Friday, April 11, 2014

Batman : Strange Days

Here's the brand new animated short produced by Bruce Timm. Obviously set in the past, based on the Batplane and Batman's costume, this is a really cool little Hugo Strange tale. I know we'll never get Batman the Animated Series back, but I'd love to see more of these short films in the future.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Results Are In...

A while back, I decided that I needed some kind of log of my dvd and bluray collection. I decided this when I bought multiple copies of a couple of movies, not realizing I already had them. I blame this entirely on hitting pawn shops as the like, where I end up going home with 20 dvds for $15 and such as that. When you get 20 movies at one time, then head back for another round a few days later, at my age, you tend to forget exactly what all you picked up.

So a good friend of mine turned me on to a free Movie Collection app, and since then, I've periodically taken a letter or two of the alphabet and catalogued my collection. I realize mine isn't as impressive as some others, particularly those lucky enough to receive screeners through the mail, but I thought I'd post the results for those interested in that kind of thing. I'm a bit of a sucker for stats and the like, which is part of why I love sports so much, I suppose. Anyway, here's the breakdown...

Total of 911 movies in your collection

Movies by Category

Horror: 449
Action/Adventure: 157
Comedy: 101
Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 61
Animation: 44
Drama: 36
Thriller/Crime: 16
Foreign: 15
TV: 9
Martial Arts: 7
Documentary: 5
Family/Kids: 4
Music: 2
Sports/Fitness: 2
Western: 2
War: 1

Movies By Format

DVD: 775
Blu-Ray: 111
Blu-Ray/DVD Combo: 17
Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Combo: 5
Blu-Ray 3D/DVD Combo: 3

So, there ya have it. In what should be a surprise to nobody, Horror took the win by a landslide. Some movies I had a bit of trouble accurately categorizing, and while only 4 are showing for Family/Kids, I actually have way more than that, most of them are just located in my kids room. The collection is forever growing, as I add anywhere from 2-4 movies per week on average.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Happy 75th Birthday Batman!

March 30, 1939...the world was given the single greatest gift in the history of mankind, the Batman. Yes friends, it was a mere 75 years ago today that Detective Comics #27 hit the comic racks and introduced young readers to the most important character ever conceived. Join me in wishing a very happy birthday to the Dark Knight, here's to 75 more!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I don't allow myself to splurge very much. Most of my modest income goes toward providing the bare essentials for my two ungrateful, mooching children. That said, the allure of DC Direct's Batman Black and White statues is often too much for me to ignore, particularly when based on a design by an artist I like. Now, I've got probably close to 20 of them, and almost NO shelf room whatsoever left for new ones, however when I flipped through the new Previews at work Thursday and saw this...

well, the rest of this blog post pretty much writes itself then, doesn't it? The third statue in the series based on a Neal "God" Adams design, and it's the Zombie Batman design! This beauty is limited to 5,200 pieces, so if you want one for yourself, and of course you do, pre-ordering in the way to go. I've of course already got mine ordered. It will be a few months before it actually ships, and I have it here in the Batcave, but rest assured there will be more pics coming when it does. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cheap Thrills Review

After hearing lots of great things from people lucky enough to be able to attend film festivals, and an excruciatingly long wait, I finally got a chance to check out Pat Healey's new film, Cheap Thrills for myself. I knew the basic premise, but purposely avoided any reviews or previews of the film itself, as I knew Healey was in it, and that's pretty much all I need to know at this point. Thankfully, the movie did indeed deliver on it's promise to thrill.

Cheap Thrills tells the story of Craig (Healey) a down on his luck writer, facing his family's eviction from their small apartment, due to financial problems. Things go from bad to worse when he shows up to his day job, changing oil at a local auto shop, only to be laid off. On his way home, he stops by a bar to drown his sorrows, when he runs into an old friend, Vince (Ethan Embry). The two of them start to catch up, and eventually drink the day away. Later that night, they run into a wealthy, eccentric couple (David Koechner and Sara Paxton) who are out celebrating. The couple begins to dare Craig and Vince to do small-time pranks, enticing them with monetary reward. Craig is at first reluctant, but knowing how bad he needs the money, eventually plays along. Throughout the night, the dares go from mostly innocent to downright sadistic, each time upping the ante and payoff, pushing the limits of just how far Craig and Vince are willing to go for the allure of the almighty dollar.

You may think you've seen this movie before, and while it's true Cheap Thrills tells the kind of story that's been done before, it sets itself apart a bit by asking not only how far you're willing to go for money, but just how much you're willing to do to a friend for it. I continually asked myself if I'd be willing to do these things to a friend, old or new, for the money being offered. It's in this that Cheap Thrills not only manages to engage ,but ultimately becomes fairly disturbing toward it's climax.

The cast all perform admirably, with a couple of standout performances. Sara Paxton and David Koechner are believably odd together, as wealthy people tend to be. Cheap Thrills centers though, around the relationship between Craig and Vince, and Pat Healey and Ethan Embry bring their A-game. The two of them work extremely well together and really make you believe that at one point these two characters were close friends. Ethan Embry (Can't Hardly Wait) was particularly good, so good in fact that I almost didn't recognize him.

Cheap Thrills wins points for attempting to differentiate itself by successfully adding a human element to a formula in which films either ignore or sadly miss the mark normally. It at times plays as a dark comedy, but it's got a mean streak that really shows during the third act. There's not much in the way of gore, but if you're looking for disturbing, there's some of that to be found here, particularly the very last shot. It stuck with me for a couple days. Director E.L. Katz may be making his debut here, but he's proven that he's got some chops already, and his name is one I fully expect to be hear a lot more of in the future. Cheap Thrills is a must see.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Infinite Playlist Oderus Urungus Memoriam

It's with a heavy heart today that I bring the Batcave out of retirement to remember Dave Brockie, better known as GWAR frontman Oderus Urungus. I've lived through my fair share of rock and roll deaths, including Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, and Peter Steele to name but a few. As a person who enjoys music as much as I do, some of these have hit me harder than others. I will never forget the day in high school when my friends and I got the news about Kurt Cobain. Last night, yet another voice that I've known, heard, and connected with for over 20 years, was silenced forever, and I've been bummed all day. Rest in peace, Dave. I wasn't ready for life without GWAR, music won't be the same without you...


Saturday, January 4, 2014

New BB Poster Emerges

Just in time for shooting to begin on BB, writer/director CJ Wallis' triumphant return to the horror/thriller genre, this new image has emerged online.

With the talent involved in it's production, BB promises to be one of this year's best. The film is on schedule to begin shooting next week for a 2014 release. Check out my previous posts to get yourself up to speed, and look for further information as it becomes available here, or the film's official Facebook page.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holy Hellboy and Batman tatoo, Batman!

I get asked every now and then to design tattoos for people. For some reason, folks like to think that just because you like to draw or doodle, that you have a magical pencil somewhere at home that can produce these amazing pieces of art, worthy of being permanently applied to another person's body. Me? I don't have anywhere near that level of confidence in my abilities. To these people, I normally give a "sure, maybe I'll give it a shot" or something along those lines, never actually intending to even make an attempt.

There have been a few instances over the years though, when I've been asked to draw something for somebody that I've actually gone through with it. Not for tattoo purposes, but just sketches for friends. To my amazement, some of them have even ended up getting framed and hung up on walls. I would never hang anything I drew on my wall, as again, I don't have that much confidence in what I do.

One friend in particular, who was the first person I really ever sent a sketch to, has done more to boost my confidence over the years that just about anybody except my mother. His name is Brandon, although I affectionately refer to him as Binky, and we met on an Xbox Live message board.  It started with a Batman drawing I did for him, which he seemed to genuinely love, as he sent me back a photo of it hanging on a wall in his basement. I followed that up with another Batman sketch for him. Earlier this year I got an email from him, asking me to design a tattoo from an idea he had. I was skeptical at first, as again, I'm not crazy about drawing things that might end up branded permanently on people, but I actually LIKE this person, and I'd hate to draw something and him end up being disappointed with it. When I heard the idea though, I knew I had to at least give it a shot.

The idea was to mix the animated universes of both Hellboy and Batman, which obviously share special places in my tiny black heart. The short version of this brilliant idea is that Joker somehow got ahold of some of Rasputin's books and accidentally summoned a giant monster, and Batman and Hellboy had to put a stop to it. Brandon gave a much more detailed story, which after I read it, I immediately wish actually existed in comic book or movie form. It immediately put an image into my head, and the next day I set out to try and get it on paper, which isn't always easy for me. I decided that seeing as how I didn't have any idea as to what kind of room the artist would have to work on Brandon's arm, that I would do two images, and he could resize and put them together the best way possible.

For Hellboy, I wanted him to be in the middle of the fight with the creature, I figured between he and Batman, he would be the muscle of the two, who would run head first into battle, ready to punch this thing in it's tentacled face. I used lots of reference material online for Hellboy, but the tentacles I just randomly threw in there, figuring the tattoo artist could add, delete, or change as needed. I also just for reference purposes crudely sketched in where Batman's arm would enter the image, grabbing Hellboy by the jacket.

Batman I assumed would be more interested in figuring out a way to get rid of the creature, sending it back to where it came from. Heading into battle head on with this tentacled beast might not be in his best interest. Knowing he would need Hellboy's assistance, I wanted him trying desperately to pull him from the fray to regroup and come up with a plan. For Batman, I didn't need much help, as I normally at some point or another sketch him daily. Animated Batman is especially fun and easy to draw. I envisioned him hanging off a gargoyle from a building in Gotham, with his grapple extended in one hand, and the other grabbing Hellboy. Again, not knowing what kind of room the artist would have, or how much of his arm Brandon was going to get inked, I decided it was probably best to focus on the characters and not so much with the other stuff. You can see again a basic placement of where Hellboy would enter the image.

Here's the two of them, only obviously separated.

I can honestly admit to being pretty happy with them, but I was very nervous when I went to send some pics to Brandon. I knew he had put a ton of thought into this tattoo, and if he wasn't happy with what I produced, I knew he'd be disappointed. I sent him the pics, and thankfully, he seemed to love what I had done. I can't even begin to describe how relieved I felt. I couldn't wait to see what the tattoo artist, a real artist, was going to do with them. 

I'd have to wait a while, as these things tend to take time to set up and actually do, but when I woke up this morning I had another email from Bink, with the completed work. I've been looking at these pics all morning. It's absolutely amazing to see something I did transferred to another human being, permanently. The colors are fantastic, and really improved upon the pencils I sent. I asked to share the photos here on the blog, and was given permission. Here's the finished product:

I'm assuming he will be reading this at some point, so to Brandon, I want to extend the biggest possible thanks for believing I could pull this off. Seeing the sketches I did end up looking so amazing has made me ridiculously happy this morning. I hope you enjoy the tattoo for years to come, it's truly incredible, and I'm insanely jealous of both your brilliant idea and your ink.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Jason Goes to Doodie

I have once again been allowed to contribute to my homie Brobocop's blog, Back Online, Back On Duty. This year, he's been doing a series of guest posts from members of our horror blogger community, in which people talk about a movie that they once hated, but have since decided isn't so bad after all. The theme is brilliantly titled Back Online, Back On Doodie. For my entry, I went with Jason Goes to Hell, which at one point in my life I considered the worst film ever made, but I now like a good bit. If that sounds like something you'd like to read about, head on over and check out the post here.