Casting Internets

Woah. Disney bought Marvel.

The trailer for The Tournament looks awesome. Like the /Film writer, it reminds me of Smokin’ Acestoo, but hopefully it’ll be good for the whole thing and not just the last 20-30 minutes.

I don’t care what anyone else thinks, I’m psyched for a Bad Boys 3! (via /Film)

Ben remembers his going away presents from Wizard. Look at those handsome devils in the top left corner. I’m on the bottom left. Cooler by far, though is the Nova and Flash playing frisbee piece. You’ll have to click through to check that out though. Plug!


Check out Topless Robot’s 12 Least Appropriate Smurf Figures for Children.

Casting Internets


Today would have been Jack Kirby’s 92nd birthday had he not passed away in 1994 on my birthday (which was weird to say the least as a young comics fan). To celebrate his life Kirby-Vision presents several images of Kirby drawn by its many contributors. Above is my favorite by Uriel A. Duran.

Over at Topless Robot, Rob calls out the British (newspapers) for being filthy liars. Plus, he uses it as an excuse to run yet another sexy shot of Megan Fox. Double whammy!

On my way home from work yesterday I caught an interview with Quentin Tarantino on NPR’s Fresh Air. You can find a transcript and podcast here. I’m waiting to listen to the whole thing for fear of even the most remote Inglourious Basters spoilers, which I’m hopefully going to see tonight.

Check out this awesome NASA patch that real astronauts actually wore. Wired dug this and some other pretty amazing ones here.


My buddy Jesse over at Maxim.com collected these 10 crazy Predator tattoos. It’s both glorious and kind of stomach churning.

Fans of urban legends should definitely check out legendsrevealed.com where you’ll get a triple dose of info with every click. Today’s Photography Legends Revealed talks about naked photos from Ivy league schools, photoshopping in the 1800s and where a photo was staged or not. Fascinating.

Finally, I really hope you check out Awkward Family Photos on a regular basis. Here’s a recent post called Monkey Love!

Ad It Up: Gap Kid


I can’t be the only person who hated this kid, right? He was on the back of EVERY comic for months (like this one from 1998’s Major Bummer #11). I wonder if these ubiquitous back cover ads actually helped or hurt the products/brands they were trying to sell. I was already anti-Gap at this point (I was 15 and liked Led Zeppelin after all), but I’m pretty sure I was even less interested in Gap after seeing this kid over and over and over and over.

Death: One Mack Daddy You Don’t Want to F*ck With

I hope you get the reference in the title of this post. If not, it’s okay, I forgive you, but you should really do yourself a favor and watch my favorite horror trilogy (soon to be a whatever-four-movies-is) of the past 10-ish years: Final Destination. Candyman says it to the girl with split personalities from Heroes and the dreamy Devon Sawa.

For those of you who haven’t see these movies, there’s a basic formula. 1. A high school student sees a highly complex, devastating and graphic accident and freaks out when events in the vision start happening. The student saves him/herself and others. 2. Even though they didn’t die with the others, the survivors start dying in really crazy ways, usually involving seemingly natural events. 3. The main character comes upon the idea that death has a plan and death, as noted above, is not one to mess with. Even with that being said, apparently there’s a formula to things which the main character tries to decipher. 4. The main character and someone of the opposite sex try to convince the surviving survivors what’s going on to varying levels of belief and success. 5. Bad things happen (a lot). 6. It ends.

I’m sure a far more detailed map could be laid out for these movies, but I don’t want to ruin too many aspects of the films. And, even though all three are very similar in structure, it doesn’t really bother me because these movies aren’t really about the characters. Yes, I do think they’re fairly well-rounded and like/dis-likeable, but the real hook for these movies are the highly complex and usually gory death scenes that are amazing if you’re a gore fan. Sometimes they do get a little mean (the strangulation in 1 and the tanning bed in 3), but overall, I’d say they’re highly enjoyable in that way that you feel kind of bad about liking. I watched 2 and 3 on the train (1 was on Netflix instant, 2 I own and 3 I got as a disc from Netflix) and found myself being briefly exasperated, laughing, saying “Oh shit” and then looking around to see if my fellow commuters were looking at me funny. The knives in the first one, falling glass in the second and weights in the third are among my favorites, but they’re really all fantastic. This series also showed me my first bus-hit and cut/slide movie moments (1 and 2 respectively).

I also have a history with these movies, well at least the first two. 1 came out in 2000 when I was still in high school and I distinctly remember watching it in a darkened living room at Steph Knisely’s house and laughing hysterically when Tony Todd (Candyman), playing the older, vague guy explaining things to a small extent (he’s even a mortician named Bludworth) said the above quote. Even though I hadn’t seen the movie since that night, it made quite an impression, which is pretty impressive considering how many horror movies I’d seen up to that point and after. The second one (2003), I think a group of my high school friends and I went to see in the theater. I remember having the same kinds of reactions in the theater that I did on the train (something I didn’t remember until I was actually on the train). I definitely got some funny looks. I would have sworn I saw 3 (2006) at some point, but I think I only watched a few of the kills.

Aside from the gore, I like how much these movies make me think. And I don’t consider these things plot holes because we’re dealing with human interpretations of supernatural events without anyone or thing coming in and explaining things absolutely. So, Bludworth may have his theories and the kids extrapolate from there, but we don’t know if they’re right (especially taking into account the ends of each movie). So, does death have some kind of plan? It would seem so. But why does it go through such complex motions to get back on schedule? Why not just stop a heart, especially considering death seems to be able to manipulate living things (birds, rats, maybe even people). So, what are death’s rules?

Also, if death has a plan and is some kind of force of nature, what is the force acting against it? See, the visions have to come from somewhere right? And we’re not just talking about the main visions in the beginning of the movies, our heroes see other signs all over the place, as if they’re being given the information to help their friends or maybe just toyed with. In 1 Sawa a fan-chopped magazine spits out the name of his friend Tod, but by the time he gets to Tod’s house, dude’s dead. So, was Sawa just not fast enough or was he being messed with (like how Michael Myers toys with his prey)? I’m going to guess there’s an opposing force to death, maybe it’s as simple as being life, I don’t know, but I like to think about this kind of stuff.

So, you really get the best of both worlds: the best kills in recent memory and a larger story that really makes you think (at least I think so, but I’m not a mack daddy above being f*ucked with). I’m really excited for The Final Destination (I appreciate the finality of a title that already includes the world “final” like “seriously, THIS is the FINAL destination”) mostly for the ability to see this bad boy in 3D. I missed out on that with My Bloody Valentine 3D, but now my local theater has 3D capabilities thanks to some kids movie! I’ll have to sneak away to see it sometime, but it’ll totally be worth it.

Casting Internets

I saw this on Diggnation yesterday (actually had notes on a whole new Casting Internets for yesterday that somehow disappeared, go figure). It’s a long clip because it’s actually from the podcast (which I highly recommend), but you get to see a kid getting hit with a Mentos-fueled bottle of Diet Coke he tosses on a tennis court. It’s amazing.

Justin‘s comic can now be ordered, so ask your retailed about ordering Hero House already! He also guest blogged over at Pop Candy today.

Bob Mitchell posted this bad boy. Not sure if it’s something he did himself or just found. Either way, it’s awesome. How is there not a “Disney characters as superheroes” art blog?


Jim‘s been doing a cartoon/comic/piece of art everyday. This time it’s the Lost island. Jim’s Lost island drawing:


Beer prices are going up? Sigh.

I both enjoyed Sean’s post about All-Star Batman and Robin and completely agree with him (you can even see me doing so in the comments).

This is another one from yesterday, but Topless Robot’s list of the 10 craziest Quantum Leap leaps is pretty rad. I distinctly remember seeing the end of the episode where he leaps into the supposed vampire and being REALLY confused.

Train-Ing Video: Class of 1999 (1990)

“These things are like a bad, f*cked up, George Jetson nightmare!” So says Cody, the hero of Class of 1999 of the robot teachers who have been flipped their programming after being sent into a Free Fire Zone in Seattle. You see, an FFZ is an area, usually around a school in a major city where gang activity has gotten so bad that the cops have backed out and let the kids run wild. Except for in the school for some reason. Think of it as Escape from New York meets Terminator and Sister Act (or, I assume, Dangerous Minds, but I’ve never seen that).

If you’re scratching your head already and asking yourself “Why would kids go to school if they weren’t being told to and, oh, and had machine guns?” Yeah me too. It’s a plot hole that you could drive an armored bus through. There’s lots of said plot holes or just lapses in logic (Why to the robots only have fake skin protecting their important “organs” instead of an actual exoskeleton? Why are the kids more likely to believe that their friends died in highly unlikely accidental ways and not getting murdered by teachers?) Anyway, if you can look past the complete lack of logic and Cody’s TERRIBLE Corey Feldman impression, this movie is a whole boatload of weird 80s fun from 1990.



You remember the major cities and the explanation of the FFZs I mentioned above? We get that information thanks to a voiceover in the beginning that accompanies a map showcasing the worst cities. You’ve got Detroit and NYC of course. Then there’s Seattle and Cleveland (not the best places in the world, but not ones I would expect there to be a lot of gang activity at), but the best part? The dot that’s supposed to designate Cleveland is not where Cleveland actually is. It should be further up north. For all I know, the other ones are misplaced too, though I did check NYC and it seems correct, hey, I’m no geography nerd, I just know my state.


Anyway, we open with a white haired Stacey Keach who, for reasons never explained, sports a mullet that terminates in a rat tail between his shoulders and white-except-for-his-pupils eyes. He’s part of a program for the DED (the Department of Educational Defense) who has these teacher robots he wants to insert into Malcolm McDowell’s school. Also, for no real reason, Cody gets released from jail at the same time. Here’s some pics (thanks to this post, I figured out how to take screencaps!)

This is the first, non-CG shot of the movie, I swear to God:


Then this:


And here’s the teacher-bots, including one of my all-time huge crushes Pam Grier! I didn’t even know she was in this movie, that’s just a bonus.


So, the story follows Cory who’s part of this gang called the Black Hearts. He doesn’t really want to get back with the Hearts because he wants to go straight (we’re not sure why and we don’t know why he was in jail in the first place), but his incredibly weird looking younger brother Angel is about to be initiated and all his friends from school are in the gang too.

Here’s Angel, I laughed every single moment he was on screen. He looks ridiculous, but that’s just future gang fashion, yo, purples and yellow all the way!


Meanwhile, he falls for McDowell’s daughter (why good kids are still in this school, I have no idea. Wouldn’t you bounce if kids could shoot guns in your police-abandoned neighborhood and your kid still wanted to learn?). His friends start dying thanks to the new teacherbots and he gets suspicious. He even saves McDowell’s daughter from being molested-at-best during the day on school grounds out in the open and gets beat up by the younger dude teacherbot and yelled at by McDowell. That’s just crazy!

He discovers the truth about the teacherbots and instead of just straight up going after Cody, the older one concocts this ridiculously complicated plan that includes killing some people and sparking a war between the Hearts and their rivals The Razorheads. Wouldn’t it just make more sense to, I dunno, crush him with your insane robot strength? So anywhere, there’s a gang war and we really get to see the Hearts in full form. Again, notice all the purple and yellow. At one point, Angel gets pulled over and they accuse him of wearing gang colors and he’s only got yellow and purple on. That’s just hilarious to me.


When THIS plan fails, the teacherbots make fake phone calls to the leaders of both gangs to get them to meet at the school to kill each other instead of, again, just killing these kids. This is when things go super-bananas. You’ve got dirt bikes and explosions in school, robot fights, the reveal of some of their awesome weapon systems and the uniting of the two goings (uh, spoiler warning?). While Cody and the leader of the Razorheads are searching the school to take down the teachers (“I’m going in there to waste some teachers – are you with me?”) they actually drive their motorcycles into the classrooms and around the room. Twice!


I was pretty impressed with the showdown at the end and the effects were pretty good (I’m not going to ruin it for you, but if you’ve seen the original VHS cover, you’ll see an approximation, if you see the newer Lions Gate version, you’ll see a way updated version). Each teacherbot sports it’s own hand weapon that was fun to watch, though where their robot hands actually go, I don’t know.

The real headscratcher throughout the movie is that there isn’t a really good character. I guess McDowell’s daughter might count, but she’s so one dimensional, she doesn’t really count. Like I said, we don’t know why Cody was in jail. It could have been murder for all we know. I get that he’s trying to turn over a new leaf and he’s served his time (after a fashion), but he’s still utilizing the people who are the problem (gang members) to take down other bad guys. I guess he could be labeled as an anti-hero, but I just wish we would have gotten a little more background on him.

But, in the end, the movie is just too damn crazy and fun to not enjoy on some level, even given all the problems. And I know some of you might be wondering why I had such high hopes for a movie about robot teachers teaching in a near war zone, but this movie was written and directed by Mark L. Lester who also directed the Jeph Loeb co-written Arnold Schwarzenegger masterpiece Commando . One other thing I want to point out about the story is that it actually has some pretty emotional moments. There’s a scene where Cody goes home and we see that his mom is just as big of a drug addict as Angel and the performances are really good. I think Bradley Gregg would have been much better suited if he wasn’t asked to/didn’t try to put on the Corey Feldman voice. It’s really distracting and I think takes away from the skills you can see under the surface.

Oh, also, they gave the Grierbot a nipple hanging out after she gets torn open and they show it a bunch. I was kind of embarrassed to be watching it on the train and even discreetly covered that part of the screen with my hand. But seeing as how this is the internet and a simple Google search for “Pam Grier naked” will come up with a number of hits (this site included now 😉 I figure this images ain’t so bad.


Casting Internets

According to Toy News International, I’ll have a second chance to score a Masters of the Universe Classics Skeletor figure! Here’s my second chance to get a Skeletor!

Wired says I’m screwed for multitasking. Maybe that’s why my brain completely shuts down and I just sit staring at my desk for minutes at a time without being able to remember what I was furiously doing a second ago. Not good…

Kiel’s Linko XIX post brought this amazing blog to my attention. It’s a whole blog dedicated to people drawing in Jack Kriby’s style called Kirby-Vision.

My buddy Alex of DC’s The Source, runs down a bunch of comics sites “you should bookmark immediately” in a guest blog over at PopCandy. UnitedMonkee must have JUST missed the cut 🙂

And finally, a group of friends and I have been kicking around Weezer memories lately, which got me thinking about back in 2002 when Maladroit came out and I drove two hours home from Delaware, Ohio to Toledo to buy the record at midnight the day it came out at my beloved and now long gone Boogie Records. New-at-the-time Weezer bass player Scott Shriner was also from Toledo and it happened that his dad was at Boogie picking up his own copy of the record. Someone snapped a pic and sent it to Weezer.com and it just so happened that I was in it! Em’s there too, though she does not care and I’m talking to my friend who got me into Weezer, but he didn’t make the shot. I couldn’t find the picture anywhere, so I sent an email to Karl at Weezer.com and before the day was through he sent it to me. Thanks Karl. Here’s the pic (this is as big as it gets):

Quick Movie Review: Finishing The Game (2007)

I don’t have a ton to say about Finishing the Game, so I decided to implement a new category called Quick Movie Review. The movie’s a fake documentary about completing Game of Death after Bruce Lee died. I accidentally rented Game of Death a few years back, not realizing it was cobbled together with a few minutes of actual Bruce Lee footage and a bunch of other nonsense with lookalikes. It’s really a bad movie that, from what I’ve read since, was just a crazy cash grab. Finishing the Game takes that idea and runs with it as we see a director and casting agent going through a bunch of people trying to find Bruce’s replacement, mostly from unknowns and guys riding Bruce’s coattails. There are a lot of funny bits to the movie as it focuses in on a few select people. There’s even a brief, but hilarious plot point centering around a TV show starring James Franco.

My only “problem” with the movie is that I don’t know if it’s based on any kind of fact. I compared the actual Game of Death director to the guy from Finishing and they don’t match up and I’ll be honest, I’m too lazy to look everyone up, so maybe I’ll never know. There’s also no trivia on IMDb and the Wiki page isn’t all that informative. I’m guessing it’s all made up, which is kind of disappointing because it would be a lot funnier if this was based on more fact than “someone tried to complete a Bruce Lee movie after he died.” There’s plenty else going on like the egos and lack thereof of the guys auditioning to fill Bruce’s shoes and a couple love stories, plus an inside look (maybe?) at what casting a movie was like. Plus it’s short, which is a plus.

All in all, I’d recommend this for anyone interested in Bruce Lee, mockumentaries or the 70s, especially if you don’t get too tied up in the reality of the comedy like I do.

Halloween Scene: 28 Weeks Later (2007)

Allow me to get nostalgic, just for a moment. The first time I saw Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later was in this tiny art house theatre in Bowling Green, Ohio. I went with Barry’s co-worker-turned friend Bobby, his girlfriend-now-wife Sasha, Toth and Randy (I think) and it blew us away. We had been hearing chatter about it and the alternate ending that you could see if you waited through the credits. The ride home was full of conversations about fast zombies and which ending we liked better. I can tell you with zero doubt that that’s the furthest I’ve ever gone to see a movie and it was totally worth it. I later bought 28DL and watched it a number of times, so, like every other person on the planet, I was pretty skeptical when I heard about the Boyle-less sequel 28 Weeks Later. But damn was it good.

I won’t be nearly as eloquent and detailed as Sean was when he talked about writer/director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s 28WL back in ’07, but it really seems like this flick was amazing in spite of itself. A sequel to a movie that most people either saw in art houses or on DVD getting a bigger sequel by some guy who wasn’t involved in the first one with a joke title like 28 Weeks Later? It couldn’t possibly live up to it’s predecessor, but boy howdy, does it.

And, I think what makes it work so well is the fact that it’s not a direct sequel, it’s merely set in the same world as the original. No characters return (unless you count London, which I wouldn’t argue against) so you’re left with a part of the zombie mythos we don’t tend to see: the clean-up and aftermath. Plus, if the opening of this movie doesn’t get under your skin and make you think about how you’d REALLY react in a situation like this, then you might need to check your pulse. Sure we’ve seen people ditch other folks to save themselves in movies like this, but damn if this isn’t the most effective emotionally.

That’s really what makes this such a superior horror film, the level of emotional attachment stays consistent with the original. You start wondering how’d you react in a given situation and it’s so easy to transfer most scenarios from a zombie infested world to the real one: how would you react if the woman you abandoned to thieves turned out to still be alive?

I also like how the emotional attachment bounces from character to character. After seeing how easily and understandably a husband might abandon his wife, it makes the adult heroes of this movie who accompany the children, even more heroic, earning them instant credibility (along with Scarlett’s attestation that they probably shouldn’t be bringing children into the city).

I had seen 28WL on DVD a while back, purchased it almost immediately afterwards, but hadn’t watched it in a while, so the fates of the characters weren’t fresh in my mind and I was continually surprised followed by moments of “oh yeah.”

Another aspect of the movie that I love is the fact that things aren’t forced down your throat. You can think about this movie for a while and realize all kinds of things. This time around, I fell in love with the idea that, Scarlett protested the idea of kids coming into London because “what if the rage virus isn’t all the way gone?” only to have them not only be the only ones to survive (of our main characters at least), but also re-caused the spread of the virus inadvertently. So, she was right that they shouldn’t be there, but for a completely different reason. Damn kids.

Oh, plus Harold Perrineau of Lost fame is in it, so bonus! I know I’m talking about a much-loved two year old movie that most horror fans have already seen, but if you haven’t watched it in a while, I highly recommend it, if for no other reason than the helicopter vs. zombie scene and the very end with zombies storming France. It’s way more effective than the “invasion” of NYC in Zombie and it nicely sets things up for a potential sequel.

Finally, a quick note about the DVD. There are two animated comics on there that were apparently first published through Fox Atomic that tell the tale of the guys who accidentally created the rage virus before the events of 28DL and one of a vigilante killing zombies and humans in “his city.” The first one was really interesting from a continuity perspective (plus it had art by my con buddy Dennis Calero), while the second is more of a slice-of-life from one tiny perspective in a larger world. They’re not too long and definitely worth a look.