Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

The Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Trailer Gets It Right

Do you remember back in the day when pre-rendered cutscenes were the coolest shit ever?

I sure do.

Back in the early days of CD based gaming, pre-rendered cutscenes, that is, ones produced outside of the in-game engine; seemed almost like a reward for playing some games.

Remember booting up Final Fantasy VIII for the first time?

Still don’t like that game, but damn that’s a good opening.

In most cases, cutscenes were used to bookend the gaming experience and/or highlight set piece moments that likely couldn’t be produced in-engine.

In keeping line with the (eventual) point of this article, Resident Evil games serve as a good example of this style of implementation for pre-rendered video, though the majority of the minor cutscenes were also produced in-engine.

I know I’ve used that clip before, but I don’t think I need a reason to justify re-using it.

On the other hand though, many other games, particularly in the early and mid-90’s, went so far as to “wow” gamers through essentially structuring the entirety of their gameplay around FMV.

For example, the early multi-platform game Braindead 13, in the tradition of Dragon’s Lair, was essentially one long interactive cutscene:

As was Cyberia, though with several shooting and adventure segments interspersed throughout.

In retrospect, many of these videos served to break up the flow of the gameplay of the games they inhabited, but back in the day, just the act of seeing full-motion video on a game console was akin to bearing witness to black magic.

Maybe it was just the fact that I was very young when it came to prominence, but to me, FMV in games was a big fucking deal.

Now that I’m older and decidedly more curmudgeonly and cynical, know that FMV has it’s ups and downs.

Perhaps one of the biggest “downs” that comes to mind, pertains to it’s use as an advertising tool.

It’s funny, for as long as I can remember, videogame advertising has been obsessed with finding ways to reel people in without showing a pixel of the actual product.

Pictured: An Earthbound ad. A failed experiment in "unjustified scratch and sniff" advertising.

Similar to a horror movie with a shitty-ass monster trying to sell itself by teasing but not showing said sad-ass monster in it’s advertising, videogame advertisers are a sneaky lot that get off on deceiving their audience.

It’s very likely that it’s just a cultural trend that just happened to grow up with me, but for whatever reason, most of the game ads I can remember throughout my life, both print and video; have done well to conceal the nature of the in-game product they were selling.

Hell, in the 90’s, it was far more common to see totally fucked up and insane imagery as game advertisements than it was to see screenshots of the actual games.

It was the 90's. Don't ask....

Guess that’s to be expected for an era when words like “radical,” “tubular,” and “EXTREME” passed as colloquialisms.

Now that I think of it, even the cover art of most American games was deceiving to some extent, often adopting an art style that was contrary to that of the (very likely Japanese produced) in-game product.

I’m rambling.

The point I’ve been trying (and failing) to lead up to with all of this, has to do with the new trailer for Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.

In short, I thought the imagery was stunningly rendered, the action sublime, and all in all, I really liked it.

I’m still cautiously optimistic about the game, as though I love the setting of the game, (between #2 and #3, my favorites) as well as the concept, at the end of the day the thing just won’t work without decent gameplay mechanics.

That being said, while this trailer did nothing to address my concerns regarding the gameplay, it did do well by my in the sense that it did what many other pre-rendered trailers have failed to do in recent days:

It showed off actual gameplay mechanics, in the context of a pre-rendered video.

Allow me to explain.

Remember that super-duper overhyped pile of sappy bullshit that was the initial trailer for that super-duper overhyped plate of fuck-sauce that was Dead Island?

Remember how, with the exception of the location, the zombies, and maybe a homemade bludgeoning instrument or 2, absolutely nothing in that trailer was featured in the actual game?

Well, that my friend is an example of a game company trying to sell it’s “meh” product with an overproduced ad campaign.

While it’s entirely possible that Capcom is essentially trying to do the same thing with Raccoon City, I appreciate the fact that they took the time to inject their fancy FMV trailer with a few nods to the actual gameplay.

How did they do this, you say?

With all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, that’s how.

I don’t know if you’ve been following the development of Raccoon City with the same fervor I have, but if you’re at all in the loop, you’ll have noticed that many of the sillier and less organic moments in the trailer reflect actual elements of the gameplay.

For instance, there is a sequence wherein one of the Umbrella commandos notes that a man’s blood trail is going to attract zombies and other creatures.

Later on, a pheromone grenade is tossed during a battle, leading to one of the soldiers spouting exposition regarding it’s function in attracting monsters.

Throughout the trailer there are instances of melee combat peppered throughout.

Towards the end, there was a sequence where a soldier grabbed hold of a zombie and used him as a human shield.

All of the techniques listed above were confirmed to be usable in-game in some capacity long before this trailer dropped.

Not only that, the underlying story behind the trailer, the clashing of Umbrella and government sponsored troops amidst a battlefield of T-Virus creatures, fits the mission statement of the game to a “T”

In short, I’m proud of Capcom for putting their name on a trailer as beautiful and informative as this one.

Sure, the script was kind of shitty, (what Japanese-written English script isn’t?) but at the end of the day, I’m just happy the damn thing at least tries to exposit some of the gameplay mechanics despite the decidedly pre-rendered nature of the video.

Pre-rendered video trailers are a double-edged sword in many ways.

They are useful for building hype, in that they are often beautiful and cinematic in nature, however too often they pay far too little service as to the actual nature of the product they are selling.

In a perfect world, movies and games would be advertised strictly with materials cut directly from the source material, however when budgets get inflated to the point they’re at nowadays, I can see why production companies feel the need to put together these fancy ads on the off chance they might get a few more buyers than they would otherwise.

All it takes is a bunch of dumbasses thinking this represents what they buy when they pick up World of Warcraft:

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Filed under: Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bad Ass Looks Bad Ass

My first reaction to this trailer was to say to myself:

“Who the fuck made a movie about my dad without his consent?”

I’m not even kidding.

My dad might not be Mexican, or look at all like Danny Trejo for that matter, but if you were to throw a camo jacket on him, and put him on a bus, chances are the events of this trailer would inevitably play out, in real life; and likely with twice as many fist fights.

Speaking of Danny Trejo, I’m happy to see him finally get some leading roles at this late stage in his career.

Typically a typecast supporting actor, my dad and I used to have a joke about Mr. Trejo, namely the fact that he seemed to die in every movie we saw him in.

Thankfully, someone else took the time to assemble this, a nearly 4 minute compilation of every Trejo death in all of cinema:

Any man who’s been killed by Jason Mewes, Bobby D and Mickey Rourke, (twice!) has my respect.

When I was a kid, my friends and I knew him as “That Guy,” but somewhere down the line, through his many epic onscreen deaths; he earned the greatest honor any bit actor can hope to achieve:

That of making his name known to the general public.

That being said, while Machete, and now Bad Ass remain his only starring roles, Mr. Trejo has come a long way from his days of playing “Ruddy Complexioned Mexican #5.”

While Bad Ass does in fact look bad ass, in a less extreme/stylized Hobo With a Shotgun sort of way, the whole “based on a true story” thing has got me a little confused.

I mean, it’s made fairly clear that the concept of the movie is taken from this:

The rest of the movie however, is undoubtedly bullshit.

That’s necessarily a bad thing, I just don’t get why they’d bother to base a movie on a well-known incident, only to go ahead and fictionalize the rest of the story.

“Inspired by” likely would’ve been the proper turn of phrase.

Also, I hate to say it, ’cause it’s so fuckin’ obvious that it makes me sound like a simpleton for mentioning it, but both the title and the concept feel a little to close to Kick-Ass if you ask me.

Then again, I’m not a Hollywood marketing rep that stares at market research data all day, so maybe those similarities are exactly what is going to make the movie bankable.

Even so, the lack of humor/heart in the trailer lead me to believe even that won’t save it.

That being said, the movie honestly doesn’t look all that worthwhile, outside of the punching I mean, though I’d be curious to see how my dad would react to it.

My guess is he’d find a tad more relatable than he’d care to admit…

Filed under: Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

Thoughts On The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

It’s funny, when it comes to movies, I’m actually not that hard to impress.

While I consider myself well-versed in the world of film, at the end of the day all it really takes to peak my interest, is:

A): A decent cast.

B): A decent concept.

and C): The promise of people punching one another at some point in the movie.

In some cases that last one, if represented well enough, is the only excuse I need to see a movie, regardless of how dumb or crappy it is.

I rented the shit-fest that was Unknown purely in the hopes of seeing a handful of Liam Neeson related beat downs.

I saw Fast Five solely for the purpose of seeing Vin Diesel and The Rock (not Dwayne) bro-out and put each other through particle board walls.

Pictured: Either The Rock is about to get suplexed, or Vin Diesel's in the process of getting Speared. I honestly can't tell...

And when it comes to The Dark Knight Rises, as utterly incalculable as the build-up has, and will continue to be for the next 6 months or so, at the end of the day I will see it because it, unlike any other movie in film history; will deliver the long anticipated spectacle of Batman and Bane duking it out on the big screen.

That these 2 titans of comics are to be portrayed by capable actors such as Christian Bale and Tom Hardy respectively, is merely the icing on the cake.

I find this funny. Does that make me less of a man?

Christopher Nolan’s track record when it comes to cinematography and fight choreography suggests that the ensuing bout will be clumsy and edited through a meat grinder, but even so, I’ve been waiting to see this fight brought to life on the silver screen since I was 6 years old; and crappy or not, I will not be denied.

That being said, Batman and Bane grudge match aside, what did I think of the new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises?

Well, to answer your question, I felt it was quite good by most standards, but much too enigmatic and fractured in it’s presentation to pack the same visceral punch that the later trailers for The Dark Knight did.

Here’s a refresher in case you need it:

I’d prefer not to compare the 2, as it’s obvious the people cutting the trailers for these movies came at it from very different tonal and thematic standpoints; but I feel it needs to be said that, to me, The Dark Knight really did have some of the best trailers of all time.

Everything, from the shot selection, to the music cues, to the overall pacing of the trailers for The Dark Knight was absolutely spot on.

What’s more, thanks to the dialogue-heavy nature of the trailers, as well as his untimely death, an absurd amount of buzz was generated for Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker, (*Sigh* “Why So Serious?”) not to mention the overall plot of the film was made crystal clear.

Though it sounds silly in this cynical age of ours, in many ways I feel the catchphrases and buzzwords of The Dark Knight actually served to make it’s advertising campaign both effective and memorable on the whole.

The trailer for The Dark Knight Rises has a lot of neat shots in it, promising quite a few interesting set piece moments, however, perhaps due to the lack of dialogue, many of these shots are difficult to interpret from a purely visual standpoint.

Early on we see the reflection of a man with a cane approaching a shiny dinner platter while Alfred drones on about the Wayne dynasty:

Pictured: I have no fucking clue. Maybe a Ra's Al Ghul flashback?

At some point we see someone stumble onto the set of Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet:

Pictures: Ballrooms + Flower Petals = Hamelt. It's science.

Later, we see a bearded Bruce Wayne wandering around what appears to be the prison equivalent to Discovery Zone:

I know it's probably supposed to be a prison, but honestly, I kind of wanna' play on it...

There’s that French lady from Inception n’shit.

A FOOTBALL FIELD was just DESTROYED! WHY ARE YOU SMILING!?

There’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Pictured: Joseph Gordon "Still Not Sure Where To Put The Hyphen" Levitt.

There’s A SHIT TON of rappeling.

The Dark Knight Rises: A Story of Men On Ropes.

And then we have Anne Hathaway as a mean lady that may or may not be Catwoman.

Seriously, if you take into account the fact that maybe, just maybe, the people viewing this trailer haven’t been blogging about every step of the script writing process, or staring at leaked production photos for the past several months, (oddly enough, not me!) then this trailer basically offers no hint as to her role being that of Selina Kyle.

Oh wait excuse me, she’s wearing a mask at a masquerade ball that, if you look really hard, has cat ears:

Direct quote: "WHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

Sarcasm deployed, mystery solved.

Much like Aaron Eckhart’s Two-Face, unless you’ve been following the production or are familiar with the Batman universe, chances are you’d never know Anne Hathaway was supposed to be Catwoman in this trailer.

Indeed, I’m curious to know what this trailer meant to people who aren’t familiar with Batman outside of the movies.

In many ways, when I watch this trailer, I feel my perception is skewed by the fact that I already have an attachment to and understanding of many of the characters based on their comic book equivalent.

When I think “Bane,” I already have an image in mind of what I expect from him.

When I hear Tom Hardy speaking through his mask I say to myself:

"I can see how people could find that hard to understand, but goddamnit that sounds like Bane!"

When I see scenes from the trailer like the prison break, I think to myself:

"Nice. That looks straight out of Knightfall!"

To the average Batman virgin however, I’d imagine imagery such as this would be provocative, but purely in a “oh, so that’s gonna’ happen at some point” kind of way.

Hell, I’m willing to bet the average Bat Virgin doesn’t have the slightest clue as to who or what Bane even is.

What I think I’m trying to say, is that the style of editing and presentation of this trailer is enticing, as anything with a budget and pretty pictures can manage to be, but at the same time I feel frustrated by the numerous vagaries it throws in my lap.

As you can probably tell, I’m not a fan of the J.J. Abrams-style marketing.

It’s not that I prefer my trailers to spell their plots and structure out to me, I simply value coherence and context over sound cues and pretty pictures.

Much like all of Christopher Nolan’s blockbusters, The Dark Knight Rises appears to be an audio-visual powerhouse, though in some ways it appears a little less so at this point.

The set pieces looks suitably big, but the color palette appears more gray-ish and natural than The Dark Knight and Batman Begins, and curiously enough, despite it being an almost comical trademark of his, there’s not a single (gorgeous) overhead shot of a cityscape.

Instead he decided to pull a 180 and do an INVERTED overhead shot for the poster!

That last part troubles me, as I’m a big fan of Nolan’s wide open establishing shots, particularly in outdoor scenes, and though it may just be the editor’s doing; there are none to be found in this trailer.

Perhaps the strangest thing though, at least to me, is the fact that they re-used the mood building drone AKA The Joker’s theme from The Dark Knight in this trailer.

I always thought of that particular piece of music as “belonging” to The Joker, which made it somewhat puzzling to hear played over a trailer for a film that, almost certainly; won’t feature him.

Despite everything I’ve said about this trailer, both good and bad, at the end of the day it’s a very good piece of advertising for a sequel that, unfortunately, benefitted from some of the best advertising and pre-release buzz in recent memory.

Not only that, it’s only the first trailer, for a huge movie that isn’t dropping until late in the summer.

As good as the advertising for The Dark Knight was from the get go, the 2nd trailers for it, Iron Man, and Inception were all MONUMENTALLY better than the first, which leads me to believe the same will likely be the case with The Dark Knight Rises.

In addition to this, one also has to consider the fact that virtually all of Christopher Nolan’s blockbusters up to this point, while heavily advertised, also did well to avoid showing a great deal of the major story beats and action set pieces.

I mean hell, neither the teaser nor the trailer saw any mention of Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox, nor any of stuff from the prologue sequence that made the rounds through theaters last week.

I don’t know about you, but up until it’s release I really thought the “truck flip” from The Dark Knight trailer was going to be the climax of the movie.

Instead, the entire skyscraper based finale of the movie ended up playing that role, while never once being hinted at in the trailers.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that though I may seem overly critical, in truth I’m just a fanboy hoping for the best.

In the meantime though, as weird as it seems, I think I actually liked the almost universally panned teaser for The Dark Knight Rises somewhat better than the trailer.

True, most of the footage was borrowed from Batman Begins.

True, Commissioner Gordon’s dialogue was hard to understand.

True, virtually nothing Commissioner Gordon had to say was even worth hearing in the first place.

BUT, at the very end of the teaser, there is a single, barely 2 second shot that made it all worth it:

Pictured: All I needed to see.

Batman in the rain, taking a deep breath, while Bane slowly approaches from the foreground.

The whole thing was crap up until then, but that last shot instantly sold me.

The trailer, while bigger and much more coherent, didn’t have this shot or even a suitable equivalent.

True, it featured a few shots of Batman and Bane throwing down in the snow, however I felt the subtlety and dramatic implication of the teaser shot did more to appease the fanboy in me than the entirety of the full trailer.

That’s just me though.

Do I ever need a reason to post this? Didn't think so...

Filed under: Comics, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ghana Knows How To Make Promos

“TW-TW-TW-TWENTY SIXTEEN!!!!!”

Wow, words can’t describe how insane/awesome this trailer is.

I don’t want to make a habit out of re-posting cool shit from Topless Robot, (too late now I guess…) but if ever there was something that needed to be shared elsewhere, this would have to be it.

There’s just something about the hyper-kinetic manner in which this trailer was edited, combined with the inherent absurdity of the concept… whatever that may be, that just makes this video so freakin’ awesome.

Apparently produced in Ghana, “2016” appears to be a movie about Aliens, from the 20th Century Fox franchise, wreaking havoc on Earth.

For whatever reason, the Aliens in 2016 seem to have a thing for punting babies and throwing sports cars and Blade glaives at Ghanaians.

At the same time though, there appears to be a side plot or 2 concerning spontaneously combusting cell phones, and a man being converted into a cyborg AKA a Terminator, most likely in an effort to combat the Aliens.

I make no attempt to understand 2016, though I think ultimately that’s what makes this trailer so amazing.

Enjoy!

Filed under: Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , ,

Abobo’s Big Adventure Looks Like Big Fun

So… That was pretty much the most awesome thing ever, right?

From what I understand, the clip above is a trailer for a homebrew Flash game called “Abobo’s Big Adventure.”

Check out the artfully designed official website here.

How I, a lifelong Double Dragon fan, managed to go without hearing of said game’s development until just now, is entirely beyond me.

In case you’re unfortunate enough to be unaware, Abobo is a boss character, and eventual standard enemy featured in Technos’ Double Dragon games.

Oddly enough, the creators of Abobo’s Big Adventure saw fit to design him with a pimp-ass mustache, a detail I personally always interpreted from the original sprite as a massive scowl.

Mustache, or scowl? The world may never know...

Oh well, given that Abobo’s race has never officially been declared, even by his original creators, details such as this are neither nitpick-able nor debatable.

According to Birdy from Street Fighter Alpha, Black people turn Caucasian when they're sick. Yeah, Japan's fuckin' stupid...

That is, unless you’re a canon/continuity obsessed douche rocket.

Coming in bald, mullet-ed, and even green variants, Abobo served as one of the most consistently challenging enemies in the series, despite serving as the very first boss in the franchise.

Doesn't take a genius to know which one's more powerful.

As detailed here, he could indeed be a son of a bitch.

That being said, despite having lost countless lives to the ‘Bo-ster over the years, the thought of him getting his own absurd 8-bit action game puts a smile on my face.

That said game includes not only an absurd amount of NES fanservice, as well as some amazing original sprite work and animations; only serves to sweeten the deal.

Fuck Skyrim, I’ll be waiting in line for Abobo’s Big Adventure…

Filed under: Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , ,

I Think I Just Found My New Favorite Movie

“Holy shit…”

Those were the words that crept out of my mouth as I looked on in bedazzled awe at the brutal majesty of the trailer for The Raid.

Good trailers are hard to come by, let alone of the exhilarating and breathtaking variety; but if you ask me, The Raid might take the cake.

Back in the day I watched the trailers for The Dark Knight and Flash Point over and over again due to the artistry in their composition, but Jesus-fuck man, I’ll be damned if The Raid doesn’t absolutely blow them out of the water with pure adrenaline and carnage.

That being said, I feel I should mention that I have an unwatched copy of Merantau that’s been sitting on my shelf for the past 6 months.

Immediately after watching the trailer for The Raid and seeing what the crew behind it were truly capable of, (the same crew that worked on Merantau including director Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais) I started kicking myself over dodging Merantau all this time.

That’s right, I was so upset with myself that I literally kicked myself in the fucking brain.

Rest assured, though I may have found reasons to overlook it in the past, after watching the trailer for The Raid, I’ll likely be popping Merantau into my DVD player within the next few hours.

Make that NOW.

Anyway, there’s not a whole lot to say about The Raid, other than the fact that it looks like an action/martial arts movie lover’s dream.

I could be assuming too much, but from what I saw in the trailer and read in reviews (all of which were absolutely glowing), the movie basically consists of a simple setup in the form of a police raid on a criminal infested apartment complex, and after that it’s just a rollercoaster of fighting and shoot outs.

It’s like Black Hawk Down, mixed with the hospital scene in Hard Boiled.

Throw in a healthy dose of martial arts, and play it all out over the course of THE ENTIRE FILM, and you have yourself the makings of a perfect movie.

If I could make a movie, The Raid is probably a good example of the kind of shit I’d dump my money into.

Seriously man, this movie looks so hardcore, and I can’t wait to see it.

And I’m guessing you’ll feel the same way once you take a look at perhaps the single most breathtaking action movie trailer I’ve ever seen:

Filed under: Kung Fu, Movies, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are We About To Enter The Age Of Board Game Movies?

Hollywood tends to move in trends.

Really, really, obvious and demeaning trends.

In a market where film studios routinely invest upwards of 100 million dollars on their high profile projects, it only makes sense that producers would display a preference to go with “whatever works.”

According to Michael Bay (and ONLY Michael Bay) this, is what "works."

This of course results in a lot of studios continually aping each other’s films from year to year in hopes of breaking even, or better yet; turning a profit.

In my lifetime alone, I can think of several trends in movies that have come and gone.

Naturally, I have compiled a brief list of said trends:

1. Old TV Show Adaptations

Pictured: One of my favorite films. Hands down.

The first genre trend I noticed, even as a child; was the slew of old TV show (and cartoon) adaptations of the 90’s.

The Brady Bunch, Dennis the Menace, McHale’s Navy, and The Flintstones movies all fell under this umbrella, among a handful of others.

It makes sense, given that Nick at Nite was in the process of becoming an established “thing” at the time; not to mention the fact that a number of the filmmakers of this era were likely of the age group that would’ve grown up watching a lot of the 60’s TV shows.

Y’know, shit like The Addam’s Family, George of the Jungle, The Fugitive, The Jackal, and Mission: Impossible.

While I can’t say who started actually this trend, or if it was even that profitable; it’s managed to stick around long enough to the point in which I doubt it will ever die.

TV shows will always be lovingly remembered by somebody, so as time goes by, it’s only natural that some poor deluded fool will pony up the money to make a movie of them in tribute.

Here’s hoping we don’t see a Seinfeld or Frasier movie 10 years from now.

2. Videogame Movies

Also known as, "Party of Five and Iron Chef Team-Up To Fight Terminator 2."

As with TV show adaptations, videogame movies were something that sprang up during the 90’s, smack dab in the middle of the Super NES era.

While it’s hard to call videogame movies a trend in the fullest sense of the word, it’s evident that they were intended to be one in the mid-90’s.

Following the release of the surprisingly decent Mortal Kombat, videogame movies were stuffed down throats our en masse.

Unfortunately, with releases like Super Mario Bros., Double Dragon, and Street Fighter stinking up the theaters; the trend never really caught on as strongly as I’m guessing it was intended to.

You can thank Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and Wing Commander for putting the nail in the coffin of 90’s videogame movies:

Despite this, videogame culture has apparently grown exponentially over the years, leading to videogame movie adaptations becoming increasingly regular.

The movies stick suck some serious balls for the most part, but the point is; they have yet to reach a point where they are no longer profitable, and thus they continue to exist.

Truth be told, this “trend” is actually more symbolic of the birth of a new film genre as opposed to a trend, but oh well; it’s my blog.

Fuck you.

3. Comic Book Movies

SPIDER-MAN LOVES 'MERIKUh! WHY DON'T YOU LOVE 'MERIKUh!?

Comic book movies are, as THE INTERNET seems to want me to say; kind of a big deal.

While they’ve existed in one form or another for quite some time, it wasn’t until the release of Tim Burton’s Batman in ’89 that we really saw them become en vogue.

Richard Donner’s Superman doesn’t really count, as at the time, it was entirely in a league of it’s own; only serving to spawn weak-ass imitators as opposed to profitable blockbusters.

Anyway, Batman served to open the floodgates and give way to the release of countless comic book films, many of which were of course; Batman sequels.

In response to the angsty, MTV culture of the day, as well as the popularity of “less-than-mainstream” comics, movies like The Crow, Barb Wire, Tank Girl, Judge Dredd, The Mask, and Spawn were all cranked out in short order.

While the success of these movies (except for The Mask) was largely scatter-shot, the success of Blade in ’98 ushered in the Marvel dominated era of the 2000’s.

I kinda' miss the days when Wesley Snipes was cool... And not poor.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade or so, you’ve probably come to realize that Marvel is the flamboyant and insatiable whore of the comic book movie world.

The arrogant bastard that likes to prance about and shove his cock in your face and demand you tell him how amazingly massive it is.

*Ahem!* Not like I’ve ever had that happen to me or anything…

Routinely whoring out it’s intellectual properties from year to year, Marvel rode the success of X-Men and Spider-Man (and a string of critical failures) to take the film world by storm, largely through sheer volume of production.

In the 13 years since the release of Blade, Marvel has released a total of 25 major motion pictures, averaging nearly 3 films a year.

While it’s hard to call them rivals these days, (times have changed) DC manages to release, at best; 1 film a year.

The only difference is, DC films have a tendency to win Oscar nominations.

Well, except for maybe Jonah Hex… And Catwoman.

Catwoman: Protecting the World from Modesty and Cosmetics Moguls.

Anyway, for better or worse, strip-mining the previously established characters and events from comic books is kind of the thing to do for Hollywood producers in this day and age; and based on the record-breaking revenue gained from said movies, I’d say it’s what the audience is into as well.

Which brings me to the eerie prospect of a 4th trend in films that I would prefer not see come to pass.

Has anybody seen the trailer for Battleship yet?

If not, here yah’ go:

Some way, some how, they managed to get Liam Neeson to get on board the Battleship bandwagon, (I’m guessing it involved a free trip to Hawaii…) and in all honesty; I’m just plain confused by it all, aliens notwithstanding.

To my knowledge, Clue is the only other board game movie in existence at this point; and while that has kind of a cult following in some (seriously demented) parts of the world, Battleship just never really seemed like movie material in my mind.

To me, Battleship was always that one game my friend and I could never play without cheating.

Seriously man, after 5 minutes of calling out “Miss” to each other, inevitably someone would peek over the game, find a ship, and basically win the game.

Even the name “Battleship” doesn’t seem all that marketable to me.

It’s non-descript, it gives virtually zero indication of what to expect in the film outside of maybe a battle or 2 involving ships.

Oh well, goofy military shit is en vogue at the moment, so I’m guessing therein lies to the logic to the production house’s gambit.

The really puzzling part in all of this, is the fact that I recall hearing rumblings of a Monopoly movie being in the works.

I heard about the Battleship movie awhile back, but it wasn’t until I saw the trailer the other day that I truly realized they were actually going to make it.

What I mean to say is, I really hope Battleship doesn’t start a board game movie trend, ’cause I’ll tell yah’, I’m not an analyst, or anywhere near an expert in these matters; but if this shit comes to pass, we’ll be in for some epic-ly shitty over the next several years.

 

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Attempted Screenplay #4,701

Answer: YES.

Yesterday I found myself slapped in the face by my fair weather friend, “creative inspiration.”

I didn’t have any super-awesome ideas or anything, rather I was simply struck with the feeling of “I need to do something EPIC.”

Said feeling arose in direct response to a film I watched yesterday, directed by a good friend of mine; Sean Parker.

The movie in question was Mr. Parker’s most recent film, called “Coup De Cinema.”

TRAILER HERE

I’ve got a full-blown review planned for “Coup De Cinema” in the near future, but for now, I just want to ruminate on the creative fire that it lit under my ass.

Seeing my friend’s work, written and directed with such professionalism and polish, made me remember that I’d like to make a “real” film someday too.

The first step to actually making a film though, comes in the form committing to the project, of dedicating one’s self to getting it off the ground.

I’ve always been kind of flaky in retaining interest in my various film projects, rarely getting more than a few pages into the writing process; but at present, I’m feeling a little more committed to the idea of devoting myself wholeheartedly to a project.

I’m getting older, I’m not working at the moment, I’ve been consistently writing every day for over a year; I think it’s about time I tried shooting for something “big” by my virtually non-existent standards.

In all my years, I’ve barely made a complete film; and at this point I’d really like to change that.

As of yesterday, I’ve started writing a formal screenplay for a very much d0-able movie; and if every goes my way, hopefully I’ll be done with a draft within a month or so.

I’m lacking for resources and manpower, but I figure if I can at least get the whole thing, from start to finish; on paper, I might be able to inspire my neighborhood buddies to help me get it shot.

Anyway, thanks Sean Parker for making such an awesome movie, and for giving me the creative kick in the sack that I’ve been needing since… Well, since college.

 

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Happy Mother’s Day!

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Conan Looks Like Shit…

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but they’ve finally released a theatrical trailer for the new Conan the Barbarian.

For those that are keeping score at home, in previous articles I made mention of the fact that the production stills for the movie had a decent look to them, and that Jason Momoa seemed a capable enough actor to take on the character of Conan.

Then the teaser was released, and suddenly the whole thing started to seem cheap and hokey.

CHEEEEEEAAAAAPPPP.

Despite this, I found myself more than willing to concede that this epic clusterfuck of a poorly conceived teaser trailer was mostly the fault of a lame-ass marketing department, and not a genuine representation of the quality of the actual film.

While that could in fact be the case, and indeed, could still be the case; it’s hard for me to say that the new trailer for Conan looks at all good.

TRAILER HERE

The production values seem decent enough, with some some nice background vistas, practical sets, and (excessively detailed) costumes, but the various action set-pieces the trailer promises are far from noteworthy.

Tentacle beast?

Albino sand people?

Magical claw lady cat fight?

I’m sorry, but none of that really seems like stuff I’d like to see in my Conan movies.

I think the worst comment I can make about this trailer, is the fact that it reminded me of the recent Clash of the Titans remake.

Pictured: Sky Marine hanging out with his Greek Protoss buddy in Medusa's layer. Don't worry, it's an inside joke.

For those who are unaware, Clash of the Titans is a pretty fuckin’ lousy remake, of a beautifully animated; but otherwise mediocre Ray Harryhausen film.

The one saving grace for Conan that is impossible to gauge from the trailer, is the fact that Lionsgate and Millenium Pictures movies have a pretty good reputation for including ridiculous amounts of violence in their films.

That being said, should this new Conan be as bloody and SAVAGE as it’s curiously over-the-top DEAD SERIOUS tone might suggest, there’s a good chance the various fade to black portions of the trailer might be concealing some truly epic bloodshed.

This is definitely a “maybe” for now, and at the end of the day it won’t really make the movie any more worthwhile than it already is; but in my book good action can go a long way towards making a shitty movie I spent $10 to see that much less shitty.

Here’s hoping this one doesn’t suck, ’cause despite all the shit I talked just now, it’s more than likely I’ll end up seeing it in the theater anyway!

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