Dorkgasm - Dorkgasm http://www.dorkgasm.com/taxonomy/term/23/0 Sometimes dorks get very agitated. en The Problem With Titles | Blog http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/1220 <p>At first it was a psuedo-memoir called <I>My Father the Monster Hunter: A Son's Tale</i>, but that proved to be far more autobiographical than fantastical, so I set it aside. Then, I reimagined it as a novel for Young Adults, but that required a new title. That's when I shortened it to <i>Monster Hunter</i>, but that still felt weird. Today I've settle on <i>Night Beasts</i>, and while that might change, I've plunged into this project headlong and love writing it so far. The story is about a 15 year old named Matt Willoghuby who is forced to go live with his dad after mom winds up in rehab. Dad isn't around much though because of his job, and the two need to learn how to cope as father and son.<br /> <br><center><img src="http://dorkgasm.com/files/images/malleus-deiREDweb.jpg"></center><br><!--break--><br /> And oh yeah, Matt's dad hunts monsters for a mysterious organization call Malleus Dei. To be honest, we won't get too deep into Malleus Dei in this book, but that's more reason for me to write a second. I'm trying to explore both sides of the father/son relationship more than anything though, with the action and horror bits sprinkled in for flavor. Or maybe its the other way around, and the father/son stuff is growing out of the horror/action elements. That'll really be for readers to decide.<br /> <br><center></p> <object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,28,0" width="300" height="250"><param name="movie" value="http://8tracks.com/mixes/230024/player_v3"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><embed src="http://8tracks.com/mixes/230024/player_v3" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="300" height="250" allowscriptaccess="always" ></embed></object><p></center><br><br /> I'm also writing to music, as usual. For this I decided that Matt should listen to a weird assortment of classic rock based stuff. I know my own son has fallen in love with bands like The Who and The Eagles, so this isn't too far off from normal I think. With films, TV shows, and commercials using these songs all the time, there's no reason a kid couldn't be into this playlist. Throw in games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero and I'm shocked more teens aren't bigger Metallica fans than their parents. Give it a listen, and if you have thoughts, I'd love to hear them.</p> http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/1220#comments Dorkgasm Fri, 04 Feb 2011 23:10:23 +0000 MRiedlinger 1220 at http://www.dorkgasm.com Writing writing writing | Blog http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/1218 <p>So, as the site slowly turns into a blog for my work instead of a general news and reviews site, I continue to write. Today I signed up for a site called <a href="http://8tracks.com">8TRACKS.COM</a>. It's a strange little site where you can share mixes of your own music. It's music you own, mixed however you choose, and then shared. Sharing playlists is the new mixtape I guess. So, I joined and slapped a mix up today. The music was from a playlist I've been editing "Black Art" to, and it's pretty upbeat, with a bit of techno-infused R&amp;B. Some of it is from Europe, some from the states, but it's fun either way.<br /> <br><br /> <center></p> <object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,28,0" width="300" height="250"><param name="movie" value="http://8tracks.com/mixes/221629/player_v3"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><embed src="http://8tracks.com/mixes/221629/player_v3" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="300" height="250" allowscriptaccess="always" ></embed></object><p></center><br><!--break--><br /> So, I mentioned I'm polishing "Black Art". It's a short story that a few friends have read, but otherwise it's not been seen by anyone but my professor. That professor is <a href="http://www.annangelwriter.com/">Ann Angel,</a> who is herself an award winning author and full of great insight. So much so, in fact, I'm taking another class with her this semester. She's been a great encouragement to me, so check out her work. </p> <p>I also submitted another short story, this one called "Gotham", to a contest. Playboy Magazine has an annual fiction contest for college writers, and me being in college AND a writer, well... The prize is $3000, and honestly, as much as I want that, the publication of "Black Art" is more important to me. You see, if I sell that story, I can join the <a href="http://horror.org">Horror Writers Association.</a> From there, I can seek out advice from even more people who have "made it" in this industry. I know I'm chasing a dream, but damnit, I refuse to give up. I keep setting goals, and this is the next one. Hell, the class I'm taking with Ann this semester is on Young Adult Novels, and I already have a lot of plotting done, character descriptions written, logline, and even a symbol from the book that won't come into play until near the end. I'm also planning on doing this as a multimedia thing, where the internet is used as a way to convey more information to young readers. The weirdest part for me is that the book doesn't have a firm title yet, but I'm strangely okay with that.<br /> <br><center><img src="http://dorkgasm.com/files/images/malleus-dei.jpg"></center><br><br /> So, here's the early logline: </p> <p><i>"During the summer between freshman and sophomore year, Matt Willoughby’s mom goes into rehab and Matt is forced to live with a man he barely knows: his father. "</i></p> <p>What I'm not talking about in that line is what Matt's dad does for a living, mostly because Matt doesn't know at the beginning either. That said, I've also written a firm set of "rules" for this universe, which includes how to kill werewolves, and what warlocks are actually up to in the world. That's my big project for the next few months. I'd say "starting Wednesday", but it's pretty obvious that I've already started working on it. I'm also still working on stories for Haunted America from Publications International, LTD. It's another Armchair Reader book, but some of these articles are kicking my ass. Turns out, the less REAL info there is on something, the harder it is for me to research it. I got stuck for a few weeks (yes, weeks) trying to track down info on FAMOUS ghosts from the Hotel Chelsea. I have five, but I need three or four more still. There's a lot of ghosts from there, sure, but it would be weird to jump from Sid Vicious to "The Ghost from room 134", so I've been looking at gathering stories about the famous ones, and it's not been easy. </p> http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/1218#comments Dorkgasm Tue, 25 Jan 2011 04:48:46 +0000 MRiedlinger 1218 at http://www.dorkgasm.com The State of this Dork adress... http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/1167 <p>Hey everybody, it's your old pal Haggard Ass J. I know some of you have been wondering (Ken and Mike, but hopefully more, fuck, a dork can dream can't he??) what good ol' HAJ has been up to, well here's the fat and skinny...<br /> Haggard Ass J has been moving, a lot. I've moved in between 2 cities 3 times, and now that I've settled in at a place I would lovingly consider my home I'm ready to get back to business. Work outside of Dorkgasm.com (this is not a tribute, this is, the greatest site in the wuh ha hurled) has grounded itself, and now here I am. I know I've written about having things on deck that never came through, and written about things I never promised you, but this is a new era. Haggard Ass J is back, and ready to deliver all of the hate (or less frequently love) filled reviews of all the things you may or my not (solely based on your masochistic tendencies) wish to consume. On deck, and I promise you, and these will be written, are reviews in various departments, of "In Bruges", "Role Models", (In case you missed it) Dragon Age: Origins (Video Games) Prototype Vs. Infamous (video games/media vs media, I know it's not following protocol but do I ever???) and a special surprise Villain of the Week (or month, or quarter, or however the fuck we do this anymore...)</p> <p>So, if you're ready for more of my acid tongued nonsense, straight dope reviews, and/or random musings they're coming. If you just want to read more semi-subliminal in parenthesis bullshit, it will be here. Trust me dorks, Haggard Ass J is here to stay, and will continue to provide you with whatever it is that keeps you coming back, as long as he doesn't have to run from the police, participate in jury duty, fight the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, or save New York/LA/Chicago from utter demise. </p> <p>Until that day,</p> <p>Vini,<br /> Vidi<br /> Vaginas</p> <p>Love,</p> <p>"Haggard Ass" J. Sternberg</p> http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/1167#comments Dorkgasm Sun, 24 Jan 2010 00:42:05 +0000 jsaystoyou 1167 at http://www.dorkgasm.com Corrupted by Ghosts: How I Learned to Swear Thanks to Pac-Man | Dorkgasm http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/1162 <p><center><b>Corrupted by Ghosts: How I Learned to Swear Thanks to Pac-Man<br /> By<br /> J. Blaze Ward<br /> Guest Writer</b></center></p> <p>I remember well The Days Before Video Games. I remember frolicking along the Snake River, which wasn't actually the Snake River, but such things matter not to little boys. I remember finding different ways to bash myself against the ground at high speed involving tree swings, old Schwinn's, and just leaping into open space. I remember the dark winter night times that began almost as soon as I got off the bus from Pullman to our little old house in Albion. I remember games of push-pull in a field of thistles and nettles on the other side of the creek (or perhaps 'crick' depending on your geographic preference) that ran through our back yard. I remember Cub Scouts, and knot-work, and fire starting, and camping, and staring at the stars while wondering if the one that was moving was a satellite or if the aliens had finally come to take me away.</p> <p>I remember the brief, distant rumble one morning as everything changed. I remember feeling something like that only once before in my life, when I was at my father's house and a brief tremor had rocked his small California town. The way the knick-knacks on a shelf nearby trembled, and how my stomach felt all funny. Then it had gone, just like it had in the shower that morning on May 18th, 1980. The day started normally, I went outside, played with my friends in the mud and the dirt and the thistles, coming home for lunch at about noon. A few hearty PBnJs later, there was a knock at the door. A mailman had a package for me, and like any youth-abiding lad I tore into it with all the gusto of Bill Gates ripping into an upstart computer company. I took it apart, packaging peanuts flying hither and thither, to uncover the treasure within: An Atari 2600.<!--break--><br /> <br><center><a href="http://www.mothcomix.com/html/Artists/Hampton-Scott.asp" target="_blank"><img src="http://dorkgasm.com/files/images/funpac.jpg" border="0" height="400" width="400"></a><br><i><font size="1">Image by Scott Hampton, click to visit his site </font></i></center><br><br /> Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde showed up at my house that day, and everything changed. I ran outside under the darkening sky, saw all my friends staring at it, thought nothing of it, and shouted the sacred word "ATARI!" They immediately took their attention from lesser concerns, and we got back to the house just as my mother finished hooking the unit up to the TV. We played Combat and Pac-Man for the next three hours until someone realized it was snowing. In May.</p> <p>The only thing that could have broken our concentration was something so bizarre as snow in mid May. Especially grey and black snow. Mt. Saint Helens had sent us a small gift from afar, and we left our glowing, beeping new friends to go play in it and bring a sizable chunk of the mountain back into the house in the form of dusty footprints, hand prints, and just general ash-spreadery. The fascination lasted a few hours until it got too dark to play, then we returned to the glowing set, the ever-hungry yellow crescent, and an endless parade of devourable dots.</p> <p>I think it was the following Monday when my mom invited her friend Ellie over, and they sat down to bash some ghost skull. Everyone says that video games are for kids, but most adults (especially the ones reading this) would likely disagree. It may not be quantifiable, but there is just something soooo satisfying about murdering or evading bits of colored light with other bits of differently colored light. Ellie and my mom had found a new past time, one which helped keep me a healthy young lad by not letting me sit on the Atari all afternoon and night. They were doing that for me.</p> <p>They were also doing an amazing job in increasing my vocabulary. I learned a bevy of new words, few of which are printable here, and learned as well that children are not the only ones capable of communicating without words. I learned that fully grown females are quite capable of making a series of screeches, hollers, hoots and whoops as they try to solve a maze that doesn't actually exist, and that these sounds were a perfectly acceptable method of communication. Furthermore, I learned that if one leans to the left while trying to turn your on-screen character left, that it turns faster.</p> <p>Interspersed with those sounds were certain words that people with longstanding Naval careers enjoy in abundance, and so did I. I astounded my fellow students week after week with my new words, and became quite a popular teacher of advanced vocabulary in grade school. I amazed my teachers by reciting these words to them, and they were so impressed that they gave me an extra day off from school.</p> <p>As I got older, and my gaming systems got progressively more advanced, so did my vocabulary. By middle school I had worked my way up to the fabled Sega Master System, and had begun to produce my own cunning and stylish epithets. Wonder Boy escaped Monster Land with the help of my amazing reflexes and stunning verbiage. Apple and his friends made it through Zillion thanks to my vocab-assisted jumping techniques, and my skills and tongue helped Sonic free his furry friends from the Evil Dr. Robotnik when the Genesis made it to my door one snowy Christmas day.</p> <p>Now the video games are radically different. Thousands of players from hundreds of countries all compete online for who can get the coolest gear, the best kill, or the highest stance on a leader board. Console systems still abound, but gone are the days when a square shoots tiny rectangles at a triangle and racks up points. Advanced physics engines, gigs of ram, high bandwidth and team speak communication are the new pillars of the video world. One thing has never changed through all of video gaming's journey, and I hope it never will. There is a simple truth that when you light up that glow screen, grab your controller, and have your virtual self ended some enemy that doesn't even exist, you suddenly transform into the most %&amp;@*$ foul mouthed $^@&amp;* sailor to ever travel the *@$(! virtual seas.</p> <p>Long live profanity. Thank you, Pac-Man, for helping me grow into a healthy adult.</p> http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/1162#comments Dorkgasm Sun, 10 Jan 2010 08:16:09 +0000 ManyFacesSejah 1162 at http://www.dorkgasm.com Rockhead's 20th Anniversary Party! --or-- The Death Of Comics? http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/737 Ah, Rockhead's. If you live in the Kenosha area, no other name is as synonymous with comics and gaming as this one. Back when I was a wee lad just out of the whelping box, I remember when the comic store moved in just across from the Aladdin's Castle arcade in the Market Square complex. Finally! A place where I could get all of my comics in one shot instead of going to all of the other retail stores in town. Yes sir, twenty years ago, I got my first taste of the true comic book store. Now, other comic book stores came and went in this town, but Rockhead's always remained there. Sure, it moved around to a couple different places, but it pretty much remained the same. So, I thought it would be fitting for me to drop in and show my support for the store that gave me my lifeblood for so long ago. So myself and my buddies Randy and Jimmy grabbed some Chinese food and went down to get our comic party on. I do not know what I expected, but I never expected what I saw. <!--break--> Now, I know that places like this have to evolve and change with the times, but I think that maybe things have gone too far. When we walked in, we were confronted with a slew of gaming tables, miniatures, and rule books for about three-quarters of the store. I looked and looked, and finally found the comics waaaaaaayyyyy in the back. Imagine my surprise to go into a comic store and having to look for the comics! Swarms of tabletop gamers sat playing everything from miniatures to pen-and-paper games, while a lone <i>Monopoly</i> box sat unloved and forgotten. I looked around and suddenly felt very <i>old</i>. Now, there's were people older than me there. Hell, there were some people much older than me. However, I realized that it was my understanding that was old. I had never thought that the gaming aspect would over take comics in general. However, during dinner I had a chat with Jimmy about the comic industry. It all started with <i>The Long Halloween</i>... You see, Jimmy was lamenting over the beautiful hardbound edition of <i>The Long Halloween</i>, which some people think is one of the best <i>Batman</i> stories ever. He really wanted it, but he also had to have some books to help with his schooling. Now, he obviously made the school choice, but it got us talking. I know someone who has a scan of <i>The Long Halloween</i> on their computer and told him I may be able to get him a copy. This brought on talk of the .cbr format and programs like CDisplay. He believes that programs and files like this one may be the downfall of the comic industry. With people trading these scans of comics, it eliminates the need for buying the paper books we all know and love. I did a search and found several different series, both past and present, available with a few mouse clicks. It was depressing, to say the least. I am someone who loves to have tangible things. Sure, I'll download the newest Nine inch Nails album when they are giving it away for free on their website, but I will be damned if I won't buy it when it comes out. I'll drop upwards of eighty dollars on the newest collection of Neil Gaiman's <i>Sandman</i> comics, just so I can have them on archival quality paper and all in one place. A lot of people are not like that, though. Is the comics industry dying? Are stores like Rockhead's putting the comics in the back because the medium is dying out? Am I just reading too much into things? Well, if I am, where the crap are all of the back-issues that used to be out on the floor at Rockhead's? Oh, wait. I heard they were upstairs being sorted out. Well, maybe I may be wrong. Hell, maybe I'm right. I guess the future will hold the answer. For now though, I guess I'll just sit back with <i>The Dark Knight Returns</i> or <i>Watchmen</i> and remember a simpler time. I guess it's true what they say about nostalgia. It just ain't what it used to be. http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/737#comments Dorkgasm Sun, 24 Aug 2008 03:41:04 +0000 kenneth.holm 737 at http://www.dorkgasm.com The family will once again be united. http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/724 <p>Just to give my fellow staff writers and all the readers out there an update, the angelknight will once again be descending on the great city of Kenosha on the 21st of August and I hope to see all my friends very soon as I will be in town for 39 days before I head to Tacoma. Please do me a favor and post a few comments on this thread so I know so of you are still alive and talking to me. I hope to see all of you very soon and hope to hear from you sooner. One other note to all my fellow dork writers and associates keep up the great job on the site and the articles. Peace out and I will see all of you in about 15 days give or take.</p> http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/724#comments Dorkgasm Tue, 05 Aug 2008 15:11:04 +0000 angelknight32 724 at http://www.dorkgasm.com Villain Of The Year 2007: Matthew S. Harrison / Matt Pletcher http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/490 <b><p align="center">Dorkgasm.com’s Villain Of The Year <p align="center">Matthew S. Harrison / Matt Pletcher</p> <p align="center">By Kenneth Holm <align="center">Dorkgasm Senior Staff Writer</p></b> Folks, 2007 has just ended. We can look back upon those interesting 365 days with a wiser eye now, as hindsight is usually 20/20. It was hard to pick only one person to be our villain of the year. There have been many abominations committed in the Dork Culture landscape this past year, many of which still leave a bitter and rancid taste in my mouth. However, in the closing days of 2007, one person reared his ugly head and stood up to accept this “honor”. One man destroyed the dreams of hundreds, no, thousands, of people. I am referring to, of course, the scoundrel known as <a href="http://www.myspace.com/babygaligofilms">Matthew S. Harrison</a>, the former producer of <i><a href="http://www.deathwalksthestreets.com">Death Walks The Streets</a></i>. <!--break--> While Mr. Harrison, who was born Matt Pletcher, may be an actor of some talent, he is also a liar and a possible lawbreaker. As you know, we here at Dorkgasm do not skimp when it comes to <a href="https://w3.courtlink.lexisnexis.com/cookcounty/FindDock.asp?NCase=&SearchType=2&Database=1&case_no=&Year=&div=&caseno=&PLtype=2&sname=Pletcher&CDate">research</a>, and we were able to turn up a veritable treasure trove of nefarious misdeeds perpetrated by this guy. Click on the thumbnails to make them bigger <p><a href="/node/488"><img src="http://www.dorkgasm.com/files/images/PletcherCourt2.thumbnail.jpg" alt="PletcherCourt2" title="PletcherCourt2" class="image image-thumbnail " width="200" height="118" align=”right” /></a> <a href="/node/487"><img src="http://www.dorkgasm.com/files/images/PletcherCourt1.thumbnail.JPG" alt="PletcherCourt1" title="PletcherCourt1" class="image image-thumbnail " width="200" height="118" align=”left” /></a><p> According to the website of Chicago’s Circuit Court Clerk website, it seems that Mr. Pletcher has been involved in a few lawsuits. One of which directly relates to his Baby Galigo film company. In 2006, Matt Pletcher was <a href="https://w3.courtlink.lexisnexis.com/cookcounty/Finddock.asp?DocketKey=CAAG0MB0BDBFBJ0MD">sued by Top Shelf Graphics</a>, a multimedia company that is located in Chicago. This suit was brought before the courts in response to Matt’s unresponsive communication in regards to an outstanding bill for services rendered. What services, you ask? It seems that the current incarnation of the Baby Galigo Films website was not the first. Top Shelf Graphics designed a website for Pletcher’s then-fledgling company and they were not paid for their work. Not enough for you? How about being <a href="https://w3.courtlink.lexisnexis.com/cookcounty/Finddock.asp?DocketKey=CAAH0MB0BACCED0MD">sued by Capital One Bank</a> with a case that took up most of 2007? While we do not have any details on this one, it was noted that as of 9/27/07, the status of the case was “ORDER FINAL AND APPEALABLE”. We don’t know who won or lost, but it is still highly suspect. It was during this court case that the website Horror Yearbook published an article questioning the reality that is <i>DWTS</i>. It all started in a forum that questioned what it was all about. After wading through all fourteen misinformed pages, it was discovered that not only did Horror Yearbook get called out by Matt, but he also <a href="http://www.horroryearbook.com/541292/death-walks-the-streets-threatens-to-sue-horroryearbookcom">threatened to sue them</a>! This would appear to not be the first in a long line of useless threats. There have been reports of various legal action threats, some money issues, and possibly even threats of physical harm. While we have not seen evidence of these, they have been reported to us. Now, just so you cannot say that this article is based on heresay, let us get back to brass tacks. Were you aware that Baby Galigo was once headquartered in Chicago? I was, and I found out something interesting. Matt stated on his blog that the production company was moving to Colorado. Wait, Colorado? Why? He never said… however it is interesting to note that the former listed business address for Baby Galigo Films was <a href="http://www.cribchatter.com/?p=857">foreclosed on and sold at auction</a> on November 30th, 2007. Could this be the real reason for the move to Colorado? I am not going to dignify that remark with another one, so let us proceed. After the “It Came From Lake Michigan” film festival in October, director James Zahn put me personally in touch with producer Matthew S. Harrison (formerly Pletcher). We discussed the movie for quite a few e-mails, but whenever he was pressed for details on the upcoming shoot, he remained mum. I pushed and pushed until he stopped communicating with me for a bit. Even my wishes for his family to have a Merry Christmas went unanswered. However, on December 30th of 2007, there was a sudden shift in the production roster of <i>DWTS</i>. The <a href="http://www.myspace.com/deathwalksthestreets">Official Death Walks The Streets MySpace profile</a> announced that <i>DWTS</i> and Matthew S. Harrison had parted ways. It was said to be an amicable split, and both were moving on. Okay, that is all fine and dandy. I decided, in the spirit of journalistic integrity, to contact Matt and get his side of the story. Before I could, though, he <a href="http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=22941878&blogID=342651736">posted a blog in response</a> to the announcement saying that he and Zahn had not seen eye to eye in a long time. He also went on to say that he did not even like horror films. Now, this came as a shock to a lot of people, but not to me. See, he already clued me in on this little nugget of hypocrisy a while ago. What I did not understand was how someone who had seeming moral issues with horror movies would decide to try and produce and even star in one. This, of course, was also the year that Mr. Harrison appeared in two horror movies, <i><a href="http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=203037248">Witches’ Night</a></i> and <i><a href="http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=104652086">Lonely Joe</a></i> (which also featured one James Zahn). Can you truly appreciate my confusion at this point? I decided to stop sitting around and get down to contacting him. What I got back was nothing short of a cornered animal, fighting to keep his head about him. After I replied with stating that the tone of his previous message kind of made him look guilty, I got the e-mail that absolutely made me furious. It should make you furious, too. Matt stated, and I quote directly, “I don't give a flying fuck what you think looks bad Ken, and frankly I am so glad to have that project out of my life”. That was not even the proverbial nail in the coffin, though. He went on to say, “I could give a fuck what any of the DWTS fans think either” and “I am no longer involved with that franchise, James Zahn, or Michael Coonce, and I couldn't be happier”. Wait, I’ll just show you the message. Aren’t computers wonderful? Click on the thumbnail to make it bigger. <p><a href="/node/485"><img src="http://www.dorkgasm.com/files/images/PletcherMessage2.jpg" alt="Pletcher2" title="Pletcher2" class="image image-thumbnail " width="200" height="118" align="center" /></a> <p>Yeah, he does not “give a fuck” what all of the fans think. These are the people who supported him. When Horror Yearbook went on the offensive, all of the fans defended him. Come to think of it, whenever things went a little queer, it was always the “Death Walkers” who supported and defended him so many times I bet most of them lost count. This is the thanks they get for standing by him? A big “Fuck Off”? Man, I try not to swear too much in these articles, but that fucking stinks. Seriously. He took the dreams and aspirations of a couple writers, a director, and thousands of fans and just raked them over a hot cheese grater. What a fucking douchebag. If you have not gotten the full and complete picture yet, Matthew S. Harrison is truly deserving of our “Villain Of The Year” award. Not only did he not keep his promises and pledges to the filmmakers and fans of <i>DWTS</i>, this is also not the first movie that this has happened with. Take an article I found on <a href="http://www.reelchicago.com/story.cfm?section=News&storyID=871">the website for Reel Chicago</a>. It reported that Baby Galigo Films was weeks away from signing financing deals for two films worth $10 million dollars. The two films in question were a flick called “Sophmores” and Matt’s directorial debut “Two Loon Inn”. Guess what happened? Neither movie saw the light of day and the mysterious $10 million was never heard from again. Not that he actually got the money, though. I am not insinuating that. It seems like this could have been a boast to inflate an already oversized ego. This has happened more in the past and present day, as well. What is being gained from it? So far, we have been unable to find out what would motivate anyone to do this, but I have my suspicions. Suspicions that I will not name here for reasons of my own devising. Meanwhile, Matthew is still posting on the boards at imdbPro. He offers free advice on making a movie, producing, and even offers to fly people out to whatever movie set he’s working on. Huh wha?!?! How can this guy give producing advice if he doesn’t produce things? Sure, he may be producer in title, but several pictures he has lined up for “production” never ever saw the light of day. Sure, some of them have. I am not going to begrudge him that one. There have been numerous complaints about him filed with the Chicago Film Office, and a source in California has said that there may have even been complaints filed with SAG (Screen Actors Guild). This is not a person you should be taking advice from, folks. A simple look around the Internet would be able to confirm many of the stories I have mentioned. Even more confusing is his constant talk of his "studio" that is being built in Colorado. While we were unable to figure out what the hell he was talking about, we did find some <a href="http://denver.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2006/11/13/daily2.html">interesting information</a> about Starz! building a studio in Denver. While this is no amazing information, it does seem a little bit strange that if you read through what they have going on, the story sounds remarkably similar to the story Mr. Harrison has been telling people for some number of months now. In even more current news, Matt decided to <a href="http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=22941878&blogID=346923491">take to his blog the other day</a> to report that someone out there had decided to make a <a href="http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=314003566">phony MySpace account</a>. As per the norm with Matt, there were many threats made and while no names were mentioned, it is quite obvious who he blames. I have a firm belief that the person he suspects is not responsible, but for their privacy, I will decline to mention their name. There are two main reasons I wrote this article. One was to award our “Villain Of The Year” to someone, and the other reason was to warn people away from Matthew S. Harrison. This man is someone who will use you to his advantage and toss you aside when you are no longer of use to him. With just a little more digging, you could find even more stories than I have included here. I would be able to really shed some light on this guy and some of the awful things he has done, but I am unable to. Do the research yourself. If there are any filmmakers out there involved with Matt currently, watch for suspicious behavior. If he is interested in making your movie, please remember this article. Do not let him hurt or destroy anyone else's dreams. And now, for my Final Thought. It is a well known fact that Matthew S. Harrison/Pletcher likes to send threatening e-mails suggesting that he has some sort of power to do something. I would like to personally invite this, as I am sure that he will read this article. Feel free to address your threats and legal mumbo-jumbo to <a href=”mailto:kenneth.holm@dorkgasm.com”>kenneth.holm@dorkgasm.com</a>. Bear in mind, however, that anything sent to this address or any other address affiliated with Dorkgasm will be posted in full on this very website with pretty graphics. Thank you. http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/490#comments Dorkgasm Sun, 13 Jan 2008 18:55:49 +0000 kenneth.holm 490 at http://www.dorkgasm.com Best (and Worst) of 2007: Theatrical Releases http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/483 <center><b>Best (and Worst) of 2007: Theatrical Releases By Kenneth Holm Senior Staff Writer</b></center> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Herein lies a few surprises, as we chronicle the best and worst to hit theaters in 2007. Agree or disagree, and some of you will strongly do both. As with anything we publish, feel free to share your opinion! Notice, however, that the films on the Best list aren't all high-brow mularky and not all the films on the Worst list are genre films. Better yet, we've got a middle list, because that's how we roll. Read on and see if we're full of it or not!<!--break--> <b><u>Top 10 Best Theatrical Releases of 2007</b></u> <b>Children Of Men</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- I thought this movie had it all. It had action, suspense, and a killer performance by Clive Owen. Julianne Moore and Michael Caine turn in gangbuster performances, as well. The plot line of a child being born in a time when it could mean the survival of the human race is kind of dicey, but it is ultimately made interesting by the actors and the spot-on direction and writing of Alfonso Cuarón. Yeah, this is the movie that has since made me forgive Cuarón for <I>Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban</I>. That’s pretty powerful mojo, folks. <b>Pan’s Labyrinth</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Seriously, what can be said about this flick that can improve on the critical blowjob it has received from about every critic on the face of the Earth? The fantastical elements blend seamlessly with the Spanish Civil War, and with Guillermo del Toro’s direction, it hard to pick the greater of two evils. Sure, one realm has The Pale Man, an entity who likes to pull a Fat Bastard and eat babies. The other side of the coin is Capitán Vidal, a cruel and merciless Army officer and our heroine’s stepfather. While the choice is never easy to make, the characters in and outside the labyrinth make for some of the most engaging viewing this side of… <b>The Last King Of Scotland</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Now, this seems like a “gimmie”. Forest Whittaker plays Idi Amin with an incredible power that I had never thought him capable of. Whenever an actor wins me over with a new role that spellbinds, it guarantees inclusion in the best. Whittaker’s dictator, whose real life title was “His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”, holds down the cinematic fort with a show that equal parts terrifying and touching. Also great is James McAvoy (the upcoming <I>Wanted</I>) as Amin’s fictional personal physician. This movie blends reality with falsehoods so seamlessly that even local villagers outside a shooting location thought it was really Idi Amin delivering the powerful speeches instead of Forest Whittaker. This film is top shelf all the way. <b>The Queen</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- While this film started to be released in 2006 in a few other countries, it was not until Helen Mirren’s Oscar win in 2007 that saw wide distribution in the US and around the world. It was a rightly deserved win, too. Helen Mirren portrays Queen Elizabeth the Deuce with a marked reserve that only cracks at key moments that allow the viewer to see the hidden tenderness. This film won many critical awards, and when it hit big in the US (finally), the general public was finally privileged to see one of the best performances of the year. If you have not seen this movie yet, please do so as soon as possible. You may just be missing on of the best movies released in the past ten years. <b>Grindhouse</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Ah, <I>Grindhouse</I>. Unfortunately, this movie failed rather spectacularly at the box office. Why, you ask? Well, it has everything the film-going Dork could ask for: hot chicks, zombies, explosions, and Bruce Willis. Regrettably, a marketing mishap doomed this movie. It bombed so completely that The Weinstein Company decided to split the double bill of <I>Planet Terror</I> and <I>Death Proof</I> when it was released overseas, depriving the audience of its biggest draw. No one seemed to get that these movies were supposed to be cheesy. This film is ultimately a love letter to the old grindhouse cinemas that Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino spent a lot of time in. While the DVD releases saw them “expanded” and released separately, I will continue to hold my breath for the whole theatrical release, complete with cheesy trailers. This film was a joy to watch, and an even bigger joy to experience with friends. <b>Hot Fuzz</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- When <I>Shaun of the Dead</I> was released, everyone suddenly began singing the praises of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. Being one of the few who had seen <I>Spaced</I>, I already knew these boys were fried gold. When it was announced that they were doing a cop movie, everyone thought it would be a parody like <I>Shaun</I>. Instead, they found out that <I>Hot Fuzz</I> was a knowing and loving homage to the cop / buddy flick. When super-cop Nicolas Angel is promoted out of London, all bets are off in this incredibly able picture. If you look closely, you can see a veritable treasure trove of Dork favorite actors, including Paul Freeman (<I>Raiders Of The Lost Ark</I>), Edward Woodward (<I>The Wicker Man</I>), and many more. For tongue-in-cheek action and humor, there is none better. <b>Superbad</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- I wrote a review of the DVD that just came out, so read that for more information. I will say, however, that no other movie this year has as much heart as <I>Superbad</I>. Sure, it is quite ribald and lacks a certain amount of taste, but it brought back memories from my own time in high school, which I hold as some of the best years of my life. I knew these people, I was some of these people, and I got in many of the same misadventures as they did. It brought back a sense of wistfulness that I totally dug on. I only wish more movies could be this honest with their characters and still be able to evoke both belly laughs and a tear or two. Exceptionally funny and brutally honest, <I>Superbad</I> was the best comedy of the year in my opinion. <b>American Gangster</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Much has been said of this movie, from the shockingly villainous performance of Denzel Washington to the solid and exceptional work of Russell Crowe. Ridley Scott proves that he is more than Replicants, gladiators, and aliens with this down to Earth, yet larger than life depiction of crime in America. What I liked best about it was that no one was clear-cut good or evil. Everyone has a good and bad side to him or her; just some had one side more pronounced than the other. It shows strong supporting roles by Chiwetel Ejifor (a personal favorite), Josh Brolin, and the RZA (of Wu-Tang fame), and is truly a roller coaster ride from beginning to end. While I took issue with the seeming cop out of an ending, it is based on real life, going to prove that truth is less riveting than fiction. Still, though, this is my only gripe about the movie, which has earned a venerated spot in my Top 100 of all time. Absolutely superb. <b>No Country For Old Men</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Following his performances in <I>Grindhouse</I> and<I>American Gangster</I>, this seems to be the year of Josh Brolin. Toss always-reliable Tommy Lee Jones and an exceptionally frightening Javier Bardem in with the Coen brothers, and you have a wonderfully taught thriller that will keep you enthralled until the final minutes. Taking a simple plotline reminiscent of <I>A Simple Plan</I> from the book of the same name by one of my new favorite authors Cormac McCarthy, <I>No Country…</I> takes a look at what happens when a dude finds a shitload of heroin, a Mexican hitman tracks him down, and a local sheriff stops being polite and starts getting real. While Tommy Lee Jones does a wonderful job as the local flatfoot, and Josh Brolin hands in an exceptional performance as the regular dude who gets some money and heroin the easy way, it is Bardem’s Anton Chigurth that takes the movie in hand. Javier Bardem plays Chigurth as a man of principle, even though he’s a cold-blooded killer. When the tense finale finally subsides, you are left with a feeling that you have just seen something amazing happen before your eyes. This will be a permanent part of my collection once it hits DVD, make no bones about it. <b>The Mist</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Rounding out my Top Ten Best of 2007 is a movie that a lot of people found fault with. Frank Darabont’s <I>The Mist</I> in an intense meditation on evil, both in human and otherworldly forms. Scope out the review I wrote for plot details, because I will not go into the story here. All you need to know is that this is the best Stephen King adaptation since <I>The Green Mile</I>, also directed by Darabont. When the shit hits the proverbial fan, three camps take bets as to what is going on. There is the logical camp, which believes that there has to be an explanation; there is the zealot camp, which believes that this is God’s vengeance upon a willfully straying flock; and there is the camp that just wants to survive. While the CGI and practical monsters occupy most of the antagonistic spots in the flick, there are the all-too-human monsters that provide the biggest chills. When you are faced with a traumatic event, what lengths are you willing to go to in order to survive? This movie answers that question time and time again, with many events sitting unpleasantly for quite some time after you have seen the movie. Many people have maligned the ending, which was rewritten by Darabont, but I think it is the best way to end it. Not to spoil anything, but what will you do when all hope is lost? Can you do the unthinkable? This film earns the final spot on my list for bringing up the biggest elephant in the room, and I cannot recommend it enough. <b><u>Middle 10 Theatrical Releases Of 2007</b></u> <b>Catch and Release</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- This movie, while good, was not up to snuff with the best of the best. Jennifer Garner plays a grieving wife convincingly, while Kevin Smith plays himself and Timothy Olyphant plays a role that I would love to see him play more of, if for no other reason than it would keep him away from <I>Hitman</I>. Garner loses her husband, and is helped back to a more normal state by his three closest friends as she learns of his devastating, long-kept secret. While it is primarily a fluff piece, it has a good heart and will be remembered for being a movie with good performances and being a chick flick most guys will sit through. <b>Black Snake Moan</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- This movie followed hot on the heels of Craig Brewer’s award winning <I>Hustle and Flow</I>. When the town nympho is beaten almost to death, the local bluesman, battling his own demons, decides he can help this girl out. Over time, they develop a relationship that is only strengthened by the forty-foot chain he has tied around her. This movie was absolutely amazing with top-notch performances all around, but it has a few quibbles that lead to it not being included in the Top Ten. It is interesting to note that Samuel Jackson learned to play guitar for this movie, so we are seeing the real deal when he plays. In any other year, this would have been tops, but 2007 offered such a great lineup that it was hard to choose. If it were a Top 11, this would have made it, hands down. See it now, and discuss its themes of redemption with others in the mindset. It is a great conversation starter. <b>I Think I Love My Wife</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- A lot of people dissed this movie while in the theaters. While I do not think most of the criticism it was hit with was valid, it did seem to drag a bit. Still, this directorial debut from Chris Rock still has a lot going for it. While the plot of a man whose marital vows are tested by a fine looking hussy is kind of old hat, Rock and co-writer Louis C.K. find new and fun ways of exploiting every hook in the book. Hell, watch it for Gina Torres’s great line delivery. Watch it for Rock’s amusing one-liners. Watch it for Kerry Washington’s semi-naked scene. It’s just fun all around and will probably hit a note with every married man who watches it. This was originally based on Eric Rohmer’s 1972 movie <I>L’Amour l’après-midi</I>, which is less funny and more of a morality tale. Good movie, though. <b>TMNT</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Where can I begin? I had exceptionally high hopes for this movie. I really did. I remember the heady joy that the original live action movie and its sequel (fuck the third one) elicited in my youthful brain. So, naturally, when I took the kids to see this one, I expected greatness. Turns out if I had planned on mediocrity, I would have been better off. The jokes are kind of flat, the characters are pretty one-dimensional, and the storyline is weak. Why is it one of the middle ten, though? All told, it’s fun. The CGI that Imagi Studios whipped up is impressive, if not totally mind-blowing. Even the voices of Patrick Stewart, Chris Evans, and the recently deceased Mako cannot save this from mediocrity. The kids loved it, though. Ate it up as if it was candy-coated Prozac. If you want something to shut the screaming kids up, this will do it. You might even begin to enjoy it yourself, if you are not careful. <b>Disturbia</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- If the superb <I>Rear Window</I> ever needed to be remade, I would imagine it would be pretty close to this flick. While the plot is almost a direct retread of the James Stewart thriller, enough liberties are taken to make it seem fresh. Shia LeBeouf proves that he is an actor worth watching, and David Morse plays creepy like he owns it. This movie elevated itself above other 2007 horror / thrillers with its lack of constant blood. I prefer my scares to be intelligent, but drowned in gore. It addresses many modern fears while still throwing a lot of clichés on the skewer. It, as usual, comes down to the cat-and-mouse routine, but it has a fun time getting there. Overall, it was acceptable, but not totally noteworthy. I liked it enough to buy it, but only watch it when nothing else is on. <b>28 Weeks Later</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- This movie is the direct younger brother of Danny Boyle’s <I>28 Days Later</I>, but it is plagued with “sequel-itis”. While the first film had scares that seemed rather contained, this film follows the “bigger+badder=better” formula. It succeeds in some parts, while other parts leave you remembering the first movie and wishing you were watching that one instead. This movie does have Robert Carlyle going for it, though. I have been a huge RC fan since <I>Trainspotting</I> and <I>The Full Monty</I>, so I love it when he gets work, and he works for every second of screen time here. While this movie does, unfortunately, set up the requisite sequel, rumors abound that Boyle will be returning for that one. I will wait, but this one still gets a spin in the old DVD player every now and then. A passable effort, if overblown and dragged down by plot inconsistencies. <b>Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- The third installment of the Pirate trilogy starts out where the second ended, with Captain Jack Sparrow in need of some dire rescuing and Barbossa leading a determined crew to the ends of the Earth. If you have not seen it, and I am sure someone out there has not yet, do not worry about spoilers here. I will say that Davy Jones gets a preposterous side story and villainous Cutler Beckett seems to step into sidekick mode a bit early, while Will and Elizabeth have their stories wrapped up in a typical fashion. The only reason it ranked in the mid 10 is that it was exceptionally entertaining overall. If you can turn your brain off long enough, that is. The double, triple, and even quadruple crosses will make your head spin and just might distract you from the plot holes big enough to drive a caravan through. However, it is a popcorn movie like none before it, and is a fitting close to the trilogy. Now, if only Disney can keep from reviving it… <b>Knocked Up</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>-Overall, I did not like this movie as much as <I>Superbad</I>. Sure, it applies to me more as a father, but I thought it lacked the heart that <I>Superbad</I> had. Plus, Katherine Heigl came out last month and said she did not like the negative stereotypes that the movie portrayed. I think I’m in agreement with her on that count. Everyone in the flick seems to be some sort of stereotype or another. That’s not to say that it is a terrible movie, but only one that could have better if it had been written from a more realistic point of view. I went through a lot of issues when we had our first child (before we were married), and I think I could have written a more heartfelt movie and still kept it funny. This one merely induces smirks. It is still a good flick, though. A couple of the one-liners still have me chuckling. <b>Transformers</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Let us dwell on something for just a second. In a movie about giant fucking robots, should you not focus more on the robots? Michael Bay brought us this typical summer blockbuster and added a human element to it. While I think a movie only showcasing the robots would have been crap, I felt this movie did not show enough of the robots, instead sticking with a laughable human subplot that just hurt my head. Not even Jon Voight could save this one from being merely acceptable. However, it did accomplish its mission of being a summer popcorn movie, so I really cannot fault it too much on this line of thought. I just wish that Bay were not attached to the sequel so we could spend a little more time on the bots. It was not that terrible, but it could have been so much better. Perhaps my expectations were just too damn high in the first place, though. <b>30 Days Of Night</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Here’s another movie that should have been better. I absolutely love the graphic novel this was based on, but this movie felt way too long. Hell, depending on the day, I think it might not have been long enough. While the vampires were cool, and Ben Foster’s character of “The Stranger” was superb, I felt not enough time was devoted to depict the state of helplessness that the people who stayed behind felt. I also felt that the chemistry between Eban (Josh Hartnett) and Stella (Melissa George) felt really forced. Maybe it is just because I never liked Josh Hartnett. I feel he did his best work on TV in the show <I>Cracker</I>, and never really enjoyed him in any movie other than <I>Sin City</I>. The director, David Slade, has done good things before (2005’s <I>Hard Candy</I>), but this just felt off. When it hits DVD, I’ll give it another shot, but I just thought it felt flat and somewhat uninteresting. I will say, though, that Danny Huston, who played Marlow, was one of the best performances. I hope to see more of him again soon. <b><u>The 10 Worst Theatrical Releases of 2007</u></b> <b>Epic Movie</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Yeah, whoever thought this was funny needs to be kicked in the scrotum repeatedly. This film, brought to us by the same bastards who are supplying 2008’s <I>Meet The Spartans</I>, takes most of the comic book and fantasy releases of recent memory and spoofs them in the same fashion as <I>Scary Movie</I>, but without the laughs. Somehow, it takes usually entertaining actors like Kal Penn, Darrell Hammond, and Carmen Electra and reduces them to half-note jokes. Fuck, man, they even take Crispin Mothafuckin’ Glover and make him suck. This movie took <I>The Chronicles Of Narnia, X-Men,</I> and <I>Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest</I> and spoofed them all into a movie that put me to sleep. It’s a fucking horrendous movie, and should be avoided at all cost. The real crime here is that more people watched this piece of crap instead of <I>Zodiac</I>. Truly abominable, if you ask me. <b>Primeval</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- As if the world needed another killer crocodile movie. This movie was part of the reprehensible duo that also included killer-croc flick <I>Rogue</I>, but that one has not been released yet in the States, so it does not qualify. This movie even had Jurgen Prochnow in it, and it still sucked day-old balls. To top it all off, the croc was not enough, so they threw a warlord into the mix. This flick is poison. <b>Norbit</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- When Eddie Murphy was poised to regain his comedic crown, he released this stinker to show the world he was funny. I would have rather had <I>Beverly Hills Cop 4</I>. While the fact that nothing in this movie is funny is bad enough, it managed to offend damn near anyone who watched this crap. The director, Brian Robbins, has made some fun movies in the past (<I>Good Burger</I>, anyone?), but he should be ashamed of himself for this one. Hell, Murphy even co-wrote the movie with his brother, Charlie Murphy. Guess what? It still fucking sucks! The one-note fat jokes, crude and disgusting sex gags, and the utter lack of intelligence make this one for the ages. One to avoid, that is… <b>Ghost Rider</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Now, I love me some Ghost Rider. I love the comic character, I love the books, and I even like the game. This movie does none of them justice, however. It feels like the execs in charge just said, “How can we piss off comic fans?” This movie dumbed down the whole story and made a movie that is perfect for kindergartners and adults with severe ADD. Nicolas Cage, while an interesting choice, was not right for Johnny Blaze. Sorry, but it is true. Throw in amateur level CGI effects and a shitload of crappy supporting characters, and you have a perfect hat trick. Sam Elliot and Peter Fonda were in this crapfest, but it seemed like they were in a better movie. One that I would much rather watch. Besides, when was the last time anyone in their right mind found Wes Bentley scary? This movie was total gunk, and had me screaming for a refund. I never got it, and am currently in a class action suit with the director for my nine bucks back. Are we surprised that this was brought to us by the guy who directed <I>Electra</I> and <I>Daredevil</I> and wrote <I>Grumpy Old Men</I>? Nope, not in the slightest. Fuck this movie. Fuck it in its big, stupid ass. It’s fucking clown shoes. <b>The Reaping</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Hilary Swank needs to stop doing horror flicks. Fucking now. This tepid thriller only made me want to punch people in the face repeatedly. There have been so many other better religious-based horror thrillers. Why anyone would waste time with this piece of shit is beyond me. The overblown story, the hackneyed script, and the over-the-top acting all combine to make this movie one of the worst of 07. If you have already seen it, I am truly sorry for you. I really feel your pain. <b>Spiderman 3</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Now, a lot of you may think I’m overreacting on this one, but this sucked. It sucked big floppy donkey dick. Firstly, it gives us a version of Peter Parker who obviously listens to Fall-Out Boy way too damn much. Secondly, it takes all of Mary Jane’s strength away and makes her a younger version of the cinematic old biddy. Thirdly, the version of Venom, my favorite Spiderman villain, is just laughable and totally against type. The only thing it did right was Thomas Hayden Church’s Sandman, and I suspect that had more to do with the actor and not the script. Oh, I forgot the “New Goblin”. WHAT THE BLOODY FUCK IS THIS SHIT??? Seriously, the Green Goblin did not need to drink more Mountain Dew to be more “extreme”, did he? Why does this one decide to do so? We could have benefited much more from Hobgoblin, don’t you think? The dance sequence alone was enough for me to hate this festering turd. Now, people are talking about Sam Raimi for <I>The Hobbit</I>? Fuck that mess, yo. Look at this movie to see the kind of damage he can to do an established property. It’s kind of sad, since the first two movies were so good, to watch this and wish it was never made. <b>Daddy Day Camp</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Eddie Murphy again. I’m not going to say anything more. <b>War</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Jet-Li and Jason Statham in the same action movie? They’re playing opposing forces? Fucking say no more and sign me up! That was my thought process going into this flop. Afterwards, though, I found myself hoping these two champs found something better to do. Even though the face-off was highly touted, it was kind of stale in the long run. Their final fight scene was boring, which is a capital crime in a movie like this. Add in all of the unnecessary plot twists and double crosses, and it turns out that this flick would have better left on the cutting room floor. Shit, I could have spliced <I>The Transporter</I> and <I>Romeo Must Die</I> and I would have made a better movie than this. It is coming soon to DVD, so check it out at your own peril. Me? I’ll stay far away from this shit. I will not make the same mistake twice. <b>Halloween 08</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Yet another movie that should have been a lot cooler. I read someone’s opinion that Rob Zombie should have taken this movie, changed the names of characters, and just released it as an original property. I agree with this, as it does not manage to live up to the <I>Halloween</I> pedigree. Sure, some of the ideas were cool, but Tyler Mane is too good to be saying nothing. He infused Myers with a new, menacing demeanor, and was rewarded for his work with a tepid movie. Now, I have not seen the “unrated” version of this yet, so I cannot say whether or not it is any better, but I will go on record as saying that the theatrical version kind of sucked. I love Zombie as a filmmaker, but this one should have been more thought out by everyone involved. <b>Alvin & The Chipmunks</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Not only did this movie suck the life out of me, but it also managed to be one of the total worst movies of the decade. Jason Lee’s performance of Dave Seville feels totally phoned-in, and David Cross’s villainous Ian is pathetic. Even the Chipmunks themselves are a little flat, though they look pretty nice with the whole CGI thing. The movie starts out with a wonderful rendition of Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day”, but quickly goes downhill. I reviewed this flick earlier; so hit the review up for more info, but stay far away from this movie. If you have any affection for the ‘Munks at all, just pop in the DVD of the 80s classic <I>The Chipmunk Adventure</I> instead. This movie is totally without any heart and provides only a marketing platform. Fucking boo-urns. http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/483#comments Dorkgasm Fri, 11 Jan 2008 04:04:46 +0000 kenneth.holm 483 at http://www.dorkgasm.com Best of 2007: Graphic Fiction http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/482 <center><b>Best of 2007: Graphic Fiction By Michael C. Riedlinger Editor-In-Chief </center></b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>2007 was a banner year for the comics industry, which only made this list more difficult. Both of the big companies released great trade collections, and continuing series at both indie and major companies were top notch all around. Some of this list may surprise you, some of it may infuriate you. Good. Maybe your favorite obscure title, the one that made the TIME or NEWSWEEK lists, isn't on here. Go yell from the mountaintop about how no one's reading it, but maybe there's a reason for that. Maybe there are a few titles here that you disagree with entirely, that's fine too. Let the debate begin!<!--break--> <b>10. <u>All-Star Superman</u></b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Grant Morrison is a genius; let me point that out at the onset of this list. His take on Superman mixes a British Sci-fi sensibility with his own signature bizarre plot twists and humor. Always a pleasure to read, <i>All-Star Superman</i>’s only real drawback is its quirky, bi-monthly release schedule. If you wait for collections, however, you are in for a real treat. <b>9. <u>52, Vols. 1-4</u></b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span> The collected versions of this DC milestone really bring home the amount of work that really goes into publishing comic books. Each issue is followed by a look behind the scenes that is almost more entertaining than the book itself. The story of a world where Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have left to find themselves comes together nicely under a team of DC’s top writers and artists, and I think time will show this to be just as important to today’s comic book industry as <i>Crisis on Infinite Earths</i> and <i>Secret Wars</i> were to the comics of the 1980’s. <b>8. <u>Courtney Crumrin and the Fire-Thief’s Tale</u></b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span> Ted Naifeh’s stories about a grumpy little girl who discovers sorcery through her eccentric uncle continued this year in <i>The Fire-Theif’s Tale</i>. Like many of her previous adventures, Courtney learns about very adult subjects (racism and miscegenation) through the world of the supernatural. You can share this with your kids, but you’ll enjoy reading it just as much, if not more, than they will. <b>7. <u>Fables/Jack of Fables</u></b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span> Bill Willingham writes a mean fairytale. In the case of Jack, a very mean, spiteful fairytale. In either book, Willingham’s story of literary refugees is always engaging and enthralling. Though most of this year seems to have been a build up to a potential final showdown with the characters’ nemesis, the story has still shown us that sometimes the most amazing facet of any of our favorite characters is that they are distinctly human. Even Jack, whose own book is as self-absorbed as he is, manages to eke out moments that touch us because we’ve likely experienced them ourselves. Quite a feat for a man who survived being impaled upon Excalibur! <b>6. <u>Batman</u></b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Did I mention Grant Morrison is a genius? This year has been a banner year for him as a writer, and his work on <i>Batman</i> has been exceptional. Bruce has a son named Damian? Ra’s al Ghul is resurrected? Damian eventually will kill dad and plague Gotham as an Immortal replacement for the caped crusader? Holy shit, Morrison is insane! Bat shit insane, in fact. His run on this signature DC character is as dark and moody as it should be without the unnecessary bleakness of Frank Miller. When this hits trade form, pick it up because it is the best <i>Batman</i> has been since <i>Hush</i>! <b>5. <u>League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier</u></b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>What happens when Alan Moore stops lampooning Victorian fiction and tackles tropes from the 1950’s? <i>The Black Dossier</i>, that’s what. Though the story is fairly simple, it is The Black Dossier itself that features most prominently as a character in this latest <i>LXG</i> installment. Moore changed the face of graphic fiction with Watchmen, making it possible for high-brow types to read a book like this in the open. Truly a study of literary styles and publishing means from the first part of the 20th century, this book almost requires you to be a Lit major, but is still loads of fun. Where else will you see a Tijuana Bible, 3-D glasses and a lost Shakespearian manuscript in the same place? Fire up Wikipedia and sit down for a long read. This one is worth every minute! <b>4. <u>Ex Machina</u></b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span> Politics in comics are often either obtuse (<i>V for Vendetta</i>) or couched in heavy metaphors (damn near anything from Vertigo these days), but Brian K. Vaughn stabs right at the heart of issues. Through Mayor Hundred, Vaughn gives us an evenhanded look at contemporary issues without leaning too far left or right. His superhero-cum-politico story is just the right mix of action/adventure and cerebral musings to keep you wanting the next issue month after month. With a little less than two years left of this book’s limited run, play catch up with the trades and get ready for an interesting election year. <b>3. <u>Absolute Sandman</u></b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Once upon a time, a British author helped launch a new imprint with DC comics called Vertigo. Over a decade later, some of the best writers in the world fill in the void left by Neil Gaiman and his now defunct series. These Absolute Editions raise the bar both artistically and literarily, and any fan of either should consider themselves lucky to own <i>Sandman</i> in such a format. Much like a penultimate directors cut DVD collection, this edition doesn’t miss a beat or scrimp on the extras, so with tax time coming up, maybe you should treat yourselves! <b>2. <u>DMZ</u></b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The aforementioned political metaphor in comic form has never been as touching or poignant as when Brian Wood puts Matty Roth through his paces as a freelance journalist in the war torn streets of Manhattan. The future setting, taking place after a second American Civil War, allows us to look at life during wartime honestly. There are no easy answers, and when the enemy’s combatants are also us, we cannot help but think long and hard about what life under military rule must be like for people around the world. This is a story that could take place in Kabul, Baghdad, or Sarajevo, but it doesn’t, and that makes it all the more compelling without being preachy. As Wood heads into the third year of this story, we should all sit down and look in the mirror he presents us, if only to catch a glimpse of where we never want to be and should only place others with the greatest of caution. <b>1. <u>The Boys</u></b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>First, it was at Wildstorm, and then it was canceled because it was too raunchy. Somewhere between a hamster in someone’s bum and a distinctly anti-superhero story, Wildstorm gave up one of the edgiest comics ever to a small publisher called Dynamite, and Billy Butcher made it back to the streets. The fact that these blokes would be villains in any other hero comic makes them more interesting by default, but their motivations are all justifiable. Wee Hughie, our main protagonist and Simon Pegg stand in, watched the love of his life get crushed by a superhero and has been presented with a chance to get revenge, but he does not do so lightly. The first time he kills a man, in self-defense mind you, he vomits. It is that kind of “humanity in a world of insanity” that Garth Ennis first captured on <i>Preacher</i>, and now brings us in <i>The Boys</i>. Sex, Drugs, and Rockstars with capes abound, but you will be rooting for the straight men and women who dress like you or I. Though there is some serious emotion involved, Ennis still manages to inject his own ironic humor into every issue and the lampooning of familiar characters makes each issue a page-turner. Hell, the story of Batman/Ironman knockoff Tek Knight as he tries desperately to not have sex with his young male sidekick, Laddi-O, will have you rolling on the floor even as you wonder why no one has ever really dealt with issues like gay-bashing superheroes before. Pick it up in 2008. You will NOT be disappointed! http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/482#comments Dorkgasm Fri, 11 Jan 2008 03:39:21 +0000 MRiedlinger 482 at http://www.dorkgasm.com Best of 2007: DVDs http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/481 <center><b> Best of 2007: DVDs By Anonymous Jones</center></b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>2007 was a great year for DVD, and it was excruciatingly hard to pick only twenty. While I was bored, I waded through two hundred and eleven pages on 2007 releases to refresh my memory and pick out the best twenty out of all of them. While it did turn out to be a multi-day process, I am proud to share with you my favorites of this past year. Here they are, in no particular order.<!--break--> <b>Clerks II</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Mrs. Jones and I are huge Kevin Smith fans. Even if we weren’t, though, this DVD is top notch. Not only do you get the wonderful movie with great commentaries from Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier, and director of photography Dave Klein, but you also get cast commentary, deleted scenes, a feature-length documentary, plus the outstanding series of online movies depicting the making of the film. If that weren’t enough, you also get the featurette “A Closer Look at Interspecies Erotica”, which is just hilarious. If you don’t have it, buy this DVD already. <b>Battleship Potemkin (Kino Ultimate Edition)</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- This is one of those movies that you wish more people had seen. Kino International, fresh on the heels of the superb <I>Metropolis</I> and <I>Nosferatu</I> restorations, gleefully restore Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 silent film about a massive uprising on a military battleship. The results are one of the most complete versions of the film ever committed to any video media. All of the 146 title cards have been replaced, and a new recording based on Edmund Meisel’s original score has been included. The final showdown at the Odessa Steps is one of the most powerful moments in film history, and you’d be a dipshit if you didn’t cop this one. <b>Half Nelson</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Ryan Gosling is currently on my list of actors to watch. His performance is this flick is so riveting that you forget it’s just a movie. This tender story of a drug-addled teacher and his inner-city student is the stuff that Oscars are made of. Regrettably, there are not a lot of features on this disc, but none are needed as the movie alone is worth the purchase. Scope this out if you don’t like the neat and tidy Hollywood endings, as it a totally different kind of film. <b>The Prestige</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- This movie just goes to show that Christopher Nolan can still do some downright thrilling filmmaking. After he did <I>Batman Begins</I>, many fans seemed to be concerned that he couldn’t do a movie like this. All of their fears proved to be bullshit, of course. While the movie is wonderful, the features on this disc are kind of so-so. With only two mini-documentaries about the process of making the movie and the art involved are to be found on the disc, the movie is still a great find for thriller fans out there. Sure, the movie may have been a little bit off from the book, but who cares? Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and even Hugh Jackman turn in wonderful performances that will keep you guessing throughout. <b>Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Not only did it have the longest title o the year, but <I>Borat</I> was an exceptionally funny flick poking fun at America and the lunkheads who run around at will. While others only saw the broad humor, I saw the underlying satire contained herein. Sacha Baron Cohen succeeds in making one of the smartest dumb movies of all time and the DVD features some hilarious outtakes and a wonderful mock-serious newscast from Borat Sagdiyev. Larry Charles directed this masterwork, and is responsible for one of the most misunderstood movies of the year. This is a total prime choice, and I recommend it fully. <b>Rocky Balboa</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- The Italian Stallion’s last bout with fame, <I>Rocky Balboa</I> manages to go out with a style that I thought could not be achieved. The movie itself is exceptional, but it is the features that make this a must-purchase. The deleted scenes and alternate ending are superb, showing what they cut was almost as good as what they kept in. The bloopers are priceless, and the making-of featurettes will interest even the most ardent boxing opponent. Where the film really shines, though, is with the commentary from Sylvester Stallone. The commentary details a lot of what had to happen to make this movie, and Stallone’s love for the character is apparent as he talks quite knowledgably about the making of this flick. <b>Pan’s Labyrinth</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- This was one of the best movies of 2007, and it shows on the DVD. Del Toro’s commentary is exceptionally listenable, while the featurettes included will only serve to enhance the film. Some of the production art is also included in the two-disc version, making it the version to buy if you haven’t already. Unfortunately, a lot of people will be turned off by the lack of an English language option, but if you can get past the subtitles, you’ll experience a truly original, utterly remarkable film. <b>Hot Fuzz: Three Disc Collector’s Edition</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- When <I>Hot Fuzz</I> came out on DVD earlier this year, I checked it out and was confused when I heard the director reference some commentary tracks that were not included with the film. Turns out, they were referencing the British version. Now, it’s finally landed on US shores, and it was worth the wait. Usually waiting a year or more to provide the requisite double-dip DVD, this one was released a scant few months after the first edition, and the three discs include more dumbassery and hilarity than I can ever tell you about. While the five commentaries are superb, the real wealth is found in the astonishing amount of footage that was shot during the making of the movie. Everything from interviews to extended and deleted scenes have been included in this set, making it the one to own in 2007. <b>Inland Empire</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- This movie will try your patience. Fair warning. If you can sit through it, though, you’ll be in for a treat like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Shot completely on a handheld digital video recorder, <I>Inland Empire</I> tells the story of an actress whose mental issues steadily climb as she works for Jeremy Irons. As she descends more into madness, a trio of talking bunnies begins to haunt her thoughts while she loses it even more. Laura Dern is fantastic in one of her best roles, and David Lynch proves that not only is he insane, but one of the best filmmakers in the world. The features include even more insanity, plus the requisite trailers. Rent it first, if you must, but do not ignore it. <b>Serenity: Collector’s Edition</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- The story of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew aboard the spaceship Serenity has been well documented and loved by thousands, from the television series <I>Firefly</I> to the previous release of the movie <I>Serenity</I>. Released about a year and a half after the original edition, the <I>Serenity: Collector’s Edition</I> added even more goodies to the total package, including more documentaries and a new cast commentary. The extras are well worth the double dip that I normally scream about at the top of my lungs, plus the packaging looks really badass next to the <I>Firefly</I> series boxset. Don’t pass this one by if you like good sci-fi flicks. <b>Hostel – Part II (Unrated)</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- This follow up to Eli Roth’s Grand Guignol-esque film is, in my opinion, far better than the original. Unlike the first film, this movie puts a human face to the unseemly monsters that pay to hack other young people up. While most will recoil and puke at the idea of a sequel that is better than its originator, I say fuck off. If you take the time, you’ll discover that <I>Hostel – Part II</I> is not only better, but also much more frightening because of the humanity of all involved. It provides much needed character development and a more vindicating resolution. The DVD has three different commentaries, the requisite deleted scenes, and a couple documentaries that only serve to enrich the package. While you may not like it, this movie does well to unnerve you with its probing of human evil. It is most definitely a worthwhile disc to check out at the very least. <b>Sicko</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>-Michael Moore’s indictment of the United States’ health care system is both harrowing and hilarious at the same time. While I could go into the film’s contents and stray for about five pages, all you need to know is that Moore applies his typical “one versus thousands” philosophy against the health care giants in this country and investigates the universal health care systems of other nations. The extras on this single disc are exceptionally copious and thought provoking. If you are one of the many who have written Michael Moore as a liberal nutbag, nothing I can say will change your mind. However, if you actually have more than two brain cells, I can give this DVD no heartier recommendation than saying that this DVD was an official entry into the Jones family library. When the children are old enough, they will be sat down and treated to all of his films. Hopefully, they will grow into true patriots who know that the meaning of the word means having to ask the tough questions of their government. <b>La Vie En Rose</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- It is almost heartbreaking that this DVD has been overlooked by most of the consumer world. This film details the life of troubled French chanteuse Edith Piaf, whose life and subsequent rise to fame is the stuff of legend. Throw in Gerard Depardieu, and you have a wonderful film. Granted, it is quite non-linear in its moments, but if you stick with it, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most interesting foreign films in a long time. Marion Cotillard throws out a career changing performance that will leave you breathless. The DVD throws in a featurette or two, but the real draw is the exceptionally powerful film that will not be forgotten come Oscar time. This movie is already criminally sitting in used bins at your local Blockbuster, so scoop it up while you can. <b>Rescue Dawn</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Christian Bale does it again. Not since <I>The Machinist</I> has Bale done such a bang up job on creating a persona and living in it. Director Werner Herzog has covered the story of this pilot turned prisoner-of-war; but this film leaves all others in the dust. A fellow prisoner Duane, who is played by Steve Zahn, aids Bale’s Dieter Dengler on his quest for survival. Yeah, THAT Steve Zahn. Zahn has played some dumbasses before, but this role is just so riveting that I would say it alone is worth the price. There are plenty of features, including commentary, deleted scenes, and the requisite making-of documentary. If you want to really see what Batman is capable of, check it out pronto. <b>Ingmar Bergman: Four Masterworks</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- I don’t have enough room to tell you about all four movies contained in this set, released after Bergman’s untimely death this year. This box set, provided by the wonderful folks at Criterion, consists of <I>Smiles Of A Summer Night, the Virgin Spring, Wild Strawberries,</I> and of course <I>The Seventh Seal</I>. Bergman was one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, and this set shows why. Hell, even Bill and Ted cribbed off of him for <I>Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey</I>, which is probably the only time you will ever see the two mentioned in the same paragraph. If you like movies and have a head for introspection and great performances, this box set will do you absolutely no wrong. <b>Letters From Iwo Jima</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- This movie was the second part of Clint Eastwood’s Iwo Jima saga. Fronted by <I>Flags Of Our Fathers</I>, this film provides a deeper look into another culture and the reasons they do what they do. I thought this movie was far more interesting than the safer <I>Flags</I>, and it houses the better performances. It is also worthy of note that this entire movie was shot with Japanese dialogue, which provides deeper immersion into the world of the film. The features are pretty standard, but this is truly an outstanding film. If you have the change, spring for the two pack. If you can only afford one, though, go with this one. Its somber photography and subtle performances are incredible to watch. <b>Blade Runner: Ultimate Collector’s Edition</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- Come on. Who didn’t expect this to turn up in this list? Whenever Ridley Scott releases a director’s cut, you’re pretty much guaranteed your money’s worth. This one, however, takes the proverbial cake. Housing the newly remastered Final Cut of the film, it also includes the feature length documentary <i>Dangerous Days</i>, a supplemental disc of extras, the prior THREE versions of the film (US theatrical cut, European theatrical cut, and the 1992 director’s cut), and the super-rare pre-release workprint version of the film. If this wasn’t enough, you also get a folio of production art, a miniature Spinner, and an origami unicorn figurine. This is all one hell of a package, and it’s all housed in a replica of Deckard’s briefcase. Every limited edition briefcase is numbered at 103,000, so snap up yours quickly. <b>James Bond: Ultimate Collector’s Edition</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- In a year deluged with “Ultimate Editions”, this one is, by far, the biggest. Taking each and every cinematic Bond adventure and providing it with copious amounts of features, it amasses a whopping forty-two discs worth of goodness. While the films only take up twenty-one of the discs, the other twenty-one are given over to extras. Now, let’s see your DVD collection handle that one. From <I>Dr. No</I> to the superb <I>Casino Royale</I>, every age of Bond is represented, including George Lazenby. The ungodly amount of material should have been enough to sate the interest of the Bond aficionado, but each of the films was also remastered totally. This set will test the limits of your sound system completely. <b>The Host</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- This is one of the most awesome imports ever. In what could be the catalyst that brings the giant monster movie back, a Korean family must work together to retrieve the daughter of one of the sons from the belly of a beast that was created by toxic dumping. What could have easily been a joke of a movie is unexpectedly touching with its familial roots and criticism of world events. Boon Joon-ho directs it all with a deft touch, and the movie will leave you stunned and sympathetic. Now available in a two-disc collector’s edition (man, that’s getting old…), you can see what went into the movie as well as some of the inspiration behind it. If you, like me and most of the Dork world, are gearing up for <I>Cloverfield</I>, you might want to check out just how much a giant monster can do in this charming Korean import. <b>Zodiac (Two Disc Director’s Cut)</b> <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>- In yet another collector’s edition entry, David Fincher’s period drama <I>Zodiac</I> gets even better with the new treatment. With a monstrous amount of extras, this film gets even deeper into the Zodiac mystique with other cryptic puzzles at your fingertips. The commentary is exceptional, and the movie is still marvelous. Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo are superb in this harrowing drama that takes place during the Zodiac killer’s reign of terror during the 1970s. With a superb supporting cast consisting of Gary Oldman, Brian Cox, Anthony Edwards and many more, no one could say that this movie doesn’t thrill you to the very bones. Pick it up today, and prepare to have your blood chilled. <span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Well, that’s about it. All of these DVDs are available for purchase today from your local retailer, so go out and make them part of your collection today. Your brain will thank me for it. If not, then you’re probably watching <I>Jackass 2</I> for the thirtieth time… http://www.dorkgasm.com/node/481#comments Dorkgasm Thu, 10 Jan 2008 22:41:05 +0000 AnonymousJones 481 at http://www.dorkgasm.com