Friday, April 29, 2011

Movie Review: Fast Five

Disgraced former police officer Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) intercept the prison transport taking Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) to spend a minimum of twenty five years in prison.  After a dramatic escape, the group reunites in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with their friend Vince (Matt Schulze).  Shortly thereafter, it’s back to business as usual for the foursome of heist masters. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

One Shot Comic Book Review: Black Dynamite: Slave Island

17 miles off the east coast, Noah Hicks presides over an island resort like a sinister Mr. Roarke.  This particular island rendezvous allows its visitors to live out fantasies of a much darker variety.  It’s actually a giant plantation where slavery is still very much in effect.  When Black Dynamite catches wind of what’s going down, he makes a trip out to Slave Island with his sights set on putting foot firmly to ass.  What he encounters there is the stuff of nightmares.

Movie Trailer: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Okay, I’ll admit it right up front.  I was the one guy who actually liked Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in spite of the unforgivable racial caricaturing and schizophrenic tone.  I stubbornly maintain that stance even in the face of Michael Bay’s recent “admittance” that the film was “crap.”  The frigid reception of the film by critics and even fans surprisingly didn’t affect its box office prospects in the least.  Even more surprising is that Michael Bay and company actually appear to have taken the criticisms into account while making the upcoming Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Music Video: Raekwon-Ferry Boat Killaz

Shallah Raekwon the Chef gears up for some Wu-Tang style black ops on “Ferry Boat Killaz.”  Like the video for “Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang,” it revolves around Raekwon in the vocal booth and Alchemist behind the boards.  Unlike that video, there is no melding of live-action and animation.  Neither, for that matter, is there an actual storyline.  There is just a series of images which fit in with the motif of the song.  We see Rae sitting outside of the Staten Island ferry and being chauffeured around on the highway.   A newly released Prodigy silently rides alongside him, likely enjoying the scenery and savoring his freedom. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Web Series Review: Mortal Kombat: Legacy Episode Three - Johnny Cage

Fading action star Johnny Cage (Matt Mullins) hopes that his new reality television series will breathe life back into his ailing career.  After a disastrous presentation fails to excite network execs, a second attempt yields equally disappointing results.  Johnny is further enraged when he learns that the project is being offered to another actor.  Just when all seems lost, a mysterious stranger presents him with the opportunity of a lifetime.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Short Film Review: Tribu De Combat (Combat Tribe)

Malik Dupont (Alex Martin), appointed leader of “the tribe,” has returned home after the death of his younger brother Alan.  He confronts his friend and fellow tribesman Sebastien Shaw (Kevin Lukata), hoping to get some closure on the matter. Sebastian served as leader in Malik’s absence, and was charged with looking after Alan.  During the course of a heated exchange, Sebastien drops a bombshell on Malik that causes all Hell to break loose.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Short Film Review: Fight For Your Right (Revisited)

After trashing an apartment during a wild party, the Beastie Boys decide to paint the town red. In the middle of their drug and alcohol fueled rampage, they run into the future version of themselves.  The confrontation culminates in a dance competition between both incarnations of the group.  Bizarre hilarity ensues.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Web Series Review: "Mortal Kombat: Legacy" Episode 2

Captain Jackson "Jax" Briggs’s (Michael Jai White) attempt to rescue Sonia Blade (Jeri Ryan) has left Kano’s (Darren Shahlavi) shipping operation in shambles. As Jax and Kano come to in the aftermath of an explosion that interrupted their fight, Sonia Blade makes her escape.  Jax and Kano get their bearings together and continue their scuffle in brutal fashion. Enraged by Kano’s refusal to divulge Sonya’s whereabouts, Jax maims Kano.  As Jax flees yet another grenade primed to explode, he sees Sonia in the distance and attempts to shield her from the blast.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Movie Review: Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja

The cocaine wars of the late 70’s and early 80’s cemented south Florida’s position in American crime lore.  However it's a position characterized by a much less than sensational criminal history.  This one does not include murderous matriarchs like Griselda Blanco, or flamboyant fliers like Mickey Munday.  It revolved around one of the more “benign” of all illegal drugs: marijuana. Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja takes us inside three groups of pot smugglers that defined the trade as it came to be known in South Florida.  All three stories revel in the slightly bizarre, sometimes tragic, and ultimately working class world of weed smuggling.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Album Review: Dj Quik-The Book of David

Dj Quik offers another buffet of G-Funk, R&B and Gangsta swagger on his eighth set entitled The Book of David.  The album is musically compatible with the rest of his post Rhythm-al-ism catalog, though it never quite reaches the highs of that classic.  Still, it presents Quik as an artist who ventures more willingly into true musicianship than perhaps any other rapper/producer in history.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Movie Trailer: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The revolution will be televised.  The first trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes arrives like a harbinger of the apocalypse.  It begins with the traditional science experiment gone wrong setup, with a wonder drug that has limitless possibilities being given to a test group, In this case, apes.  The miracle elixir has some amazing but unforeseen side effects which unleash an apocalyptic scenario turning the theory of evolution on its head.  In their efforts to cure one of the most debilitating ailments imaginable, science has provided those just below us on the evolutionary ladder with a powerful weapon of mass destruction.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Concept Art Reveals Shocking Images From "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"

There was a live stream of a presentation from director Rupert Wyatt and Weta digital earlier today that gave fans a behind the scenes peak at Rise of the Planet the Apes.  The presentation included a personable chat with Andy Serkis, as well as unfinished FX shots and glimpses of footage from the upcoming trailer.  Perhaps the most striking part of the presentation was the beautifully rendered concept art that was repeatedly flashed on the screen throughout.  The Images were distressing and unforgettable.  Upon first glance, I thought a few of them were screen caps of actual footage.  They do a great job of selling the basic concept of the film, to the point where I almost don’t even need see the trailer.  Almost, that is.  Look below to witness the Rise of the Planet of the Apes as envisioned in an artists mind.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Web Series Review: Mortal Kombat: Legacy Episode One

Deacon City police lieutenant Sonia Blade (Jeri Ryan) has tracked Kano (Darren Shahlavi) to a factory where robotic weaponry is being readied for immediate shipment.  Kano sits at the head of the Black Dragon crime cartel, an organization that the authorities have been after for quite some time.  Sonia relays the intel to Captain Jackson "Jax" Briggs (Michael Jai White), who immediately mobilizes the cavalry.  As Jax races to Sonia’s aid, a firefight is inevitable.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Debut Trailer: Mortal Kombat: Legacy

Mortal Kombat: Legacy is set to premiere sometime today.  As if the wait weren’t unbearable enough at this point, the debut trailer has just hit the web.  This one is indeed a full on trailer, and not simply a snippet from one of the episodes.  It gives an overview of the entire series as opposed to a single bout. 

A Brief Glimpse of the Digital Monkey Makeup for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."

Planet of the Apes is a perpetual mainstay of fandom.  No amount of lackluster entries could ever completely diminish interest in the property.  The intriguing premise at its core continues to be a source of fascination for thoughtful sci-fi fans.  This August, 20th Century Fox hopes to entice fandom into returning to the well yet again with Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  This will be the first Apes film in a decade, the last being the nigh unwatchable reboot Planet of the Apes.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Movie Review: Hanna

Erik Heller (Eric Bana) and his daughter Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) lead a rugged existence in a snow covered forest in Finland.  It appears that the father is readying his daughter to endure a life of frigid isolation.  He is in fact preparing her for the ordeal her life will inevitably become.  Erik is a highly trained CIA agent that has disappeared off the grid. His daughter Hanna, now yearning for independence, wishes to experience the outside world.  

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Beastie Boys Fight the Men in the Mirror in the Red Band Trailer for “Fight For Your Right – Revisited”

The Beastie Boys have met the enemy, and it is them.  That, in a nutshell, is the premise of Fight For Your Right – Revisited.  The 30 minute short film will accompany the release of their eighth album Hot Sauce Committee Part 2.  In the film, the present day Beasties travel back in time to antagonize the Licensed To Ill Incarnation of themselves, effectively giving their younger selves a taste of their own obnoxious medicine.

Michael Jai White Comes Out Swinging in the Teaser Trailer For "Mortal Kombat: Legacy"

The teaser trailer for Mortal Kombat: Legacy has arrived, and It focuses on the main asset of the property: well known characters facing off against each other.  Jax (Michael Jai White) is in hot pursuit of Kano (Darren Shahlavi) engaging him in a furious duel..  Gunfire ensues as Kano pops off a few rounds from his Desert Eagle.  When the two run out of ammunition, the inevitable fisticuffs commence.  The two face off mano-y-mano, Kano using a knife and Jax his bare hands. After a brief exchange of moves and counter moves, Kano gets a Grenade launcher.  The two fight over the weapon, which leads to a most unexpected result. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Walking The Path: An Interview With Actor, Screenwriter, Fight Choreographer and Stuntman Chyna McCoy

Necessity is the mother of invention.  When you work within a system that doesn’t display the proper mindset to accommodate your ideas and talents, you have to make your own way.  Twelve years ago, Andre “Chyna” McCoy was Laurence Fishburne’s stunt double in The Matrix.  Not satisfied with that being his sole claim to fame, he set out to leave his own unique mark on the action genre as both an actor and screenwriter.  He has quietly built up a respectable resume for himself, taking lead roles in action films while developing his own ideas for the big screen.  Among the more interesting of his upcoming endeavors are R.L. Scott’s web series Touye Pwen and his own original creation Bayne.  Chyna recently took a break from negotiating a budget for his pet project to discuss his vision.  It took a lot of patience on his part to get this through this interview, but in the end I think he’ll agree it was worth it.  I’m sure you will too.  Welcome to the world of Chyna McCoy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wondercon "Thundercats" Promo Works Fans Into a Frenzy

A new two minute promo for Cartoon Networks upcoming Thundercats reboot premiered at Wondercon.  It offers the clearest look yet at this latest iteration of everyone’s favorite humanoid felines.  Voice over narration has been added to give the images some context.  There is no mention of Thundera, and the Thundercats dynasty seems to be thriving and firmly in place well before Lion-O takes his rightful position as lord.  The Thundercats headquarters looks more like a castle or palace.  The Science fantasy lean of the original series seems to have given way to a full on fantasy approach.  There are also hints of a Braveheart, with armed battalions of Thundercat troops being addressed by a horse mounted commander.  The animation looks minimalist, with low frame rates and very basic character designs.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

New "Green Lantern" Footage Shines Much Brighter Than Expected

Yesterday at Wondercon, Warner Brothers previewed 15 minutes of footage from their upcoming Green Lantern adaptation.  Today, four minutes of that presentation has surfaced online.  In short, it is the most effective piece of marketing for the film yet.  It more than makes amends for the borderline ridiculous trailer that all but destroyed my already minimal interest in the property.  For the first time, fans are getting a chance to see just how ambitious this project is.

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Attack The Block" Attacks The Web With Two New Clips

The buzz surrounding Attack the Block has been steadily growing to a roar since its premiere at the South by Southwest Festival.  The sci-fi action comedy continues to amass fans and supporters at an exponential rate.  By the time it officially arrives stateside, it could be poised for the kind of runaway mainstream success that eluded other U.K. imports such as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.  In fact, Attack The Block was produced by the same team behind those two cult favorites.

Preview: Touye Pwen: The Series

The key to serialized storytelling is to leave the viewer wanting more.  It’s hard to grab the audiences attention and even harder to maintain its interest.  As America’s collective attention span continues to shrink, storytellers in all mediums have had to make a few adjustments.  Characters and setting have to be established immediately and information must be relayed in as direct and efficient a manner as possible.  Once that is accomplished, you’ve got to give your audience a reason to keep coming back to the well.  A cliff hanger ending is a useless gesture when attached to an uninteresting story.