The Rocketeer

the-rocketeer-poster

This poster hung on my wall in my little room back in the early nineties. I was a child so having a superhero on my wall wasn’t anything strange but something about the art decco style of this poster I absolutly loved. What I didn’t know then was that this poster deliberately echos the 30’s estetic of the times which arguably made this poster the most adult contempary peice of art in my room and made it stand out next to my Batman and Ninja Turtles movie poster.

This is of course a promotional poster for the movie of the same name that came out 1991. If you are familiar with the character then come on in and make yourself at home. Chances are we would have good conventions. If not let me introduce you to Cliff Secord. He’s a little slice of nostalgic americana. He’s a stunt pilot and one day he happens to come a across new fancy gadget that can make a man fly without a plane. But the nazis want it for themselves thinking such tech could win them the war. To keep it out of the wrong hands he uses it effectively turning himself from “Joe Everyman” into someone extraordernary. This jet pack technology basically becomes his only advantage over enemies and obsticles that and his quick thinking and gung ho bravery make him the nemesis to any evil doer out there.

Essentially this film is like an Indiana Jones/Iron Man hybrid and if that excites you, you should deffinetly give it a watch. The movie is based on a comic book that came out in the 80’s. The comic it’s self was made to resemble the pulp comics of the 30’s and 40’s so it was very stylised. I knew nothing about the comicbook as a kid, I went into that theater expecting adventure and got it in full. Crazy thing is the movie still works today. It was released by Disney so somethings they 0db805e1bc3aad452f81b34a69fe6341toned down from the comic. Most notably Cliff’s girlfriend in the comic was Betty a actress/pinup model that was the spitting image of Bettie Page (google her and thank me later). But in the Disney movie she is Jenny an aspiring actress played by a very young and equally stunning Jennifer Connelly. The film doesn’t particularily need that aspect, it works fine without it! So imagine my  supprise when I found this shot in the only comic I ever found of the hero. Needless to say my 8 year old mind was more then delighted. Anyway, where was I? The film feels like a classic. In fact I heard that the director Joe Johnston got the job directing Captain America because of this film. So there’s that.

rocketeer2-posterI am aware that the film didn’t exactly make the kinda dough the studio was hoping for meaning the proposed sequels were scrapped. After watching the movie again I can totally see a reboot working today. Something that feels like a “spiritual-sequel” to the original, you know reference the events of the last film a bit and not focus too much on the “origin” just keep it simple and light but up the stakes. I found this pic online and I had to share it. I don’t know if this is an actual promo or fan made but this teaser is mouthwateringly good. I just know a hit movie is in there somewhere. In closing I just wanna add that when you find an obscure jem that you love chances are there are others out there who know where you’re coming from and if you make enough noise maybe the studios and or franchise holders just might see us and give us what we want! They want to give us what we want. They wanna make money. Support your passions by letting people know what your into! If any of this sounds awesome do yourself a huge favor and give this one a watch!

The Rocketeer (1991)

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Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

A couple years ago a friend sent me a funny youtube video. It was a really elaborate short film that is so we crafted I don’t wanna give away the whole thing. Anyway years later the same filmmaker managed to make a full leangth feature film based on the idea of that short film.

It’s tough to talk about this film without a certain amount of spoilers. so i’ll keep it light. The film centers around the legend of Santa Clause as seen through the traditions and culture of northern scandanavia. If you tilt your head just right you have the makings of a good horror movie. The director shoots his film as big as any Hollywood blockbuster giving the reletively simple and contained story a more epic large scale feel.

rare_exports_a_christmas_tale_2010_video_on_demand

The acting is good each character conveys what needs to be shown to have us, the audience, give a crap.

The thing however that will either make or break this movie for most viewers is whether they feel like reading subtitles. The film is a finnish movie with only handful of dialogue spoken in english. Luckily though the film is very visual and allot of information is adequately portrayed. I can only assume that watching it without subtitles you would still get the gist of it but be confused in certain areas. At any rate, this fact shouldn’t scare you. just check it out and afterward you can tell everyone you watched an awesome finnish movie!

This film is truely unique. Being exposed to this as an american should really put you in both familiar and unfamiliar territory at the same time. By barrowing america’s cinematic language it’s easily accessable yet the story takes place far away, way up north and Santa looks pissed!

But don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a Santa slasher movie, which I guess is sub genre now. This is a far cry from films like Silent Night, Deadly Night and Santa’s Slay (the last one being a throw away joke title for a fake movie in Ernest Saves Christmas that Hollywood just had to turn into a real film starring some wrestler as an Evil Santa, I think. Does that qualify as Meta?) No, this film feels more like a kids movie with balls. The main character is a child who believes in Santa but after studying old books about his peoples folklore surrounding the character he fears being considered naughty by him and the cruel and perhaps lethal punishment he would face. He becomes over cautious and rightfully paranoid. Naturally, as in most kids movies, no one believes him until the all hell breaks loose. It’s not a gorey film at all but it doesn’t shy away from blood or the sight of dozens of mutilated animal corpses. Heck if you look hard enough you’s find full frontal male nudity! Sounds like Christmas at Michael Jackson’s house. BOOOOOOO! Hiiiissss! What too soon? Seriously though imagine watching a kids movie that flat out becomes a bad ass action movie! Well sorta. With a bigger budget allot more could have been done in the final act to amp up the action and thrills but as is the film is still great with some fun moments telling the audience that it is self aware.

I say if you don’t feel like watching It’s A Wonderful Life again and want to see something really different, yet entertaining. Give this one a try! Wanna wet your appetite just search for Rare Exports 2003 and 2005 on youtube and checkout the two short films that inspired the feature!

Two Christmas Specials!

Well, It’s december and you better believe that i’m all about that warm feeling I get through good old fashion christmas themed storys. One of the most celebrated and most often retold holliday story is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

If you are alive chances are you have seen 6492 different versions the story in movie form. Some take the story as it was originally conceived with it’s 1800’s setting and characters, some attempt to update the story by putting it in modern day, and some retell the story by thorwing in popular characters into the rolls putting a new often comical spin on proceedings.

I will be focusing on two completely different retellings of the story. Let’s start with a great sci-fi retelling based on the popular brittish hero DOCTOR WHO simply titled A Christmas Carol.

Doctor WhoFor those of you who need an introduction to the Doctor, my only advise is: look it up. I was never a fan because the show looked cheap as all hell and cheasey to boot. But my interest peaked with the introduction of the latest Doctor played by Matt Smith. I saw clips online and short reviews and relised that this seemed pretty cool. I watched every episode of the Matt Smith Doctor and I have pretty much loved it. So sorry in advance to those who are unintiated.

The story starts off as most sci-fi stories do with a spaceship entering an alien atmosphere, but unfortunetly the strange clouds are interfering with the ship threatening to crash it along with all the innocent bystanders onboard. Amung them are the Doctor’s two companions Amy Pond and her husband Rory Williams. The two inform the crew that they know of someone who can help.

The Doctor makes his first appearence stumbling down a chimney and proceeds to playfully figure out the situation. That being a greedy old man has control of this worlds atmosphere and can allow the ship a safe landing if he so pleases. But he doesn’t want to. ‘Cause he’s an asshole. The Doctor then realises that with the help fo his time machine he can reenact the classic Dickens tale casting himself as the three ghosts of christmas past, present, and future. What follows is a rather unique adventure, that’s funny, poingant and features a sleighride in the sky by a flying shark! Plus a beatiful song to end it all that i wouldn’t mind adding to my christmas playlist. This is the first time I was genuinely supprised by a twist ending in such a classic tale. It was great!

Best Line:
We’re boys, and you know what boys say when they’re scared? …Mommy.

The other retelling is probably the definetive modern comedy feature film version original characters. SCROOGED.Scrooged

Bill Murray is perfect as Frank Cross the stand in for Ebeneezer Scrooge and even though the film was released in ’88 it feels like a deicent mordernisation of the story. He’s a rich, selfish tv executive in New York. Bob Cratchet is instead a african-american woman working for practically nothing as his long suffering assistant played by Alfre Woodard. The Tiny Tim is of course her son isn’t dying but suffering from a psychological issue and hasn’t spoken in years. The story plays out bassically as it should but with some added stuff for fun. The ghosts aren’t what you’d expect they all get a makeover even the ghost of Christmas future has a great twist in style and execution. The film’s got great creepy moments, gross out scenes, lots of laughs and of course heart. Sitting through the movie it does feel a bit long but it’s all worth it for the great emotional speech Murray delivers as a climax. I tear up everytime I watch it! Another great thing is the music. Danny Elfman’s score makes this a great flick to watch next to Nightmare Before Christmas and sets the zany/eerie tone for the movie.

Best Line:
Frank:  Who is this?
Grace: It’s my son!
Frank: Yeah, well you beat him!

One interesting thing that can be said about these two specials is that both film’s characters are aware of the source material the film is based on. In Scrooged he is producing a live tv event which happens to be Dickens story, a rather lame one too simply entitled Scrooge which as a kid lead me to believe this was the correct titel of the story. In Doctor Who’s special he happens to be a fan of Dickens work and that story is what gives him the idea to attempt to rewrite the history of the old curmudgen in hopes he’s do the right thing just in time for christmas. I really enjoyed these and if you have trouble finding a movie to watch this year or wondered which version of  A Christmas Carol is worth your time look no further!

Mind Games.

Lemme take a moment to get something off my cheast. There are people out there who seem to embark in cerebral warfare, that is to say, strategic psychological manipulation, i.e. mind games. Sometimes they can’t help it. It’s merely a case of defence mechanisms and self preservation. They are a product of thier upbringing. Past events that planted it’s ugly seed in thier, soon to be, twisted psyche only to blossom, in due time, into behavioural dysfunction. Aw Snap! Don’t I sound all smart!

As I was saying, they, for the most part, don’t even realise they are acting this way. So when dealing with such a person it’s important to keep a level head and above all be mature about it. A good example of this kind of relationship is in the movie Anywhere But Here. I wasn’t planning on a film review but here we go.

I just happened to catch this on tv and I missed the begining, but somehow I got really into it. Maybe because Natalie Portman was in it playing the relatable teenage girl or perhaps Susan Surandon playing her mother a woman so full of life she can’t actually live her own properly. (Let’s face it, if anyone of those lovely ladies were into me I wouldn’t mind being involved in a scandal, is all I’m sayin’)  Mom decides she’s had enough of her small town life and picks up and moves to Beverly Hills dragging her teenage daughter with who would rather stay home where all is familiar. There rest of the film is a character study on how mother and daughter essentially swap rolls. The daughter being the one constantly having to be the responsable one while the mother is reckless and does everything on a whim. The acting is superb. The story is simple. I like movies that just display life happening for these characters. What I loved about the movie was that at first I loved the mother cause she seemed like fun. But after a while I started to hate how selfish and unfair she was towards her daughter while at the same time feeling like she wasn’t all bad. Things happen and you can be a dick about it or you can cange. I feel like this film was a nice watch. Check ot out if you can.

So yeah, you may have guess where my inpiration for this post came from. But it’s no news I’ve got a friend who has decided she won’t speak to me at all now that she’s dating someone. Yeah you know that one I told you all about a few posts ago. Anyway, I’ve noticed a peculiar development. When dealing with these types not engaging them is key. Sometimes thier behavior hurts you, but like the old saying goes the best revenge is living well. It’s kind of funny but I’ve decided that this whole thing is stupid and that I’ve got nothing to say to her that I haven’t allready said. I’m not going to activly get in her face and say hi or stand in front of her in a very unavoidable way just to watch her squirm next time I see her. So far she has continued to ignore/avoid me. Our mutual friend isn’t one to take sides but agrees with me on her rather odd behavior. They were gonna meet up to go out. Just so happens I was going to the same place. When she finds out I was going there, she doesn’t even bother calling and simply doesn’t go to the club.

This is where living well works as a delicious bit of irony cake with frosted comeuppance on top. By living my life care free and going to parties, I win. Anytime she’s planning to go to the same party and finds out I’m there and decides not to go, she loses. Who knows maybe if this happens enough times she’ll realise a valuable lesson. Or maybe it takes something like what happened to Susan Sarandon in that movie to make a change. At any rate, a happy ending can be found if one is tired of being a “victum” and decides to change their suroundings.

Live Well!

INK OMG!

Every once in a while some filmaker comes along and decides to embark on making thier vision come to life despite not having a studio to back them up. They utilize the surroundings and local talent to put together a grand opus of celluliod. I’m talking, of course, about RAZOR SHARP. (Obscurus Lupa fans will unite in big chuckle anyway.) No! I’m talking about the vastly supior film entitled INK.

Apollo Z Hack

Lemme kill two birds with one stone for you and also introduce you to Apollo Z Hack. He’s the internet reviewer prodigy that opened my eyes to the film. Apollo is a forced to be reckoned with in the world of webisodic reviewing nerdy goodness. I should do an article all about him. Just do you self a favour and if you are anything like me you will appreciate his work.

INK is a thouroughly unique film that has a story which takes it’s characters on a quest through time and space! Sounds EPIC doesn’t it? It is. What’s great about it is that they manage to put such scale and urgency into the story with what little they have you kinda wonder why Hollywood, with it’s infinite amount of money, can’t do the same that often. This film is the Inception of backyard filmaking. It’s conciet a simple one. Good versus Evil in it’s purist form.

If you like fantasy drama this one is for you. I’m a christian man and I couldn’t help but see the delicious paralell between this film and the spiritual battle we face in our day to day lives being acted out on the screen so clearly and cleverly! For those of you unfamiliar with spiritual battle see .. the Bible. After you are done reading pick this movie up and be amazed what a brilliant metaphor it works as. It almost works as a teaching tool.

But whether or not you are a christian doesn’t change the enjoyment of this picture. It’s got great fight choreograghy some pretty good acting across the board. (which is rare by the way) The film is just plain visually appealing. Which again is rare in a movie made for so little. Do me a favor and checkout the link. Apollo Z Hack gives you the Hack Down on this excellent feature leangth adventure. There he gives you some more bits of info I purposefully omitted. It just might wet your appitite for more like it did me. Or go online and find it! You will not regret it.Even if your not a movie fan or a filmbuff chances are you will enjoy this film!

Apollo Z Hack on INK

How Silly!

I just watched probably the most bizarre nonsensical mind boggingly silly peice of cinema. It’s late and i didn’t want to just go to bed. So I took a chance on a title that was weird and the genre: comedy.

I heard of this movie before from an issue of EMPIRE magazine. So I wasn’t flying blind I kinda had an incling of what to expect. But I was wrong. What expect was silly, but some how seeing the movie… What can I say. It’s extremely out there! MAybe I read too much into it (it is like 4 in the morning as of writing this) but I found the subplot to be like a metaphor for todays movie goers.

Wanna know what the heck this crazy movie is about?

It’s about a discarded tire in a desert somewhere in america that suddenly comes to life. It rolls around and soon relises it has psycho-kenetic abilities and then slowly but surely goes on a murder-spree killing human beings.

If that doesn’t sound like ravings of a lunatic… or an interesting night at the movies, i dunno what does.

“Why is this happening?” “No reason.” If you can except that, then this movie is golden.

This film is a bit of an aquired taste. Either you are gonna love it for it’s originallity and eccenticities or perhaps you might think it’s slow and boring. Put it this way, if you think Vampires Suck was one of the best comedies you’ve seen you will flat out not understand or in other words hate this film.

This movie feels like your watching a movie that takes place between the cracks of other bigger movies. If you wanna see a strange take on indie horror movies or comedy in gerneral be sure to checkout:

RUBBER