REVIEW: Pirates of The Carribean: At World’s End

NOTE: Minor Possible Spoilers.

The first thing you need to know before going to see the third and (for now) final “Pirates of the Carribean” installment is that if you weren’t geeking-out over the first two films’ surprisingly rich internal-mythology, attention-rewarding multi-plotting and laundry-list of talismans, curses, monster-species and competing character factions but instead just sort of let all the detail wash over you while you grooved on the eye-candy spectacle and Johnny Depp’s gonzo turn as Captain Jack Sparrow… Well, then you should probably watch them AGAIN with both ears on the names/allegiances/locales/backstories “fanboy” details before heading out to #3, or there’s fair odds you’re going to feel a little lost this time around.

Indeed, “At World’s End” quickly reveals itself as a quintessential creature of the ongoing Geek Age of Cinema: It’s all about expanding-on, playing-out and ultimately paying-off plot threads, countdowns and mysteries that’ve been building since the original film, the cinematic equivalent of an individual comic book (or installment of a serialized novel, for that matter) which draws it’s power not only from it’s own singular events and merits but because it’s also the moment where a certain background-story or lingering detail from so-and-so many issues ago FINALLY gets it’s payoff. All of which is a more analytical way of saying, before anything else, that “Pirates 3” works to the extent that it’s the final part of a whole, and while it has it’s own story-points and character-arcs to work with it gets it’s REAL “oomph” from what has been carried over from the earlier films. Traditionally, this has been THE damning criticism of any sequel or outside-influenced film in general: That it doesn’t fully work without the “backup” of it’s external material.

But now, I wonder… given the “age of cross-platforming and multimedia” we’ve entered, if it really still ought to be. Canceled TV shows continuing their “official” continuity in post-cancellation movies and comic books, film websites offering “webisodes” expanding on pre-movie character mythology, animated short-subject “prequels” or “in-betweenquels” coming out on DVD between Blockbuster installments… these are all commonplace, mainstream movie-culture goings on now. Yes, fine, those of us in the “Geek Community” are pre-acclimated, most of us having spent decent time pouring through comic-book continuity where huge reveals came with yellow editorial boxes instructing us on which back-issue of a completely different book to track down in order to fully “get” what was happening. But in a time when “Lost” is a mega-hit network TV show and the third “Lord of The Rings” chapter is a Best Picture winner, is it really proper to damn the third “Pirates of the Carribean” for operating under the presumption that it’s intended audience has already seen, and was paying attention during, the first two – especially when they’re two of the highest-grossing movies of all time?

Make of that whatever you will, but the plain fact is that I DID see the first two, I WAS paying attention and as such, “PoTC: AWE” worked for me. Worked like hell, in fact. 2 hours and 45 minutes of elaborately-staged action, terrifically imagined monsters and dizzyingly-dense exploration of franchise mythology. It’s a massive, preposterously entertaining winner.

Fully recapping the plot, as it would also require recapping the other two movies as well, would spoil a lot of the fun, but suffice it to say that it eventually boils down to a series of big-stakes shell-games being played by dozens of characters with several dozens of magic tokens, items/persons of interest and valuable information amid a full-blown naval war between the world’s Pirates and the British Navy – which has been hijacked by Lord Beckett, the evil mastermind of the East India Trading Company (cute.) As of movie #2, Beckett has turned demonic sea-scourge Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and his crew of human/fish hybrid monsters into his own personal warrior/slaves by capturing the Dead Man’s Chest containing Jones’ disembodied heart. He’s using Jones and his submersible demon-ship, the Flying Dutchman, as a weapon to enforce total control of the sea trade. Facing extermination, the world’s remaining “Pirate Lords” have been called to a battle-planning session – part of which requires that undead Captain Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush,) possibly-tragic lovers Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and their crew to cross-over into the Land of the Dead to fetch recently-deceased Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from Davy Jones’ Locker. And that’s just for starters.

What makes the labrynthine mythos of this series work so well and move so briskly is that the writers openly embrace the inherent “shiftiness” that comes from most of the characters being, well, PIRATES. As such, everyone has their own set of agendas and the double-crosses, backstabs and treachery flies fast and loose all over the place: Everyone is trying to get-over on everyone else, and their all expecting it to one degree or another. Will is still trying to save his father from Jones’ captivity, Elizabeth wants revenge on Beckett (and she’s wracked with guilt after murdering Jack to save her and her friends at the end of the last movie,) Jack is getting worse and worse at pretending he doesn’t care about anyone but himself but seems clueless what to do about it, Jones wants his heart back, Chinese pirate Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat) wants to stay on the winning side of history, Barbosa is hoping for the Pirate Lords’ help in freeing the magically-imprisoned sea goddess Calypso to hopefully even the odds against Beckett/Jones, and at one point or another every one of them sets about trying to sell out all the others in order to accomplish their chosen ends.

swimming around in all that plot is an overarching story that’s unquestionably the darkest and richest of the trilogy – it’s a rare film that can turn the absurd image of a “beached” Godzilla-sized squid into an exchange that gives two of the previously most “surface-y” characters untold depths.. and then does the same thing for the entire bloody series reaching back. In the broad strokes, the film’s buccaneers-versus-beaurocrats setup plays out less like a battle between Colonial-era law and open-seas anarchy than as a last stand of mythic maritime fantasy against enroaching reality: Magic compasses and octopus-faced sea monsters fighting for survival against gunpowder and trade-stamps. Frequently, this undercurrent of subtext bubbles up so fiercely that the film begins to resemble those of Terry Gilliam; who was making “absurdity-as-a-virtue” epic fantasies decades before “Pirates” made it a blockbuster template (irony-of-ironies: Gilliam’s most-infamous recent troubled project to die in infancy: An offbeat fantasy/adventure starring Johnny Depp. OUCH.)

Amazingly, even though it STILL feels overstuffed with fish-men, giants, betrayals, twists, magic crabs, dimension-skipping and ships sailing on sand despite a nearly three-hour running time; it finds time and room to achieve an impressive number of non-visual goals: Explaining the function and origin of Davy Jones, offering a visual peak at just HOW manic Jack Sparrow’s perception of the world around him seems to be, give Keira Knightley room and reason to do what she does best – i.e. swell her screen presence up to MASSIVE heights despite her dainty frame by sheer force of those amazingly expressive eyes and her incongruous gift for belting out rally-cry speeches like the “300” Spartans, and even set Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner firmly back into his place as the principle HERO of the series (a feat which seemed implausible given how cheerfully #2 allowed co-star Depp to overtake the story.)

What else can you say about an action movie that can be summed up entirely by it’s climactic setpeice battle: Two massive sail-ships, one of “good” Pirates and the other of evil fish-man monsters, firing cannon volleys at one another while circling a giant supernatural whirlpool? It has it’s issues, it’s silly as all get-out… but this is the kind of entertainment the movies were made for, the kind that justify the spectacle in the word “spectacular.”


Working Class Hero

Yes, yes, covering “Plastic Ono”-era John Lennon for a Save Darfur album is just about the definition of “not punk rock.” Y’know what else is “not punk rock?” Going around saying stuff is “not punk rock.” At this point, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that GreenDay can put together a metal-tinged mini-epic – but for some reason you still kinda say “This is who? Seriously? Wow.”

Anyway; great song, great cover, great cause, great job. It being no secret that there is something really, really wrong with my wiring, however; the first time I heard it the idea immediately popped into my head to make an I’m-mostly-kidding-but-also-maybe-kinda-serious hagiographic music video tribute to the Super Mario Bros. Because they’re blue-collar plumbers, see.. and also heroes. And because I grew up in the 80s and have a profoundly skewed way of mentally sorting-out the world around me.

So I did. Enjoy!

Finally, something not-awful looking from "Transformers"

“Transformers” finally has it’s round of “real” trailers hitting theatres and TV, and wouldn’t you know it the streak of me being either underwhelmed or utterly horrified by every single solitary promotional image, teaser or “leaked” image from the film is more-or-less over. It’s a good trailer, well cut with lots of action and buildup. Looks like every other Michael Bay movie, yeah, but you were expecting that – and every other Michael Bay movie had a great trailer, too. Michael Bay, after all, basically makes feature-length trailers.

See it here:

The bad news is, well… the Transformers themselves still look like ass. I’m aware that I may as well not even bring that up anymore, because no matter what people will jump to the immediate conclusion that it’s just “fanboy” complaining that they don’t look exactly like their cartoon counterparts, but I just can’t ignore it: From a purely asthetic standpoint, the majority of these guys strike me as some of the most un-cool looking movie robots since “Saturn 3.” I can appreciate the intricacy of all the little wheels and parts flipping around in the transforming animations, and there’s certainly a cohesive “theme” going on – but, I’m sorry.. yuck. They all end up looking like generic H.R. Geiger knockoff “aliens” with car parts glued to them.

Oh, and what little dialogue/acting we’re shown also sucks… but, again, it’s Michael Bay. You were expecting that… though I’m surprised even Bay would serve up a trailer who’s big slugline is “BRING IT!!!!” Sheesh…

In any case, Hollywood is expecting a pretty decent hit from this, so a mini-boom of mid-1980s toy/toon franchise movies is currently being greenlit. Most recent to the table: “Masters of The Universe,” here reported on by CHUD’s Devin Faraci…

…who is really waaaaaaay too grumpy about this sort of thing for a guy reporting for a film geek news site named after a 1980s Daniel Stern sewer-monster movie. I mean, I like Devin, but lately… gah! it’s like he’s auditioning to become Jeffery Wells:

REVIEW: Shrek the Third

Let’s be perfectly honest: There was really no reason to make a 3rd “Shrek” movie. The most interesting part of the story was already told in the original, all the necessary loose-ends and character arcs were tied up in the second, etc. Aside from the garaunteed boxoffice paydirt set to be innevitably scored by financially-wobbly Dreamworks, there was really no pressing “need” to revisit this particular franchise.

Fortunately, unnecessary isn’t always the companion of “bad.”

The original “Shrek” got most of it’s early buzz from it’s much-touted spoofing of the Disney brand, but it became a gigantic hit on the strength of it’s refreshingly small, character-focused story. True, it was wedged in among a lot of pop-culture jokery and broad satire, but there was a genuinely moving and engaging central narrative at work and audiences responded to it. The law of diminishing returns kicked in a bit with “Shrek 2,” but it was an overall worthwhile entry from the “bigger and wackier” school of sequel-making.

“Shrek the Third” wisely dials the scale back a bit from #2’s epic size, offering up what amounts to a “here we go again” mini-adventure (or two, really) that feels at points more like the third act to a longer cut of the second film than a seperate entity in it’s own right: Just as Shrek (Mike Meyers) and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) are gearing up to leave Far Far Away and head back to their cozy swamp cottage, King Harold (Fiona’s dad, voice of John Cleese) passes away – leaving Shrek next in line for the throne. Shrek is acutely aware that he’s not at all cut out for the job, and he’s already wrestling with his angst over Fiona’s just-announced pregnancy, so when he learns another heir exists in the person of Fiona’s dorky cousin Arthur (Justin Timberlake) he jumps at the chance to set out on yet another quick quest with Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss N’ Boots (Antonio Banderas) to go and fetch him. Meanwhile, evil Prince Charming, (Rupert Everett,) still smarting from his defeat at the end of the last film, seizes on a temporarily Shrek-less kingdom as the ideal opportunity to stage an invasion of Far Far Away with help from an assembled army of fairytale villians.

It’s more than a little dissapointing that, after the clever upending of Disney-fied fairytale iconography in the original film, this installment can’t seem to find much material to mine in it’s broad satire of Arthurian fables once Timberlake’s “Artie” enters the picture. The basic gag is to relocate Camelot to a sitcom High School (Lancelot= jock, Merlin= hippie teacher, and so on) which is cute, but also a bit… stale. The story also suffers noticably from the lack of a great antagonist. Everett has fun with Charming, but the sole and sufficient joke to the character (“THE Prince Charming is the bad guy, the ogre is the good guy!”) was played-out by the end of #2 – where he was a supporting villian for a reason. And while the “bad guy army” is a fun idea, it’s mostly a collection of gags we already saw in the other two movies.

Basically, there’s a distinct sense of half-effort coloring a lot of the broader story strokes, but the consolation prize to that is the rest of the film being similarly light and unpretentious: the gags fly fast and loose, and it seldom feels the need to pile on the “this is IMPORTANT!!!” pathos – it plays like an above-average episode of a weekly sitcom, and in this case it’s a solid choice. And there’s a lot of fun to be had in the subplot of Fiona’s all-Princess baby shower teaming up to fight Charming.

What still works the best, and helps make the film not entirely disposable, is Shrek himself. It was quite a revelation, coming to the original film informed only by the slapstick-heavy trailers, that the titular grumpy ogre turned out to be that rare children’s film hero who was actually characterized by a certain intelligence: Shrek isn’t a “lovable oaf,” he’s a clever and fairly shrewd character – which made perfect sense given the solitary existance we’re told he’d been living most of his life, and gave an added poignance to his “outcast by choice” situation in the original film: It wasn’t that he “didn’t know any better,” we could tell he had chosen his path based on genuine pain and a more-than-complete understanding of how the world regarded him.

This continues here in the subplot of Shrek’s unease at impending fatherhood: Usually when a franchise takes this road, the go-to angle is that of an immature guy leery of being forced to definatively “grow-up” as a father. Shrek, on the other hand, is already a grown-up, and he has a grown-up reason for his worry: Not only does he fear not being able to handle the responsibility, he’s really worried that his overall nature will make him a less-than-ideal parent: “Wait till you meet my Dad, he’s a real OGRE,” he sighs, noting that no one’s ever uttered that phrase in a positive context. When we get the obligatory “nightmare” sequence as Shrek imagine’s himself in a deluge of babies, the theme of the “fear” is that he’s barely able to keep them from injuring themselves. To the degree it can in a cartoon about an ogre, this feels real. This feels relatable.

It’s probably time to call it quits on the series at this point, and the movie itself isn’t in any way essential, but it’s likable and inoffensive. In a Summer season that’s going to deliver both a Michael Bay movie and a “Resident Evil” threequel, there are worse things to be.


REVIEW: 28 Weeks Later

The original “28 Days Later” was, initially, one of those movies that the target audience was already in love with before any of them had seen it. For months leading up to it’s release, film geeks of the horror-phile set gorged on a steady diet of legend and hype about the film’s myriad fresh, new qualities: It’s shaky-cam verite (not yet done to irritating death by the “Bourne” movies,) it’s bleak vision of apocalypse and, most importantly of all: It was a NEW ZOMBIE MOVIE! Hard to remember, but pre-“28DL,” zombie movies were, you’ll pardon the pun, a dead genre. And though the featured creatures of Danny Boyle’s mini-epic weren’t technically “zombies,” they operated under most of the same basic rules and the tone, setup and style drew clear and unashamed influence from all things Romero and Fulci; and it can be easily argued that this was the point-of-origin for the Zombie Renaissance. We can also BLAME it for introducing the loathsome concept of “super-speed zombies,” but you know what they say about omletes…

And yet, there’s still no zombies in this new sequel from newbie “Intacto” helmer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. Well, c’est la vie. Instead, we’re once again up against “The Infected” (priority one for “28 MONTHS Later”: give the monsters a better name,) aka ordinary humans who’ve contracted “Rage,” a kind of jacked-up rabbies that near-instantaneously turns infectees into psychotic, feral flesh-eaters. As mentioned, “The Infected” play by zombie rules despite their functioning nervous systems and Barry Allen legwork – a bite or blood-contact will turn you into one of “them” instantly, they travel in packs and vary in intelligence depending on what will cause maximum tension from scene to scene.

As the sequel opens, we learn that The Rage never spread beyond it’s original British outbreak site due to England being an island; and that by evacuating and sealing-off the entire country The Infected have been effectively starved into extinction. 28 Weeks Later (hence the title) a U.S. led NATO force has begun the task of re-introducing humanity into a small secure “green zone” (nudge-nudge-wink-wink) on the Isle of Dogs. Early focus falls on a civilian official (Robert Carlyle) who’s just been re-united with his out-of-the-country-during-this-whole-thing children… and who has a bit of explaining to do about what exactly happened to Mum. The military personel seem to have a decent handle on the situation, though there’s concern as to how soon is “too soon” to begin reconstruction. And, of course, should The Rage turn out to not be quite as wiped-out as we thought…

To be honest, it wouldn’t be fair to go any further than that, as 28WL manages to pack a startling number of “whoa!” surprises into it’s plot before the first act is even up, but suffice it to say that the shit does, in fact, hit the fan and pretty soon everyone is knee-deep in Infected again – leaving the NATO team in a difficult position: Keep fighting and hope it’s winnable, or accept that you can’t always save the world and bust out the Napalm in the name of the greater good.

“Zombie” movies, by nature, lend themselves easily to social commentary – featuring as they do antagonists who exist as grotesque parodies of “normal” life. So it’s tempting (and at this point kind of unavoidable) to want to see these installments as a kind of political metaphor. But the original film defied simplistic political analysis: It’s big (human) baddies were a squad of nasty BSAF recruits perhaps a little TOO welcoming of Armageddon, yes… but it also set up that this localized-apocalypse came about because of overzealous animal rights activists.

This sequel remains equally defiant of simple “red vs. blue” filtration: It’s easy to read a form of Iraq analogy into the overall situation of soldiers trying to introduce civilization to a population with a nasty habit of turning into bloodthirsty subhumanoids out of the blue (Infectees= Iraqis? The Rage= religious fundamentalism?) but the film doesn’t seem to take a “side” as to what should be done – it sympathizes equally with the soldiers and their terribly limited options AND with the innocent people who’re likely to get the short end either way.

This is one HELL of a great horror film, an equal to it’s predecessor and a genuinely good ride. I reccomend it.


"Joshua" trailer

I might be behind the curve on this, but I haven’t seen it actually posted in many places. Even IMDB doesn’t have an official trailer link yet. I’d heard of it, but only just saw the trailer today in front of “Civic Duty” (which is kinda “meh,” for the record.)

Y’remember that movie “The Good Son?” “Godsend?” That horrendous recent remake of “The Omen?” “Joshua” kinda looks like what those would look like… if they didn’t suck:

Gah. I can’t remember having been that freaked out by just a trailer.

REVIEW: Spider-Man 3

The bad news is, what you’ve heard is technically true: “Spider-Man 3” is, when all is said and done, just a bit overstuffed.

The good news – the very, very good news – is that it’s not overstuffed for the reason most were worried about, i.e. “too many villains.” If anything, this is the least “bad guy centered” “Spidey” entry yet. Whereas the prior films featured singular antagonists (Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus) with character-arcs detailed enough to take up a full half of their respective films, the three heavies this time around are a bit more on the dramatically-streamlined side: Two of them have pretty basic ambitions and straightforward, uncomplicated agendas, while the third (James Franco’s Harry “Goblin Jr.” Osborn) already did his “turning into a bad guy” arc in the backdrop of the prior installments – he arrives here as a full-fledged nemesis ready to go from (literally) the first act on.

Instead, “Spider-Man 3” is bursting at the seams with story. Director/co-writer Sam Raimi has a lot of plot threads left to tie up from his previous two movies to begin with, and on top of that he’s piled surprising reversals, character-twists and unexpected new directions and revelations – and then some. There’s enough going on here in the living, breathing universe this cast and crew have built for themselves over the last eight years to fill three more movies – and, save for some irritatingly-noticable contrivances here and there, it seems almost churlish to take a summer blockbuster that could easily have coasted on residual narrative-fumes and perfunctory action scenes to task for wanting to have “too much” story, character-development and narrative gotchas.

In the big-picture sense, Raimi demonstrates once-again his unquestioned “getting” of the key Spider-Man themes; framing this third go-round as a rude-awakening “oh yeah?” rebuke of “Spider-Man 2’s” fairytale ending. Turns out, wouldn’t you know it, grand romantic gestures like Mary-Jane (Kirsten Dunst) dashing out of her wedding and turning up on Peter Parker’s (Tobey Maguire) doorstep aren’t quite ‘grand’ enough to stave of harsher realities forever. In the time between that ending and this beginning, things have started to go wrong. And, for a change, not “supervillain-assisted” wrong… just “that’s life” wrong. In fact, it would seem the two of them have managed to “swap” issues: As New York begins to overwhelmingly embrace Spider-Man as it’s resident champion, Peter is letting fame and acceptance go to his head a bit – he’s almost too distracted to notice the MJ’s Broadway “star” has already started to wane, and that she’s picking up the ‘sad sack’ right where he left it off. Also on the list of things Peter should be paying closer attention to: Harry still knows Spider-Man’s secret identity, he’s still convinced that Spidey murdered his father, and he’s still got an attic full of dad’s old anti-Spidey weaponry to play with.

The choice of new villainy also demonstrates a tremendously-appealing confidence on Raimi’s part – both in his own skill and in the strength of the original material he’s adapting. Other lesser genre entries like “Fantastic Four,” “Daredevil” or (from the looks of things) the upcoming “Transformers” movie tend to flee in mortal terror from the more “out-there” concepts of their ancestors. Raimi and his film, on the other hand, fearlessly drop into an already well-stocked narrative a pair of supporting supervillains who each constitute the franchise’s headlong-leap into the realm of full-blown pulp science fiction: Sandman, aka Flint Marko, (Thomas Hayden Church,) is a small-time escaped convict who, after an accident of science, has a body made of sentient, shape-shifting SAND; while Venom is, literally, a Monster From Outer Space.

Technically speaking, Sandman isn’t so much a “supervillain” as he is a hard-luck crook with his own agenda who’s aquisition of super-powers is more distraction and hindrance than benefit: He turns up on Spidey’s radar mainly because of a “maybe”: Marko, it turns out, was the accomplice of the robber who murdered Uncle Ben Parker – and may have been the one who pulled the trigger. On top of all this, Peter has an unethical rival at work in the personage of Eddie Brock (Topher Grace,) his ongoing Harry troubles, MJ’s emotional distance AND jealousy over his in-costume flirtation with freshly-rescued blonde bombshell Gwen Stacy (an almost-criminally gorgeous Bryce Dallas Howard); a whirl of stress and dissonance that makes him perfect prey for Venom – a liquid-goo alien “symbiote” that slithers out of a crashed meteor and morphs itself into a sleek new black Spidey-suit that cranks up Peter’s powers… but also leads him to indulge his dark side.

It’s with this “symbiote” subplot that Raimi and company tip their most devious hand – turning Spider-Man/Peter Parker into the prinicipal villain of his own movie. Most of the time, the “good guy goes bad” routine underwhelms in films like this, because the “evil” version of the hero turns out to be exponentially more-compelling and watchable than the “good” one (looking at YOU, Anakin Skywalker.) But, through guts and willpower, the same fate doesn’t befall “Spider-Man 3.” ‘Bad Peter’ is ‘dark,’ yes… and you can tell Maguire had fun (literally) letting his hair down and playing against-type. But Raimi’s camera and story-structure make the difference, lingering on the bewildered/disgusted reactions of women Peter shoots winks and leers at as he struts down the street utterly convinced of his own coolness, and building an almost unspeakably crass display in a “dance sequence” to a genuinely shocking “line-crossing” level. ‘Bad Peter’ is a sleazy, unlikable jerk; and even though most of the audience won’t be TOO worried about him not snapping back to normal by the end credits, it’s still brave of the film none the less to ask them to follow him down this particular road.

Unfortunately, all this good comes with a few notable “issues” that keep it just shy of the near-perfection that was “Spider-Man 2.” Most of the missteps are structure and pace-related, i.e. the two and a half hour run-time isn’t quite expansive enough to contain all the movie it needs to. As a result, some elements arise in questionable, artificial-seeming ways. This becomes especially apparent, though not disasterously-so, in the third act where the innevitable Bad Guy Team-Up seems to come almost-completely out of left-field, and the “things we really should’ve told someone BEFORE right now” revelations start to stack up. This is more than a bit forgivable, though, when one takes into account that it leads into an action sequence that could easily be the best “guys with super-powers” brawl since “Superman 2.”

Other problems have “followed” from the previous movies: Kirsten Dunst is STILL the weak link of the series, it’s three movies in and she still alternates between looking bored, stoned or eager to get on to something “better.” And Raimi still hasn’t lost his strange penchant for having Spidey lose all or most of his mask midway through nearly every action scene.

It does seem as though the writing is on the wall as to this being the “last” Spidey installment for this full group of castmates and filmmakers. If so, they leave behind quite a legacy: A true epic-in-three-parts superhero story, one of the only one’s not to stumble in the third entry. Whatever comes next has some big boots to fill.


Miyamoto makes it! (UPDATED!)

“Time” has closed-down the online-voting portion of it’s “Time 100” list, and Shigeru Miyamoto makes it into the top-ten at the wire!

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The democratically-named 92nd Most Influential Person in The World, with his most famous

creations, his creation’s friends and a sampling of his greatest accomplishments.

Now, I’m reasonably certain that “Time” doesn’t correlate the “online vote” list and the “final list” exactly, but this is the first year Miyamoto was even nominated and placing in the top-10 in reader-votes is impressive as hell… so I’d say it’s likely that he’ll turn up on the “real” list, too. Either way, this is quite a showing a fan-support for a guy who’s been overdue for it for far too long. Kick-ass.

UPDATE!!! Shigeru Miyamoto has made the final list!

For this year’s list, “Time” divided the full-100 into five subcategories, with spots 82 through 100 reserved for “Builders & Titans.” Miyamoto is placed at #92, meaning that he not only places on the list but lands comfortably in the TOP TEN of his field!

Shigeru Miyamoto. Creator of Mario. Savior of video-games. One of the 100 Most Influential People on Earth. He’s earned it.

How To Not Suck: A Simple Primer

Michael Bay, Tim Story, Brett Ratner, et al., please pay close attention to the following:

Pictured below, to the left: Marvel Comics superhero “Iron Man” as he is generally remembered during his more popular eras of publication. To the immediate right: “Iron Man,” as he currently appears in the ‘main’ Marvel Universe, including the traditional (and, please note, still immediately-recognizable) armor re-worked to greater detail and “realism” by artist Adi Granov.

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Picture below: “Iron Man,” as he will appear in the upcoming live-action feature film of the same name starring Academy Award Nominee Robert Downey Jr., Academy Award Nominee Terrence Howard and Academy Award Winner Gwyneth Paltrow.

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This concludes “How To Not Suck.” Please stay tuned for our next, slightly more-difficult lessons; including “How Not To Fall Down The Stairs,” “Remedial Breathing” and “Remembering Not To Cast Jessica Alba In Roles Requiring Speaking And/Or Recognizable Human Emotion.”

Keep Miyamoto in the Time 100!

The voting is still going down on the Time 100, but former mainstay Shigeru Miyamoto (first time nominee, ‘father of modern video games’) has dropped from the top-five. Now, at this point his showing was strong enough that there’s a good chance he makes the final list anyway… but what’s REALLY loathsome is that one of the current top-5 candidates “beating” him is distressingly-unfunny ‘trendy’ standup hack Dane Cook. This should not stand 🙂

So here’s what ya do: First, click this link:
And give “Shiggy” a 100% on the “rating” thingee in the upper left-hand corner. Click submit. Then refresh the page and do it again. Repeat as many times as you can, get your pals to do the same, and don’t slack: This guy deserves the hookup.

While you’re at it, here’s the page for the freakishly unfunny star of “Employee of the Month:”,28804,1611030_1610841_1609788,00.html
Cook has already been on this list once, and that’s one more time than he had any reason to be. Do the right thing. Give him a zero (or the approximate amount of laughs to be found in his routine, his crappy movie or “Tourgasm”) and then give him a zero a couple dozen more times.