.

No, today, we’re going to be talking about a man among men.

A man so manly, even the biggest and most clever of Velociraptor pride leaders wouldn’t dare challenge him without the aid of a comrade.

That's right bitch. Shake in 'dem fossilized bones a' yours...

A man so manly, every hat he owns, even his baseball caps; flip up on one side like a slouch hat.

Pictured: Australia in hat form.

A man so manly, even the mighty Samuel L. Jackson dare not challenge his authority when told to be “quiet.”

"'The fuck told ME to shut up?..."

A man so manly, he can drive stick.

"Get off the stick! Bloody move!"

That’s right ladies and gentleman, today we pay tribute to the manliest of manly men, the paragon of pimp, the head game warden and “great white hunter” of John Hammond’s (Richard Attenborough) Jurassic Park:

Robert Muldoon.

In short, Muldoon is THE SHIT.

You thought Donnie Yen was badass?

Next to Muldoon he’s a fucking choir boy.

A CHOIR BOY.

Though he was only in handful of scenes, Muldoon nevertheless made a huge impression on me, even as a child.

Personally, I think most of that had to do with the fact that he wore a slouch/Aussie hat, which was something I just happened to think was really fuckin’ cool back in the day.

Still kinda’ do, now that you mention it…

Anyway, Muldoon is a hard-ass throughout most of Jurassic Park, but he’s a loveable hard-ass.

Y’know, he’s that kind of asshole where you’re all like:

"Man, what a dick..."

But after a few seconds you’re all like:

"But goddamnit, he's AWESOME!"

He was the rock of the major players in Jurassic Park.

While everyone else panicked, he just kind of gritted his teeth and toughed it out.

Oh yeah, and then licked his lips, involuntarily twitched his eye, and seemingly intentionally tried his best to scare the ever loving shit out of everyone around him.

"I've got her..."

Y’know, hero stuff.

Anyway, as we all know, Robert Muldoon met his demise at the hands of yet another blatant case of a Spielberg-ian spite killing.

That is, he tracked a Velociraptor in the jungle, only to be flanked by a second raptor much in the same way that Alan Grant (Sam Neill) flat out TOLD US this would happen to someone at some point in the movie:

Poo poo on Muldoon for missing Grant’s informative and decidedly not kid-friendly paleontological spiel at the beginning of the movie.

I suppose it didn’t help either that he decided to wait until the absolute last moment to set up the stock to his SPAS 12.

In retrospect, he probably should’ve done that before he even set foot in the jungle, or failing that, he probably could’ve at least tried to fire it sawed-off style.

Either way, shoulda’ woulda’ coulda’ doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’re gettin’ mauled by one seriously pissed off raptor.

Actually, for all I know that might be his "Can I have a cookie?" face...

Oh well, at least he got to kill the Tyrannosaur and a shit ton of raptors WITH A FUCKIN’ GRENADE LAUNCHER in the book.

FUCK YEAH.

Oh yeah, and then there was that whole part where, y’know, he lived at the end of the book.

Thanks for that Michael Crichton (R.I.P.).

Anyway, the real reason for this post, is to honor the memory of the actor who portrayed Robert Muldoon, Bob Peck.

Good God he's badass...

I was informed today by a co-worker (the same one that inspired me to take on the Top 100 Goriest Films) that Mr. Peck had died of cancer on the 4th of April, 1999.

I may be 11 years or so late, but this post is my way of honoring his memory.

Sadly, I can’t say I’ve ever seen Mr. Peck in any other film’s or TV series, as most of his roles were in British exclusive productions.

Even so, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that, his performance as Muldoon was pretty much all I needed to see of him to forever believe he was THE SHIT.

That being said, Bob Peck, Robert Muldoon, you shall henceforth be forever remembered as one in the same, a shining example of what it means to be the manliest of manly men.

With that, I shall close with Mr. Peck’s, and therefore Robert Muldoon’s; official theme song:

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I’m Not There: I Didn’t Get It…

I walked away from I’m Not There.

23 minutes in, I got up from my seat, said to myself “I don’t have the energy for this shit,” and left the room.

I don’t walk out of movies.

Hell, I managed to sit through The Spirit, and that was one of the most vile movies I’ve ever seen (in the theater, mind you.)

Samuel L Jackson's face upon seeing his paycheck for The Spirit.

Then again, I paid to see The Spirit, and we all know how cheap I am…..

*Ahem!* I believe “really cheap” is the answer you’re looking for.

Anyway, I walked out of I’m Not There because, after 23 minutes of trying my damndest, I just didn’t get it.

Now, I feel it needs to be mentioned that I, the Azn Badger, am not what you’d call a Bob Dylan fan.

Sorry Bobby. Don't worry though, pretty much every other Evergreen grad LOVES you.

I’m not all that familiar with his music, and my basic impression of him as a person is only characterized by the various imitations and caricatures I’ve seen on King of the Hill and the like.

Pictured: All I know of Bob Dylan. Tee-hee, he talks funny...

Needless to say, I don’t really have any sort of connection or appreciation of Bob Dylan, nor folk/60’s music in general.

I’m more of a disco and funk man myself…

Type "funk" into Google and whaddayah' get? GEORGE FUCKING CLINTON.

Anyway, coming into the movie, I assumed that this might effect my enjoyment of the film to some degree.

Turns out that was only a minor point, as the art house clusterfuckery of this movie served to overshadow any sort of issues that the Bob Dylan soundtrack could’ve brought about in my mind.

From what I can tell, the basic concept of the film was supposed to be a series of vignettes detailing the life and times of Bob Dylan, as portrayed by a number of big name actors, while at once referring to each of these actors by names that are not common amongst one another, and most certainly not Bob Dylan.

Confused yet?  Good, now you you know how I felt.

Aside from an opening sequence that shows us all of the actors portraying not-Bob Dylan in the film, namely Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw, (if you’re like me you only know half of those names) the first real shot we get of not-Bob Dylan, is a goofy close-up shot of Richard Gere’s eye opening.

I'd like to take this opportunity to tell EVERYONE to see Primal Fear, as it single-handedly taught me to appreciate the art of acting.

Richard Gere would make no other appearances within the 23 minutes of the film I managed to survive.

After that we start following some 11 year old black kid, riding the rails and playing guitar for people.

The black kid is included in the opening sequence of the film, standing amongst the actors that play not-Bob Dylan, leading me to believe he was supposed to be some sort of analogy to Bob Dylan, but for the most part I was just confused.

Moreover I was confused by how the kid acted and spoke like an adult despite his age.

That was just odd.

Know what else is odd?

Watching said black kid fall off a bridge, into a river, get swallowed by a fuckin’ sperm whale, and then watching said scene transition to a woman, whom we’ve never seen before at this point in the movie, standing in a literal air bubble.

An actual still from the movie.

Know what else is odd?

Heath Ledger’s package on camera for no fuckin’ reason, that’s what!

No, you don’t get a picture for that one, perv.

In the 23 minutes I saw of I’m Not There, I couldn’t establish any sort of order or context to any one scene.

The movie would hop around from scene to scene, subject to subject, and actor to actor, such that I couldn’t begin to follow it.

Pictured: The editor of I'm Not There's inspiration.

All I know is that there was a shit ton of Bob Dylan music playing over virtually every frame I sat through, some of which was being sung by Christian Bale, imitating Bob Dylan.

Rest assured, despite the relatively star studded cast, this is not an actor’s film.

The one moment of the film that I enjoyed was when a woman told the little black kid to “live his time.”

That’s right hipsters, words to live by, yah’ bunch ah’ fuckin’ counterculture, wannabe beatnik fuckers.

If you got a bingo, you'll love this movie.

I’m Not There is a prime example of why I don’t pay attention to artsy or independent films.

I just don’t get them.

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