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Monday, July 28, 2008

Here's another adaptation we didn't need. 

Max Payne, starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. Now, Kunis is a foxy fox fox and I wouldn't mind watching her wield some phallic objects, but this is just fucking silly, guys.

The whole idea behind the video game is that it's an amalgam of no-holds-barred revenge films, the Dirty Harry series being the most obvious inspiration. It is, in short, an homage of an entire genre of films, done up with Rockstar Games' customary over-the-topness. (Also: the game is lousy.)

So now they are adapting a video game that is in itself an adaptation (of sorts) of movies. This is some through-the-looking-glass shit here, people.

Question: Why not save the cash spent licensing and just make a regular movie with this style of plot, if that's all it's about?

Answer: Because no one needs to see this kind of movie anymore. The adaptation gives it the necessary "twist" to have a green light. Being an adaptation is the only reason this movie can exist. That the process of adaptation makes the whole exercise absurd seems to have escaped notice.

So silly.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Joe vs. Ken, Episode 2: Back to School 

Wherein Joe and I discuss school, Hellboy, the Wall Street Journal and Step Brothers.

Also, I talk directly into the mic. Yay!

(Go here.)

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Step Brothers 

I have a confession, dear reader: There are some movie reviews where I, your faithful critic, only want to type out a few words and send the review off for print. It’s a simple truism that some movies simply aren’t worth several paragraphs of developed critique, and when writing about those movies my self-imposed word count requirement looms over me like Death’s scythe. But then I wasn’t brought on board to write “Eh” and call it a day… much as I’d sometimes like to. Step Brothers is one of these movies. Enjoy the flailing.

(More...)

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Friday, July 18, 2008

The Dark Knight 

The new Batman movie series, helmed by Christopher Nolan, deviates most strongly from previous incarnations of the Caped Crusader in how seriously it takes its subject matter. Every adaptation from the Adam West TV show to the popular animated TV show of the 90’s to Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher’s feature-length films have had some element of camp attached, as if the material could only be taken with a wink.

(More...)

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

You know all those jobs immigrants are stealing? 

Those much-loved jobs, stolen from good, hard-working (and blue-eyed) Americans go something like this:

The Rev. Catherine Quehl-Engel, the Episcopal priest who brought the plight of the relief workers into the public eye, participated in the press conference. Quehl-Engel is chaplain at United Methodist related-Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, where the immigrants were first housed. In an article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, she had reported incidents of workers traveling on a bus for 14 hours without food, tetanus shots, bedding or towels for showering.

In the press conference, she described the workers as “the calloused hands of Christ” during Iowa’s time of need.

The workers received $15 a day for food and expenses and less than minimum wage compensation, according to Quehl-Engel, who also participated in the July 10 press conference. She said workers toiled in "toxic environments" 14-hour days, seven days a week, and had to pay back a temporary employment agency $49 a week for the school bus gas needed to get to the worst flooded areas in Iowa.
Got to love that Heartland. While New Orleans people were whining, our beloved blue-collar workers were pulling themselves up by their bootstraps! Or, rather, hiring immigrants to pull up their bootstraps for just a shade over $50 a week.

It's good to see this got media coverage, though. I mean who doesn't read the Cedar Rapids Gazette?

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Joe vs. Ken, Episode 1: Joe and Ken Get Naked 

So my buddy Joe and I are trying our hands at a podcast, and we recorded the first 45-minute session last night.

Not bad, if I do say so myself, though obviously the first few shows we'll be figuring out how to do things...

Such as how to host the damn thing...

But for now it's available in chunks via wickerempire.com. The little intro bit, and 5 more segments that run about 8 minutes apiece. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

(NSFW language in some segments, of course...)

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