Wow, my mind has officially been blown by Panos Cosmatos’ second feature film ‘Mandy’! I was lucky enough to catch it this crazy ass flick last Sunday evening at Cinema 21 here in Portland with a rowdy packed theater. I’m damn glad I decided to make a run to the cinema rather than renting this online ‘cuz in my opinion that’s the absolute best way to see this one for the first time. After watching the steaming pile of crap that was ‘The Predator’ at a matinee Friday, a movie like Mandy was a complete and total breath of fresh air. I guess the best thing to say here is this movie may not be for everyone, but if you’re ready to take one of the craziest mind bending cinematic journeys of the last couple decades then you’re gonna fucking love it. Hell even the poster is awesome!
Mandy is a completely insane revenge flick set in the early 80’s and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before. I’m so used to seeing big crappy Hollywood blockbusters in the theater, so this was a bit of of a welcome shock to my noggin. The whole movie plays out like an uncomfortable fever dream, with Nicholas Cage as a logger named “Red” who lives out in the Pacific Northwest with his beautiful but eerily mesmerizing girlfriend Mandy. They live a quiet, serene life in an incredibly strange home in the middle of the woods, with large glass walls that bring to mind elements of a real life fairy tale. Everything’s dark yet overly drenched in vibrant hues of reds, purples & thick lush colors creating a surreal landscape that feels like a dream put right on the screen in front of you. It’s a spectacle to behold and it’s clear from the start that Red & Mandy have been through a lot together, sharing a truly special bond in their secluded life. Mandy works at a nearby convenience store, wears cool heavy metal tees and loses herself in fantasy novels while Red spends his time chopping down trees with his chainsaw. The two of them are pictured intently watching 80’s horror flicks together (NIGHTBEAST!), chatting about what their favorite planets are, showing they’re living a rather sweet, simple and innocent life together at this point.
Well shit majorly hits the fan when a crazy van full of uber religious cult members roll into the area and their leader spots the oddly beautiful Mandy walking on the road one day. The cult leader is seemingly hypnotized by her and quickly declares that he must have her for his own. The first hour of the movie is pretty slow moving but in the best way possible, though we don’t get much backstory, we do get a clear picture of the love Mandy & Red share for each other, which makes what follows all that more intensely heartbreaking. I don’t want to spoil anything here, but let’s just say this cult goes the full distance to send Nicholas Cage into a fully batshit crazy journey that’s part Evil Dead, part Hellraiser and part LSD drenched revenge fantasy. I know people have a sort of ironic love for Nicholas Cage these days but seriously Cage fully shines here in easily one of his best performances of his career. He’s awesome and not in some ridiculous sort of way. The movie goes to some truly bizarre places, the violence plentiful and there are a ton of oddball surprises all along the way.
The movie even has a sense of humor as well, though it feels like an unsettling waking nightmare most of it’s run time, there’s something truly comforting about having Nic Cage there with you as your guide through the mayhem of it all. It gives you a sense of hope that just maybe you’ll make it out of it all alive somehow. There’s also a strong heavy metal vibe to film, not just in it’s imagery but also in the score, which is completely breathtaking in it’s thunderous doom metal delivery through the hellish otherworldly landscapes. The music here is incredible and liley half of the charm of why Mandy works so damn well honestly.
There’s also cool hand drawn animated interludes that bring to mind the 1981 cult classic “Heavy Metal” in the best ways possible. Add in amazing practical fx work, crazy gore, epic weapon crafting, chainsaws, Goblin Mac & Cheese (just wait and see), drugs galore, demonic cenobite like bikers and a sweet ass cameo from Predator’s Bill Duke and you’ve got yourself one truly freaky epic horror masterpiece unlike anything you’ve like ever seen before. I can’t say enuff good things about this movie, it’s still floating around in my head four days after viewing it. I can though easily say that Mandy thus far is my favorite movie of 2018!
Great new horror movies are hard to come by these days, so here I am once again, to give you a list of 5 movies that seem to be contenders to drum up the ultimate scares! I’m always on the look out for new horror stuff and also always lookin’ out for ones that might just fly under the radar because they’re not big Hollywood productions. So here my predictions for some cool spooky shit to keep your eyes peeled for!
Hooooooooly shit! This Trailer looks absolutely amazing, totally unique and for fans of Nicholas Cage it’s gonna likely be a full on wet dream. Everything about this movie looks fantastic, horrifying, gory, mysterious and beautiful. It also involves a creepy ass religious cult who it appears Cage has to do battle with to get ultimate revenge! Check this out it’s got me foaming at the mouth and the movie drops September 14th 2018!!
Hearing that Jackie Chan is going to joining third installment of The Expendables is great news for any action fan! He’s the perfect addition to the team assuming he’s a good guy and not a villain which I don’t think would be a wise casting idea. i also see this as a chance at maybe some better comedic moments. The second flick was pretty hit or miss in the comedy department, it tried awfully hard but Arnold was a bit stiff in his delivery although his presence was very well welcomed. I hope he returns for the third movie in an even bigger role and by that time maybe he’ll have his chops back to form. So adding Chan is a big deal and it makes me wonder who else will be entering the fold?
So the news of Chan joining is great but what about all these recent plot rumors? First we heard that the next movie was going to switch genres…we all assumed that didn’t mean it’d be a rom com co starring Julia Roberts. It’s been hinted at that the movie would be taking a more sci-fi theme which I think would be great. It’s even been rumored that Sly may finally use the “Hunter” book storyline that he has the rights to. Which would mean the team would be hunting down a gentically mutated mercenary gone on a sadistic killing spree. To me this would be the plot I’d like to see, done perhaps better than the 1982 Chuck Norris flick of similar plot “Silent Rage”!
It’s also been hinted at by Sly that new blood would be taking over as the third installment would see the old vets retiring and passing the torch to new younger guys who rely on tech like drones and computers to kick the bad guys asses. To me that sounds….lame. Finish the trilogy with a bang. Bring in Segal, Arnold, Mr. T, Ford, Bolo Yeung, The Rock or new guys like Iko Uwais or Tony Jaa. He also said a third possibility would be some females entering the fold. That sounds wonderful bring on Linda Hamilton, Michelle Rodriguez, Brigitte Nielson or yeah Grace Jones!! I have my hopes set high on a sci fi twist, it’d be perfect for the crew….what do you think would be the best for the final chapter?
So everyone is making their “Expendables 3” wish list in hopes that the third installment will be even bigger, louder and more ridiculous than the first two. So naturally Universal Dork has got to chime in with a little wish list as well! There are already rumors about Nicholas Cage (whoopdeedoo…) joining the cast and Harrison Ford & Clint Eastwood being approached. Now that’s all fine and dandy, but for some reason Ford and Eastwood just don’t strike me as the type of actors to jump into a huge ensemble cast. Sure Danny Trejo, Carl Weathers and Kurt Russel would all be great and I know they top the majority of of the lists out there so I am am choosing a few that may have been forgotten but would be equally as awesome as any mentioned. So here’s seven actors I think should get back into the gym and start training for numereo tres!
1. Jesse Ventura: Jesse “The Body” Ventura is one of my favorite people in the world. I loved the guy as a kid and today I love him for his political views. It’s been rumored that he may run for president in 2016 and if so he’ll definitely get my vote, so in the meantime I think Jesse needs to get his ass back into making movies, at least for this one.
He starred alongside Arnold in Predator where his iconic line “I ain’t got time to bleed” was immortalized and again in The Running Man. He later appeared in Demolition Man with Sly so why the hell not get Ventura back to kick some ass in the next installment-he could make a great villain and when he’s finally killed in the finale Arnold could tell him “You’ve got time…….to bleed!”. Hell I should write Arnold’s future one liners!
2. Bolo Yeung: This guy was rumored to be in the second film as a major villain, when I heard that I thought it was a genius idea but somehow it remained purely a rumor. Well if there has ever been an iconic action villain it’s him!
Know for his gigantic pecs and his killer moves Bolo has faced off against the likes of Bruce Lee and Van Damme for cryin’ out loud! This time let’s have him and Van Damme on the same team! Bolo still has the moves & it’s time to give him one last hurrah as the series best villain yet!
3. Grace Jones: Yeah the film needs some female presence and Grace Jones is one of the wildest women on the planet!
She’s like seven feet tall, starred with Arnie in Conan the Destroyer, 007: A View to a Kill and could easily play a part of the Good Guys or villains in the flick. Yeah she’s that much of a bad ass-she could go toe to toe with Sly and it’d be believable. It’s time for the film to feature some ladies and she’d be perfect!
4. Mr T: Seriously Mr. T!! He made my list for the second film but from what I’ve heard T won’t do any violent movies anymore. But he does kick ass for…Snickers?
Well it’s time for him to get back on board with what he does best-kicking peoples asses to the moon and back! Part of The A-Team, Clubber Lang in Rocky III, Partners to Hulk Hogan in the WWF, Mr. T needs to get his head out of his ass and fast because his resume has got The Expendables 3 written all over it. Imagine the fans reaction to Mr. T? It’d be insane…
5. Iko Uwais: Yeah I see the problem we’ve got too many old ass dudes running around doing the ass kicking. I get that. That’s why you grab the best up and coming action stars before they hit it huge here in the USA! If you don’t know who this guy is then you are in for a treat because The Raid: Redemption makes The Expendables look like Kindergarten Cop!
Seriously Iko kicks soooo much butt it’s almost incomprehensible! Even his first movie Merantu was awesome. This Indonesian action star is a master of Silat, a truly incredible form of martial arts. He’d round out some of the old blood in the next movie quite nicely and when in action would raise the bar on the movie’s hand to hand combat sequences.
6. Roddy Piper: Roddy is a no brainer for the third film! He needs to be in the third film. He’s loud, cocky and rowdy! He also starred in “They Live” and “Hell Comes to Frogtown” to name a few.
He’d be perfect as hero or villain and he adds the perfect nostalgia of the 1980’s to the next installment. Plus let’s not forget he also tangled with Mr.T back in the WWF. Hint Hint….Rematch anyone?
7. Ice-T: Yes! Ice was a great action star in the early 1990’s. “New Jack City”, “Ricochet”, Trespass and my personal favorite “Surviving The Game” where he kicked so much ass in that movie alone he deserves to star in the third installment.
Ice has been out of the game for a while, taking more timid roles in recent years. Well Ice it’s time to get back on the saddle again. He’d most likely make a better villain than part of the team but one thing is certain it’s time for Ice to get back on the big screen. So let’s hope he gets on board…
Hey folks, its Chris “Optional” Gray here bringing you a guest piece for Universal Dork. This blog was promised to Mr. Saturday long ago, and much like the topic this blog is covering there have been many set backs, production delays, casting issues, wardrobe disputes, you know, the typical things that can go wrong with writing a blog. My original idea was to compare and contrast the film making efforts between Marvel and DC, but that subject is for another time and day.Today we will be focusing on the Man of Steel himself, Superman and his adventures on the silver screen.
The first time Superman was brought to the big screen was in 1941 with the Fleischer Studios animated shorts, bringing the Caped Crusader to life for the first time. These shorts are absolute classics and have endured the test of time so much to be readily available on Netflix for your viewing pleasure.They perfectly capture the Superman of that early era.They feel like your reading a short comic in a newspaper fun,fast and a feast for the eyes especially if you love old animation.
The next time Superman graced the screen was in 1948 when Alan Kyrk starred in the theatrical series, which were very similar in style to George Reeve’s later television series. Unfortunately, Kyrk really lacked any kind of screen presence to pull off the roles of Superman and Clark Kent. The most entertaining aspect of the shorts comes from the lack of budget that prevented them from actually showing Kyrk take flight, those segments had to be animated which while distracting is still very entertaining. It makes even the worst modern day CGI look glorious in comparison, but the shorts still come off as enjoyable.
Now we come to George Reeve’s debut as Superman in the little known B-Movie Superman and The Molemen Continue reading
The last week I have been on an epic cross country road trip with a good friend of mine so I haven’t been able to hit the bloggin’ at all. But now having arrived safely at home in Portland Oregon this weekend there was really only one last thing I needed to get accomplished. Go see Kick -Ass! Yeah I have been covering the movies developments pretty heavily here since the comic book has been one of my favs for quite some time. So the wait was finally over and I walked into the theaters with my fingers crossed.
Did the movie deliver? Well sorta if you’d never read the comic book. In fact if you have never read the comic book this may be one of the best “superhero” comic book movies you’ll ever see. Continue reading