The High Five Podcast Episode 59 – Straight-To-Video Animated Batman Flicks

Sorry for the delay on this one, but it couldn’t be avoided! On this episode, I run through five fantastic straight-to-video animated Batman flicks that I encountered thanks to my new gig writing for Looper.com! I’m talking about Batman & Harley Quinn, Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders (and it’s sequel Batman vs. Two-Face), Batman: Gotham By Gaslight, Batman Ninja and Batman: Soul Of The Dragon which are all streamable on HBO Max and hopefully available at your local library!

You want links? I got a couple! You can read my Looper Heathcliff article here and check out my original review of the Gotham By Gaslight comic here!

As always, you can email me at high5tj at gmail.com or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Also feel free to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

The High Five Podcast Episode 50 – Jackie Chan Through The Decades

Welcome to the landmark 50th episode of The High Five Podcast! With this one, I decided to celebrate one of the all-time greatest action-comedy filmmakers to ever do it: Jackie Chan! What started as a celebration of Jackie Chanuary with some friends turned into me watching a whole of the master’s movies with no intent on slowing down anytime soon! I tried choosing one of his films from each decade starting with the 70s and making my way all the way up to the 20s, but of course I added in a few extras along the way.

You can read my initial reviews of latter day Chan films like Chinese Zodiac and The Foreigner if you feel so inclined. I also reviewed the wonderful Bleeding Steel on Episode 28 of this very show.

You knew there had to be some clips, right?!

Also, for good measure, here’s the Typhoon hovercraft toy commercial I mentioned while talking about Rumble In The Bronx.

As always, you can email me at high5tj at gmail.com or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Also feel free to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

For Your Home Viewing Pleasure: September 17, 2013

buffy complete seriesFirst and foremost, if you’re a fan of Joss Whedon’s Buffy: The Vampire Slayer or Angel and don’t already have all the seasons on DVD, Amazon’s Gold Box Deal today finds both complete sets on sale for $60 and $55 respectively.World War Z Blu-Ray

The biggest action release of the week also happens to be a zombie flick. The Brad Pitt global undead thriller World War Z hits home video today in a variety of formats.arrow season 1 blu

We here at Explosions Are Rad are big fans of The CW’s Arrow. If you missed out on the first season you can catch up now thanks to Arrow: The Complete First Season before the second season kicks off on October 9th.

Java Heat is a film that was not on our radar, but the idea of Mickey Rourke facing off against Twilight star Kellan Lutz sounds strangely intriguing.bruce in pursuit of the dragon a warrior's journey

Bruce Lee fans might want to check out Bruce Lee – A Warrior’s Journey/Pursuit Of The Dragon. Journey features previously lost footage from Lee’s last film The Game Of Death while Pursuit “follows the chronology” of The Big Boss, Fists Of Fury, The Way Of The Dragon and Enter The Dragon.

For some newer martial arts action, there’s Chow Yun-Fat’s latest film, The Last Tycoon, a period piece examining the story of real life Shanghai-based gangster Cheng Daqui.jackie chan beginnings

Another interesting martial arts double feature released today comes from Shout Factory and Timeless Media: Jackie Chan: Beginnings – Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin / Magnificent Bodyguards. This double feature collects two of the six films he made in 1978 alone!

Casting Internets

Well, I wanted to stay a little more timely with Casting Internets, but with the holidays, I got WAY behind not just on doing posts, but also reading stuff. Over the past week, I got really caught up. Not much was worth linking to, but I do have a few here that were fun.

Even before hyping my own links, I’ve got to call out this amazing post from Topless Robot. My pal Rob Bricken tore through a Washington, D.C. news report about DC comic books not being appropriate for kids. Mind you, they are clearly labeled as not for kids. His indignation is palpable and amazing.

In addition to my daily posts over on Spinoff, I also wrote a really fun piece about Mattel and their DC action figures for CBR in addition to pieces about Hoax Hunters, Rebel Blood, Near Death, the Artifacts finale and I even helped out with the CBR Top 100 Comics of 2011!

I also wrote about Black Widow’s costumes for Marvel.com!Phil Noto drew Hellboy!

If you’re a How I Met Your Mother fan and saw the episode from a few weeks back, I highly recommend checking out the Puzzles website, especially the calendar and menu. Looks like quite the NYC hang out.

Whoa, there are 700 unreleased Thin Lizzy songs according to The Onion. They will be mine, oh yes, they will be mine. Maybe I should get the rest of their existing records, too. The Superman: Earth One book only looked interesting because of Shane Davis’ art, but the Batman version by Geoff Johns and the always amazing Gary Frank? I’ll buy that for some dollars. (via CBR)

I am definitely on board for this Bruce Lee documentary called I Am Bruce Lee. Like how they put it right on front street. (via /Film)

Friday Fisticuffs: The Green Hornet (2011)

I had zero expectations for The Green Hornet. I was intrigued by Seth Rogen’s attempt to be an action star as well as Michel Gondry’s involvement, but it wasn’t the kind of course material that I’m either familiar with or nostalgic about. I questioned what the point of bringing back a character that hasn’t been in the spotlight for 40 years and assuming he’d have any kind of cache with audiences. But hey, that’s what Hollywood does.

We’ve actually had this DVD sitting around from Netflix for longer than I care to admit (or can remember, but it’s been awhile). Originally the missus and I were going to watch it, but with more and more passing weeks and our recent downgrade from two discs at a time to one, I wanted to get some new blood in my player.

Oh man, did I have fun with this flick. For some reason, I had assumed that Rogen’s Britt Reid was actually some kind of legacy, that he was picking up the Green Hornet mantle from his father who had passed away, but that’s not the case. Reid’s dad does die, but he wasn’t GH. After a day of hanging out with his father’s mechanic/genius/martial arts expert Kato, Britt and him wind up doing something stupid that leads to them becoming heroes. From there it’s a matter of Reid’s fortune supplying Kato with what he needs to build their supercar the Black Beauty and come up with the Hornet’s gas gun.

I know there have been several movies lately about what it would be like for a real person to become a hero, but I haven’t seen them. I refuse to watch Kick Ass and just haven’t gotten around to seeing the others. I know from reviews and source material that they focus on the potential hero getting the ever loving shit kicked out of them before they get to be worthwhile protectors of peace and justice. I’m glad they skipped over most of that stuff with this movie. Kato’s got the Green Hornet’s back, so you don’t really have to worry about him for the most part. There’s a few close calls, but overall Reid handles himself alright. There are real life like events, like a few killings, that reflect the seriousness of the situation, but overall, Rogen’s quips keep things light and had me laughing a lot. It did seem like a lot of them were ADRed in which got to be a little distracting and reminded me of Patton Oswalt’s routine about writing jokes for movies that had already been written.

But that’s a minor problem and one that you only really notice if you watch too many movies like me. The real question from a Friday Fisticuffs perspective is: how were the fights? Pretty cool. I know there was some hesitation online about Gondry’s way of showing how fast Kato moves and thinks (it was called something, but I can’t remember what), but I thought it came off pretty cool looking if not very video gamey. He essentially scans the entire area, notes weapons and sometimes targets in red and then does a series of moves to take them all out. There’s also a kind of stretching effect here and there that reminds me of some of the effects used in Flash comics. Had it been overused, the effect would have quickly become annoying, but Gondry used it sparingly, so it was fun to watch. Plus, Jay Chou’s got pretty good moves for a pop star.

There weren’t that many hand to hand fights, but the ones that were, using Gondry’s method were a lot of fun to watch. You don’t often see people thinking of new ways to actually show fights and it’s a heck of a lot better than that quick-cutting, hand held camera work that has become so popular. The other action scenes were pretty great, especially the huge epic fight that lead into a chase and then into yet another fight at the very end.

Overall, I’d recommend The Green Hornet to pretty much anyone. There’s enough comedy in there to keep non-action fans entertained as well as something of a love story. The movie also did something that I didn’t think was possible: made me more interested in the Green Hornet. I kinda want to check out the original old time radio show as well as the TV series (though Bruce Lee’s involvement as always intrigued me) and even the Kevin Smith comic based on the screenplay he wrote a while back. So, I guess the movie did it’s job. Well, it could have done better at the box office, but it did it’s artistic job by being entertaining, fun, innovative and intriguing.

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.