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.