Thursday, December 27, 2012

There and Back Again: In Memoriam

As far as I was concerned, December 11th, 1992 was going to be just like any other Saturday.  Per my usual routine, I took in the sights at South Dekalb Mall.  I’d usually start out by perusing the rap section at Camelot Music.  If nothing caught my eye, I’d sometimes walk across the road to Turtles.  After that, I’d give the magazine section at the bookstore a once over.  Then it was off to Champs or Foot Locker to check out the newest athletic gear.  Around noontime, I’d meet up with my mom (and sometimes my grandmother) for lunch at the Piccadilly Cafeteria.  Since my mom was a good listener, our lunches often turned into therapy sessions.  That day, I was especially concerned about my friend Avery.  Little did I know, he’d had been killed the night before.

Scottscope Talk Radio 12/26/2012: Beware The Wrath of Django Freeman!

On this edition of Scottscope Talk Radio, the roundtable will be taking on Quentin Tarantino’s latest homage to the exploitation genre, Django Unchained!  We’ll be discussing all of its most controversial aspects.  Is it inappropriate and/or racist for Tarantino to use slavery as the backdrop for a violent spaghetti western?  Did he make this movie simply to justify excessive use of the dreaded N-word in yet another one of his films?  Is Tarantino’s realistic portrayal of slavery done in the spirit of historical accuracy, or is it merely a way to indulge in a bit of torture porn?  Did Jamie Foxx end up being a better fit for the lead role than Will Smith?  Does Leonardo DiCaprio make a good villain?  How does this film stand up to the spaghetti westerns of yore?  Is it in the same class as Sergio Corbucci’s original Django?  Where does it rank among Tarantino’s earlier films?  Is it among his very best, or his very worst?

Movie Review: Django Unchained

Two years before the start of the civil war, a mysterious drifter makes his way through the Deep South.  When he happens upon a convoy of slaves, he takes it upon himself to violently free one of them.  Though courageous and charitable, this act of liberation does not come without a price.  The drifter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), is a professional bounty hunter searching for a band of killers.  Django Freeman (Jamie Foxx) is a slave who has encountered the men Schultz seeks.  In exchange for his help, Django will be granted ultimate freedom.  He will also be united with his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), who remains in captivity.  Thus begins a violent odyssey which ends at the doorstep of decadent plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).     

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Scottscope Talk Radio 12/18/2012 The Holiday Season Edition!

This week on Scottscope Talk Radio, we’ll be discussing our favorite holiday themed genre films.  From Die Hard to Lethal Weapon to Halloween (and all flicks in between), we’ll be talking about the movies that best capture the spirit of their assigned holiday.  Is it inappropriate to set violent action films during Christmas time?  Was the pre-millennial tension in Strange Days in keeping with Y2K hysteria?  Did Gremlins represent the perfect blend of horror, humor, and holiday cheer?  

Amazing Attractions: ‘Pain And Gain’ Trailer

I was a really skinny kid growing up.  I also had the misfortune of being raised on superhero comics and action films.  Perhaps that’s why I developed a fascination with bodybuilding in by late teens.  Though I never became a practitioner, I have a certain amount of respect for the sport.  Sculpting one’s body to such a degree takes dedication and discipline.  Apparently, such qualities eluded Miami’s Sun Gym gang. While packing on muscle mass, they also packed pistols and committed crimes.  Their not-so-legendary exploits are now the subject of Michael Bay’s latest bit of visual junk food, Pain And Gain.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Logan Readies For Battle In The Motion Poster for ‘The Wolverine’

Back when I was in the fifth grade, I encountered a fearsome looking character known as Wolverine.  I had seen him before, but knew very little about him.  That changed when a classmate brought a trade paperback to school that bore his name as its title.  It collected all four issues of the classic limited series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller into a single volume.  The cover art was absolutely beautiful, or so I thought at the tender age of 10.  It depicted the title character tussling with a group of ninja.  The shadow warriors clearly had their hands full, as it looked like they were trying to restrain a rabid pitbull.  Wolverine even had a length of chain clamped between his teeth.  That which separates man from beast would feature prominently in the story, but I was much too young to truly understand such themes.  All I knew was that I had to read that book.  Read it I did, and I absolutely loved it.  To this day that cover image remains seared on my psyche.  It’s the defining image of the character as far as I’m concerned.  The new “motion poster” for the upcoming sequel The Wolverine tries for something equally as memorable, by showing a totally different side of the character.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Amazing Attractions: Pacific Rim - Official Trailer

Collectively, the Transformers films represent a wasted opportunity, though not in the way that many would assume.  They could have been big budget renditions of Japanese Super Robot films, thus serving as a wonderful introduction to the genre for American audiences.  Alas, they were content with being run-of-the mill summer blockbusters.  If only their considerable production values could be employed by someone with a bigger imagination and a better story to tell.  Luckily, cinematic fantasist Guillermo Del Toro has an affinity for Kaiju films.  What’s more, he has channeled that love into his latest project, Pacific Rim.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Scottscope Talk Radio 12/11/2012: 'The Chronic' Turns 20 While Rick Ross Has His Day of Reckoning!

This week on Scottscope Talk Radio, we’ll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Dr. Dre’s immortal classic The Chronic!  Is it Hip-Hop’s best compilation album ever? What can be gleaned from its storied legacy?  Is its legendary status overstated?  What effect did the L.A. Riots have during the recording sessions for the album?  Is it more conscious than people give it credit for?  Does Dre get too much credit in regards to the groundbreaking production work?  Have the contributions of Warren G, Colin Wolfe, Daz, and Cold 187um gone unrecognized?  Will Detox ever come out?  Even if it does, can it hope to match or exceed The Chronic in terms of quality and/or impact?

Amazing Attractions: Man of Steel - Official Trailer #2

The teaser trailer for Man of Steel left me quite cold.  As a friend humorously observed, it looked more like a Levi’s commercial than an advertisement for an upcoming Superhero film.  To make matters worse, I am of the minority viewpoint that it’s much too soon to release another Superman movie, much less one that takes a “dark and serious” view of the character.  Bryan Singer already attempted something along those lines in 2006 with Superman Returns.  The result was a dreary yet great looking film which cast portrayed the character as a love struck stalker.  That’s hardly the kind of adventure that fans were expecting.  I’m hard pressed to believe that Zack Snyder could do much better, Christopher Nolan’s involvement notwithstanding.   Such reservations aside, the new trailer for Man of Steel has me rethinking my initial assumptions.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Short Film Review: DragonBall Z - Saiyan Saga (DBZ Live Action Trailer)

Namekian conqueror Piccolo (Michael Amariah) engages Saiyan warrior Raditz (Zack Nizato) in battle.  Raditz is ultimately defeated by Piccolo’s powerful Makanosappo technique.  As he lay dying, the Saiyan warrior sends a final transmission to his scouter, thus summoning his comrades Vegeta (Aaron Ly) and Nappa (Ryan Oliva).  When the Saiyans finally arrive, they are met by organized resistance in form of   Tien Shinan (David Cheung), Chiaotzu (Oliver Faber), Yamcha (Isky Fay), Krillin (Lee Edward Jones), Piccolo, and Kid Gohan (Brandon Ly).  Alas, even their combined efforts are no match for the destructive duo.  In a moment of desperation, Krillin calls on Raditz’ Goku (Peter Perelta), who arrives ready for battle.  Will he be able to save the day?   

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Short Film Review: Day of the Ninja

A worthy soul walks through a mysterious tunnel in search of the prize that waits on the other side.  His passage is interrupted by a pair of shadow warriors, who mean to prevent him from crossing over into glory.  What he finds are a pair of shadow warriors who are determined not to let him make his way to the light.

Amazing Attractions: Star Trek Into Darkness - Japanese Teaser Trailer

Sequels are often expected to be darker and more harrowing than their predecessors.  This is also true of immediate follow-ups to successful franchise reboots.  The notion is directly related to the trope of “sequel escalation.”  Sequels are generally meant to be “bigger and better.”  Hence, the stakes have to be raised.  This is usually achieved via the introduction an even more ruthless villain, preferably one who has a score to settle with the protagonist(s).  The Japanese teaser for Star Trek Into Darkness offers just that.  From the looks of things, it may be taking fans down a very familiar path. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Scottscope Talk Radio 12/4/2012: Parental Discretion Is Advised!

On this week’s edition of Scottscope Talk Radio, the roundtable takes aim at the Motion Picture Association of America's film-rating system!  Instituted on November 1st, 1968, the system was meant provide parents with a handy guide as to the content of theatrically released films.  In the decades since its implementation, things have changed.  The internet has made questionable material readily available to children everywhere.  Primetime network television shows continuously push boundaries.  Mainstream American films are more violent and sexually explicit than ever, and many now believe the ratings system as we know it to be obsolete.    Is the MPAA still relevant?  Do parents still need such an organization to help guide their children’s viewing habits?  Why does the MPAA have a higher tolerance for violence than sexuality?  Why do major studio films get preference over independent films?  Should the ratings system be revamped, or simply done away with?  

Short Film Review: Dogfight

Late one night, two bounty hunters (Nate Hitpas and Jessie Bayani) cautiously approach a seemingly empty dojo.  Inside, a corrupt sensei (Shawn Bernal) trains in solitude.  Determined to apprehend their prey, the pair enters the establishment.  Unfortunately for them, the able bodied master has no intention of being carted away in restraints.  Will the hunters claim their prize, or will the master emerge triumphant?  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Movie Review: Skyfall

MI6 agents James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Eve (Naomi Harris) are on an important mission in Istanbul, Turkey.  They have to retrieve a hard drive full of top secret information that has fallen into the wrong hands.  Their mission ends in failure, after which Bond goes AWOL.  When a cyber-attack culminates in the bombing of the MI6 offices, Bond immediately resurfaces to pursue the culprit.  His search leads him to former MI6 operative Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), an eccentric madman with a score to settle.  Silva has limitless resources at his disposal.  He means to make his sick dreams a reality.  All that stands between him and ultimate revenge is Bond, but is 007 up to the challenge?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Movie Review: The Man with the Iron Fists

In 19th century China, a small jungle village has become a battleground.  Under pain of death, the village blacksmith (Rza) has been supplying weapons to the various warring parties.  He asks no questions and takes no sides in any conflict, preferring instead to silently stash away his earnings.  Eventually, circumstances force him choose sides, at which point he uses his skills to become a living weapon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scottscope Talk Radio Podcast 10/30/2012: The First Annual Scottscope Halloween Special!

It’s the first annual Scottscope Halloween special!  This week, we discuss horror films and scary movies!  What horror movies scared you as a child?  What’s the scariest horror film ever made?  What is the scariest movie of all time?  What qualifies a film as being truly scary?  Are haunted house movies better than slasher films?  Are monster movies the scariest?  Is The Exorcist truly the scariest movie ever made, or is that reputation undeserved?  Does a horror film have to focus on the supernatural in order to be truly scary, or should it be rooted in the reality?  

The Family That Slays Together: 'Near Dark' Turns 25

Despite tons of evidence to the contrary, Hollywood has always fancied itself as being way ahead of the curve.  Such was certainly the case in October of 1987.  The horror genre was showing signs of fatigue.  With the exception of Freddy Kruger, teen audiences had grown tired of slasher films.  Meanwhile, Vampire movies were enjoying a bit of resurgence.  Earlier that year, The Lost Boys had become a surprise hit.  Painter turned filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Eric Red would employ this trend in a deceptive yet ingenious manner, using it something of a Trojan horse.  It was by such underhanded means that Near Dark was born.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Scottscope Talk Radio Podcast 10/23/2012: Kendrick Lamar Shines, Stallone Draws 'First Blood,' & 'The Man With The Iron Fists' Gets a Soundtrack!

On this week’s Scottscope podcast, the roundtable discusses Kendrick Lamar’s major label debut Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.  Does it live up to all the pre-release hype?  Is it better than Section.80?  Does Kendrick fulfill his potential as an up and coming artist?  Is it a contender for album of the year?  Is it as good or better than Life is Good?  Will it resurrect the west coast Hip-Hop scene?

Amazing Attractions: Evil Dead - Official Red Band Teaser Trailer

The original Evil Dead was an honest to God horror film, or at least it tried to be.  Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn and Army of Darkness took things in a more comedic direction.  Perhaps writer/director Sam Raimi secretly regrets that decision.  That might explain the grisly tone on display in the red band teaser trailer for the remake.   

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Music: The Wu-Tang Clan - Six Directions of Boxing

Some things are simply inevitable.  While they aren’t as predictable or as dependable as clockwork, they will certainly occur with regularity.  So goes the reemergence of a fully reunited Wu-Tang Clan.  With the release of both The Man With The Iron Fists and its accompanying soundtrack just around the corner, the Wu Symbol can clearly be seen in the night sky.  Now, finally, a rallying cry is heard.  “Six Directions of Boxing” is the latest song to be released from the Iron Fists soundtrack.  It was leaked earlier today by RZA himself as part of his “Wu-Wednesday’s” series.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Music Video: Nas Featuring Amy Winehouse - Cherry Wine

Musically speaking, rappers sometimes exist in a world of perpetual wish fulfillment.  That world tends to be void of genuine emotion and/or substance.  Bearing that in mind, Life is Good was a breath of fresh air.  It’s mired in somber tones and reflective moods, yet it’s an emotionally varied experience.  It’s most lighthearted moment is undoubtedly “Cherry Wine,” Nas’ collaboration with the late Amy Winehouse.  The song has a lovely mood, and I’ve always been curious as to how a music video director might interpret its ambience.  Well, I don’t have to wonder any more.  The video has arrived.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Scottscope Podcast 10/02/2012: Looper, Ross vs. Jeezy, and Hollywood's Return to the Hood!

On this week’s Scottscope podcast, we’ll be talking about the dynamic new time travel epic Looper.  Does it raise the bar for time travel films?  Is it one of the best science fiction films in years?  Will it achieve the same level of cult status and/or popularity as Back to the Future and The Terminator?  Is Bruce Willis the new elder statesman of 80’s action icons?  How does his track record stack up to Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s?  Will Ryan Johnson now become a fanboy favorite?  Is the fall of 2012 shaping up to be better than the summer of 2012 as far as genre films are concerned?

Movie Trailer: A Good Day to Die Hard

The original Die Hard is arguably the greatest action film ever made.  The second one was serviceable.  The third was an insane yet entertaining riff on The French Connection.  Together, these three movies formed a nice little trilogy. Unfortunately, the good folks at 20th Century Fox saw fit to supplement that trifecta with Live Free or Die Hard.  Since that film did better than expected, A Good Day to Die Hard will be arriving on movie screens across America this Valentines Day.  

New Music: Sean Price - STFU Part 2 (Mic Tyson Cover Animation Video)

Raphael Tanghal’s cover art for Mic Tyson is just plain awesome.  There’s no other way to put it.  The only thing that could possibly make it any better is to put it on the cover of a limited edition Sean Price comic.  An even better idea would be to make it into a full length cartoon.  While that may be asking for too much, Chain Gang Productions has cooked up a little something to whet the palette.  They’ve turned the cover for Mic Tyson into a video for the track “STFU Part 2.”

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Scottscope Podcast 9/26/2012

On this edition of Scottscope, special guest panelist Gabe “I am Square One” Mendoza sits in on the roundtable to discuss David Ayer’s latest police drama End of Watch.  Is the hype warranted?  Is it better than Training Day?  Does it represent a new direction for cop movies in the modern era?  Can the found footage format be applied to any type of film?  

Movie Review: Looper

In the year 2074, organized crime has become much more sophisticated.  This is due in large part to the invention of time travel, which is almost instantly outlawed due to its propensity for misuse.  It proves quite a handy tool for carrying out hits and disposing of corpses.  Various mafias employ it too just such nefarious ends.  Intended targets are sent 30 years into the past, where a hitman known as a looper lies in wait.  The looper than takes out the target and gets rid of the body.  The loopers ask no questions, they simply follow orders and are paid handsomely in return.  

Movie Review: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1

For decades, Gotham city was under the vigilant protection of the dynamic duo known as Batman & Robin.  Following the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin, Bruce Wayne went into retirement.  Flash forward Ten years later, and Gotham is on the edge of oblivion.  A violent youth gang known as the mutants has the city in the grip of panic.  Things are steadily growing worse, as law enforcement seems powerless in the face of this rapidly emerging threat.  Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne grows antsy.  Heeding the relentless call of his darker half, he dons the cape and cowl once more.  Alas, many Gothamites don’t see his return as cause for celebration.  Never the less, Batman continues his crusade undeterred.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Movie Review: End of Watch

Los Angeles police officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) have everything to live for.  They love their jobs, and have racked up a number of commendations in their still young careers.  They’ve also formed an unbreakable bond with each other that transcends mere friendship.  Things go horribly bad when a traffic stop turns up a cache of exotic weaponry and drug loot.  The bust brings Taylor and Zavala even more glory, but also puts them on the radar of a vicious Mexican drug cartel.  When the cartel places a green light on them, they find themselves on the front lines as never before.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Movie Review: Dredd

In the not too distant future, the United States of America has been ravaged by nuclear war.  A vast megalopolis known as Mega-City One now encompasses the entire east coast.  Due to its immense size and population density, the massive city-stat is a veritable cesspool of crime.  Instead of sitting on bench with a gavel, Judges are given heavy artillery and charged with policing city streets.  The most notorious of these is Judge Joseph Dredd (Karl Urban), as relentless a lawman as has ever existed.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

16 Stunning New Images From ‘The Man with the Iron Fists’

At this point, it surely cannot be possible to tease The Man with the Iron Fists any more than it’s already been teased.  Fans had to wait an excruciatingly long time for a single trailer to finally surface.  According to Shadow and Act, there have been a few test screenings, but reports from these secret viewings have been scarce.  Hopes are high for this film, and expectations are getting more unrealistic by the day.  Alas, November 20th is still two months away.  Universal Pictures will not doubt continue to build anticipation during the interim.  In furtherance of that purpose, 16 new images from the film have been released.

Sean Price Gets Brolic On The Cover Art for ‘Mic Tyson’

While some rappers prefer to be superheroes, Sean Price would rather be super villain.  He’s more Darkseid than Superman, which I imagine suits him just fine.  Hip-Hop doesn’t have much regard for overgrown Boy Scouts, but it does have an undying love for overgrown bullies.  Sean knows that damn well, hence the title of his upcoming third (and possibly final) solo album, Mic Tyson.  As if that weren’t menacing enough, the newly released cover art for his junior set perfectly embodies the sentiments of that title.

Robocop Gets An Upgrade While G.O.O.D Music Endures A "Cruel Summer" On This Week's Scottscope Podcast!

On this week’s Scottscope podcast, the roundtable discusses G.O.O.D Music’s compilation album Cruel Summer.  Does it live up to the hype, or is it less than the sum of its parts?  Is the G.O.O.D music collective a Hip-Hop force to be reckoned with, or just another overblown vanity project?  Did the GOOD Fridays series of music giveaways spoil the best songs on the album?  Who had the single best verse on the album?  Who emerges as the MVP of the G.O.O.D music collective?  Should Kanye rebuild the G.O.O.D music roster from the ground up?

'The 50th Law' Now Immortalized In Comic Book Form

When it comes to diversifying his brand, 50 Cent is no slouch.  Though his star no longer shines nearly as brightly as it once did, he keeps pushing boldly into new territory.  Now, he’s looking to conquer yet another medium: comic books.  That would seem to be an easy fit given his larger than life persona and superhero physique.  However, his first venture into the world of primary colors will not be the usual capes and tights fare.  Instead, it will be an adaptation of 50’s 2009 novel with Robert Greene, The 50th Law.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Slaughter Deferred: Artwork Surfaces from an Unpublished ‘Wu-Massacre’ Comic

Over the last three years, some pretty good albums have carried the iconic Wu-Tang symbol.  2010’s Wu Massacre was not one of them.  The heavily hyped album grouped Ghostface, Raekwon, and Method Man into a trio not unlike Bell Biv DeVoe.  While the final product left much to be desired, it did have one hugely redeeming feature.  Famed comic artist Chris Bachalo and inker Tim Townsend designed a triad of cover portraits, each of which envisioned a particular group member as a comic book character.  The artwork was truly inspired, and really spoke to the possibilities of an ongoing series featuring the Clan.  As it turns out, just such a series was planned but never published.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Music: Pusha T featuring Raekwon and Joell Ortiz – Tick, Tock

The Wu-Tang Clan has always used its martial arts motif as a metaphor for survival, whether it be in the rap game, the drug game, or life in general.  Their approach will likely never change, even when their music is being used in service of an actual martial arts film.  Though the milieu of The Man with the Iron Fists is ancient China instead of crack era Staten Island, the modus operandi remains the same.  The clan will never deviate from course.  Neither will Pusha T, who happens to be the main feature of the latest offering from the Iron Fists soundtrack “Tick, Tock.”

Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge To Come Up With ‘12 Reasons To Die’ In Time For Thanksgiving

The RZA has been a very busy man over the last few years.  Most recently, he’s been preparing his directorial debut, The Man with the Iron Fists, for release.  The film now seems poised to be the focal point of a full on Wu-Tang revival.  Its soundtrack will certainly provide ample opportunity for both core members and longtime affiliates to shine.  However, the most irrepressible clansman will have his very own showcase aside from appearing on that compilation.  This fall, the incomparable Tony Starks will be teaming up with producer/musician Adrian Younge for a collaborative effort titled 12 Reasons To Die. As with the soundtrack for The Man with the Iron Fists, it will be released on The RZA’s new Soul Temple Records imprint.   RZA will be serving as executive producer.  There will also be a coinciding comic book from Black Mask.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Blood in the Water: My Personal Path To ‘Jaws’

On August 14th, Jaws made its debut on Blu-ray.  Its arrival has truly been a long time coming.  Included in the supplemental materials is a brand new documentary titled The Shark is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of Jaws.  It chronicles the history of Jaws as a cultural phenomenon.  Though I have been affected by that phenomenon, I was a late comer to the party.  Jaws was released two years before I was born.  I wouldn’t “discover” the film until a good many years later.  However, once I finally did, I became a believer.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The First Annual Scottscope Summer Recap!

On this week’s edition of Scottscope, the roundtable does its first annual post Labor Day summer recap!  We’ll be discussing the very best in movies and Hip-Hop, as well as the very worst.  Triumphs will be celebrated.  Failures will be mourned and admonished in equal measure.  Both the winners and the losers will be given their just do.  What was the best superhero movie?  What was the best action film?  Who had the better album, Rick Ross or Nas?  We’ll give listeners the complete rundown of the past three months.  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Animated Short: Batman of Shanghai

The year is 1930.  The setting is Shanghai, China.  Within the comfort of his personal chambers, a crime boss is presented with a most wondrous gift: The fabled Scroll of Destiny.  The Scroll can grant its owner with limitless power, and complete dominion over any given territory.  Before “The Boss” can take possession of it, a colorful thief known as Catwoman bursts into his domicile.  She steals the scroll and disappears into the alleyways of Shanghai.  The Boss’s minions give chase.  A rickshaw runner, who also has designs on the scroll, joins the pursuit, but not before transforming into a hulking behemoth known as Bane.  Before long, yet another combatant enters the fray: A mysterious apparition known as Batman, who seeks to protect the scroll from all who would misuse it. 

Music Video: Nas - Bye Baby

Life Is Good is Nas’ most transcendent album to date.  It’s a mature and accomplished work that ends on a note of clarity and acceptance.* That ending comes courtesy of the open farewell letter to Kelis, “Bye Baby.” The song’s straightforward storytelling and vivid imagery make it ideal for the music video treatment.  Filmmaker Aristotle has been charged with bringing that potential to fruition.  Thankfully, he is able to deliver in spades.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Short Film Review: Live Action "Sleeping Dogs" Fight Film

Wei Shen (Xin Sareth Yuku) is a cop working deep cover in Hong Kong’s seedy underworld.  As part of his dangerous assignment, he’s been working as hired muscle for Tong (Michael Lehr).  One evening, the two meet up at Tong’s restaurant hideout.  During their meeting, Wei belligerently tenders his resignation, effective immediately.  A fight between the two men ensues, and quickly becomes an all-out brawl upon the arrival of Tong’s security force. As Wei fights for his life, Tong makes a hasty retreat.  Despite facing insurmountable odds, Wei maintains pursuit.  No matter the obstacles, he will have his revenge.   

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weezy Spurns the Big Apple While the Dream Factory Gets into the Recycling Business on This Week’s Scottscope Podcast!

As always, it’s all about Hollywood and Hip-Hop on this week’s Scottscope podcast!  First, the roundtable takes a look at Lil Wayne’s recent comments about New York City.  Apparently, he’s not too fond of the Big Apple, and many New Yorkers have taken umbrage at his Remarks.  Do they have a right to be upset?  Was Wayne out of line, or does he have a point?  What is it about New York that turns his stomach? Could his comments be taken as long overdue comeuppance for east coast bias?  Are people simply making a big deal out of nothing?  Was it silly for Senator Malcolm Smith to demand an apology on behalf of the city and its residents?  Is he simply grandstanding by doing so?  Did Donny Goines jump the gun by making the diss record “F*ck Lil Wayne (Flat Out I Don’t Like You).”  Will it spark an honest to God beef, or will Wayne simply ignore it and move on?  What, if anything, is going to come of all this?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stallone Leads the Brigade While Ghostwriters Haunt Nas on This Week’s Scottscope Podcast!.

Stallone leads the brigade while Ghostwriters haunt Nas on this week’s Scottscope podcast.  The roundtable takes a look at the ensemble action extravaganza The Expendables 2.  How does it compare to the original?  Is it even better?  Where can the franchise go from here, and who can be added to the line-up?  Can Schwarzenegger follow in Stallone’s footsteps and stage a similarly successful comeback?  Should the action icons of the 80’s simply hang it up and go quietly out to pasture? 

Amazing Attractions: The Last Stand

It’s easy to forget that Arnold Schwarzenegger was once an underdog.  He ascended to the very heights of movie stardom in spite of his considerable handicaps.   In that sense, he is very much like his one-time rival, Sylvester Stallone.  Both men are now in their mid to late 60’s, and attempting to recapture a bit of their past glory.  Arnold’s first true effort in that regard is The Last Stand.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Amazing Attractions: Bullet to the Head

Thus far, the 80’s action revival has focused squarely on the stars of that period.  It has completely ignored the unsung heroes of that era, namely the directors who crafted such films.  One such man is Walter Hill.  The current resurgence has allowed him an opportunity for reentry, in the form of the upcoming Stallone vehicle A Bullet to the Head.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Jeremy Renner Rages against the Machine on This Week’s Scottscope Podcast!

On this week’s edition of Scottscope, we discuss The Bourne Legacy, the fourth entry in the Bourne Film series.  How does it compare to the first three films?  Should the franchise have stopped with The Bourne Ultimatum?  Are Jeremy Renner and Tony Gilroy suitable replacements for Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass?  Does Jeremy Renner have the star power to carry an action franchise such as this?  Should Tony Gilroy have stuck to screenwriting?  Has any film series produced a fourth entry that was worth watching?  

Back in the Saddle Again: ‘Unforgiven’ Turns 20

The film industry caters to cravings of its public, and American audiences have always craved one thing above all else: escapism.  For a very long time, that escapism came by way of Westerns.  Many of these films had very little use for realism or historical accuracy.  They envisioned the American Frontier as a place where men settled their differences by way to the gun.  The “white hats” operated according to a rigid code, which sometimes required them to kill.  So long as blood was spilled in the name of revenge, or some other righteous notion, violent actions were never questioned.  Such low regard for human life quickly became par for the course, and filmmakers dished it out heartily.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Snoop Lion Roars While Colin Farrell Tries to Find Himself (Literally) On The Scottscope!

Welcome to the Scottscope, where popular culture gets put under the knife!  On this edition, the roundtable ponders Snoop’s musical and spiritual rebirth.  Is this an elaborate publicity stunt, or has Snoop finally found enlightenment?  Can he be taken seriously as a Reggae artist?  Is he abandoning Hip-Hop, or is this simply another leg in his musical journey?  Will he ever work with Dr. Dre again?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Album Review: Rick Ross - God Forgives, I Don't

In keeping with the spirit of the 2012 Olympic Games, Rick Ross clearly goes for the gold with his fifth album, God Forgives, I Don’t.  Judging by the tracklist, he’s spared no expense.  The album is bursting at the seams with high profile guest stars and top notch production.  Though not quite the distinghuised gathering it’s host intended, it nonetheless manages to be a gala event. 

Rick Ross Shows No Mercy While Bane Takes Gotham by Storm!

Rick Ross shows no mercy while Bane takes Gotham by storm on this week’s edition of The Scottscope! First, the roundtable takes a look at Ricky Rozay’s fifth album, God Forgives, I Don’t.  How does it compare to his previous albums?  Has he finally delivered the classic that his fans have long thought him capable of, or has his reach exceeded his grasp yet again?   Is he truly capable of delivering a classic, or have his fans been overestimating him all this time?  Is he this generation’s answer to the Notorious B.I.G?