I finally saw Knights of Badassdom last night, a movie that I’ve been waiting to be released for years. It first started filming iway back in 2010. So the question remains, was it worth the long, long wait? You Betcha!! I’ll go ahead right now and say that this flick will easily be taking ranks in my top ten list in 2014. It’s really too bad that this one is getting such a limited release theatrically, because it’s better than half the comedies that are coming out these days and it works incredibly well as a horror movie too. When I first checked it out I wasn’t aware of how much the movie truly dabbled in the horror, genre I thought it was pretty much a straight up comedy, so I was pleasantly surprised when the heads started rolling. Luckily I was able to catch it here in Portland, Oregon in the theater. I tried to see twice over the weekend but both times it was sold out. Finally we bough our tickets online! I was determined!
First though let me say the movie has a great cast, Peter Dinklage, Ryan Kwanten, Summer Glau and Steve Zahn who I always love, serve up nonstop laughs from beginning to end. Dinklage has got to be the movie’s main draw and without him I really wouldn’t have enjoyed the movie nearly as much as I did. I almost wonder if they’ve been waiting to release the movie because of how popular Dinklage has gotten in last few years with Game of Thrones and his upcoming role as the main bad guy in X-men: Days of Future Past?
The plot is ridiculously simple, metal head Joe, True blood’s Ryan Kwanten is dumped by his girlfriend and to cheer him up his friends get him ridiculously wasted and bring him along to their weekend LARPing outing. Joe’s a bit resistant until he notices his guild has the incredibly cute Gwen (Summer Glau) playing as well. To get the games started the Wizard of the group played By Steve Zahn chants a spell from a strange mystic book he found on Ebay and somehow awakens a succubus that greatly resembles Joe’s ex. She doesn’t show up til later though and in between we get a full on play by play from Dinklage of how to kick ass in the game of Live Action Role Playing that’s one of the movie’s finest moments as he continues throughout to steal the show.
The fun really begins once the succubus emerges from the shadows of the forest. Suddenly the movie starts feeling more like The Army of Darkness than a straight forward comedy. Something that I really enjoyed was all of the old school special effects. The movie features a little bit of well placed CG but by the end of the movie you’ll be cheering in your seat as the evil succubus becomes seriously a little less than human!
The movie is all out fun, the perfect Saturday night popcorn flick and it also delivers one hell of an ending that’s more than worth waiting for. It’s jam packed with, laughs, action, monsters, heavy metal and plenty of surprises! This one was directed by Joel Lynch who also did the awesome Wrong Turn 2: Dead End. If you see this playing near you check it out, it’s got a limited theatrical run before it’s released on Feb. 11th via VOD. I also hear this version may have been heavily edited so that’s just a little more incentive to check out the DVD when it drops!
So it’s been confirmed it seems by several sites that not only is Bruce Campbell set to reprise his role as Ash in “Army of Darkness 2” but now that Sam Raimi will indeed be directing it and is now hard at work on completing writing it’s script with his brother. So this is all WONDERFUL news right?! Another adventure with Ash is something I’ve really only ever dreamed would happen. So now that it that it’s going to happen let’s figure out what it really means. First, when was the last really good Sam Raimi movie? Personally I’d say it’d maybe have to be “The Gift” way back from 2000 or maybe “A Simple Plan” from 1998. Anything since then to me really either hasn’t aged well, was very mediocre or just plain sucked!
So really let’s be honest here, is Raimi really that awesome? Or did he happen to get lucky a few times and land a dream job directing the Spider-man movies? He tried to prove himself to his Evil Dead fans with “Drag Me to Hell” but an honest comparison to other more legitimately awesome current horror/ horror comedies revealed it really wasn’t anything that special. A decent attempt but still a flawed one. So what are the chances that we’re going to get the Evil Dead / Army of Darkness sequel we have all been waiting for? What are the chances it’ll be “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” of the Evil Dead franchise? I’m gonna say 50/50.
One of the problems is that Raimi seems way too far removed from that the genre he basically created that so many others have tried to copy. He’s a bit out of touch, as he’s so used to cranking out big glittery CG stuffed blockbusters I’m not sure he’d really know what to do with Ash this time around. Hopefully he keeps it old school-perhaps this recent Evil Dead reboot will give him a basic outline to follow of what he should do to give the fans what they want as he’s stated that this next Army of Darkness is really for the fans. I think a good sign is that Bruce Campbell seems to understand more than anyone what made the movies all so fun. So perhaps he can guide Raimi into not making a total pile of shit. Perhaps Fede Alvarez who directed the reboot can also talk some sense into the guy.
The fans want Ash plain and simple at least in Army of Darkness 2. Not some young hip side kick to accompany him. He’s the star and he doesn’t need anyone else there trying to make the movie more accessible to the teen or tween masses. The fans want to return to that old school vibe, they don’t want the movie to look like Ash green screening around Oz the Great & Powerful. Give the fans some ridiculous gore and DON’T resort to anymore wretchedly bad CG anvil scenes like we saw in Drag Me to Hell. That was fucking pathetic.
Do it right and don’t try to score a giant Hollywood hit with this movie, show everyone that deep down inside you’re still that hungry independent film maker of the 80’s. Set the new standard for all those newer directors who think they’ve one upped you at your own game. You’ve seen other big film makers try and revive their franchises and fail miserably, pissing off their fans and eternally tarnishing their greatest bodies of work. Let’s do this shit the right way this time! What do you think? Does Raimi still have it?!
I had to take a second here just to say how pumped I am that starting with issue #6 of The Indestructible Hulk we will be getting an old school artist taking the reigns. Yep Walt Simonson will be doing a three issue arc of the book which is also going to feature his old buddy The Mighty Thor which Walt is most famous for! So there’ve been a few preview panels / covers on the web so I thought I’d post ’em here as well. I’m excited about this as Simonson has been a fave of mine since I was just a kid. I’ll admit that his most recent work on The Avengers with Bendis seemed pretty rushed and sloppy. This however is a three issue stint and hopefully he took his time with the art. So far so good I would say though, wouldn’t you?
Simonson used to do some Hulk artwork in the old days too, mainly for The Rampaging Hulk, a Hulk magazine comic book which was one of my all time favorite reads..
The Millenium Bug boasts “No CGI” was used in the making of this monster movie. It’s really is quite clear upon viewing this one that indeed no CGI was anywhere near this one & perhaps that’s what gives this little indie monster film it’s charm. It’s clearly meant to be a throwback to the creature features of yesterday in pretty much every way imaginable. Be fore warned though, don’t take this one too seriously as you’re not likely to get any realism from the plot or the special effects.
It follows a family escaping the city during the Y2K hysteria who get abducted by a family of evil hillbillies. But wait folks, before you pass this off as another Texas Chainsaw rip I might add that a giant monster erupts from the earth and is hellbent on destroying everything in it’s path. This gargantuan monster bug looks like a missing nemesis from an old classic Godzilla flick! The entire movie was filmed on a tiny soundstage so it really has that old school movie vibe going for it. There’s something charming and sweet about movies filmed this way that’s largely missing from movies today. When the monster attacks it destroys tiny small scale model homes, trees and people. The effects are done nicely too, but as I said before this one lacks any grounding in the real world in look and plot. This movie knows exactly what it wants to be: big dumb loud fun by some people who hate modern cg drenched cinema…
Surely comic book fans have not forgotten about Michael Golden?! If so you need a goddamn refresher in a bad way! Don’t get me wrong there are some amazing artists out there in comics today-but lets not forget about the old dogs! Seriously where have some of these guys disappeared to?! If we can get John Romita Jr doing tons of new comics we should be able to get Michael Golden back in the limelight?! It really only takes one glimpse at this incredible posted he did back in the early 80’s to solidify my point- “The Merry Marching Confusion” mail order only poster is still one of my favorite pieces of artwork ever, I ordered it back in the day through the mail and the poster still graces my wall in my room! I laminated it a few years ago as I was afraid it was falling apart, but seriously check it out! San you name them all? Give it a try!
Most of Mikes art was most popular through the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Probably most well known for his work on the Micronauts and his art for the immensely popular The ‘Nam, Vietnam war series put out in 1986 by Marvel golden was a comic superstar. He kinda disappeared from the scene in the 1990’s but later returned in the 2000’s doing some cover art for DC.
He also is responsible for the Danzig & Samhain logos that were lifted off of the background for the lesser know Crystar issue #8. Funny to picture good ol’ Glenn reading Crystar and playing with the awesome action figures in the 80’s!! Gotta love Danzig’s dorkdom though!!
So where is Golden today? Well to my surprise it seems he is on the scene recently becoming the relaunched Spawn’s regular cover artist as well as plenty more for Marvel! Glad to see he’s back kicking ass again…
Wait since when does The Hulk only have four toes?!
Yes please take me back to 1985! Back when arcade games were super rad and fun to play! I know all of you out there think XBOX with it’s fancy ass graphics is the shit but you know what? I am a nerd, true, but I haven’t gotten sucked into these new video games! The closest I got was a few years back when I played the Nintendo Game Cube a couple times a week! I have to say X-Men Legends was a fun game, Baldur’s Gate was a blast too but you know I just never could get sucked into these ultra violent games that people spend their lives playing today. Instead I think about going to the arcade back in the day and playing my favorite fighting game, “Yie Ar Kung Fu”!
Many may be wondering what the hell I am talking about? Well back when I was a kid we’d spend a lot of time at our cottage in Northern Wisconsin and my brother and I would head to a tiny arcade in a laundromat in the tiny city of Elcho. We be there for one game Konami’s Yie Ar Kung Fu was the best fighting game! You played a sort of Bruce Lee like character named Oolong who well spends his time kicking a lot of ass through ten different bad ass foes armed with dangerous fans, clubs and tonfun.
I haven’t played this game in decades but somehow today I found myself wishing I could find a stand up version somewhere-Believe me I would be playing for hours if I did. This has really gotten me to thinking that the whole idea of arcades should come back with similar style stand up games. Someone out there needs to make some new version old school games in the old format-at the end of the day I just don’t have time to screw with a controller with like twenty buttons on it-just give me a roller ball and a button like centipede and I am a happy camper….