Movie Man-a-thon: Dracula, secret agents and a time traveling Ethan Hawke

Posted in Dracula, Genres, horror, monsters, time travel with tags , , , , , , on March 19, 2015 by Paxton

Steph took the kids to her parents for the week so I was left to my own bachelor devices. So, as usual, I programmed a viewing schedule of movies and TV shows that Steph would not ever want to watch. I’ve done this before, time to do it again.


Dracula Untold (2014) – The Universal monster rally movies can now begin!  I didn’t hear a lot about this movie beforehand but I look forward to any movie utilizing the classic monsters, especially Universal who says they want to plan a “monsterverse” set of movies.  This actually wasn’t that bad and a pretty good re-interpretation of the legend of Vlad the Impaler.  It makes him a more sympathetic character and places the inhuman bloodthirsty killer on another character from which Vlad will get his vampiric status.  The cast is great and the effects are pretty awesome.  Recommend.  However, to be honest, I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get a glimpse or hint of another monster in a post credit sequence.  But that’s a relatively small gripe.


Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) – Until very recently I had no idea this was based on a Mark Millar comic.  Honestly, I think Millar had the screenplay written, no one bought it, and so he made it into a comic.  Then when the comic did pretty well, he was able to sell it to Matthew Vaughn.  And this is a pretty spectacular movie.  I love Colin Firth and he’s brilliant in this.  On one hand he plays directly into your expectations of him while simultaneously doing something completely different that you would never expect him to be doing.  Michael Caine is also great.  The new kid is pretty good.  My only gripe would be Sam Jackson as the villain.  We’re to the point now where Sam Jackson will immediately take me out of a movie.  He’s no longer Sam Jackson the actor, he’s Sam Jackson the character.  He transcends whatever he’s trying to do.  And I appreciate he’s trying to do something a little different with the lisp, but I never saw anything other than SAM JACKSON playing the villain.  That being said, he’s remarkably entertaining to watch in this movie.  I highly recommend it.  I hope there are more Kingsman movies to come.


Predestination (2015) – On the surface, it looks to take the same basic idea of agents policing the time stream as Time Cop. But quickly you find out it’s a completely different movie.  It’s a more intimate story involving one time agent on one mission that seems to have some huge importance to history, but also some very personal importance as well.  It’s not really what I wanted out of the movie but I’m not going to lie, the way the story wraps up has a few surprising reveals that I didn’t see coming.  I saw one of them coming pretty early, but not the other.  It’s mostly well acted and interesting, but definitely quirky and a bit weird.  The story focuses more on Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook’s characters and their interactions with each other more than the actual time travel or the agency that is policing the time stream and how it works.  But it’s still a good movie.  I’d give it a soft recommend.


Game of Thrones: Season 2 – My wife and I started watching Season 2 a few weeks ago but she bowed out after two episodes.  By contrast, I was hooked after the same two episodes.  I went ahead and finished the season while Steph was away.  THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD.  Great characters, great drama.  Everything in this world is so f**king filthy.  Dirt and mud is EVERYWHERE.  And I feel sorry for the actor who plays Joffrey.  He plays the most despicable person in a TV show EVER.  I want to punch him in the face.  With a crowbar.  SO GOOD.  But far and above everyone else is Peter Dinklage kicking so much f**king ass as Tyrion Lannister.  He gets better every episode.  I’m two seasons behind right now so I’m trying to stay as spoiler free as possible, but I’m already aware that there is this thing called a “Red Wedding” and it happens at the end of season 3.  But that’s all I know.  SO SHUT UP ABOUT IT ALREADY.

Nerd Lunch Episode 170: Fictional Bands

Posted in movies, music, podcast, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , on March 17, 2015 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are joined by show regulars Jay from Sexy Armpit and Tim from the Neighborhood Archive to discuss one of my favorite subjects, fictional bands.

spinal-tap

In the first round we talk about some of our favorite pop culture bands that don’t exist. Expect discussions about bands like The Pinheads, Steel Dragon, The Hong Kong Cavaliers and The New Monkees. Then in round 2 we try to wow each other with how obscure we could get with our references. It’s a lot of fun and I’ve dropped a lot of musical cues in the show so you can get a taste of what some of these bands sound like.

And be sure to check out the amazing new intro Jay recorded for this week’s show.

Download this episode from iTunes, Stitcher or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online right here.

Rediscovering AC Comics’ Bolt from 1984

Posted in comic books, nostalgia, personal with tags , , , on March 4, 2015 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

I started comic collecting back in the mid 80s. I still have my entire collection in a filing cabinet and a longbox sitting in my garage. I thought maybe I’d go through some of those issues and find long lost gems and sort of spotlight some characters and issues that I’ve always been fond of.  Today’s character is the perfect place to begin this quest.

Recently while digging through my comics I re-discovered a comic that I got WAY back in the day. It was called Bolt and Starforce Six #1.

Bolt and SF6 #1

It was published by AC Comics in 1984.  AC Comics may not sound familiar but they made a name for themselves publishing Femforce which was a huge indie hit in the 80s-90s.  For a while in the early 80s they also had the rights to publish comics featuring Charlton super heroes right before DC bought them out.  AC would create the super team Sentinels of Justice featuring Capt Atom, The Question and Blue Beetle.

I happen to love the sh*t out of this Bolt cover, btw, which is probably reason #1 that I had a small obsession with this issue.  The cover itself was drawn by industry vets Steve Lightle and Jerry Ordway.  Inside the comic was written by Bill Black and drawn by Rod Whigham.

I don’t remember how I acquired this particular issue.  I ordered a lot of comics through the mail from Mile High Comics which required you to choose alternate books if one you wanted wasn’t in stock.  Also, if you ordered a certain amount Mile High would send you free comics or other comic book related ephemera.  That’s one way I could have gotten it.  Alternatively, I could have found it in the bargain bins of my local comic shop in the late 80s and decided to take a gamble after falling in love with the striking cover.  I honestly don’t remember.  But after I had the issue, I sort of fell in love with it.  And most of that was with the character Bolt.

Bolt page 1 Bolt page 2

The story begins with some astronauts up studying space debris when their “video radar” is damaged. Mitchell Cameron goes out in an experimental radiation suit to fix said “video radar” and is engulfed in what is described as “the enigma cloud”.  One of his astronaut colleagues SHOOTS A LASER at Mitchell to try to disperse the “enigma cloud” and winds up causing a reaction that fuses the suit onto Mitchell and turns him into a being of pure energy with incredible light and energy powers.  The government would of course see him as a threat (as they tend to do) and send out their best super team, Starforce Six to try to retrieve and capture him.

It’s mostly an okay story but the Bolt character design is kind of awesome.  I love the red and blue suit and I’m a sucker for “energy powers” (notice all the quotes?  It’s an 80s comic, guys, filled with lots of 80s-ness).  And Bolt is pretty cool in the story, unfortunately, as far as Starforce Six goes, they couldn’t be more boring, horrible cliches.  Just dumb.  Their team uniforms are powder blue jumpsuits.  One guy has an eyepatch.  It’s just awful.

Well, after falling in love with this issue I looked for YEARS and was never able to find a Bolt and Starforce Six issue #2.  Bolt just sort of disappeared from the comic landscape.  Never to be seen again.  Or so I thought.

Just a few years ago, while randomly searching comics I discovered THIS:

Bolt Special #1

Bolt Special #1.

Discovering this sort of stopped me dead in my tracks. My brain hitched.  It was like discovering Noah’s Ark in my local Wal-Mart. I was like, “WHAT. THE. F**K?!”  Before my brain could melt out of my ears, I grabbed the comic and greedily hid it away like I was Gollum in LoTR.  NO ONE was going to get this from me (I didn’t really stop to think and realize that NO ONE was looking for this comic which is why it had been sitting where it was since Reagan was President).

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Nerd Lunch Podcast #168: The Rocketeer Drilldown

Posted in comic books, movies, podcast, pop culture with tags , , , on March 3, 2015 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are joined again by Geeky Kay from the Hyperspace Theories podcast. And this week we are talking about the 1991 movie The Rocketeer.

Rocketeer-Horizontal

We discuss our history with Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer character, we talk about our history with the movie and we talk about all the things we like and/or dislike about the movie.  It’s a pretty great discussion.

Download this episode from iTunes, Stitcher or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online right here.

Nerd Lunch Episode 167: Drilldown on Infomercials

Posted in advertising, nostalgia, podcast, pop culture, TV, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on February 24, 2015 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are joined by frequent guest Tim Lybarger from the Neighborhood Archive to talk all about infomercials.

Flowbee

We discuss some of our favorite products, some of our favorite pitchmen and then we spend a moment discussing some of the more ridiculous products we remember seeing info ads for. Also find out if any of us actually bought any of this crap. You’ll be surprised.

Download this episode from iTunes, Stitcher or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online here.

Movie Man-a-thon 2015: Magicians, gunfighters and devils galore

Posted in movies, TV shows with tags , on February 19, 2015 by Paxton

As happens every blue moon, the wife went away for the weekend a few weeks ago and left me watching the kids.  So, when the kids were put to bed, I had a chance to engage in one of my patented movie man-a-thons.  I picked a bunch of movies Steph would never want to watch and I gave them a spin.

Let’s see how I made out.  This list is in the order that I watched the movies.


Houdini (2014) – The Lionsgate/History Channel 2-night mini-series all about the life and career of Harry Houdini, one of the greatest magicians of all time.  I love magician movies and I love the lore that’s built up around Harry Houdini.  This is a pretty solid mini-series retelling the life of Houdini.  Brody does a great job inhabiting the character and it covers Houdini’s life, while not exhaustedly, but, entertainingly.  Worth a watch.  We even get a quick scene with Rasputin when Houdini performs for the Russian royal family.  I didn’t know he had met Houdini.    Rasputin is another historical figure besides Houdini, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt, that I have a sort of mini-obsession with.


The Watcher (2000) – This was a re-watch for me. I originally watched it when it was first released on DVD back in 2000-2001.  I’ve always loved James Spader and I’ve been loving Keanu Reeves lately in stuff like John Wick and Man of Tai Chi.  So, I thought I’d revisit this serial killer movie that features Spader as a burn out police detective being sent clues of murders by a serial killer played by Reeves.  Honestly, it doesn’t live up to what I think this movie could have been in my head.  If this were re-made now with Spader and Reeves as they are today, I think it could be incredible.  I don’t necessarily remember it being better when I saw it originally back in the early 2000s, but I was still disappointed.


Pale Rider (1985) – I love Clint Eastwood and especially his westerns.  Surprisingly, I’d never seen Pale Rider before.  So, I caught it on AMCHD with my DVR and decided to give it a shot for my man-a-thon.  And it’s AWESOME.  This is a much better version of High Plains Drifter (and don’t get me wrong, I like HPD).  Eastwood is excellent as usual and so are the plethora of bad guys in this one.  Just a really good gritty western with a hint of possible supernatural goings on.  And the daughter, Megan, as played by Sydney Penny, was embarrassingly attractive.  I say embarrassingly because she was 14 at the time the movie filmed.  But she’s STILL smoking hot today.

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Nerd Lunch Podcast Episode 166: Movie Menus 3

Posted in Burger King, fast food, food, McDonald's, movies, podcast, pop culture with tags , , , , , , on February 17, 2015 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are joined by perennial foodie favorites Nick from Dude Foods and Jess from Burger Mary and we let the food experts take a ride on one of our favorite topics, Movie Menus. This is Part 3 of the Movie Menus.

Goonies_BK

We are all assigned movies and restaurants by someone else and we have to come up with a themed menu to go with that movie using the existing menu of our restaurant.

Lots of fun movie menu choices including movies like The Goonies and Karate Kid Part II as well as restaurants like McDonalds and Outback Steakhouse.  So download this episode, sit back and let us take you on a trip for both your ear holes AND your mouth holes.  Trust me, you’re mouth will be watering by the end.

Download this episode from iTunes, Stitcher or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online right here.

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