Powered by Blogger

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"Bake Your Noodle"

So, I'm watching Free Enterprise again here on the Space Network, got hungry, and was eating some frozen yogurt vanilla thing. Then for no particular reason, I started trying to balance the spoon on the less than quarter inch rim of the now empty container.

I did, of course, and it's been balancing there for the duration of the movie. Then they played a commercial for The Matrix and it suddenly hit me -

There is no spoon!


TIME Interview

TIME interview with Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman

Cool TIME interview here with two of the icons of current geekdom. Pretty interesting, actually, even if its from over a year ago...

Only Classic!

If you haven’t seen it, you’ve gotta check out the movie Free Enterprise. It’s a great movie for those that class themselves as geeks – but in a cool way. If you can understand even half the references of sci-fi, comics, and movies that fly around this flick, you might qualify for geekdom…

But beyond that, it’s actually a pretty good movie about two guys – friends since school – hitting thirty and trying to figure it out. Lot’s of great dialogue and solid performances. Plus, its got William Shatner in a great self-deprecating performance sending up his Star Trek persona and Audie England shows up too. Why don’t I see anyone like that in my comic book shop? :)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to all the readers and commenters (hey, is that a word?) that have visited the Eagle's Roost. Hope you are well and enjoying the holidays in whatever form you choose to celebrate.

Bring on the turkey and the candy! ;-)

Be safe out there...


Tales of the Stranger: Episode 8 (A Prequel)

Due to unprecedented non-demand, The Stranger is back! Well, sort of. I can't leave the Stranger character alone, and this was just an idea I had for a one off story, so I put it together quick (you can tell it was quick) to have a Stranger Christmas story. Be warned, it isn't a soft and fuzzy "Santa sliding down the chimney" kind of story. It's the kind of story you get when I'm on a Garth Ennis graphic novel kick :)

It's set as a prequel, before the first 1 of 7 Stranger stories that started this thing. As the title suggests, it's from the years he was on the road, the stray years in between. Enjoy if you can, comments of any kind welcome...

A Stranger Christmas by Eaglewing

The stars lit up the sky, one bigger and brighter than the others. Together, they shed light on the desperate situation far below them.

Red and blue lights flashed incessantly, lighting up the dark snowy air as police cruisers converged on the city park. Urgent voices filled the air as officer after officer arrived at the scene. One older man, a sergeant, took control of the chaos.

"Ok, listen up! We have confirmed ident that the child is still alive! Witnesses saw the kid being taken into the park towards the tunnels less than fifteen minutes ago by a man who fits the description of our serial kidnapper." Pointing at several others, he continued. "You guys close off the exits, the rest spread out and lets circle this S.O.B. and grab him before he can do any more damage. Remember, he's dangerous, he's known to carry a knife and probably a gun, so no heroes! Two by two, no one alone. Let's move!"

The mayhem spread out in a remarkably controlled fashion as the officers followed orders. Kids had been getting snatched lately with spiraling ransom demands, and the whole town was on edge. One kid had escaped, providing a description, but this was as close as anyone had got to nabbing the kidnapper. The urgency the officers felt at this point was an understatement. So it was no surprise that they were too focused on the direction they thought the suspect had gone to notice a lone man on a higher ridge watching the scene intently. His dark clothes blended him into the night, but a closer look would have revealed the man hunched into his coat against the cold, collar turned up and his ever-present cowboy hat pulled as low as possible. An even closer look would have revealed the set jaw and the narrowing eyes. He had heard every frantic word below, and knew his usual method of 'passing through' would have to wait tonight.

He turned away from the cops, noise, and light and started to quickly flank the spreading out patrol while staying to the cover of the night. He didn't know the terrain as well as he should for a mission like this, but that couldn't be helped. Time, weather, and terrain were against him, but those weren't the factors that would win this battle tonight. What would, he had in spades.

Breaking through an ineffective gap in the police dragnet, he moved ahead of the oncoming officers. Sure, they were moving quickly, but they were still following procedures. He wasn't. Old, never forgotten skills rolled to the front of his mind as he moved even quicker frantically hunting for a trace, for any sign of a trail. There had to be one. The snow was thick on the ground and still coming down. There would be a trail, and he had to find it first.

He did.

The trail led down a ravine into a drainage tunnel. He followed it down and sliding to a stop he came to the mouth of the dark cement drainage pipe. His only light source was a lighter he had in his pocket, and he had no clue where these tunnels went. This wasn't good. He had no recon, no intel, no time, and no clue of what he was walking into. He paused for just a second, did a quick rethink of why he was out here to begin with and came to the same conclusion for the umpteenth time that he didn't matter anyway. He was a lost cause, but there was a kid at stake who wasn't.

Snarling low, he plunged into the darkness.


The kid sat on the cold wet cement watching the unknown man who had grabbed him earlier. They had gone through a couple tunnels, and the kid knew they were in some kind of underground room. He wasn't tied up, but he knew he wasn't going anywhere either.

"What are you going to do with me?"

"Whatever I want." Came the surly answer.

The kid decided not to say anything more, and instead closed his eyes. He thought of his Mom and Dad and sister at home. It was Christmas Eve, and he should be in bed like he usually was each year, eagerly awaiting what Santa would bring. But this year, something had gone really wrong when they were out shopping for Christmas gifts, and now he wasn't home where he should be.

He knew he was going to need help to get out of here and get home in time for Christmas morning. Thinking it over carefully, he knew just Who to ask for help. He barely got the words thought out before the surly man spoke again.

"Time for you now." He towered over the young boy, a true menace.

The kid was scared, but he closed his eyes and believed.

Then the door exploded off its hinges, flew inward, and crashed to the floor. As the dust settled, the kid opened one eye and looked up to see a Stranger in a cowboy hat staring down the surly man above him.

"Back away from the kid." It was said in a low rumble, like a mountain volcano getting ready to erupt.

The surly kidnapper stepped away from the boy and towards the Stranger. He looked closely at the intruding cowboy. He spoke in an odd manner, focusing intently on the Stranger, looking at his eyes. "We are the same, aren't we? We are not uncomfortable to the darkness, are we?"

"No way in hell are we the same," muttered the Stranger, stepping in closer, content to keep the kidnapper's attention on him for the time being. Fixing the man in front of him with a steely gaze, the Stranger continued. "We might both be comfortable in the darkness, but what you’re doing is off the map, way off the deep end. Thing is, you surrendered to it, didn’t you? You love it, and want more of it. I can see it in your eyes. Me, I'm still fighting it; I still know there is a light. But you can't go and do the things you're doing, so I'm here to make sure you stop for good. You want darkness, I'll give it to you."

The kidnapper seemed to suddenly awake to the very real threat in front of him. In a swift move, he pulled a knife from behind him and slashed outward. The Stranger blocked the knife arm, chopped the knife away with the other hand, then laid out the attacker with a brutal uppercut that connected hard. The kidnapper slumped to the ground, stunned.

The Stranger looked at the kid. "Go outside. Now. But wait outside the door, ok? It's dark and you'll get lost in the tunnels if you go runnin', but I'll walk you out of here. Just wait for me outside, ok?" The boy nodded and walked outside the room. The Stranger checked to be sure the boy stayed put, then went back into the room and closed the door.

There was scuffling and grunting heard from inside as the Stranger got some answers. Then it went very quiet. A few minutes later, he came back out, then knelt down to the boy's eye level. "You ok, kid? You hurt?"

"I'm ok, but I wanna go home."

"So do I, kid…so do I. Let's go."

The Stranger fired up the lighter for the kid's sake and proceeded to guide them out of the tunnels. As they got to the opening, the Stranger stopped and knelt down again. He handed the boy a piece of paper.

"Ok, you can go from here. See all those policemen up that hill. You run to them and they'll take you home, ok? But give them this paper first." The boy nodded, then looked back down the dark tunnel. The Stranger noticed and continued, "You don't have to be scared. He can never hurt you again. I made sure of that, ok? Don't worry about him. You did good, you were very brave."

The kid nodded, then looked at the Stranger for a minute before speaking. "Who are you?"

The Stranger chuckled. Seemed everyone asked him that. He shook his head and looked back at the boy. "Santa's bodyguard. He thought you needed me more tonight."

The kid didn't laugh, just looked at the Stranger funny, then shook his head. "No, I don't think you are. Santa doesn't need a bodyguard, everyone likes him. Besides, he wasn't the One I asked for help. Somebody else sent you. He knew you were the right one who could help me. But He always knows that kind of stuff. It’s His birthday, you know. Oh, and thanks. My Mom says I gotta say thanks for stuff."

Then just that quick, the boy headed off towards the police officers, calling out an unexpected “Merry Christmas!” back over his shoulder to the Stranger.

“Merry Christmas, kid,” The Stranger whispered, before quickly retreating to more shadowy high ground, away from what would be very inquiring eyes.

He watched the police converge on the boy, and the shouts of "He's here! I found him!" go up into the night air. Then more shouts as the cops read the note. “What stranger? Hey, the kid’s got a map! There’s rooms. There’s more kid’s down here. Hurry!” Then more lights were trained into the area and onto the tunnel as it all became a flurry of activity. That was the Stranger's cue to leave.

As he crested the hill, silhouetted against the snowy starlit sky, he looked back. He thought about what the boy had said. Could he really have been sent out here for a reason? Were people like him necessary to the balance of the world? Was it possible this dark sea of heavy weight he carried every day was being used for a purpose? That maybe not all was lost, that Somebody had a hand in this mess? It was a thought, and he had plenty of time on his hands to think.

He glanced up at the sky, finding that one brighter star, and decided to head in that direction. Then he slipped quietly into the shadows again, walking on, one foot in front of the other, wondering why things happened like they did and where it would all lead. He sure didn't know, but he was going to keep going until his troubled soul found some peace...

The End.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's A Mission...

And that's how you do your Christmas shopping.

I'd been putting it off (hey, I'm a guy), but tonight being the last night I could do it, I braved the maniacs out there and hit the stores. Remarkably, it wasn't as bad out there as I was expecting. The mall was nuts, but others stores weren't too bad at all.

I planned the mission, figured in Plan B's, then executed it perfectly. Where necessary, I had to "improvise, adapt, overcome" [bonus points if you know what movie that's from], but 4 hours later I was all done, everything good to go for Christmas.

Ahhh...bring on the eggnog, crank up the Elvis Christmas tunes, and to all a good night! I won't be in the stores this weekend - bwhahahaha!!! ;-)

(yes, I know, I got lucky :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Shooter Trailer Online

The trailer for the movie Shooter is online at Yahoo. Coming out March 16/07, it stars Mark Wahlberg as an ex-sniper setup and doublecrossed to take the blame for an assasination attempt. He has to go on the run to prove his innocence.

It's based on the book Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter. I read the book some time ago, and it's quite good. I think they've miscast Wahlberg as the central character of Bob Lee Swagger, though. He was older in the book - a Vietnam War veteran - who was assisted by a young FBI agent who believed his innocence. Looks like they're both the same age in the movie. If they keep the twists and turns from the book - and above all, the book's ending - it'll still be good.

The trailer shows promise as it looks like they're zeroing in on the sniper aspects of the plot. I hope they don't blow it, since it was a good book.

You can download the trailer here.

White Christmas?

It's looking like it's going to be a green Christmas around here. When I was a kid, we got a proper snow in the winter. You know you've got a good winter going when the snowplow goes off the road and gets stuck...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hit or Miss...

In the four major sports, football would take number 1, and basketball number 2 as the players looking the dumbest when a fight breaks out. In football, it's dumb because they're all wearing full protective gear, including helmets. In basketball, however, it just looks stupid. They kinda look they're flailing away with their arms in a windmill fashion. Then somebody lands a shot and the guy goes down like a sack of potatoes. I'm no basketball fan at all, even with fights. Hockey's the only sport that matters anyway :)

Finally got my boxes from Amazon. Yay, Christmas a week early. Got lots to absorb here now - The Superman Ultimate Collectors Edition (pretty cool case too) with 14 DVD's (will finally see Superman Returns now)...Clerks 2 (been waiting to see this one)...Kevin Smith Evening Harder (the first one was some of the funniest stuff ever, looking forward to this one)...Bones Season 1 (a rare FOX series that wasn't cancelled in its 1st season)...The Punisher Extended Cut (looking forward to the 17 extra minutes, but that's some odd packaging)...the first 2 hardcover Punisher Max trades (issues 1-24 of Garth Ennis's run - read the first arc "In The Beginning", and it was excellent)...the Brisco County Jr Complete Series (had to wait for the price to come way down on this one, and Amazon eventually did - less than half price to what it's being sold for around here)...and last but not least, the Firefly Official Companion Volume 1 (cool book - complete scripts for the shows with lots of background info on the making of it and comments from cast and crew. Volume 2 with the other half of the shows/scripts should be out in the spring).

I've said it before - as much as I'd like to support Canadian companies with my spending dollars, you can't beat Amazon's prices. The Superman collection and the Brisco set were more than half off compared to what stores were selling them for around here. Same goes for the Punisher hardcovers - and that's assuming I could even track them down in a store around here. It's a shame to have the money go stateside, but I'm not going to get hosed double the price just to shop on the home side of the border...

Out and about in the stores, the Christmas music selection leaves a lot to be desired as a lot of the classic songs sung by new singers are getting massacred. Sure, they want to put their own new 'creative' spin on things, but just sing Jingle Bells without all the extra foofaraw. Having said that, if you want something new, try Sarah McLachlan's 'River' from her Christmas album. (You can watch it here) Wouldn't think of it as a Christmas song necessarily, but it works. You could also see it as a tune used in an episode of Due South...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Here and There...

The Die Hard 4 trailer is out. You can watch it from YouTube over on The Movie Blog, or download it in glorious Quicktime from Movie-List here via CinemaBlend. I don’t know – it seems ok, but it doesn’t give me the excitement level I was hoping for. A clearly CGI shot, no dialogue from Bruce, and a lame ass title (Live Free or Die Hard), work against it. Of course, it’s just a teaser, so I’m hoping a full trailer will come out that gets me excited. They have to make this worth the Die Hard name, and not just another action flick. Bruce Willis will be fine in this, I’m sure, it’s the director I’m worried about. The teaser doesn’t jump at you and yell “Die Hard Movie!!! Yippie-Kay-Ay!!!”. It just lacks the look and feel of a Die Hard movie, and if we’re talking look and feel, you have to blame the director. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Bruce saves the movie and the world in Die Hard 4.

Watched the end of The Lost Room the other night. It was an interesting sci-fi mystery, with more mystery than anything really. I thought it was pretty good, although I didn’t quite get the ending. I mean, it kinda made sense, but since I didn’t see the first part, maybe I missed something. Peter Krause and Julianna Margulies did very well in it though, so if this shows up on DVD sometime, I’ll probably check the thing out again in whole.

And this is just plain cool. The US third successful hand transplant patient is recovering well and is ‘right on track’ with the therapy. He’s looking forward to throwing a ball. Wow. Transplanting a hand and having it work is just amazing…

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Movie Notes...

Just a couple movies notes here...

Don't have time to write one of my mini reviews, but I watched the 1985 movie To Live and Die in LA the other night. This movie was on my list for a while - mostly to see the insanely well done car chase, and because of William L. Petersen (a very good actor currently of CSI Fame) - but the movie in whole was very good. It's about counterfeiting, and not just the money as the director notes in the extra features. The thing was, there are very few movies that surprise me anymore. I can usually see the plot points coming, but this one surprised me. All I knew about the movie was the car chase and the synopsis on the back. So when that twist happened with some time still left, I was actually surprised. (if you've seen the movie, you know what I mean). That's just not done nowadays, as the director Friedkin and actor Petersen go into (the studio didn't want it, but they did it anyway). That's a gutsy move, and really drove the point of the movie home. On the surface, it's a generic action movie; but looking at it deeper its a study of characters that are grey, not black and white, and some out over the edge, and their actions have consequences. Check it out, but make sure you rent the Special Edition though and watch the extras after.

Caught the second part of The Lost Room sci-fi miniseries tonight, and will want to catch the finale tomorrow. It stars that guy from Six Feet Under (Peter Krause) and the nurse from ER - Julianna Margulies, who still looks really good :) Not quite sure where it's going since I didn't catch the first part, but I think I've got the gist of it. And that shootout with the comb object that pauses time was a cool twist to the standard shootout scene. Should be an interesting finish...and btw, you don't see that many miniseries on TV anymore, do you? Wonder why...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I just saw a commercial on TV for that little alfalfa sprout grower, the Chia Pet. However, this time they were letting us know it's the 25th anniversary of that thing. What the?! 25 years? I remember seeing those commercials as a kid, and up until this new one, they haven't changed a bit.

25 years of alfalfa goodness. I feel old.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Me Mini Movie Reviews: Miami Vice

Miami Vice (2006)

Going into 2006, there were three movies on my must see list. This was before the late year end ‘good movie’ push. Those 3 were X-Men 3, Brick, and Miami Vice. I saw the first 2 in theatres, but passed on Miami Vice due to bad reviews even though I loved the trailers. I wouldn’t have cared about the bad reviews, but the general consensus I read indicated everyone mumbled their lines. That kept me from shelling out 10 bucks to see this in theatres. At the time, my ears were giving me problems, so I figured I would wait until I could put subtitles on with the DVD.

Well, I finally watched the movie tonight. First of all, I loved it, and don’t quite know where the bad reviews of “all style, no substance” were coming from. Of course the movie has style – in spades – but there is a plot and substance if you pay attention. Maybe it’s not anything mind blowing, but there is a story there, where you’re not sure how it’s going to play out with the choices the characters will have to make. It’s not your ‘80’s Vice, for sure, but I liked the updated grittiness that director/writer Michael Mann brought to the big screen version.

The movie looks amazing – the Miami and Central America locales are filmed beautifully. And as always with a Michael Mann movie, the music is like an additional unseen character adding resonance to the scenes. The actors did well – Colin Farrell played the unpredictable Sonny Crocket ably, while Jaime Foxx brought a certain cool intensity to the Tubbs character. Some reviews thought they played it too coolly and detached, but these are supposed to be undercover cops – pros that don’t let emotions rule them. I thought it worked well, and when things did get close to home for the characters, the detachment was left behind. Naomi Harris and Gong Li did good jobs as well, as the two female leads, although I did have to turn on subtitles for some of Gong Li’s scenes. She admittedly struggled with the English dialogue, though she certainly did admirably well at it. Which brings us back to the first point – the mumbling. Except for maybe a couple scenes, I didn’t think it was an issue. I could understand Farrell and Foxx without a problem, so I kind of wish I had ignored the reviewers and gone to the cinema.

Like the Michael Mann movie Heat, when the action hits the screen and the guns start to fire, it’s a realistic, violent, and visceral part of the movie. You won’t see machine guns shot from the hip spraying bullets around while missing the broad side of a barn. The guns are aimed, and the shots count. I appreciate that kind of realism in a movie. When I want brainless action, I’ll watch a Michael Bay movie or Arnie’s Commando. In a Mann movie, I know the action sequences aren’t just going to be eye candy, although they are certainly choreographed well. Also, as someone who has read novels with tactical police/military jargon, I liked hearing that kind of language throughout the film. I could see how that might put some people off if they don’t know what it means though.

This is a darker cop thriller that is miles away from the ‘80’s TV show of the same name. If you are one that is really attached to that Miami Vice, you probably won’t like this 2006 update. However, if you’re looking for a good undercover police thriller from a good director, check this one out. In comparison to other Mann movies of similar genre, I would say it isn’t as good as Heat, but I liked it better than Collateral, which I enjoyed as well. Now I just have to get the soundtrack…

Verdict: Probably not for everyone. Recommended for fans of serious cop thrillers.

A Playlist Fit For A Mix Tape...

After rewinding the credits of the movie Don't Come Knocking just to listen to the music 10 times in a row, I used the program SVRecorder to make MP3's out of it. I had to, because I couldn't find a soundtrack album for it anywhere on the internet. Then I built a new playlist with other songs I have. I dare you to find a better hour and a half of music anywhere on the radio ;-)

I Just Got Back From Hell - Gary Allan
Tougher Than The Rest - EmmyLou Harris
Better Off Without You - EmmyLou Harris
Don't Come Knocking - Bono & Andrea Coor (Movie Track)
Picture (Long Version) - Kid Rock & Allison Moorer
I Ain't Giving Up On You - Allison Moorer
Baby Dreamer - Allison Moorer
Anything But Mine - Kenny Chesney
Young Man's Town - Vince Gill
Something's Broken - Tim McGraw
Open Season On My Heart - Tim McGraw
Looks Aren't Everything - Mark Collie
Memories (Still Missing Her) - Mark Collie
Mendocino County Line - Willie Nelson & LeeAnn Womack
Goodbye - EmmyLou Harris
Nothin' But The Wheel - Patty Loveless
If I Should Fall Behind - Faith Hill
Let Her Go - Mark Collie
See If I Care - Gary Allan
Lonely Man - T Bone Burnett (Movie Track)
The Last Heart In Line - Dwight Yoakam
Last Stand In Open Country - Willie Nelson & Kid Rock

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Just Another Day...

I think I'll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now its time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years

Hey my next thirty years Im gonna have some fun
Try to forget about all the crazy things Ive done
Maybe now I've conquered all my adolescent fears
And I'll do it better in my next thirty years

My next thirty years I'm gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I'm doing here
In my next thirty years

Oh my next thirty years, I'm gonna watch my weight
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers
Maybe I'll remember my next thirty years

My next thirty years will be the best years of my life
Raise a little family and hang out with my wife
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Make up for lost time here, in my next thirty years
In my next thirty years...

Sung by Tim McGraw
Album: A Place In The Sun

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

In The House

Caught the rerun of the first season episode of House, "Three Stories". Dr. House's backstory is revealed in this ep, and it's pure storytelling at its finest.

This is a fantastic show. I came to it late, but I try to catch the episodes whenever I can. Great acting, sharp writing, humor and drama all in one show.

Then after House, the network here airs the next episode of GG. With the current state of drek that show is, talk about a culture shock and a two hour lesson in good writing versus really bad writing.

This brings up a point I read on a forum - wouldn't it be great if TV shows could be run like movies where you have a beginning, middle, and end? Figure out what the show will do in a certain amount of seasons, and then end it on purpose with a planned story. Instead we have the current design of padding out storylines as long as the network picks up the show and the money is there until people get sick of it and stop watching. Then it's cancelled at a low end of creativity. A lot of shows stretch it out too far instead of wrapping it up when the story still makes sense. Or worse, they get cancelled without wrapping things up at all. I think its time for a TV redesign...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Me Mini Movie Reviews: Water's Edge

Water’s Edge

I was in one of those used DVD/CD stores perusing the sale bin, when I saw a movie I’d never heard called Water’s Edge. What caught my eye was the name Nathan Fillion as a headliner. The story sounded like an interesting thriller, and being it was priced below the cost of a weekly rental at Blockbuster, I picked it up.

It’s an alright little movie. It’s kind of a thriller in the vein of an old film noir where your unassuming everyman gets caught up in a situation that turns into a mess and he has to react to protect himself and those around him. Fillion and Chandra West play a married couple that move out to a cabin outside a remote town to get away from things and rebuild their lives after something tragic happened. It’s a little slow moving at the beginning and you have to infer why they moved there, but it’s revealed quickly. After a fight between the two, Fillion’s character goes for a run through the nearby woods and stumbles onto a situation where he has to make a decision that changes everything. From there, it’s a ‘who did what’ cat and mouse game for survival.

Nathan Fillion is really the main reason to watch this flick. He’s good in it, doing a milder version of his Mal Reynold’s character from Firefly. He’s got that capability to react with deadpan humor in bad situations and comes across as a man who is smarter, more dangerous, and unpredictable than he let’s on to those around him. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast is a bit of a mixed bag of nuts. The two female leads are a little stiff in their acting delivery, but Daniel Baldwin shows up to add a bit of evil smarminess to the proceedings. The plot is easy to follow after the first five minutes, and if you know film noir cynicism, pretty much every plot point is telegraphed about 20 miles away. Beyond that, the locations are nice to look at from the surroundings where they filmed in BC, Canada.

If you’re a Browncoat, it’s worth checking out for Nathan Fillion. He’s always fun to watch. Otherwise, it’s a decent little flick that’s probably a pass for most people. It’s from 2003, so if you see it on cable some Saturday afternoon, give it a look. Probably not worth the full price of a rental, unless you can get it even cheaper, like I did.

Verdict: Wait for TV.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Me Mini Movie Reviews: Don't Come Knocking

Don’t Come Knocking

This was a pleasant surprise of a movie. It’s not for everybody, but I enjoyed it. It’s a modern western tale of an aging, once-famous, cowboy actor, played by Sam Shephard, “coming to the end of…something” and trying to piece his life together into something he can live with.

One day, on the set of a movie, Howard Spence (Sam Shephard) decides he’s had enough and just up and leaves. No one can find him on set, and so an insurance agent, played by Tim Roth, is dispatched to track him down. Howard, though, heads for home and to see his mother that he hasn’t seen in years. His mother, played wonderfully by Eva Marie Saint (North by Northwest fame), gives him a place to hide for a brief interlude while also letting slip that he has a son in Butte, Montana. Howard didn’t know, and the shock of the news seems to set him on the path to trying to figure out where his life has gone and what to do with the rest of it. He heads to Montana, and that is where the bulk of the story takes place amongst a handful of colorful characters trying to sort out the connecting paths they seem to be on.

The movie is definitely slow paced, and the editing could have used some work, as it’s a little disjointed at the beginning until you get a sense of the characters. Once you’re into the story though, it’s worth the trip. The cinematography of Montana and the soundtrack are worth the spin of the DVD alone. The music is fantastic, overseen by music producer T Bone Burnett, and includes the title song “Don’t Come Knocking” written by Bono of U2 and sung by him with Andrea of the Coors.

The actors are all top notch, especially the veterans. Sam Shepherd, who also wrote the movie, along with Jessica Lange, and Eva Marie Saint, are perfect in their roles. Tim Roth plays a by the book, yet quirky, insurance agent who is determined to find Howard and bring him back to the movie set to finish his contract. Gabrielle Mann plays the angry son to a T. However, it’s Sarah Polley that comes across the best of the younger actors with an understated and level headed portrayal of the young girl with a connection to Howard who is probably the most well balanced of the bunch.

Don’t Come Knocking is a meandering, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, tale of a man trying to figure out what his life has meant. It’s a great looking movie with really good music and well-written dialogue. It’s not a perfect movie, but it’s certainly worth the viewing if you don’t mind slow paced character revelations or, like me, anything remotely western.

Verdict: Recommended. Definately worth the rental.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Sixteen Percent...

Well, Nanowrimo is now Nanowrino-more-o...

I didn't even come close to what my goal was - 25,000 words - let alone the 50,000 completion. I did however, write 8,203 words of a new story. I'll keep writing at it, and see if it becomes the second story I actully finish :)

It was fun, but just didn't have the time considering what other stuff was going on in November. Maybe next year...

Till then, I have 8,203 words written that I didn't have before, so that's something...

The Punisher - Director Interview


Excellent interview here with the writer/director of the movie The Punisher (the good one with Thomas Jane, not the one with Dolph :) Note, there are some spoilers about the included storyline on the Extended Cut DVD, but there's some really interesting behind the scenes info here on how they made the movie. For an action film, it was a shoe string budget. I thought it turned out well, and the lack of budget probably explains the old school stuntwork instead of heavy CGI. I really liked The Punisher movie, and am anxiously awaiting the Extended Cut that's coming in my next goodie box from Amazon...

Reading the article, it's clear just how hard it is to get a movie from concept to completion. I'd imagine it's even more so with a first time director, not to mention the meddling from the studio execs and the marketing guys. He states in the article that the decision to open the film opposite Kill Bill 2 was made by the marketing guys at Lionsgate. Why that boneheaded move was done will go unanswered for now though, as JH doesn't go into it.

The good news is that he and Thomas Jane are at work on a sequel, that should eventually get made. They're still dealing with script issues - as in how to do urban action sequences on another shoe string budget. I hope a sequel gets made, as I'm a fan of The Punisher character and comics. The Punisher grahic novel Born, and the comic The Tyger, are two fantastic character stories by Garth Ennis that really show how Frank Castle became The Punisher and why. And, on just a plain storytelling level, they were stories that had me do a 'woah' at the end :)

Now That's A Review

Movie Review for National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj

I've read reviews of a bad movie where the reviewer rips the flick a new one, but this one from CinemaBlend takes the cake. I haven't seen Van Wilder 2, but I think this review probably has better lines in it than the movie ;-)