Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Coming soon: The Blessed are the Geeks's Zombiethon, where I'll be attempting to post a video review of a different zombie movie every day during the month of October.

Why? I love zombie movies and have seen about a million of them and figure I should use this knowledge for something productive and hopefully entertaining. Also, it'll be an interesting challenge to see if I can pull it off. I've already started working on this endeavor and I'm hoping I'll pull it off, but don't get too critical of me if I miss a day or two here and there, but I'm hoping to at least get something up each day, even if it's something just a few seconds long.

I don't have a real schedule planned, but I know what I'm posting on day one and on day 31, but everything else is up in the air, but I'm going to try to do a mix of things I've seen already and some that are new to me. I'll also be posting anything in a series in chronological order to make things easier to follow along.

Anyway, I'm mostly posting this for anybody who's interested and wants to follow along, and also so I'll be committed and locked into it so I can't bail out.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Boy, people loved this movie. Maybe after the first fifteen minutes it got really, really funny, but I'll never know because that's as far as I got. I just couldn't last another minute because Kristen Wiig's character (or, at least, her performance) was just about the most annoying thing I've ever seen in any movie, and I've seen everything Chris Tucker has ever done. And to be clear, I like Kristen Wiig. I think she is a very talented, very funny, and very beautiful woman, but boy was she completely, thoroughly awful in this movie. Or, at least, in the first fifteen minutes anyway, since that's all I watched, but that was long enough.

But don't let my opinion stop you, since everybody else seemed to think it was hilarious. As far as these things go, everybody also loved the Hangover as well and I didn't make it through that one either.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class is an exceptionally well made film that has almost nothing to do with the X-Men.

I suppose that's not entirely accurate. It has nothing to do with the X-Men comic books (which have been around for almost 50 years and spanned literally thousands of issues), and is mostly just based on the X-Men series of of films (which have been around for about ten years and spanned three films), so that explains why the mythology and history presented is mostly a jumbled mess that will have people who have only seen the films feeling confused and people who have grown up on the comics feeling annoyed. However, as an origin story taken on its own, it's a cracking good film.

I'd be surprised if the writers of this film even read any of the original comics books before crafting their screenplay, since every detail and character idea is taken from the earlier films, which is fine since those films were already pretty far removed from the comics. So what we have here is a film intended to be a prequel to a series of films that were very loosely based on a series of comics. That's why we have a Charles Xavier who is British even though he's American in the comics, and a Moira MacTaggert who's American even though she's Scottish in the comics. At least Xavier's personality, powers, and back story come through mostly unchanged, while most of the other characters are just given a name and appearance from the comics and turned into something... else, almost as though they are mutated forms from their original comic book counterparts. So Moria MacTaggert, a Scottish geneticist who meets and falls in love with Xavier because they are both studying human mutations while at Oxford is now an American CIA agent. And the rest of the characters are similarly changed, as is the entire makeup of the "First Class" itself, since the actual lineup from the original comics have all been used already in the earlier films, so it wouldn't make sense to have Cyclops, Jean Grey, et all living back in the 60s.

So as an X-Men film, it falls flat and borders on being something insulting, considering how much is changed, dismissed, and flat out rewritten for these films. But as an action movie, it's absolutely stunning. Matthew Vaughn is an excellent director and some of the set pieces in this movie are brilliantly filmed, even if none of them really add up to a cohesive whole that makes much sense or is all that satisfying on any real emotionally or intellectual level. The scene where a young Magneto kills a bunch of aged Nazis in a bar in Argentina, for example, was one of the most well done and entertaining scenes I've watched in a long time.

The cast is also pretty exceptional, with James McAvoy out-Xaviering Patrick Stewart, who is a brilliant actor who completely phoned in his performances in the earlier films. Michael Fassbender was awesome as Magneto, giving just as much gravitas as Ian McKellen, but actually seeming like more of a real threat since he didn't look like an arthritic senior citizen. Kevin Bacon stole the entire film, however, as one of the best villains I've ever seen in any comic book movie. No, this was not the Sebastian Shaw from the comics, but Bacon was so good I didn't care. The rest of the cast was played by a bunch of gorgeous, sexy women who mostly walked around in their underwear, so they were also very good and very memorable. This did seem like a bit of a step down for Jennifer Lawrence after her Oscar-nominated performance in Winter's Bone, but boy is she talented and very, very beautiful.

So... X-Men: First Class. Check it out, but don't go in expecting anything all that amazing or showing any real fidelity to the comics or even the previous films. When the plot gets confusing and has you feeling lost, don't make the mistake of thinking it's all explained in the comics, since none of this is from the comics and it's just because the script isn't that great or well thought out. But boy is it a lot of fun.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bring it on Home to Me: A Tribute to Sam Cooke (Video)

Sam Cooke is my all time favorite singer, and Bring it on Home to Me is maybe his best song, or, at least, maybe his most widely covered. I had the idea the other day to string together some of the best covers into one ultimate version, as a tribute to one of the most talented singers the world has ever known. I don't own the rights to this song or any of these versions, I just wanted to do a tribute to a singer that I love a lot, and judging by the talent I put together in this video, lots of other people do too.

I'm actually pretty proud of this video. I've made a lot of videos, but this was the most fun and hopefully the one that will be the most popular. Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think:

Monday, September 12, 2011

In Memoriam: Andy Whitfield (1974-2011)

Sad news. Andy Whitfield, star of the hit series Spartacus, passed away today after losing his two year battle with Lymphoma.

Read more about his life and struggle here, and then go honor his memory by watching Spartacus, because it was a great series and he was brilliant in it. He seemed like a cool guy and he will be missed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Video Clip of the Week - The Best is Yet to Come

Here is one of my all time favorite songs in one of my all time favorite scenes from one of my all time favorite TV shows:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oscar Buzz

So according to this article, Eddie Murphy is set to host next year's Oscar's. I haven't watched the Oscar's in years, nor do I think I've even seen the last few best picture winners, but I'll probably tune in to see Eddie Murphy. He's a funny guy, and it'll be nice to see him doing comedy again, even if it's the watered down, luke warm kind you find at the Oscar's.

Still... the guy was as funny as anybody on the planet, and I'd check out the ceremony if only to see if he's actually still funny.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Monkees Head Review (Video)

I've always wanted to see the film Head, the first (and last!) motion picture to feature the Monkees, and I finally managed to find a copy a week or so ago. Here is my video review of one of the weirdest movies in film history:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Last Man on the Moon

Everybody knows who Neil Armstrong is, since he is rightly renowned worldwide and for all time as the first man to set foot on the Moon. Infinitely less well known is Gene Cernan, who, as of September 1st, 2011, is still the last man to stand on the surface of the Moon. Not as impressive as being the first? I suppose. And if (when?) we ever do go back to the moon, he'll no longer be notable as the last and his name will become even less well known as he joins the ranks as such other forgotten astronauts as David Scott, Alan Bean, and Harrison Schmitt (among others) as just some guy who walked on the moon.

But you know what? How many times have you walked on the damn moon? I didn't think so.

First, last, second, or even tenth person to walk on the moon is still one more time than any of us will be able to do it, so no matter the order, that's damn cool. In fact, there is literally nothing more cool in the world than walking on another one. And Gene Cernan was the guy who did it most recently, so I think that makes him a strong contender for coolest guy worldwide.

But forget about the order or even whether or not he walked on the moon at all, since The Last Man on the Moon, the autobiography of Astronaut Eugene, is about life as an astronaut in general. I can't say if this is the best book I've ever read on life as an astronaut since I've read several that have been very good, but this one certainly is one of the most exciting, heartfelt, and well written. Cernan gives an overview of his entire life, paying particular attention to what it was like to go through the astronaut selection process, train to be a pilot for Gemini and Apollo, his horrific space walk in 1966, and his eventual voyage to the moon in 1972.

The events in this book, and the exploits Cernan went through (both as an astronaut and as a man trying to raise a family) are exciting, entertaining stuff, and the book is wonderfully written, either because of Cernan's talents or because of the help of Don Davis. We have heard Cernan's words spoken on the moon and in various other missions as an astronaut, so we know he was an eloquent man with a gift for words, but the book so so polished and so well put together, I'm sure a lot of credit goes to his collaborator, although how much nobody could ever say for certain.

Anyway, it's a good book that's worth reading if you want to learn more about life as an astronaut, or what it felt like to walk on the moon and then come home to the realization you'd never go back there again. Check it out.

Eugene Cernan: The Last Man on the Moon