Fish-Flavored Baseball Bat

It's a John Cleese reference.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

If Loeb Keeps This Up...

...I predict that Jeph Loeb will end his run on Hulk by having Red Hulk (I refuse to type that four-letter abbreviation) go toe-to-toe with Eternity, in a massive slugfest that will culminate in Red Hulk snapping the neck of the entire universe.

Also, he'll forget to reveal Red Hulk's identity.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

VHS Vednesday: Hotel Colonial

HOTEL COLONIAL (1987). Directed by Cinzia Th. Torrini. Starring John Savage, Robert Duvall, and Massimo Troisi.

Roughly treading much of the same ground as Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the 1987 Italian-produced (but English-language) film Hotel Colonial stars John Savage as Marco Venieri, a man who has spent a lifetime distancing himself from the terrorist activities of his brother Luca (Robert Duvall), now a fugitive hiding in Colombia. Upon hearing the reports of his brother's suicide, Marco goes to retrieve Luca's body, and in the course of his journey finds himself thrust headfirst into his brother's corrupt world. (Of course, I wouldn't be spoiling anything to mention that Luca's death has been exaggerated Mark Twain-style; Robert Duvall's co-star billing gives that away.)
The movie often feels as ponderous and slow as Marco's journey, with little payoff to make it worth slogging through. While the influence of Conrad's famous tale is apparent, the movie lacks the original's psychological depth. The only real point of interest is the well-known cast, speaking of which...
Who's Leaving This Off Their Resume?
Neither Savage nor Duvall live up to their usual standards in Hotel Colonial; despite their well-established talent, they are left floundering under Torrini's direction. They remain totally unconvincing as brothers, not only due to their physical dissimilarity, but more importantly through the lack of chemistry in their scenes together. Matters aren't helped by the inconsistent accents; Duvall's Italian accent is tenuous at best, and Savage makes no attempt at one whatsoever. (The most laughable moment comes when Marco attempts to bond with an Italian boat captain by appealing to his national pride: "You're Italian? I'M Italian!" No, John, you're not.) Supporting players Rachel Ward and Anna Galiena are given precious little substantial material to work with, and tend to fade into the background. The most memorable performance comes from the celebrated Italian actor/comedian Massimo Troisi (Il Postino) as the grumpy boatman. In his only English-language performance (that I know of), Troisi effortlessly steals all his scenes with his casual charm. It's a shame that Troisi didn't get any attention in America until after his untimely death...


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

VHS Vednesday: Silhouette

SILHOUETTE (1990). Directed by Carl Schenkel. Starring Faye Dunaway, David Rasche, and John Terry.

A standard thriller bouyed by strong performances, the made-for-cable movie Silhouette stars Faye Dunaway as a successful architect whose car breaks down while driving through a small Texas town. Forced to stay overnight in a cheap hotel, her inconvenience turns into a much more serious predicament when she looks out of her window and witnesses the murder of a local waitress (Talisa Soto). Due to the lighting in the victim's apartment, she is unable to see the killer's face, but only his silhouette (hence the title). Of course, the killer can't take the chance that she can't identify him, so she is now a target.
Although the script offers few surprises, Carl Schenkel's direction keeps the pace and tension tight. All in all, Silhouette is not worth actively seeking out, but is an enjoyable evening's viewing if you happen to come across it.
Who's Leaving This Off Their Resume?
Faye Dunaway, as she so frequently does, elevates the flimsy material with an impeccable characterization. She is ably supported by David Rasche (TV's Sledge Hammer!) and John Terry as the helpful local cops. Unfortunately, few of the other players are given anything substantial to work with; Talisa Soto has only a few minutes of screen time before being eliminated from the story (a disappointing follow-up to her career-launching Bond Girl role in Licence to Kill). Joss Whedon fans might want to keep an eye out for a brief appearance by the late Glenn Quinn (Angel) as Rasche's teenage son, though he doesn't have much to do with the plot.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

VHS Vednesday (Sort Of): Hot Stuff

No real review this time, unfortunately...a busy week at work has left me with no time to watch any movies (as well as leaving me too frazzled to write reviews). However, I felt I had to pay tribute (if only in my own half-assed way) to a great comic actor in one of his less-familiar films (and his only directorial effort):

HOT STUFF (1979). Directed by Dom DeLuise. Starring Dom DeLuise, Suzanne Pleshette, and Jerry Reed.

Rest in peace, Captain Chaos.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

One Thing That Bugs Me About Superboy-Prime...

Okay, there are many things that bug me about Superboy-Prime, but I'll just focus on one. It's this whole "magic doesn't affect me" business. Apparently, the reasoning is that he would only be vulnerable to Earth-Prime magic...but since Earth-Prime didn't have magic, that takes care of that. It seems to me that it should be just the opposite...if there was no magic in his home universe, he should be even more vulnerable to it, as it's completely foreign to his system. Sort of like a visitor to a foreign land, he has no immunity to the environmental factors that the locals have adapted to.

If Vertigo could still interact with the DC universe, I'd love to see John Constantine take the piss out of Superboy-Prime: "Of course magic hurts you. That's why it's magic."

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Quick Comics Thought

I know I've been remiss in posting (I even missed doing my regular 'VHS Vednesday' review this week), but I just wanted to share a thought that occurred to me regarding recent developments in Amazing Spider-Man...

Wouldn't it be both awesome and curiously fitting if JJJ turns out to be the one who finally takes down Norman Osborn?