Archive for June, 2013

Cult Film Club Episode 8: Karate Kid Part III

Posted in 80s, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, sequels with tags , , , , , , on June 26, 2013 by Paxton

Cult Film Club

We pulled a sneak attack on you guys. Just when you thought CFC was going to miss our June episode, BOOM, here we are with under the wire with Episode 8 in which we talk about our first sequel, Karate Kid Part III.

KK3_barnes

There is just so much to love in this retardedly bad movie. Terry Silver, the return of Kreese, “Karate’s Bad Boy” Mike Barnes, Daniel-san forgetting everything he’s learned from the first two movies, Snake and extremely valuable grand daddy banzai trees. It’s all there and Jaime, Shawn and I cover ALL of it because we unabashedly love every single moment in this film. If we could, we’d review this movie every week.

So, download the latest CFC episode from iTunes or listen to it online right here.

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Nerd Lunch Episode 91: GI Joe: A Real American Hero action figures

Posted in 80s, cartoons, pop culture, toys, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on June 25, 2013 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Our long, slow crawl to episode 100 continues. While Jeeg is off searching for the third constituent element in his Weather Dominator this week, we are joined by our good friend Shawn Robare and first time guest Howie Decker of the Under Scoop Fire Blog and Podcast.  And in this very special episode, CT, the guests and I are discussing the GI Joe A Real American Hero toys.

USS Flagg
(Via herocomplex.latimes.com)

We talk about the ones we had, we talk about the ones we wanted. We talk about some of our favorites and least favorites. We also talk about our current relationship with the property.  It’s a fun, nostalgia filled discussion, join us won’t you?

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

Superman Week 2013: Favorite Scene Friday on To the Escape Hatch blog

Posted in comic books, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, Superman with tags , , , , on June 21, 2013 by Paxton

Superman Week

For Superman Week, Robert over at To the Escape Hatch asked me to write another Favorite Scene Friday. This time, themed, obviously, for Superman. If you remember, I’d previously written a Favorite Scene Friday involving Young Guns.

So for this week’s Fav Scene, I talk a lot about the Christopher Reeve Superman movies.  And specifically about Lex Luthor as played by Gene Hackman.

Gene - Lex
(Via Criminal Movies)

Head over to To the Escape Hatch to read all about it.

There’s a very slight possibility that I may get to see Man of Steel this weekend.  If that happens I’ll post a review of it next week mainly because I know there are precious few reviews of that movie out on the ‘net right now.  So, let’s hope that happens.

Superman Week 2013: BB Hiller’s Superman IV novelization (1987)

Posted in books, comic books, movies, Superman with tags , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2013 by Paxton

Superman Week

So the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, made it’s theatrical debut on Friday.  To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to do another Superman Week.  I convinced CT over at Nerd Lunch and Robert over at To The Escape Hatch to join along.  So leap in a single bound over to those wonderful blogs and see what Superman content they are offering up this week.

Continuing Superman Week 2013 with another look at one of the Superman novelizations.  Here’s a review of the Superman IV movie novelization from 1987.  And yes, I’m pretty sure I hate this weird cover.

Supes 4 novel

The book is written by B.B. Hiller who is a veteran of movie novelizations. This guy has penned novelizations for Little Monsters (the one with Howie Mandell and Fred Savage), Ghostbusters II, Big, ALL of the 90s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies and ALL of the Karate Kid movies.  So this guy has been around…so to speak.  Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at these things, Hiller didn’t adapt any of the other Superman movies.  Only this one.  The last one.  And, ostensibly, the worst one. However, to be perfectly honest, I’m a fan of this last Superman movie.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely f**king terrible but I love it anyway.  And I wanted to see if the book makes an attempt at explaining ANY of the crazy ass insanity that goes down in the movie.  A quick check of the page count (144) tells me that, no, this probably won’t explain a g**damn thing.  But I decided to try it anyway.

The verdict?  It’s actually not that bad.  Somehow, the ridiculous story on the page comes across better than it does on the big screen.  However, there are several added scenes and subplots that help explain some of the ridiculousness.  Just so you know, about 45 minutes of footage was removed from Superman IV including an entire subplot about a first failed attempt by Lex to create a Nuclear Man.

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Superman Week 2013: William Kotzwinkle’s Superman III novelization (1983)

Posted in books, movies, pop culture, Superman with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2013 by Paxton

Superman Week
It’s Day 3 of Superman Week.  I convinced CT over at Nerd Lunch and Robert over at To The Escape Hatch to join along.  So leap in a single bound over to those wonderful blogs and see what Superman content they are offering up this week.

For Superman Week in 2006 (“celebrating” Superman Returns), I reviewed all of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies. So, for the release of this new Superman movie, I thought I’d go back and read the novelizations to two of those same movies. There weren’t novelizations of the first two Reeve Superman movies most likely due to a clause in screenwriter Mario Puzo’s contract that forbade anyone other than him from writing the novelizations. But for whatever reason, Puzo never got around to writing the books.  So Warner Books only released novelizations for the second two movies.  I looked forward to reading these novelizations because I love the two Superman sequels in a retarded sort of way and I wanted to see if there was any more awesomely insane weirdness in the books.

So, today, let’s take a look at the novelization to Superman III.

Written by William Kotzwinkle, the guy who also wrote the ET novelization.  The overall structure of the movie story is intact in the novelization.  The biggest difference with the book is that Kotzwinkle adds a sh*t ton of internal dialogue by nearly every character, but mostly Superman/Clark and Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor).  Many of the internal monologues are weird and in the case of Superman/Clark, completely against character.  A lot of Clark’s internalized conversations are him saying how he could fly someone he doesn’t like to the moon and leave them there.  You know, stuff like, “If only you knew I was Superman…” or “If I could, I would <fill in the blank with some super powered vengeance>”.  I’m fairly certain these are supposed to setup the evil Superman later in the book, but I wasn’t buying it.  It was against everything you think about Clark and Superman.

And as for Gus Gorman.  Ugh.  I didn’t really like Pryor’s character in the movie.  Pryor did good with what he was given, but the character was dumb.  This guy who can’t hold a steady job discovers that he’s some idiot savant when it comes to “computers”.  What?  And it’s even worse in the book.  It’s made more clear in the novel that Gus literally has no idea what he’s doing or how he’s doing it.  It’s like all of his computer skills are some sort of super power he can only barely control.  Pryor makes the character somewhat likeable, but you don’t have that luxury in the novel.  And it’s painfully clear that Pryor ad-libbed many of his lines in the movie because in the book, the dialogue for Gus might be some of the worst written crap I’ve ever read.  Filled with weird late 70s-early 80s colloquialisms that make no sense.  Pryor must have agreed because in the movie, he gets the same information across but in a better way.

As for the villains, the characters of Ross and Vera Webster and Lorelei aren’t much better in this novel than they were in the movie.  Their back stories are fleshed out a little.  We get that Vera is fiercely protective of her brother and craves his approval in everything she does.  There are even a few flashbacks to their childhood.  Lorelei, is still mostly one dimensional.  A poor man’s Miss Tessmacher.  She’s pretty and the book expands a bit more on the fact that Lorelei is actually smarter than everyone thinks she is.  But it’s honestly to no further end.

Unfortunately, there’s no extra story to the evil Superman stuff.  I was hoping we’d get more scenes, but we really don’t.  Although, the book does say that Superman’s suit turns fully black and his eyes glow green.  THAT is pretty awesome and I wish the movie would have taken it the whole way.

evil_superman_superfriends
I’m Superman. BITCHES.

The book’s climax is essentially the same.  Not really much to add.  No further explanation about how Gus came up with the Super Computer idea.  It’s essentially taken from drawings on napkins to fully realized in the cave.  Who developed the AI software the computer runs on?  Gus?  He acts like he’d never seen the computer before when he walks into the cave after riding the donkey down the mountain.  Don’t you think he would have supervised the entire construction?  When the computer shoots the “correct” Kryptonite ray at Supes, how does the computer synthesize the .052% of unknown in the chemical makeup?  It’s UNKNOWN to humans.  Stuff like this needed a better explanation.

I was very disappointed with this book.  I love movie novelizations and it’s rare that I don’t actually enjoy one.  Especially if I like the movie.  I didn’t like this and I can’t recommend it.

If you want a peak into the Superman III movie that could have been, take a glance at this unused Ilya Salkind story treatment.  Prepare for appearances by Supergirl, Brainiac and Mr Mxzyptlk.  It’s weird, but I think it could have been spectacular.

Superman Week 2013: Nerd Lunch Episode 90: Superman retrospective

Posted in comic books, movies, podcast, pop culture, Superman with tags , , , , on June 18, 2013 by Paxton

Superman Week

Welcome to Episode 90 of the Nerd Lunch Podcast.  Since this week is Superman Week, CT and I recruit Michael May and Thom Holbrook to take the place of a missing Jeeg and join us for a lively discussion about Superman during his 75th anniversary.

Superman 75 years

We talk about our first exposure to the Man of Steel, we talk about our favorite incarnations and we even cast a dream list of Superman actors. So leap iTunes in a single bound and join us for the discussion.

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

Or listen to it online right here.

Superman Week 2013: The Superman the Movie magazine (1979)

Posted in comic books, movies, Superman with tags , , , , , , , on June 17, 2013 by Paxton

Superman Week

So the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, made it’s theatrical debut on Friday.  To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to do another Superman Week.  I convinced CT over at Nerd Lunch and Robert over at To The Escape Hatch to join along.  So leap in a single bound over to those wonderful blogs and see what Superman content they are offering up this week.

As for me, today I’m going to start off this year’s Superman Week with a look at the special souvenir magazine DC released for Superman the Movie.

This particular magazine was released by DC in tabloid size, so the thing is gi-normous.  It’s too big for my scanner, in fact.  So I had to take some pics with my camera and I’ll just have to show you those. Click any of the images to see them BIGGER on Flickr.

Superman the Movie magazine cover Supes Movie Mag inside cover

These are the front and inside covers of the magazine. Nice, glossy pages. I especially like the photo montage on the inside cover with the movie-stylized “S” in the middle.  It helps that there’s an awesome pic of the bikini-clad Valerie Perrine in the montage.

Jor-El and Kal-El

Here’s a nice pic of Marlon Brando as Jor-El. What this magazine does well is to provide information from the movie and then provide information from the comic to compare it to. It even includes artwork from the comics.  This particular section is talking about Krypton and comparing the different versions from the movie and the comic books.

Kryptonian judges

In the Krypton section we get some more info on the three Kryptonian Judges who sentence Zod to the Phantom Zone. We also see a pic of a deleted scene involving the three judges dispatching a Kryptonian “executioner” to stop Jor-El from launching the rocket with his son (bottom of page).  Here’s a closer look at that oddly dressed “executioner”.

Kryptonian Executioner

Just before filming began on the movie, DC Comics had a contest called The Great Superman Movie Contest. DC asked kids to spell out words by cutting out letters from their comics (yes, they were encouraging kids to DESTROY THEIR COMICS…it was the 70s). Two winners got a cameo in the movie. The ad for the contest appeared in DC comics in 1977. This is what one of the ads looked like.

Great Superman Movie Contest

Below is a page in the movie magazine that shows pictures of Christopher Reeve and the then-president of DC Comics sorting through contest entries trying to pick the winners. The eventual winners are shown in the bottom picture looking at an issue of Superman.  The two boys would cameo in the Smallville football scene with the teenage Clark Kent.

Great Superman Movie Contest

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