Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tarantino Comics - Issue 11

At last year's MegaCon (2010), I met Orlando artist Danielle Soloud, as she drew some awesome pieces in my themed sketchbooks. Since then, I've been following her webcomic, Life With Death, where she had an awesome spin-off called Sai O’Nara. It in the style of exploitation films, it features a female ninja assassin born from a Japanese vampire mother and an Irish werewolf father.

After seeing Sai O’Nara, I knew I wanted Danielle to draw the next issue of Tarantino Comics. Knowing her commission list got pretty full last year, I contacted Danielle beforehand and asked her to draw my next piece so it would be ready for pickup at the beginning of the con. So for those of you who have waited patiently for the next cover, it's my pleasure to present Tarantino Comics #11, drawn by Danielle Soloud.

Inspired from Pulp Fiction, Danielle made a homage to the old EC Comic Covers, where they circled featured characters on the side of the cover. So instead of the Crypt Keeper, the Old Witch, and the Vault Keeper, Danielle replaced them with Vincent, Lance, and Jody. Danielle perfectly captures the moment of the adrenaline shot scene with each character's facial expression. And Jody's comment is priceless!

So if you would like to see more beautifully drawn women (as you can see, Danielle even draws a gorgeous OD'ing Mia Wallace), check out her blog at http://dsoloud.blogspot.com/and her webcomic Life With Death at http://www.lifewithdeath.com/.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Top Five Countdown - MegaCon 2011 Convention Sketches

It was extremely hard to get out of bed this morning after a fantastic weekend. However, I made it through a long day of work and started counting down the days until my next convention.

Although I've managed to return to a normal work schedule, I'm psyched about a few things that will keep me satisfied throughout the year. At MegaCon's DC Nation Panel, Geoff Johns announced he will be writing a new Aquaman series. His writing in Brightest Day has been enjoyable and I can't wait to see how he further develops the character within his own series. I also sat through a Robot Chicken Panel which showcased clips of upcoming episodes. This panel was particularly amusing as Geoff Johns was a special guest, sharing his experiences as an occasional writer for the show's animated sketches.

And speaking of sketches, today's Top Five Countdown is featuring my favorite commissioned artwork at MegaCon 2011 (excluding Tarantino Comics Covers because these are my favorites and they will all be showcased on this blog separately).

Please realize the following are not ranked in any particular order, just a single piece selected from each my sketchbooks:

5. Batman and Daredevil by Banky
4. Zorro by Ron Salas
3. The Immortal Iron Fist by Walter Ostlie
2. Stargirl
by Amanda Rachels

1. Super Grover vs. Gonzo
by Jason Flowers

These are only a few of the awesome commissions I received at MegaCon last weekend, so be sure check out the rest at comicartfans. I should have the rest posted in the linked gallery within the next week or so.

So stay tuned tomorrow as I will finally post the highly anticipated cover to Tarantino Comics #11!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Top Five Countdown - MegaCon 2011 Costumes

MegaCon has come and gone and now it's back to reality. I am super exhausted and not ready to go back to work. Regardless, I had a great time this year, meeting tons of people and making new friends.

When I go to comic cons, I'm primarily focused on artwork, however a huge component is cosplay. Attendees enjoy dressing up in suits you would never see outside the convention walls. It boggles my mind that people who have never been to a comic convention are aware that costuming goes on. My coworkers are always interested in the crazy outfits I saw, never about the sketches I obtained.

So to avoid getting grief for not taking pictures of people in costume this year, here's a Top Five Countdown of my Favorite Costumes of MegaCon 2011 (yes, I know, it's only females):

5. Supergirl - I give her credit since she has the abs to compliment the cape.
4. Silk Spectre - Although she doesn't quite have the bangs, this is a great interpretation of the Watchman character.
3. Black Swan - It wasn't Natalie Portman, but I was super excited to see someone in this costume!
2. Harley Quinn - I will always prefer the Bruce Timm version, but the Arkham Asylum version is hot!
1. Pikachu - I'm not really into Anime or Manga, but now I can see why my youngest brother likes Pokemon...

Stay tuned tomorrow as I wrap up my MegaCon experiences and feature some of the artwork I got commissioned.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ten Taglines #9

Lately, I haven't been able to write much since I've been extremely busy at work and school. However, I took a break this weekend and attended MegaCon in Orlando, FL. So stay tuned as I'll share my experiences and new Tarantino Comic Covers!

So for now, here are some Ten Taglines:

1. Drag Me to Hell: Watch your hair...
2. Jackie Brown: The return of the beautiful Pam Grier!
3. Big Fish: Appreciate your father's tall tales...
4. The Hangover: The funniest closing credits ever!
5. Smokin' Aces: Alicia Keys is bad-ass!
6. Natural Born Killers: If only Tarantino directed Mickey and Mallory...
7. Punch-Drunk Love: This isn't your usual Adam Sandler...
8. Up: In the first 20 minutes you'll need your tissue box!
9. Inglourious Basterds: This is World War II history you won't find in a textbook...
10. Coffy: Blaxploitation with some awesome catfights!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top Five Countdown - Best Jackass 3D Stunts

In most cases, the sight of feces, puke, and guys running around in whitey tighties make me look away in utter disgust. But the minute you mention Johnny Knocksville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, and Wee-Man, you've got me entranced!

In Jackass 3D, the glasses are pretty much useless. However, its stunts don't need any extra special effects to make them mind-blowing. Since this film features so many insane feats, I'm making this Movie Review a Top Five Countdown, listing my favorite exploits:

5. Jet Airplane: Try standing your ground behind a jet engine, much less peeing against it. The power of an engine turbine is extremely dangerous and these guys play in its current fearlessly.
4. Beehive Tetherball: At least a bear has fur when playing with bees...
3. Midgets in a Bar Fight: Imagine sitting down, enjoying a beer, and a bar fight of midgets erupts! Either you just witnessed the greatest sight ever or you're absolutely drunk.
2. Super Might Glue: This would have been my Number 1 if they got the stun gun to influence Wee-Man to separate from Preston!
1. The Ram Jam: For whatever reason, this stunt made me crack up the most! Steve-O got away, but the other guy had no chance against the ram's charge of fury.

The return of the "old man" acts are still amusing, but they're not as hilarious as in previous movies. It's ironic as you can tell the cast is getting older and they can't "perform" as they use to after years of their bodies taking a beating. However, Johnny and crew still have spirit and put on an entertaining show that reminds me of my teenage years (Even Tarantino puts Jackass 3D in his Top 20 movies of 2010).

So on Death List Five, Jackass 3D ranks #3.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oldboy - Be Careful of What You Say

I've been wanting to see Oldboy for quite a while, but it's hard to press play when you expect a revenge film along the lines of Hostel or I Spit On Your Grave. On occasion, I do enjoy those type of films, but I have to be in the right mood. However, I was pleasantly surprised when this movie was much more. Sure, it has some pretty gruesome scenes, but Oldboy has a mystery that keeps you driving for answers.

The story follows Oh Dae-Su (played by Choi Min-sik), a man who has been imprisoned for 15 years. Although he receives food and water, he has no idea why he's being held captive or who's doing it. One day, after being awakened from a drug-induced state, Oh Dae-Su is no longer in confinement. With his release, he has no idea where to find his daughter and can't go home since he was blamed for his wife's murder. Luckily, a young sushi chef named Mi-do (played by Kang Hye-jeong) falls in love with him and provides shelter. Looking to get revenge, can Oh Dae-Su uncover who put him through 15 years of pain and suffering?

This movie is very intriguing, yet disturbing. Apparently, if you have money, you can imprison someone if you have a grudge against them. Although they provide food, cleaning services, and cable television, the real torture is having no idea why you are being locked away. I can understand paying this service if someone murdered your family in cold blood. However, in Oh Dae-Su's case, when he was in high school, he spread word about a guy named Lee Woo-jin who was banging his sister. This is a pretty mean thing to say about someone, but it was true. Even though Lee's sister ended up killing herself to avoid humiliation, did Oh really deserve the punishment for words he can barley remember saying? As unfair as it seems, if you only take one thing away from this film, remember, if you have nothing nice to say, it's better to say nothing at all.

One other disturbing factor is the amount of incest that occurs. I guess Oh could have kept his mouth shut, but Lee shouldn't have fooled around with his sister either. Not only did Lee sleep with her, but he took erotic pictures of her and even knocked her up. And to make the situation even more deranged, Lee got his revenge on Oh by masterminding a twisted plan of hypnosis so he would unknowingly fornicate with his daughter after being freed. Yes, creative, but very sick...

Like other revenge films, we hate to see the protagonist fall, but love to see them pick themselves back up. With Oh introduced as a pathetic drunk, we see his transformation from a feeble man into a force of havoc. Making the best of his suffering, Oh developed his fighting skills while watching television during imprisonment. Putting his prowess to good use, there is an awesome scene where Oh fights his way through hordes of gang members in scrolling-video-game-style.

Setting this film apart from other revenge flicks, Oh must fulfill his curiosity before getting even with Lee. Even though he encounters Lee early on in the film, Oh can't kill him right away because Lee won't reveal why he put him through years of suffering. However, this only makes the character development stronger as we witness Oh's endurance to pain and his fearless attitude.

Besides a few hokey CGI effects (like Oh hallucinating ants are crawling underneath his skin), this is a great film directed by Park Chan-wook. It has an appealing character and a captivating story. As the second installment to Chan-wook's Vengeance Trilogy, Oldboy was highly praised by Tarantino at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival (which is quite a compliment from the Kill Bill Master himself). Overall, I enjoyed this film a lot, but I don't recommend to anyone who only watches chick flicks.

So on Death List Five, Oldboy ranks #4.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Killers - Is it Ava Gardner's Looks or the Hitmen?

Not to be confused with the rock band, The Killers is a 1946 film noir directed by Robert Siodmak. The story follows insurance investigator Jim Reardon (played by Edmond O'Brien) as he is researching the murder of Ole Anderson, also known as "The Swede" (played by Burt Lancaster). Finding it perplexing Swede made his beneficiary a random hotel maid, Reardon pieces together a mystery through a series of interviews. Upon his discoveries, Reardon determines Swede's murder is linked to an unsolved robbery. Things start to get dangerous when Reardon is introduced to the beautiful femme fatale Kitty Collins (played by Ava Gardner) and crime boss Big Jim Colfax (played by Albert Dekker). As Reardon starts to correlate a streak of double crosses, can he survive the men who killed Swede?

As another movie I can check off my film noir journey, this is a solid film adapted from the short story by Ernest Hemingway. This film allows the audience to piece together the mystery along with Reardon. As he interviews people, the movie shows their stories through flashback sequences. Each flashback has strong noir elements, some including:
  • A Boxing Fight - The Swede was a boxer who ended his career after breaking his hand during his last fight. After Swede leaves the ring, he doesn't turn back and enters the underworld of crime.
  • The Hideouts - When segments are shown of the gangsters planning their heist, the crew are typically seen playing cards and smoking cigars in small rundown places.
  • The Heist - When the payroll robbery takes place, each man puts a scarf around their face as a disguise. When they leave with the money, the crew fights their way out with firearms and escape in a classic getaway car.
The strongest noir element featured in this film is the femme fatale. Kitty Collins is a very enticing woman who is able to manipulate men to do whatever she wants. Not only did she make The Swede cross his crew, but she double crossed him by taking his money and breaking his heart. After she left Swede, he no longer valued life and put up no fight when the hitmen came to kill him. Although she deceived Swede, Kitty was loyal to her original man, Big Jim Colfax. She was the tool Jim used to get all the stolen money solely for himself. This is my first exposure to her, but Ava Gardner definitely plays her role well. Armed with her good looks, Ava is a woman men will fall head over heels for, as she has been married to real life celebrities like Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw, and Frank Sinatra.

Finally, we have to talk about the subject of the movie's title - The Killers. Although they make very little appearance, the two hitmen are bookends of the film. One being tall and strong, the other short and stocky, they both carry a demeanor of intimidation. When they make a presence on screen, they are cued with the same brassy musical tones which eventually become the theme music for Dragnet. When The Killers make their first appearance, they take hostage of a diner and demand to know where The Swede can be found. They are violent, rude, and not to be questioned. When they make their second appearance at the end of the film, even though they are killed, they still command the situation. Although they are not as charismatic as Jules and Vincent of Pulp Fiction, they are men to be feared. If I were to watch this film again, I'm sure The Killers will send shivers up my spine.

So on Death List Five, The Killers ranks #3

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Friday - A Fun Hangout Film

Friday isn't a movie I'd typically sit down and watch. I decided to give this movie a try because Quentin Tarantino put it on his Top 20 films since he's been making movies (meaning Reservoir Dogs in 1992). Looking at the poster, it reminds me of a Tyler Perry movie. I can't judge his films because I've never seen one, but they don't really appeal to me. Luckily, Friday isn't a Tyler Perry movie, but a 1995 film directed by F. Gary Gray who has made some fun movies such as The Italian Job and Law Abiding Citizen.

This movie only takes place on a Friday, following Craig Jones (played by Ice Cube) as he hangs out in his neighborhood. Having just lost his job, Craig takes it easy with his friend Smokey (played by Chris Tucker) sitting outside his front porch, listening to music, observing his neighbors, and smoking weed. However, things go downhill when Smokey gets them into trouble for owing money to the local drug dealer. Although this story is comical, with an angry girl friend, a neighborhood "bully," and a death warrant on his head, will Craig be able to literally survive until Saturday?

With Craig and Smokey as the main characters, this movie has quite a supporting cast. Not only is Craig's family a strong ensemble (especially his dad played by hilarious John Witherspoon), but his neighbors make an impact as well. Some of the more memorable and quirkier neighbors include:
  • Ezel - He's the dirty and crazy guy who will steal anything you leave it in your front yard.
  • Big Worm - With the guise of an ice cream truck driver, he's a drug dealer who threatens to kill both Craig and Smokey if they don't give him his money by 10 PM.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Parker- This odd couple is composed of a bulldozing midget and a busty MILF.
  • Pastor Clever - Played by Bernie Mac, this infidel pastor comes between Mr. and Mrs. Parker
  • Deebo - He's the neighborhood tormentor who harasses local bystanders for money. With his intimidating nature, he has a similar theme music to Jaws (I may be mistaken, but I think the very same music is played in El Mariachi). As another Tarantino reference, Deebo, played by Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, also plays Max Cherry's assistant in Jackie Brown.

After watching, I asked myself, why is this on Tarantino's contemporary Top 20 list? Although it has it's fair share of toilet humor and weed jokes, the situations, dialogue, and character interactions make this a memorable comedy. All the characters are enjoyable to watch, especially Chris Tucker. You can't help but laugh at his facial expressions and hysterical interjections. It also doesn't hurt the movie has a couple of gun and fist fights.

Despite having a deeper message of "what it means to be a man," I believe the movie is meant to be an entertaining hangout film. Similar to Tarantino and his films, Friday focuses on character development. It doesn't linger over a long length of time, but keys into what is happening at the current moment.

So on Death List Five, Friday ranks #3.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Pop Culture Themed 25th Birthday!!!

Today was my 25th birthday! I have to thank my wonderful family and friends for such a fantastic day. With all the camaraderie, food, and Facebook posts (it's funny how many you get when it's your birthday), I want to share some of the gifts I received that relate to today's pop culture.

My Aunt Lani made a fantastic cake (both eye-pleasing and delicious) based on one of my favorite TV shows - Tosh.0. Instead of Daniel Tosh, it was replaced by yours truly, Me!

If you want to order a cake from her (or just look at her awesome designs), check out her blog at: Leilani's Heavenly Cakes

My sister Rebecca made me a card with me and the women of The Office. This is my absolute favorite show on Television and I will proudly hang this picture at work. I plan to blog on The Office when Steve Carell sadly leaves the show, so stay tuned...

My other sister Sarah made me an awesome Jessica Rabbit card (one of my earliest crushes)!

As for awesome things to watch on my television, my parents got me both The Walking Dead and Jackass 3D on blu-ray. I watched The Walking Dead as it premiered on AMC and loved it. As for Jackass, I have not seen it yet, but I'm ready for a great laugh (kinda ties back to the Tosh.0 videos).

So overall, I had an awesome Birthday and thanks to all the people who made it special!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ten Taglines #8

Like a Rorschach Test, here’s the first thoughts that pop in my head about these movies:

1. Death Race 2000: Maybe David Carradine did have a penchant for being a gimp...
2. The Dark Knight: I saw this movie at least 5 times when it was in the theaters!
3. Running Scared: Of all the awesome scenes in the movie, my favorite is Vera Farmiga on the washer!
4. The Phantom: A corny but pulpy film featuring the original masked hero!
5. Wall-E: This movie stars a robot and his pet cockroach, yet it still made me cry!
6. The White Stripes - Under Great White Northern Lights: Jack White doesn’t need a stage in order to play…
7. Casino Royale: Daniel is by far the toughest Bond!
8. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: The heart ritual terrified me when I was a kid!
9. Ratatouille: Would you trust rats in your kitchen?
10. Blade Runner: Do androids dream of electric sheep?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dogtooth - 2 + 2 = Chair

I can't remember the comedian for the life of me (maybe Demetri Martin or Nick Swardson), but they told this joke where you can teach kids anything. For example, when teaching math, you could brainwash children into thinking 2 + 2 = Chair. Since they are innocent and don't know any better, they'll never know the answer is truly 4. As sad as this might be, this anecdote is true and reminds me of the Greek Film Dogtooth.

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, this film caught my attention while watching the 2011 Academy Awards. Nominated for Best Foreign Film, the snip-it showed a guy leaping at a cat with garden shearers. I had no idea what the movie was about, but I felt intrigued and luckily it was on Netflix. Come to find out, that snip-it shown at the Oscars was only a minutia of the weirdness to come.

Basically, the story is about two parents who have totally isolated their children from society by disguising it with terrifying lies. The children (two boys and a girl), ranging from the ages of 16 to 25, have never set foot off the compound they grew up on. Until they lose their "dogtooth," they are not allowed leave the property or else they will be torn to shreds by vicious "cats." The parents teach their children a new vocabulary to protect them from the evil influences of society (i.e. the word zombie means "pretty yellow flower"). However, things start to go amiss when the father invites a female outsider to relieve the son of his "primal urges." The woman indeed pleases the boy, but she has also exposed the sisters to the rarities of the outside world, such as hairbands, styling gel, and VHS tapes. Now armed with a curiosity of the outside world, will the parents be able to contain their children from leaving the safety of their home?

This movie is definitely making a political and social statement. People are meant to be free and able to experience life. If they are repressed of these liberties, they may do painful and harmful things to themselves or others to feel alive. This movie has too many to list, but here are some of the complexes the family developed after being deprived from the outside world:
  • The children played endurance games to pass the time such as keeping your hand in scolding hot water or withstanding mouthwash for as long as you can.
  • In order to keep the children in control, they were punished in cruel and unusual ways. For instance, when the eldest was caught watching Jaws and Rocky, the father beat her over the head with the cassette tapes.
  • Sometimes you cannot withhold "urges." The sisters experimented with each other by licking. Also, when the brother's "concubine" was no longer permitted in the compound, the eldest daughter was forced into the role.
  • With the overwhelming pressures of endurance, punishment, and molestation, the eldest daughter suffered a nervous breakdown. Starting with a comedic but provocative dance, her sanity ended with a cruel realization of what the movie's title truly means.
If you didn't like M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, you may enjoy this movie more. It is comedic, yet very disturbing. It's not a movie you can re-watch on a regular basis, but if you want to be entertained by other people's reactions, show them this movie.

So on Death List Five, Dogtooth ranks #3.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Top Five Countdown - Best Catholic Movies

Let's face it - As pop culture nerds, we like to categorize things into lists. We want others to know what we consider is the best of the best or the worst of the worst. Great conversations and debates come to fruition by comparing lists. However, the greatest payoff is when we discover something new we never heard of. Being the nerd that I am, I want to share my lists with you, so I'm starting a new blog segment called Top Five Countdown.

Since today is Ash Wednesday, this Top Five Countdown is a little quirky. Being Catholic, I've always felt I was a part of something grand and Holy by celebrating the ancient traditions of Catholicism. Yes, Catholics sometimes get a bad rap for those corrupt priests who molest young altar boys. However, to counteract this misfortune, I'm going to prove why Catholics are so kick-ass in my Top Five Countdown of the Best Catholic Movies:

5. The Godfather Part III: This is probably the worst movie in the trilogy, but it is still fun to watch. Al Pacino is trying to legitimize his empire by working with the Vatican, but "When he thought he was out, they pulled him back in!"

4. The Blues Brothers: You may think this Rhythm and Blues band was raised by Baptists, but remember, their mission was to save the Catholic Orphanage they grew up in.

3. Dogma: Two evil angels may potentially destroy all of existence through some Holy Dogma. However, if the Church didn't make this proclamation, you wouldn't see Salma Hayek as the beautiful Serendipity...

2. The Exorcist: This is by far the scariest movie. And I don't care what you say, only Catholic priests know how to exorcise demons.

1. Machete: Cheech Marin is the ultimate priest! Armed with crucifixes, holy water, and shot guns, why wouldn't you want to be part of his congregation?

This is my disclaimer: This post was purely for fun. Religion can be hard to write about without hurting people's feelings. So I am truly sorry if I've offended anyone! Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed this new segment and look forward to my next Top Five Countdown!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dial M for Murder - A Systems Engineering Approach

The last time I've watched an Alfred Hitchcock Film was when I wrote my first-ever movie review on Rebecca. Although this was almost a year ago, I had no trouble getting reacquainted with the Master of Suspense in his 1954 thriller, Dial M for Murder.

Ex-Tennis Player Tony Wendice (played by Ray Milland) discovers his wife Margot (played by Grace Kelly) is having a love affair with the American Crime Fiction Writer Mark Halliday (played by Robert Cummings). In a fury of anger and greed, Tony comes up with an intricate plan to murder his wife and get all her money by influencing an old colleague to perform the deed (Charles Swann played by Anthony Dawson). While she is home alone, Tony's plan goes awry when she kills Charles in self defense. However, by tampering with the crime scene, Tony makes it look like Charles was blackmailing Margot for her love affair and she murdered him in cold-blood. Will Mark be able to prove Margot's innocence to the local police inspector or will she be falsely executed by the court of law?

In this film, Hitchcock creates suspense by informing the audience of how the murder should go before it actually happens. Using anticipation, we cannot relax as we already know how the murder should go down. But as the scheme unfolds, we are surprised by unexpected elements that are interjected causing a disruption to the projected murder plan. Knowing this, even though Hitchcock masterfully tells this story, it can be quite confusing without plotting it out. So, using lessons I've learned while working on my Master's degree, I will be using a Systems Engineering Approach to better observe how this story unfolds.

Mapping out events is a great way to analyze and solve complex problems. In this film, the murder plot was both ruined and solved by 3 different keys (meaning the objects that unlock doors) which traveled between characters. Using a relationship diagram, here was the route of the 3 different keys distinguished by 3 different colored arrows:

There were only 2 keys that opened the Wendices' apartment, one belonging to Tony, the other to Margot. The blue arrows symbolize the path of Margot's key:
  1. Tony obtains Margot's Key
  2. Tony hides the key under the stairs for Charles
  3. Charles takes the key to open the apartment
  4. Charles places the key back under the stairs
  5. Tony later figures out Charles put the key back under the stairs, opens the door, and is caught for knowing the hiding spot
The red arrows symbolize the path of a key originally belonging to Charles. This cannot unlock the apartment:
  1. After Charles is killed, Tony removes a key from his corpse, mistaking it for Margot's
  2. Tony returns the false key into Margot's purse
  3. After Margot is imprisoned, the Inspector confiscates the false key
  4. After the Inspector discovers the key cannot open the apartment, he switches the key for Tony's original
  5. Tony tries to unlock the apartment, realizes it's false, and is caught for opening the door with the right key hidden under the stairs
The green arrows symbolize the path of Tony's key (this is the other key that can unlock the apartment):
  1. Tony puts his original key in his coat pocket while talking to the Inspector
  2. Unknown to Tony's knowledge, the Inspector switches the actual key with the false one, using it to prove Margot's innocence
Okay, so hopefully this post wasn't too analytical, but it helped me both enjoy and understand the story better. I don't think everyone will like this as much as Hitchcock's other films because it is not loaded with action and it primarily only takes place in the apartment. However, there are a few violent scenes that might arouse some such as Margot being strangled and Charles being stabbed in the back with a pair of scissors. This isn't my favorite Hitchcock film, but the performances and story are still very enjoyable. Oh, and Grace Kelly (a reoccurring Hitchcock actress) isn't too bad on the eyes...

So on Death List Five, Dial M for Murder Ranks #4.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ten Taglines #7

This week’s Ten Taglines has a British feel especially with presences by Guy Ritchie and Edgar Wright:

1. Transformers 2: You can’t blame the robot, I’d do the same to Megan Fox!
2. Hot Fuzz: A British Buddy-Cop film with a dark twist…
3. Dark City: The surroundings make this a great Sci-Fi Noir!
4. Gomorrah: The mobs in Italy aren’t glamorous like those in the Godfather…
5. Killing Zoe: Did Eric Stoltz really escape the bank scott clean?
6. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: The best western ever!
7. The Departed: Marky Mark gets the last word…
8. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: The British Pulp Fiction!
9. RocknRolla: He’s not Russell Brand…
10. Shaun of the Dead: In a way, we're all zombies...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Adam Carolla Improv Comedy Show - Autoerotic Asphyxiation

Get It On! Many will argue that Adam Carolla is the quintessential man's man. I definitely agree with this claim and will go one step further to say he transformed me from a crying wussy elementary boy to a disgusting raging-hormone adolescent. When growing up, I didn't have cable television or the Internet. However, with the ancient technology of the analog radio, Dr. Drew and Adam taught me everything I needed to know about the birds and the bees on Loveline (ranging from the horrific to the fantastic). And when I caught glances of Comedy Central at a friend's house, I didn't know how awesome women on trampolines could be. Oh, Adam, how you spoiled me.

However, when I got a little older and finally had Internet in my household, I forgot about poor Mr. Carolla. College came and went, and me along with most of America are now desensitized to the ramblings that use to be so taboo on Loveline. But as we all know, Adam is much more than a teenage corrupter, he is an entertainer.

So with the invention of podcasts, I rediscovered him on The Adam Carolla Show. I mainly scan through the episodes, picking from guest interviews that look intriguing to me. When I told a friend about the podcast, he too reminisced about the glory days and he became a faithful and loyal follower of the show. So, when Adam announced he was going to be in West Palm Beach for a comedy show at the Improv, my buddy bought some tickets and three of us went on a little road trip.

We were pretty smashed, but when Adam came on stage, he wooed the crowd. As he did his routine, he had a slide show in the background to compliment his act. I can't remember everything he ranted about, but here are a few things I can still piece together:

  • His dog and children - Even the rich have family problems
  • An old Man Show sketch - It was about him and Jimmy making people nervous by acting as drunken airline pilots
  • A Bryan Cranston cartoon (I can't wait for Breaking Bad to start back up. It's my favorite show on Television)
  • His yearly salary over the years - This was pretty funny. He showed he made nothing after high school, had some ups and downs, and is now richer than everyone that was in that comedy club.
Overall, it was a great show, especially for the first comedian I've ever seen live. However I was disappointed that he didn't do his trademark bit - "What Can't Adam Complain About." This is when the audience shouts out random things and Adam tells his opinion on it. The three of us were going to shout out "Autoerotic asphyxiation" (sadly tying back to my theme of Tarantino Comics through Kill Bill's David Carradine), but didn't get the chance to. It was for the best though, as it would of sounded like a drunken mess as we could barely say 2 syllables in sync, much less 10.

The next time Adam is in town, I'd definitely see him again. He's funny, has an opinion on everything, and brings back childhood memories of me secretly listening to the radio at midnight.

So on Death List Five, Adam Carolla's Improv Comedy Show Ranks #4.