Friday, July 31, 2015

Adrian Paul Week: Deadly Descent

A fine hello there and greetings for Day 5 of Adrian Paul Week. Well we have seen some thrills, chills, spills and more of Paul's tone body than I am comfortable with. I am delving into a realm though I am not thrilled with and no it is not some gay porn with an Adrian Paul lookalike. Fool me thrice and all that. This time I speak of a channel that once entertained me to no end and then like its programming, its name changed and yes I speak of the Siffy Channel...I mean the SyFy Channel.  And what would be the icing on the cake for that Sy Fy Saturday movie but a creature feature with Adrian Paul???? Sayeth whaaaaat??? Finally the cherry on top , a yeti movie. This is Deadly Descent.

You kids settle down in the back or I am pulling over and we can just wait.

Filmed in Bulgaria, our film has 6 alternative English titles so already I am getting sweet, sweet vibes there my friends. Two guys go hiking in the remote mountain range and engage in idle chatter. One tires and the other heads up. Suddenly the rope goes taunt, slack then falls to the ground "Pete, you okay?" is now classified as extremely dumb question. Pete's buddy Brian (Chuck Campbell of In the Mouth of Madness, Jason X, Stargate: Atlantis and Sanctuary) makes a hybrid of terrified beyond rational fear and "O" face to what I can only describe as a creature of CGI that looks like a mixture of the Nightmare Creatures PC/Console game in 1997 and a dino dropping. That is one big pile of sh*t.

Cut to tense typing on a laptop and pseudo-industrial music, GPS mapping and equipment montage as Brian is... alive? Huh?? Looking like a man on a mission maybe he has something to prove to our poop yetis. Flying Brian over in this very remote mountain range is our pilot former Special Forces Mark Foster (Adrian Paul of... oh for crying out loud I think we have some idea what he has done.) Brian strapped with a Glock 20 wants to find out once and for all what really happened to his father after all... this three minutes lapse. Mark not thrilled about dropping Brian off, does his level best to not interfere with a man and his destiny to be yeti poops.

Must...not...look at cleavage.

Some time lapse skiing and a wee bit of decent composure by reality TV music producer Christopher Holden (Dinner, The Amazing Race, Toddlers and Tiaras and Weed Country) Brian follows the lightest tracks I have ever seen laid in the snow. I swear a gaggle of rabbits made that impact.

Waking bright and early Brian's sister Nina (Lauren O' Neil of The Bill, The Symmetry of Love, The Domino Effect, The Humpersnatch Case and Perseveration) realizing she cannot get in touch with Brian senses danger and gets Park and Rescue right on the case. Will that be enough? Nina reaches out to her brother's old unit and his buddy Rick (Nicholas Boulton of Firma, Doctor Who, Heroes and Villains, Doctors and Dragon Age: Origins) present a lot of exposition about Brian and the war days. Mark wanders in the bar and drops enough elucidation on his own chopper experience and how tight he and Brian are. He was the best damn pilot until... the accident. So to sum up, we have one guy missing, an impeding storm and more subplots floating around than a school of piranha salivating over the cow with the broken leg. Rick volunteers his old crew to go search for Brian but with the storm on the rise and the creatures roaming about, who can say if they will find Brian in time?

A few critiques now. I am supposed to buy that have of these fresh faced, manicured boys are soldiers? Watching them do weapons and equipment check brought tears of laughter to my eyes. They look so pampered and delicate, I feared for the giggles to reach up again. The constant flinching while firing guns.  It looks like little kids playing Army.  Beyond a firearms instructor, no one sprung for a drill instructor for cover, carry and concealment.  No flanking or proper defensive and offensive posturing and a bloody civvie is tell you this!!!!!

While our Search and Rescue guys are clearly locals of Bulgaria and have been horribly dubbed over they have some decent moves on the slopes no doubt. Dielsport and Columbia winter wear must have just made mad bank off of this POS.

Yeah this was the death of painful stick beatings.

Man, those honey badgers look pissed!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Adrian Paul Week: Highlander Season 2

Ladies and gentlemen, boy and girls. I bare you greetings and glad tidings for Day 4 of Adrian Paul Week. Now then I did point out how I wanted to step away from Highlander to establish Adrian Paul's capabilities and talent... but I haven't done any Highlander write-ups since Season 1 and it seemed a good enough time as any. Also I just wanted an excuse to watch a few of the episodes. This is Highlander Season 2.

Yeesh, didn't see that squirrel in the road.

When we last left MacLeod (Adrian Paul of Tarzan, The Cover Girl Murders, Susan's Plan, The Void, Storm Watch, Tracker, Throttle and Seance) he was mourning the loss of Darius, a conqueror turned priest who became Duncan's friend and mentor was dispatched by persons yet unknown. Leaving Paris to return to the states (*coughs* Vancouver) Duncan tracks down this mysterious glyph or rune and is able to find that it belongs to a sect. A rare bookdealer name of Joe Dawson (Jim Byrnes of Conan and the Young Warriors, Double Dragon, Dream Man, Mega Man, Robocop: Alpha Commando and The Net) tries to dissuade MacLeod from this line of questioning when he really gets the measure of the man.

Dawson comes clean and in spite of his oath tells MacLeod that there has always been a gathering of mortals recording the immortals for as long as "The Game" has been on. The Watchers observe, record and tally but do not interfere with the immortals' affairs. Occasionally I think they do body disposal of the loser but that would make sense.

Trouble looks dishy.

Tessa (Alexandra Vandernoot of Lucky Punch, Le jaguar, The Dinner Game, Highlander, The Closet, Hop, The Five Obstructions and Carla Rubens) MacLeod's lady love was killed in a robbery as was Richie (Stan Kirsch of Riders in the Sky, Highlander, The Sky's on Fire, The Flunky, Deep Rescue and Invincible) only for Richie to find out that he is also a foundling immortal and now what does life hold for him? Aside from beings centuries old with vast fighting and slaying experience can do him in at anytime of their leisure. With a bounce back and forth from "Seacouver" Washington to Paris this season seems to be showing more of MacLeod's standings in history and well as the romantic side of his soul.

A few finer points on the season now.

We do have re-occuring characters making their way back such as the lovely cat burgalar Amanda (Elizabeth Gracen of The Death of the Incredible Hulk, Marked for Death, Extreme, Highlander, Highlander: The Raven and Coherence) the suave yet murderous bastard Xavier St. Cloud (Lead singer of Fine Young Cannibals Roland Gift) and the enigmatic Horton (Peter Hudson of Prelude to a Kiss, Smokin/No Smoking, Sharpe's Mission, Red Eye, The Statement, Grand Star and Black Out) so this season while decreased in budget the ratings went through the roof to follow the exploits of the highlander.

With a co-production between France/Canada, Davis-Panzer Productions were balancing the continuation of the Lambert movies as well as how will the show compare with the films and the European partners had not even aired the first season so the states had a huge following advantage from the get go.

This season allows for more story development, historical events, swordplay and less of Duncan be the Kung Fu master but slowly rounding out his character more and giving him tone and depth.   

Clandestine an alley??

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Adrian Paul Week: Nemesis Game

Greetings folks and welcome back for Day 3 of Adrian Paul Week. Initially I was going to just do a review on The Breed but then I thought, "I have already seen this film and enjoyable as it was, I shall not view anything new." With that in mind, I found what IMDB considers an obscure mystery thriller revolving around a introspective student obsessed with puzzles and no her name is not Edlyn Nigma, you Bat-Man fanatics. With the story following a young college girl, you may ask yourself, "Well where does Adrian Paul fit in this equation?" This is Nemesis Game.

Yeah I went blonde.

Our film opens with a girl, name of Emily (Rena Owen of Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge of the Sith, The Crow: Wicked Prayer, The Straits, The Last Survivor and The Dead Lands) being interrogated by Detective Jeff Novak (Ian McShane of A.D., Lovejoy, Dallas, Nine Lives, Deadwood, Death Race and Kings) who clearly is befuddled by this woman who had everything and anything at her fingertips for life had to offer and then snaps like a twig in 1996 trying to drown a small boy in a lake and the crazy just keeps on a comin'. Apparently she knows the meaning of life and the absurdity of the cosmos. So did Jean Paul Satre, baby and all he had was a pipe, beret and turtleneck sweater.

Comic book shop/memorabilia owner and amateur philosopher Vern (Adrian Paul of Susan's Plan, The Void, Code Hunter, Tracker, Alien Tracker, Moscow Heat, Tides of War and Throttle) attempts to find meaning in life, its context, is it really straightforward and planned or does it simply revel in chaos? Vern begins to wax ideology and metaphysics with his customer Dennis (Brendan Fehr of The Foresaken, Roswell, Sugar, The Other Side of the Tracks, CSI: Miami, Samurai Girl and Bones) when a young girl walks in the shop idly browsing as one would believe. Heaven fore-fend girls liking graphic novels. Wracked with guilt and confusion of her mother's death in a car crash, Sara (Carly Pope of Dirt, YPF, Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon, 24 and Outlaw) finds scholastics to be dull and takes her away from her true love which is puzzles and riddles of the macabre or bizarre.

Transient, hobo or homicidal lunatic??

Vern and Sara seem to have a dynamic relationship of self-destruction, lawbreaking and more than a few misdemeanors between the two of them. Gifted minds that are not challenged enough and reprobates in their own mind against the rules, this pair of misfits test themselves and the boundaries of the system we all drift in. Games at first of course. Sara and Jeff's family ties are rocky at best, so much the good girl he wants to see in her but not realizing she needs her own life. Sara recieves an invitation to solving riddles of a different facet. Vern tells her that a local mystery occurs in vehicular accidents, random fires with no meaning or possibly even an unexplained murder. Are they truly without meaning? A elite petition is made to solve these puzzles but from where and by whom? Sara finds a student missing, dead and strung up and only because she interacted with him daily. How deep does this rabbit hole go?

Director/writer Jesse Warn goes for almost Michael Mann lighting style, close pan zooms on the actors to get as much expression, lots of hand held Mostly a techno/industrial soundtrack that gives the film a good steady pace but will not also lose the 30 second attention span crowd. The crane technique shots of the city, steady cam and some old school dolly track gives a nice eerie feeling to encompass the vibe of the film. I wasn't really pondering the riddles or reflective on the nothingness of being but found the film to at least be entertaining and the cast brought their "A" game to this whimsical view of life and all its "order".

Come hither stare?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Adrian Paul Week: The Owl

Welcome to the gathering!!.. of Adrian Paul fans for Day 2 of Adrian Paul Week. Yeah, I know I need to cut down on the Highlander quotes, comments and general silliness than is I but it is so damn fun. No offense to MacLeod, but I loved Peter Wingfield's Methos. That man could have lopped the head off a cat snoozing, in the sack, in a outhouse, you name it.

Today I wish to bring about a TV movie title that provided some entertainment. Based on the books by novelist/TV writer Robert Forward (Secret of the Sword, She-Ra: Princess of Power, C.O.P.S., The Real Ghostbusters, The Legend of Zelda and Captain Planet and the Planeteers) comes the story of a soldier turned mercenary who lost his wife and daughter to criminals of unknown. He spends his nights prowling the streets for scum to unleash his rage on. This is The Owl.

Oh no cameraman, he spotted you! RUN!

Alex L' Hiboux (Adrian Paul of Love Potion No. 9, Dead Men Can't Dance, Merlin: The Return, The Breed, Tracker, Charmed, Alien Tracker, Throttle, Little Chicago, Highlander: The Source, Lost Colony: The Legend of Roanoke) was a soldier once. After his tour was up he found his family to been dispatched by criminals and yes, yes I get it is too close to the Punisher and you need to move on. A hopeless insomniac, living off of sugar, caffeine and anxiety Alex "The Owl" operates as a mercenary for whatever or whoever meets his price or cause.

With his on again and off again cop lady friend Danny Santerre (Patricia Charbonneau of Shakedown, Call Me, Brain Dead, Robocop 2, The Arrangement, She's All That and 100 Feet) she throws him a bone via work or just checks in on him. A doctor and his daughter Lisa (Erika Flores of Star Trek: The Next Generation, She Woke Up, Bloodlines: Murder in the Family, Visions of Murder and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) are about to blow town when Doctor Clements (David Selburg of The Man with One Red Shoe, On Deadly Ground, Species and The Bourne Identity) is snatched from the train station leaving his daughter on her own. Lisa seeks out the Owl in the hopes he can find her father before anything horrible happens to him. Reluctant to get involved he takes on the case and is bending ears and arms in no time at all.

I am almost Wesley Snipes, m'man.  I feel it.

Our gangster/rapper Cool Ice (Jacques Bolton of 21 Jump Street, Kindergarten Cop, The O.J. Simpson Story, City of Angels and Bloodlines) holds Clements in chains until he gives up the formula for this new drug coined Instant Iron so he can be the new drug kingpin. FYI, his henchman carrying his ghetto blaster THAT IS NOT EVEN PLAYING!!!!!!

Can the Owl stop the drug trade, end the bad rap tyriad and in general snap bones and one-liners??

A few comments on the flick. Director Tom Holland brought me Fright Night, Fatal Beauty and Child's Play so I figure I am in good hands and while the cinematography is fine, the soundtrack is rocking, the source material was treated with less dignity than a Glen A Larson project. Seriously, Manimal got more love.

One of the biggest effects the film has on you is the soundtrack. My brain is screaming Stallone's Cobra and low and behold it is Sylvester Levay (Composer of Otherworld, Airwolf, Cobra, The Tracker and Navy Seals) some decent bass and guitar with some whammy bar with a bit of synthesizer playing with that brushing of chimes effect that was popular in the 80's and the 90's.

Upside is Paul looked supremely bad-ass, spinning kicks, wrist locks and just blasting the crap out of these pukes.   

You must think I'm not a very nice guy...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Adrian Paul Week: Masque of the Red Death

A fine hello to all that is reading the blog and welcome to Day 1 of Adrian Paul Week. Initially, as most of you know I do like to get to the humble beginnings of all actors/directors/writers but I do not think my heart could have handled a spin-off of Dynasty known as The Colbys. 19 episodes about entitled wealthy white people holds no interest to me at all. With that in mind, we move on to a film adaptation of an Edgar Allen Poe short story filled with intrigue, thrills and perhaps a murder or two. Now before you all get excited I must warn you up front this a Roger Corman production. The second attempt after the 1964 film starring Vincent Price. This is Masque of the Red Death.

Can't get that Queen song out of my head.

While a virulent plague is laying waste to his kingdom, Prince Prospero (Adrian Paul of Last Rites, War of the Worlds, Dark Shadows, The Owl, Highlander, The Breed and The Void) awakes from a horrific nightmare. Comfort found in the arms of his wife/sister Lucrecia (Tracy Reiner of Die Hard, When Harry Met Sally..., A League of Their Own and Apollo 13) Prospero decides to hold a gathering (NO! NOT A HIGHLANDER REFERENCE!!!), a soiree of his friends for drunken debauchery and ravaging of the women. You know, good times. They will stave off the impeding plague in luxury and hedonism whereas the peasants are left to fend for themselves. His friend Claudio (Jeff Osterhage of The Texas Rangers, Knight Rider, Moonlighting, South of Reno and Dark Before Dawn) grabs up a myriad of birds for the impeding feast as well as all the good looking women in the village, so clearly if you are well-to-do bachelor let Claudio do your shopping.

Mr. Brand? This basement is stinky.

One of the ladies in question is the lovely Juiletta (Clare Hoak of Freddy's Nightmares, Masque of the Red Death, The Terror Within II, Deadly Deception and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York) which the prince has his eyes on. Salivating over young Juiletta, Lucrecia seems almost taken back that her brother/husband is looking for new conquests to be had. The ball is in set to begin when a guest arrives dressed head to toe in red. Does this guest have a sinister motive for attending this shindig? Is there to be a murder on the rise? Will the nobles lose their heads figuratively or literally?

A few comments now on the film. On a technical aspect of the movie, lighting and sound are spot on but the sets look drab and dull. The costumes do not have the same bright and lavish colors they could and frankly the film itself looks like it was shot for a TV movie. The opening credits show some great slow pans around various medieval torture devices as the equipment hangs. I about choked on my Coke Zero as I had to see the late great Sir Patrick McGee in his costume. Camp will do nicely. A few torture scenes occur but are extremely tame and the nudity seems to only serve to show off B-movie actresses Maria Ford, Clare Hoak and Adrian Paul's build.  FYI, you know you have seen too much schlock movies when you can spot and identify a B-movie actress of some ill-repute.

The blood and gore factor is nothing to what I was expecting in a horror thriller but hey that alone is refreshing for me. The gags were remarkably calm but still well shot. I am confused why they felt the need to add the incestual aspect of Prospero and Lucrecia's life when it had no real barring aside from me going ick. Not exactly the taboo if you have no follow through. I do not blame Mr. Paul for this production as so much realize that a young actor had to take the parts readily available for him. If you need a production of this film I recommend the 1964 version with Vincent Price or Hell, even the 1990 version with Frank Stallone. Yeah I just gave kudos to a Frank Stallone movie.

Best Pantene commercial ever!

Adrian Paul Week

Salutations low beings!! It is I!! Sorry, I just never really get to use that level of melodramatics.

Welcome back to the blog that keeps you guessing what horrific crap or fabulous gem we will discover as we approach the beginning of the week. Two weeks prior in the land of Omaha adjacent to Council Bluffs, several folk were enjoying Britishfest (which had an impressive turn out of people by the by) in which the mid-westerners got embrace tea time, biccies, memorabilia of all things across the pond. We were saddened when guest appearance of Jason Connery (Sir Sean Connery's Son) was not available to join us but were rewarded with a fellow of notoriety, Adrian Paul of Highlander fame. Enjoying a brief conversation with the gent in question and getting my primitive VHS signed by him I was impressed to see a humble man rather than a guy that could have had an ego the size of the planet.

Adrian Paul is Poncho Villa!!!

It had also clicked that I don't believe aside from a vampire film and maybe a V/R film I have really reviewed his works and thought, "Well dammit, time to fix that." So this week shall revolve around a man who modeled to see the world, became a dancer and choreographer, giving him the ability to speak French and Italian fluently. With at least 5 different forms of martial arts under his belt including: Kung Fu, La Fut, Hung Gar, Tae-Kwon-Do and Wing Chun, he has became a cinematic swordsmaster primarily in Katana and Broadsword. A tad depressing at his vastly superior build than I but hey he just figured out what a barbell set was before I did.

With that in mind, let us delve into the week and maybe we will discover why this chap seems so appealing. (Ladies and gay men need NOT tell me more pornographic reasons, please.)

Cut!  Chris lost his contact again!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Rotten Ramblin' On # 7: JOBS FROM HELL

Hello readers and welcome!  I am currently still off from today and probably tomorrow given this steroid injection in my head to block nerves and bloody cluster headaches.  However Shawn came over and we managed another podcast for Rotten Ramblin' On but... it is not the usual topic of the day.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

As the Season Goes On: Supernatural Season 3

Howdy all for Day 3 of As the Season Goes On. Well this particular series I have been laxed in and for that again I apologize. Not that I like the love of the show, it hasn't been on my radar for a while and I have mostly focused on movies. I refer to the brothers Winchester and I have not covered anything since they did battle with the demon Azazel, the yellow eyed demon that set the boys and their father on their demon hunting path. The crucible that ignited their crusade. This is Supernatural Season 3.

Psst, Dean. Don't drop the soap.

Cruising around America in their dad's 1967 Chevy Impala and using his journal on creatures that go bump in the night, Sam (Jared Padalecki of Gilmore Girls, Supernatural, House of Wax, Friday the 13th and Supernatural: The Animation) and Dean (Jensen Ackles of Dark Angel, Dawson's Creek, Smallville, My Bloody Valentine, Batman: Under the Red Hood and Supernatural: The Animation) Winchester are back on the road, finding evil and giving it a serious ass whipping. Tracking down the demons that were released from Hell from last season. Throughout the season the befriend a demon name of Ruby (Katie Cassidy of 7th Heaven, Taken. Supernatural, Harper's Island, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Gossip Girl and Arrow) who claims she has some wiggle room for Dean who sold his soul to bring Sam back to life.

The boys have kicked over a hornet's nest and need a bit of help from their father's friend, expert creature slayer and madcap researcher Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver of Day Break, John of Cincinnati, Harper's Island, Justified, NCIS and Supernatural) to bounce ideas, hang out and watch each others backs. With Ruby's assistance, she speaks with Sam on stopping Lilith (Sierra McCormick of Land of the Lost, Ramona and Beezus, A Nanny for Christmas and A.N.T. Farm) from unleashing Hell on Earth. Dean feels the best source of info is a retired hunter named Rufus (Steven Williams of The Blues Brothers, 21 Jump Street, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, L.A. Heat, Stargate SG-1, Richard III and 22 Jump Street) in best dealing these creatures. The guys are up into their eyeballs in malefic creatures as they chase the personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins.

A hot, blonde demoness? Yeah, that can't be trouble.

With demons, werewolves, changelings and creatures of fae running amok, the guys are dealing with the secrets each of them keep from one another, the loss of their father and the struggles against the forces of darkness. They also run into Bela Talbot (Lauren Cohan of Casanova, Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj, Death Race 2 and The Walking Dead), a collector of magically imbued artifacts for profit or her own means but she and the boys do not see eye to eye with her means and results.

Will the boys manage to keep things on this blue and green marble status quo? Will Hell rule the Earth?

A few comments on the season now.

This season introduces what will later become an addition to the series the Ghostfacers. Extremely unstable vampire hunter Gordon Walker (Sterling K Brown) reprises his role and Jeffrey Dean Morgan appears as John in a dream sequence. This season was cut short 6 episodes due to the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike so we missed out on the return of Ellen Harvelle (Samantha Ferris) so thanks for that, guys.

Ackles auditions for Phantasm??

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

As the Season Goes On: Angel Season 4

Hello all and salutations to Day 2 of As the Season Goes On. This time around I felt I can get back to a spin-off of the popular horror TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We follow the vampire with a soul and his crew. When last left, Angel had lost his son only to gain him again but from an infant to a young adult. Cordelia has disappeared as had Angel. Wesley wounded and left the team leaving Fred and Gunn all alone. This is Angel Season 4.

So who wants to hit rooftops?

Our season opens with Gunn (J. August Richards of Undressed, Angel, Conviction, Raising the Bar, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Fred (Amy Acker of Groom Lake, Angel, Justice League, Alias, Dollhouse, Happy Town,The Cabin in the Woods and Much Ado About Nothing)in hot pursuit of Angel's son Connor (Vincent Kartheiser of Ricky 6, Dandelion, Angel, Alpha Dog, Elektra Luxx, Beach Pillows, Mad Men and Red Knot) chasing down a lead they may find Angel's whereabouts. Wesley (Alexis Denisof of Sharpe's Revenge, Sharpe's Justice, Sharpe's Waterloo, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse, The Avengers, and Grimm) who was all but banished from the group after losing Angel's son to his mortal enemy through a dimensional tear into a demon realm (... yeesh that will hurt the brain) uses a former enemy's intel and a tug boat to find Angel (David Boreanaz of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Valentine, Bones, Justice League: The New Frontier, and Officer Down) in a large see-through coffin so he got to gaze up at the sea above and damn near lose his marbles.

Trying to mold me into a bad ass.

Angel back in the game, not knowing where Cordelia or Lorne are, is trying to bring the band back again. Unknownst to the gang, Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter of Malibu Shores, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Miss Match, What Boys Like, Angel, Charmed, Veronica Mars and Voodoo Moon) has moved to a higher plane of existence. Wolfram & Hart seem to be following a prophecy or two... but they are not understanding if they are on the side of evil, why are they terrified of the big bad of the creature simply known as The Beast. The Beast (Vladimir Kulich ofMacGyver, Highlander, Firestorm, The 13th Warrior, Ground Zero, Smokin' Aces, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Vikings) interacts with Angel and company and refers to Angel as his alternative villainous version Angelus. As the season progresses, we learn the big bad beastie boy is not a mastermind. Terrifyingly powerful, yes but brain power not his thing. A lackey to a higher or in this case, lower rank of demon. So who is pulling the Beast's strings? Why does he know Angel but Angel doesn't recall him?

A few comments on the season.

Boreanaz and Denisof giggled like kids during Spin the Bottle due to Boreanaz's insistence of demons surrounding the Hyperion Hotel. Multiple takes was the order of the season, from giggling and screwing up lines to the gang goofing on the set.

The Beast was not supposed to appear until much later in the season but the looming threat of cancellation hung over the show like the Sword of Damocles, so Vladimir had less time with his suit that covered him entirely and the stilts were difficult to walk about in.

Team Evil's got some hotties!

Monday, July 20, 2015

As the Season Goes On: Burn Notice Season 4

Greetings one and all to As the Seasons Go On. Naturally I speak not of the physical seasons from summer to the dreaded winter but of TV series. Today we get back in touch with our favorite burnt spy as he had just saved Management from a deadly assassin that was completely crackers then was whisked away to a secret holding facility. Is this the beginning or the end of Michael Westen? This is Burn Notice Season 4.

That awkward moment ignoring Sam's beer farts.

With Michael (Jeffrey Donovan of Bait, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, Touching Evil, Law & Order, Crossing Jordan and Fargo) gathered up to God knows where, he is greeted by Vaughn (Robert Wisdom of Face/Off, Supernatural, Happy Town, Passion Play, Nashville, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows and The Wire) of the organization that burned Michael with open arms and congratulations. Vaughn breaks down that Westen has major brownie points for saving Management from Simon and there is still plenty of work to be done to insure America's choice of lifestyle and so on and so forth. Man, their mantras are all sounding alike. They can honestly justify to you, me and themselves the need to torch villages for the greater good. Pointing out how they got off to a rocky start, they have a mastermind, a shadow figure with deep pockets dispatching the organization's people left and right.

Uriel from Supernatural???  Oh crap.

In spite how Michael feels about the organization, he knows the good they can do without having to be bogged down with red tape and procedures. Michael agrees to look into it but he wants to handle it his way. That in mind, he is back in Miami as Sam (Bruce Campbell of The Evil Dead, Running Time, Ellen, Pitfall 3-D: Beyond the Jungle,Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess,Spider-Man and Ash Vs Evil Dead) our boozy flirty former Navy SEAL and everyone's favorite IRA sharpshooter and demolitionist Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar of Scent of a Woman, For Love or Money, The Three Musketeers, The Practice, The Tudors, The Family Tree and A Warrior's Heart) are back in the game and glad to have Michael back. Naturally his mother Madeline (Sharon Glass of Cagney & Lacey, Turnabout, House Calls, The Trials of Rosie O' Neill, Queer as Folk and Nip/Tuck) makes an appearance and offers sage advice in-between Marlboros.

While doing the super spy gig, Michael gets a spy Jesse Porter (Coby Bell of L.A. Doctors, Third Watch, Halo: Reach, Archer and The Game) burned. Westen befriends Jesse in the hopes he can get his position back and clear his name before Jesse gets hip to who did the actual deed. Juggling personal, professional and emotional baggage. Westen and crew need to stop this global mogul before he takes more of what he wants when he wants or more people will die. Irking biker gangs, syndicates and foreign intelligence presents a whole bunch of fight scenes, car chases, gun battles and more than a few guest stars.

So does it ever cool down in this town?

As the Seasons Go On:

Howdy folks!  Sorry this is starting a bit late.  Migraines makes Jake a cranky writer/person/boyfriend and in general a real dick to be around.  That aside, this week I blew the dust of my archived TV series to talk about.  No the bag of tricks is not empty, merely a detour was made around.  As you may have noticed I tend to write about series that hold my interest and not enough of them for the general public so I am getting some TV series of past and present the love and attention that many of you wrote me back about.

Little something for the ladies.

Again I can be reached at the following: and  for all comments, queries and complaints so keep them coming, folks.  Always love some feedback.  I am going to jump in the way back machine as soon as I can gag and bind Sherman and go cruising the timestream with Mr. Peabody.   Or I will just fly around with that madman with the blue box.  Either works.   At this time my co-host Shawn and I will be starting up an Indiegogo beg-a-thon for funds for our podcast Rotten Ramblin' On.   We are just working out the kinks on that and should have it up and running before August.   So without further adieu I present you the week and hope as always, you are amused and informed.   Keep those comments coming in people!

What do you mean Season 111??? Dear God gimme strength!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Drama in Cinema: Woman in Gold

Welcome back for Day 3 of Drama in Cinema. This time around our story is based at the late Maria Altmann, a mature Jewish refugee living in L.A. With her lawyer is is dealing with the Austrian government for over ten years to lay claim to the painting of her aunt which was stolen by the Nazis in World War II. This is Woman in Gold.

A lot weighing on that woman.

Our movie opens with a flashback of a woman getting her portrait done Adele Bloch-Bauer (Antje Traue of Pandorum, 5 Days of War, Man of Steel, Seventh Son and Woman in Gold), cut to 1998 in Los Angeles where a funeral is undertaking as Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren of Caligula, Excalibur, 2010, The Comfort of Strangers, The Madness of King George, Prime Suspect, Prime Suspect 2, Prime Suspect 3, The Snow Queen and REDS) is giving eulogy for his departed sister Louisa. After the funeral Maria connects with her old friend Barbara Schoenberg (Frances Fisher of Pink Cadillac, L.A. Story, Frame Up, Unforgiven, Strange Luck, The Big Tease, The Kingdom, Eureka, Torchwood and Resurrection) on legal matters concerning her sister's belongings and papers. She wonders if Barbara can ask her son Randy (Ryan Reynolds of The Outer Limits, Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, Blade: Trinity, Green Lantern, Safe House, and R.I.P.D.) a struggling lawyer if he can take more than a cursory glance at them and make some sense of it all. The letters consist of mention of Gustav Kilmt's Woman in Gold.

After a little legwork Randy finds the painting to be in worth of one hundred million dollars and hangs in the Vienna deemed the Mona Lisa of Vienna but it is said by Maria that it was stolen by the Nazis during the war. With the Austrian government opening borders on art restitution Randy and Maria feel they may have a case. On the flight, Maria has memories of her mother scrubbing the cobblestones on her hands and knees with Germans pointing and laughing, you see a young boy salute in Reich fashion and it just slices through your heart.

Oh for a high bell tower and some belt fed cannons.

Met with a young journalist Hubertus Czernin (Daniel Bruhl of 2 Days in Paris, Good Bye Lenin!, The Bourne Ultimatum, Inglourious Basterds, The Coming Days and Rush) he asks to be Randy and Maria's friend in this troublesome time and I am guessing to see some justice done to those pretisgous households that were wronged. Maria remembers her wedding day, surrounded by friends and family as her husband a train opera singer blesses their marriage with a beautiful song. They dance the Tora in celebration bringing joy in the home.

Maria and Randy are getting doors slammed in their face as the government wishes to whitewash their history of the shame of kneeling to the Nazi Reich and refuses to admit the sins of the past merely condemns the future in my realm of thinking. Returning to America empty-handed, Randy looks for any loophole now becoming obsessed with the Woman in Gold and determined to get Maria her legacy back challenges Austria through the means where he can. Taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court. There a nation will stand trial for ignoring a righteous claim and be held accountable.

Will Maria ever see The Woman in Gold again? Can Randy with his limited experience bring his "A" game?

A few comments on the film now.

The actual Maria Altmann passed away in 2011 at the age of 94. Helen Mirren and Katie Holmes reunite after 16 years since Teaching Mrs. Tingle. Maria's heritage of her aunt Adele's diamond necklace went to SS Gestapo Hermann Goering's wife. Andrew Garfield was originally cast as Randol Schoenberg but he dropped out and Ryan Reynolds took the role. Lucky for him.

Hey, isn't that Deadpool?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Drama in Cinema: Nebraska

Greetings readers and welcome back for Day 2 of Drama in Cinema... I remember why I don't watch this particular genre now. It is either very depressing, holds too much of the other genres to confuse the viewer or it drags on to the point where even the existential viewer has clawed his eyes out. With this in mind we turn to a decent drama director Alexander Payne (Election, About Schmidt and Sideways), a fellow Nebraskan that seems to want to capture the entire state on film in one facet or another. With Bruce Dern as a boozed up aging and confused father wanting to leave Montana to go to Nebraska to claim his million dollar prize. This is Nebraska.

Almost feels like life passed him by.

Woody Grant (Bruce Dern of Silent Running, The Great Gatsby, Black Sunday, 1969, Diggstown, Mulholland Falls, The Astronaut Farmer, Big Love and Django Unchained) is bound and determined to go to Nebraska to claim his prize from the Million Dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing. He can no longer drive, he cannot convince his wife Kate (June Squibb of Scent of a Woman, Meet Joe Black, About Schmidt and Axe Cop) to leave Billings Montana and claim his prize.

His sons David (Will Forte of Saturday Night Live, Rock of Ages, The Watch, The Lego Movie, The Awesomes and The Last Man on Earth) and Ross (Bob Odenkirk of The Larry Sanders Show, Mr. Show, Run Ronnie Run, Tom Goes to the Mayor, How I Met Your Mother and Breaking Bad) are telling him that he needs to stop doing this and just mail for his winnings rather than walking 900 some miles away. Yeah google that crazy right there!

Dad... where are your pants?

David's life keeps being put on hold because Woody tries to walk to Nebraska so he decides just drive his father to Lincoln and get this prize winning out of his system. David gripes about Woody's drinking and Woody grumbles about David trying to create a bonding experience with going to Rushmore. Lincoln doesn't even have an ear and it doesn't look finished. With a fall and 10 stitches later David is really worried about his father's drinking but is so passive aggressive with everything and everyone in his life that he really doesn't know how to stand up to life. Getting the rest of the family as a get together in the hopes his dad can value more out of life.

On their way they stop off in Hawthorne and Woody gets a little blitzed again. David truly loves his dad but doesn't know what to do with him or for him. Woody feels like a prisoner in the car and doesn't lash out as his life isn't his own. People talk about him like he isn't even in the room. David's cousins are a bit sluggish, babbling about how far they have traveled and the span of time it took them to get there. Their aspirations astound me.

Will Woody collect his money? Will he and David have a better life together?

A few points to make on this movie now.

With digital cameras to helm the shoot, this entire film is in black and white with anamorphic lenses giving it an appeal to the audiences. This is Payne's fourth movie in Nebraska after Citizen Ruth, Election and About Schmidt. Gene Hackman, Robert Forster, Jack Nicholson and Robert Duvall were considered for Woody. With the success of The Descendants allowed Payne to make Nebraska after trying for over ten years.

Whole lot of inbreeding there.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Drama in Cinema: Joe

Welcome ladies and gents to Day 1 of Drama in Cinema. Whatever you may think of Nicholas Cage, the man can act. He can't save a Marvel movie granted, but I need to move on from my Ghost Rider issues. Imagine a violent and withdrawn man that only really gets along with his co-workers and has managed to isolate himself from society overall until he meets a 15 year-old kid that is drifting. This is Joe.

These deer steaks better be worth the stink.

Directed by David Gordon Green (George Washington, All the Real Girls, Pineapple Express and Prince Avalanche) our film opens with a heart-to-heart of a boy Gary (Tye Sheridan of The Tree of Life, Mud, Dark Places, Entertainment and Last Days in the Desert) talking to his abusive, alcoholic father Wade (Gary Poulter of Joe) about getting a job, keeping it and not turning everything they built up in crap... again. Convinced his father will take another beating because he is a loser and a booze hound, Gary opens up as best as he can only to get punched in the face and watch his father take a vicious beating while he follows the train tracks out of there. Enter Joe.

Joe (Nicholas Cage of Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, Con Air, National Treasure, Ghost Rider, Trespass and Dying of the Light) is a foreman who runs a small-tree removal business and crew. While liked by most of the town as well as his crew has been in and out of the correctional system (The pokey, slammer and iron bar hotel) for violence and dissin' the law man he has exiled himself from others exception of hitting the local brothel.

Gary meets Joe and the crew out in the woods looking for work. Impressed that the kid isn't afraid of hard work he tells him he's hired. Bringing his dad Wade to work the next day gets them both fired given Wade doesn't give a damn about anything or anyone. Gary heads over to Joe's house and wins Joe over asking for his job back and the Hell with the old man. Joe agrees and this young man sweats and toils taking out the trees. He has earned every penny but Wade slaps him around demanding money for more liquor...because this guy's liver hasn't waved a white flag of surrender yet.

Are ya ready Hush puppies?  Start walkin'.

Wade gets chummy with another sleaze bag Willie (Ronnie Gene Blevins of Jobs, Past God, Small Time, Kingdom and Uncle John) and Willie makes lewd and crude comments to Gary about what he'd do to Gary's sister Dorothy (Anna Niemtschk of Joe and Toy Soldier) and Gary completely jacks the guy.
Merle (Sue Rock of The Good Guys, Spilt Milk, Apart, Texas Chainsaw 3D, and From Dusk Till Dawn) runs the local house of ill repute but is about the only one that gets Joe who they both geniunely have feelings for each other but they such burned out and broken people they could never truly be there for each other. Willie offers Wade some booze for the promise of having Dorothy. Wade agrees and Gary goes to get Joe to stop them. Joe is there like lightning and heads to whale the monkey crap out of both of these degenerates. Gary runs for the cops.

Will Gary get help in time? Would Willie and Wade try to kill Joe?

A few comments on the film. This is a dark movie in the sense there is no mass murder with a mask, undead or creatures of darkness but the dismal standing of what humanity can lower itself to. With Wade being this monster under the yoke of the bottle he would sell his own children or their organs for another drink. Cage's performance of a guy trying to keep his rage in check to be a better man is amazing. He wears all his emotions on his sleeve and gives the execution that you have come to expect he always could.

Tye Sheridan will be tackling a mutant role in the upcoming Xmen flick, X-Men: Apocalypse as younger Cyclops. This kid's realization of being an adult before his years SHOULD demand it, is a triumph. No, this film is not for everyone and it does present a seamy setting of a town and its residents just dying by inches but it truly is drama.

HIC!  Line please!

Drama in Cinema

Hey folks! I was just going over a few writing ideas for the week when my lady love pointed out that I do not embrace drama that often. To which I was overly dramatic and defensive... nah I am in agreement with her in that I do not cover a lot of the heartfelt tear jerkers. The main reason why is while a good story of humans trials, struggles and goals does hold my interest for the day, I normally do not need my heart strings throttled that often.  However, this is not entirely for my own enjoyment but it is also for the readers. That in mind, I will subject myself to the current standing of drama for the last 3 years. Keep in mind that the last 15 years there are too many hybrids between the genres. I have seen comedy dramas, romantic dramas, dramatic horrors, comedic horror films with drama. There is too much mix-mashed now that it gets confusing on how to catalogue it and frankly that is irksome.

Why is the camera so far away?

So I will do my very level best to find drama with only one real tone to it. Think Spielberg's The Color Purple or Schindler's List or Robert Altman's MASH and Gosford Park. Where additional elements of humanity are underlined but at the end of the day this is drama.   Dark and sad things are on the rise throughout this film and you can just suck it up, grab some tissues and marshal through it. While I myself, do not mind the genre it seems several writers and directors cannot simply tell a tale without something evil or zany added to it. I am guessing this is to distract the audience that they are sitting down for a film recanting tales of historical atrocities and if that is the case, why the Hell are you watching in the first place if you do not want to see it??!!! Aside from all this, I still feel that drama is a valid genre in cinema, novels and television and it deserves the respect for those that do NOT over add from the other genres to give it a bit of pep. Let's see what we can find to watch.