Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Trailer For "The Raid" (Let's See If This Works)

So "The Raid" (the new film from Indonesian martial arts star Iko Uwais and filmmaker Gareth Evans, the guys behind Merantau) is going to get some kind of theatrical release. Hopefully that includes Australia. Anyway, it's a good excuse to try embed another trailer from Twitch. If it doesn't work, I'll just post the link again.

<object width="650" height="366"><param name="movie" value="^player.swf"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="^player.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="650" height="366"></embed></object>

Nope, not working. I guess just try this then.

Trailer For "The Kick"

<object width="650" height="366"><param name="movie" value="^player.swf"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="^player.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="650" height="366"></embed></object>

A couple things about this have me somewhat excited to see it. Firstly, obviously the kicking and punching and general martial arts goodness on display. Secondly, the dancing/fighting martial arts technique looks like it might be used a little better here than in that other film, which was just insane. And thirdly, and maybe most importantly, Jija Yanin's hair looks really good in this.

OK, apparently, I can't embed from Twitch here anymore, so to see the trailer, just follow this link over to Twitch.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Panel Of The Week: Tintin-Explorers On The Moon

It was difficult to choose a panel from this book. There were quite a few very impressive panels of the rocket on the moon. Large panels that took up two thirds of the page, which is unusual, but striking in their size. There's also a sequence in some caves which I was tempted to use, because I liked the lighting in them.

But I chose this one, I think mainly because I liked the composition. The lines of the cliffs seem to focus our attention on the tank, which is quite small in the panel, giving us a sense of scale. Something about the colours. It all works nicely to create a small piece of art in the middle of the story.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Poster Expendables 2?

So over at Bleeding Cool, they ran a poster from JoBlo, an exclusive for them, so I guess it would nice if you visited their website to take a look.

That works for me, even though the guy at Bleeding Cool doesn't like it. I'm sure he has a point, but when the selling point of your film is those names and faces, of course you're going to put them up there, and it's working on me. It makes me kind of giddy to see all those people on the same poster, and know it's a reality, not just some action movie fan's photoshop wet dream.

Cover to Northlanders #46

I should be going to bed, but I couldn't resist posting this image. The first one is a detail from the cover by Massimo Carnevale, the second image is the whole picture. Enjoy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Panel Of The Week: Tintin-Flight 714

This is one of my favourite Tintin comics, I probably read this one the most in my youth, and it's easy to see why. A mysterious island, giant lizards, aliens abductions, and Tintin with a machine gun. It's kind of surprising considering today's standards for appropriate content for kids, but Tintin seems to get a gun in nearly every adventure he gets involved with. I'm starting to see where some of my influences started.
It was hard to settle on a panel from this comic, but I think this sums up a lot of the appeal Tintin has for me.

More Eating At The Carolina Kitchen And Espresso

I went back to Carolina Kitchen, this time with Gav, and this time I wanted to get the large ribs to see how big the serve was. Well we saw someone else's serve of larger ribs, and I started thinking that might be too much, so we decided to split a large serve of ribs and get some chicken wings as well. I've already spoken about the ribs, so won't say much, but can basically sum it up by saying I prefer my sauce, but the ribs are cooked pretty nicely, with the meat falling of the bone. So it's ok if you haven't got the time to do it yourself, or if you're too lazy.

So onto the chicken wings. You can order 6, 12 or 24, in a mild, medium or hot with a yoghourt blue cheese dipping sauce. We ordered the 12 with a medium heat.  As a meal for two guys, it was pretty good serving sizes, large ribs and 12 wings. The wings were delicious, spicy without overpowering taste. They're coated in a nice kind of breadcrumb mixture, but I'm sure it's not, maybe some kind of dry rub kind of thing, I'm not sure. I wasn't expecting to like the dipping sauce, because I'm not a fan of blue cheese, but I forgot what it was made of so just tried it, and it complimented the wings quite nicely. It was fairly subtle, not strong like a blue cheese can be, though once I was reminded what was in it, you can definitely taste it there. Quite enjoyable.
I finished of the night with a Snickers attempt at Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. I found it disappointing and wished I'd chosen the Reeses product they had on sale.

Anyway, a nice night out, good meal with a buddy. I think I'll try a burger next time I go, maybe with some fries and a small serve of wings.

BIFF Overview

OK, so I saw about 10 film this festival, and they were mostly pretty solid, but nothing that really jumped up and screamed "Love Me!", by which I mean I gave mostly 4 star reviews, a couple of 3 stars and no 5 stars on the festival ballots. I had planned on seeing more, but cheapness won out. So anyway, here's what I saw and what I thought of what I saw.

A new film from Chow Yun-Fat is going to get me excited, but a Chinese comedy s going to make me wary. I liked it though. The basic plot is a robber steals the identity of a governor coming to a new town to rule and make money the easy way, but things get complicated when the the "boss" of the town doesn't want to give up his control. Stuff happens, there's gunplay and explosions and fighting, and it was all pretty well shot. Chow gets to play his double, and reprise his role as Chocolate from "God of Gamblers", not literally, but they're basically the same kind of dim-witted character is what I'm saying. The comedy wasn't too broad, the characters likeable and the actors I thought did a good job, so it wasn't as painful as it could've been. I can't remember if it was lacking something or if there was something bad which stopped me from giving it 5 stars, but from memory I gave it 4.

 Next was a Mystery Movie, and now I can't remember what the name of it was. Ok, I looked it up, it was called "The Boxer's Omen". It was a HK film about a guy who gets on the wrong side of a black magic practicing Thai guy, had an appearance by Bolo Leung as a Thai boxer, had a lot to do with Budhist monks. That's a rather simplified version of the film. It's not a strong recommend from me, though I did enjoy it, but it's too much of that spiritual kung-fu to be truly engrossing. Plenty of weird stuff in it, but didn't thrall me enough.

 Next up was Trailerpalooza + 50 Best Kills, two compilation films made up of trailers for exploitation movies and one mans opinion of roughly 50 of the best kills in cinema. Both were entertaining, but if I had to do it over again, I'm not sure I would. There definitely some films from the trailer one I thought would be interesting to see, but I felt like I'd seen a lot of the best kills ones before. It was maybe less than 50% in the end, but I'm not sure now. Anyway, it was a bit of fun, but not really fulfilling.

 Next up was "Revenge: A Love Story", which I thought was a Japanese film, but I quickly realised it was Chinese. This was maybe the best film I saw at the festival, and the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it's just so grim. It's beautifully shot, really strong performances, but just downbeat. I want to be entertained, and there's just no way I'm leaving the cinema feeling good after watching this. The story is about a couple of simplistic young people who fall in love, and due to some unfortunate circumstances, end up being raped by the cops and one of them going to jail for something he didn't do. When he gets out, he gets revenge. But there's no happy endings for anyone in this film, which is I guess one way to do it, and maybe more realistic, but it's pretty depressing. But like I said, a really good film.

 Then I saw "Cronos", an early film by Guillermo Del Torro. It was ok, but didn't wow me. I can see why it would've made a splash when it came out, but seeing it now, I liked it, but didn't love it. An old due finds a clockwork mechanism which gives immortality to the owner, but makes them need blood to live, so basically a new take on the vampire story. I should've written notes down sooner, because I can't recall why this didn't connect with me so much now. I just think that "Blade 2" is his best work, I guess.

 "Letters From The Big Man" is a bigfoot or sasquatch film. It's told in this new low budget, magic realism aesthetic that seems to be a trend now with genre material. I mean, it's a bigfoot movie with a CIA conspiracy subplot, but it's not shot like you'd expect a bigfoot/CIA conspiracy movie to be shot. I liked it, and was happy to go along with the ride, but mainly because I just get so much pleasure from seeing a guy in a big old sasquatch costume on screen. The cast and script and stuff were fine, but really, for me, the appeal is the creatures, and even if it slow paced, environmental hippie message film, I still liked it.

 "Guilty of Romance" is the Japanese film I got confused with earlier. This tells the story of a woman who marries an uptight novelsist, who runs a strict household and obviously withholds his marital duties from his wife (I'm talking about sex, in case it wasn't obvious). She gets spotted by a model recruiter one day for a photoshoot, and thus begins her downward spiral, but in the end it seems like it was all planned, or at least partially planned, by some prostitute who feels slighted by the lady's husband. I think it stretched things a bit far there, and it's not really the kind of story I prefer to spend my time on, but there was stuff I liked, so it wasn't a waste of time, but not a strong recommend for this one either, mainly for adult content, I guess.

And then these last 3 I saw in one day.
First up, I don't know the title for this one, and I'm not going to look it up, but it was basically a light doco about San Diego Comic-Con. Not much of interest here unless you're part of that crowd already, I suspect. Otherwise, I find it kind of insulting, a little bit, "Ooh, look at these weird people". Well, that's the vibe I got from the audience I saw it with. I enjoyed it, and got caught up in the people's stories, but it was still kind of a shallow experience I think.

 "Troll Hunter" was pretty good. Maybe my favourite of the festival, but only because "Revenge..." was so depressing. This is a fake doco film, popularised by "Blair With Project". We follow a college film crew tracking down a suspected poacher, but discovering far more than they expected. If the title doesn't give it away, I suspect you can't read, so pointing it out in this sentence will be a waste of time, but it's trolls. The effects were good, the cast was solid, with the main troll hunter guy being a real standout. It kind of falls into that faux doco trap of having faux drama amongst the film crew, though it's not over the top, but it does feel like a cliche, but apart from that, I can't really think of any other issues I had with the film. I think endings are hard to do with this kind of film, but it wasn't too bad. Overall, I really liked it. Not sure if I'll bother buying it, but it is coming out on Video, so check it out. 

And lastly, "The Yellow Sea", a Korean film. My main problem with this film was it was way too long. They could've easily lost half an hour from this, and it still would've been alright. Basic story is a Chinese or North Korean (I'm not really sure) guy gets smuggled into South Korea to perform a hit, and while he's there, try find his wife who smuggled in earlier to make money and has stopped communicating with him. And then there's the other Korean gang which complicates things, and the guy who sent him trying to cover his tracks and tie up loose ends, and the cops as well, so everybody is ganging for him and each other and it all becomes a long drawn out mess. I don't want to say the film is a mess, but the situation f=definitely gets messy, as in bloody. Very bloody. BUt the film does get drawn out. I couldn't believe my watch when I finally got out of the cinema nearly two and half hours later. So it was good, but would've been great if it wasn't so damned long.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Panel Of The Week: Tintin-The Calculus Affair

With all this Tintin talk in the air, I thought I'd revisit the beauty of Herge's work in his Tintin comics. Just having a quick flick through a couple, there's a lot that changed in modern comics, but the beauty of his work still shines through. There's a lot of talking heads and large word balloons in the work, but when he does give himself the space, his work really shines through, such a beautiful line and use of flat colour. Well worth a look.