Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October 1st, 2014 - The DAY OF DREDD! Oh, and also my birthday...

Greetings, citizens!  It's October 1st, 2014 -- The first annual DAY OF DREDD!


As you may or may not know, I'm a big Judge Dredd fan!  I have been ever since I first heard Anthrax's I AM THE LAW back in my early metal days and became enamored with 2000A.D.'s badass MegaCity MegaCop!


 [ Respect the badge!  He earned it with is blood!] 

Despite Sylvester Stallone's attempt to kill the franchise's film possibilities with JUDGE DREDD (1995), a new generation of moviegoers was treated to Karl Urban's far superior DREDD in 2012!  Unfortunately, despite amazing reviews, DREDD didn't perform very well at the Box Office.  It has, however, found new life on home video and streaming.

Is it enough for the studio to greenlight a sequel?  Sadly, not yet...

Enter:  THE DAY OF DREDD!

We want a DREDD Sequel, damn it!  What can we do about it?


1) Sign the DREDD Sequel Campaign Petition!
2) Join the "Make a DREDD Sequel Facebook Group!"
3) Follow @DreddSequel on Twitter!
4) Tweet with the #DayOfDredd hashtag!
5) Buy DREDD on Blu-Ray at Amazon.com (Just $7.88!) today!
6) Watch the movie on Amazon streaming or Netflix streaming today!

We can do this!  Let's go out there and make it happen!

Check out the DAY OF DREDD online coverage so far!

DROKK IT!


P.S.  It's my birthday.  If you won't do this for DREDD, do it as a gift for me!  ;)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Five (Or So) Ways To Fix Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D



Everyone wants to like Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but people seem to be giving up on it in droves.  It's boring, they say.  It's not going anywhere, they say.  WHEN IS SOMETHING INTERESTING GOING TO HAPPEN FOR GOD'S SAKE??? they say.

Well, here are five (or so) ideas for spicing up the show before it gets cancelled like every other cool geek offering that has potential but can't seem to find an audience fast enough.

Let's start with...

1. Introduce An Evil Counter Agency - MI6 had SPECTRE. The FBI and CIA had the KGB. S.H.I.E.L.D. needs its A.I.M or its HYDRA.  Seriously.  There are no evil empires anymore.  This isn't the cold war of the 80's.  Without a persistent counter threat, who really cares what S.H.I.E.L.D does?  I don't.   A.I.M. was introduced in Iron Man 3 (albeit terribly).  Use them! 

Now that we have our A.I.M, start an arms race with them!  That would lead us to cool new gadgets.  Espionage.  Maybe even the Dreadnought -  A.I.M.'s killer robot sent to kill Nick Fury!  No way this thing is going to be used in any other Marvel movie, so why not break it out?  It's rad!


 [ Is it just me or does Nick Fury look kind of pale? ]

Speaking of the super powerful Dreadnought, why doesn't this show have any...

2. Super Villains - Where are they?  We already don't have a recognizable (or feared) counter agency, so WTF is S.H.I.E.L.D protecting us from?  How about some villains? There are thousands of them in the Mighty Marvel Universe that, like the Dreadnought, won't ever be used in a major Marvel film.  How about Hydro Man?  Whirlwind?  The (already used and still alive) Abomination?  The Blizzard?  Oooh...The Taskmaster!  Give the S.H.I.E.L.D team something cool and menacing to take down!

 [ He TASKS me!]

Why?  Because, hey, once we have Super Villains, we'd have to lock them in...

3. The Vault - Super villain prison extraordinaire!  Would make for an interesting base camp when they're not roaming around in the plane or messing with the Helicarrier. Lots of cool opportunities to introduce villains, do training and otherwise showcase the cool backstory of the Marvel mythos.  The place is cool!

And if you have the vault, you have...

4. The Guardsman -  We've got Iron Man.  That led us to Iron Patriot.  Shouldn't that lead us to The Guardsman?  Why not give one of the S.H.I.E.L.D agents the chance to don the Guardsman armor when the aforementioned super villains or Dreadnought shows up?  This S.H.I.E.L.D team needs some firepower to be relevant in a world that has Loki and other big bads in it.  This would be a way to give it to them! It worked on Deep Space Nine, right?  Can you say "Defiant?"
[ Iron who? ]

Which leads me to the final thing this show needs...

5. A Super Hero S.H.I.E.L.D Agent - Hawkeye and The Black Widow aren't available regularly because they are Avengers (and also too expensive to pay to be on a TV show)now, so why not introduce another super powered agent?  Dare I suggest...Spider Woman?  How cool would she be?  Pretty darned cool, methinks!  And, I know I sound like a broken record here, but there's no way she's ever going to get her own movie or T.V. show, so why not put her to good use?  Mix it up!

[ Because you KNOW they'd go with the black costume... ]

There you have it: five (or so) ways to spice up Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  The bottom line is, this thing has Marvel's name on it and it's trying to play off of the success of The Avengers.  That means you need to "supe" it up!  Pronto!

Get on it, Joss...before it's too late!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thoughts on Mother's Day...



Thanks to the wonders of social media, each Mother's Day I get to see hundreds of friends, co-workers, family and acquaintances on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ wish their mothers the very best; and each Mother's Day I am reminded of how my own mother was taken from me way too soon.  Losing your mother at any age is tough, I imagine, but losing my mother before I had a chance to turn 30 or have children of my own was (and continues to be) especially difficult for me.


I have come to realize, however, that despite my loss, I have been extremely fortunate to have so many other great mothers and motherly figures in my life. 

My sister Carmen has always been like a mother to me.  She babysat my brother and I as kids.  She wrote me letters and sent me money when I was in college.  She took me out for my first legal beer after I turned 21.  She's always been there for me and continues to be there for me, even as I'm nearing 40.

My stepmother, Audrey, always took care of us on the weekends when my brother and I would visit our dad.  She was (and probably still is) a great cook and a good listener and she took good care of my father and kept him off our cases whenever he got in a particularly nasty mood.

My friend John's mother, Diane, was like a mother to me growing up.  I practically lived at John's house after school and on the weekends and Diane always set a place for me at their dinner table and kept a box of my favorite cereal in their pantry for weekend breakfasts.  I felt like family whenever I stayed in their home.

My sister Kelly, my sister Lee Ann, my Aunt Joan, my Grandma Murphy...all great mothers and mother figures for me growing up.  I've watched my friends from High School and College become mothers over the years and I've enjoyed seeing the joy and happiness they get from being parents. 
 
My mothers-in-law, Judi and Linda, both welcomed me into their families with open arms and, despite my faults, loved me like their own sons.  Mothers really are wonderfully forgiving, aren't they?  A mother's love makes the world go 'round.

Finally, I am thankful for my wife, Heidi...a mother to be.  We are expecting our first child in the next month or two and I couldn't be happier.  I know she will be a great mother, because she already is.

I guess what I'm trying to say is "thank you" to all of the great mothers in my life!  I miss my mother, but I feel so lucky to have (and have had) so many other great mothers help me make it through these past 40 years...

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween 2012 Horror Movies on Netflix Streaming!

♫ Happy, Happy Halloween, Halloween, Halloween! Happy, Happy Halloween, Sil-ver Sham-rock! ♫



Halloween is here! AMC is having Fear Fest all week, but if you have Netflix streaming and you're looking for a horror movie to watch that isn't all cut to hell and full of commercials, you're in luck!

The selection's not as good as last year, but there's still a pretty good variety of great horror movies you can check out on Netflix streaming to give your 2012 Halloween some thrills and chills...

Horror Classics:

Creature From The Black Lagoon - They're remaking this.  Why?  It's perfect the way it is...
The Mummy - Boris Karloff...  'Nuff said!
The Last House on the Left - Wes Craven's disturbing 1972 original.
The Car - Underrated!  Made for TV movie about the Devil's ride!
I Spit on Your Grave - Not for everyone.  Brutal.  Still a classic exploitation horror movie.


John Carpenter (The Master of Horror) Films:

The Fog - Jamie Lee Curtis helps Carpenter again in a non HALLOWEEN role.
The Thing - One of the five greatest movies of all time, in my opinion.
Prince of Darkness - An underrated gem.
Ghosts of Mars - Gets better with age.
Village of the Damned - Christopher Reeve, Mark Hamill and Kirstie Alley!

Bonus: Non-Horror Classic Assault on Precinct 13!


Non-Glittery Vampire Movies:

Nosferatu (1929) - The original Max Shreck silent classic.
Dracula (1931) - Bela Lugosi's finest (darkest?) hour...
From Dusk 'Til Dawn (1, 2 and 3) - Quentin Tarrantino's new classic!
Dracula 2000 - Wes Craven has a lot of movies on this list...
Vamp - You need to see it to believe it.


Anthology Horror:

Creepshow - The 80s classic still holds up today...
Creepshow 2 - Not quite as good as the original, but still pretty cool!
Waxwork - Lesser known gem. This one's a lot of fun!
Tales From The Hood - Terror from the bad side of town!
Black Sabbath (1963) - Three tales of terror from Horror's classic era.

Bonus: Every season of THE TWILIGHT ZONE is on Netflix streaming!


Slashers:

The Burning - One of many (and among the best) Friday the 13th inspired imitators.
Candyman - The original Tony Todd classic!
Satan's Little Helper - Underrated horror gem from 2004 with a Halloween theme...
Midnight Movie - Straight to video slasher fare with a Nightmare on Elm Street feel.
Thankskilling - A killer turkey?  You gotta see this one to believe it...


Zombies:

Do a search for "Zombies" and you'll find all kinds of crap.  And by crap, I mean CRAP.
Land of the Dead - is certainly watchable if you're desperate.
Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies - is surprisingly fun for a low budget, straight to video flick!
BONUS: Seasons 1 and 2 of The Walking Dead...



Modern and Miscellaneous:

Insidious - One of the scariest PG-13 horror movies ever...
The Relic - Classic creature feature!
Mimic - Another classic creature feature...
The Keep - Another long out of print gem.
The Hazing - A modern horror gem with Evil Dead type roots.
Slither - Creepy, modern creature feature.  Good stuff!


Honorable Mention/Bonus Tracks:

Leprechaun: In The Hood - Oh yeah...
Pretty much every HELLRAISER movie from part 3 through 10!

There you have it!  Netflix Streaming is a haven for horror.  If you're in the mood for thrills and chills, you won't have to look far...

Happy Halloween, everyone! Have a good fright!

Monday, October 15, 2012

SINISTER Is The Best Horror Movie of 2012 (So Far)

I got a chance to go to the theater over the weekend and check out SINISTER.  I loved it.  It's honestly one of the best horror films I've seen in a long, long time.  It's meatier than the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies and carries the edginess, intensity and graphic nature of the SAW films without the over the top "torture porn" vibe that's become so prevalent in the SAW/HOSTEL horror era.



The cast, featuring Ethan Hawke, Fred Dalton Thompson and Vincent D'Onofrio is top notch.  The direction and the atmosphere are superb.  The script, while not perfect, doesn't disappoint...or fall apart at the end like most modern horror seems to do.  It also doesn't suffer (much) from "stupid character syndrome."

I think the reason I feel such a special connection to this movie because I really related to Hawke's character...a struggling creative type who's worried about his family and his financial future while wondering if his career peaked 10 years ago.  I found myself actually caring about the man and his family.   I think that's what really drove this movie home for me.

If you're looking for a good scare this Halloween season, get out to the theater and see SINISTER.  Oh, and if you're looking for something to watch at home on Netflix streaming, check out INSIDIOUS before it goes to Disc Only.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My First Non-Kindle Tablet: The Nexus 7!

Despite working in the technology field for the past 15 years or so, I'm admittedly a slow adopter of new technology.  I love my tech toys, don't get me wrong, but you'll never catch me waiting in line at midnight at an Apple store (or any other retail outlet for that matter) forking over big coin to play beta tester just so I can say I had something first.

I've had my eye on Tablets for some time, but I refuse to be Glen, the guy from THE WEDDING SINGER, bringing home his $500.00 CD player simply because it was a shiny new toy he couldn't live without, even though he had no real use for it.  I don't NEED a tablet.  I have been content to sit back with my Kindle, my PC and my smart phone and watch everyone buy their $800 iPads, only to turn around and get pissed off when the new, improved model comes out a year later.

Well, I've waited long enough.  After much deliberation, I finally went out and bought my first Tablet this week...a Nexus 7!

I've been reading about the Nexus 7 for quite a while now and I had high hopes for it.  I love my Android phone and the Samsung Galaxy Tabs were (and are) really nice, but as I said before, I just couldn't justify spending the money on a tablet.  That's why the deciding factor for me with the Nexus 7 was the price...just $249.00 for the 16 GB model.  Awesome!

I had a bit of trouble finding one.  It seems everyone and their brother went out and bought one when it was released.  I went from store to store for weeks trying to find it in stock, but every place was sold out.  It reminded me of the old days, before the Internet and eBay of hunting from store to store for certain comic books or toys from a wave of action figures.  It was both exciting and frustrating!

Finally I happened to go to Microcenter and the manager suggested I check the website on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for inventory and then do a store pickup option.  I checked Monday and there was nothing, but Wednesday I hit the jackpot!  By Wednesday afternoon, the Nexus 7 was mine!

So far, I love it.  The display is beautiful.  It's fast and responsive.  It has great battery life.  It doesn't run too hot.  It's sturdy and not cheaply constructed.  As with all Android devices, it has tons of cool apps and games available for it.  AND, it came with $25.00 in Google Play money to buy new premium content!  What's not to love?


It's great, but don't get me wrong...it's not perfect.  I started writing this post using the Android BLOGGER app, but I was getting frustrated with their picture integration, so I decided to finish the post on my PC.  Now that I'm an early adopter of the Nexus 7, I have no doubt the Nexus 7 2.0 will feature a better Blogger app to go along with more memory, a rear facing camera, more storage and an SD Card slot. 

Unlike the $800.00 iPad, though, if a newer, better Nexus 7 comes out in a year, I'll actually be able to afford an upgrade.

I'm hoping to use it to get organized at work.  There seem to be a ton of productivity apps, so I've been testing them out, looking for the best ones.  If you have any suggestions for great apps, productivity or otherwise, please e-mail me or post them in the comments!

Monday, June 25, 2012

John Carpenter's THE THING Turns 30!



"I know you gentlemen have been through a lot.  But when you find the time...I'd rather not spend the rest of this winter TIED TO THIS FUCKING COUCH!" ~Garry

Happy birthday to John Carpenter's horror masterpiece THE THING, which debuted 30 years ago today (June 25th, 1982)!  It's in my Top 5 movies of all time and some days it's even number 1, despite the lukewarm 2 1/2 star review Roger Ebert gave it when it came out...

I know there's at least one other guy who loves this movie as much as I do, and that's THIS GUY...the guy who made this awesome stop motion tribute to the film using G.I. Joe figures:



If you haven't seen this movie, you need to see it!  If it's been more than a year since you've seen it, you need to see it again...

Happy 30th birthday to one damned amazing film! In another 30 years I have no doubt it will still be just as awesome...