Early Buzz: Is Avatar Worth the Hype?


Masked in secrecy and a decade in the making, James Cameron’s Avatar has finally entered the public culture in full force.  When the first images and trailers started appearing, many people (including myself) were underwhelmed.  Mainly at the character design of the aliens, the generic dialog heard in the trailer (“You’re not in Kansas anymore! You’re on Pandora . . .), and a plot lifted almost directly from Dances With Wolves and Pocahontas.  Plus, the statements made by the director and the marketing stating Avatar was a “Game Changer” gave us plenty of snarky ammo.

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Punk Rock Feminism in the 90s or Genetically Engineered Kangaroo/Dog/Men are Good in Bed: A reflection on 1995′s Tank Girl.


The 1990s was a strange decade.  We saw the death rattle of the 80s with Guns n Roses, the birth and death of Ska in popular culture, and the birth of Mall Punk and Hot Topic with Green Day (just to name a few).  One big theme of the 90s was Girl Power, or “Grrrl Power” or “Riot Grrl,” whatever you want to call it.  This paved the way for Sailor Moon, The Powerpuff Girls, and No Doubt.  Combine those three and you pretty much have 1995′s Tank Girl, complete with a Gwen Stefani look-a-like in the lead role (Lori Petty).

Based on the much cooler comic from the UK of the same name, Tank Girl took a Cliff Notes/Paint-by-numbers approach to the film.  The film is odd, disjointed and full of many WTF moments (I’ll get to those in a second…).  Compared to the comic, Tank Girl is the Americanized bastardization of what seems to be a fairly brilliant comic.  All that aside, after a few beers, Tank Girl is quite enjoyable trash.
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As Halloween nears, here are 5 Horror gems of 2009 to check out:


If you’re like me, the whole month of October is pretty much Halloween.  I love the holiday and start celebrating it on October 1st by beginning to watch mass amounts of scary movies.  So, in order to help you plan  your Halloween viewing parties, here is a list of my top 5 Horror Blu Ray/DVD releases of 2009.  I’ll even include Netflix links so you can easily add them to your list.

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If It’s Halloween, It Must Be Saw: Why Saw Works Despite Itself.


*This article contains spoilers for the Saw series.  You’ve been warned.

Successful long running Horror franchises can be counted on one hand. Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and now Saw have made it past 5 installments.  Normally franchises don’t get past 3 and remain successful.  For example: Superman, X-men, and Alien all miserably failed by the third film.  However, for some reason the Horror genre has had success despite horrible sequels.  3 of the 4 listed Horror franchises were created back in the 80s, and a new franchise hadn’t emerged in over 20 years.  So, why has Saw remained so successful? Especially, since it’s notorious killer died in the third installment?

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geekArticle: Reflections on Contra


“The Contra series may just be the most manly series of all-time, and is the main factor in the rapid expansion of puberty across the nation. The original game doesn’t even have a story. Aliens are on an island, two macho shirtless dudes blow them the fuck up. Why didn’t the UN just bomb the damn place? “Screw that, we’re on a budget guys. Just send in two of the buffest commandos you got. Oh, and make sure they’re wearing headbands. I hear aliens hate those.”

[Power-up! #1: Spread Shot(Contra series) by GoshdarnBatman, Hardcore Nerdity]

I found this little reflection by GoshdarnBatman from Hardcore Nerdity on Contra amusing.  It took me back to the many hours me and my buddies would spend playing this slice of Nintendo heaven.  Click the above link to read the article and check out some screens below. Enjoy!

geekArticle! Quitting Time


When Refused announced their breakup in 1998, it came shortly after the recording of their landmark The Shape of Punk to Come, citing that they did not want their art to become compromised. Once they issued their final manifesto, that was it. They were done, and their legacy remains over a decade later. [Quitting Time- Your Thoughts, by Anton Djamoos, AbsolutePunk] has a great discussion going on right now about why bands break up.  Refused is one of those bands that I really wish put out some more records.  However, I’m not sure they would have had the impact on music if they hadn’t broken up pre-maturely.  These days, though, bands break up left and right.  That was one of the reasons I stopped doing my music podcast, IndieUprising.  I’d get all into a band, interview them and a week later they were done.  It just got exhausting.

Head over the and join the discussion!

geekArticle. Date Rape as Comedy


[In Observe and Report’s Red Band Trailer] after a night of drinking and drugging, Rogen escorts a half-unconscious Faris (Brandi) to his home and the trailer later cuts to a scene in which Rogen is having sex with the incapacitated Brandi. Nice. When he hesitates, however, we hear a slurred voice pipe up with “Why are you stopping, motherf*****?” Guilt assuaged, right? I mean he’s not raping her — she’s totally into it … right? Well, I’ll leave my opinion for a little later, but it seems like the answer at large has been a big fat whopping ‘No’.

[‘Observe and Report’ Sparks Date-Rape Debate by Jessica Barnes, Cinematical]

There is a discussion going on right now about what’s going to far in a comedy.  Unfortunately, it involved a movie that I was (until now) anxious to see.  It really bums me out that even the hint of Date Rape is being used as a jab at dark comedy.  This is a serious thing that happens far to often in real life.  So, maybe it’s a good thing we’re talking about it.

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Behind the Scenes at Netflix


Cinematical has a pretty interesting look behind the scenes of a Netflix facility.

The gallery of images below provides a behind-the-scenes look at “an unmarked warehouse” in Northborough, Massachusetts, where about 50 Netflix employees “sort through and repackage more than 60,000 discs every day.”

Since I got my email about Netflix upping the price of my Blu-Ray rentals (from $1 to $3/month) I’ve been a bit peeved.  To be fair, this is a pretty large operation, and for $18 a month, the service is still VERY economical to a movie buff like myself.

Head over to Cinematical to read the full story and see the gallery.

The Third Reich Invented The Flying Saucer


Hardcore Nerdity uncovered an article that explains the Nazis were the inventors of the Flying Saucer!

First they experimented with soldiers in hopes to create a Super Soldier.  There have been movies based on Hitler’s obsession with the supernatural (Raiders of the Lost Ark), and there have been movies about Nazi Zombies (Zombie Lake, Shock Waves, Dead Snow, Outpost).  So, why couldn’t Hitler be messing around with UFOs?

I believe it.  Read the full article here. If anything, this would make an awesome movie.  Maybe combine Nazi Zombies and Nazi Flying Saucers! View a handful of pictures from the article after the jump.

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geekArticle! A Lesson Learned: Fans Want Familiarity


“The average fan won’t likely admit it, but they wanted more Fantastic Four and less of a thinker’s film. They wanted something they knew.”

[A Lesson Learned: Fans Want Familiarity by Adam Sweeney, Film School Rejects]

Adam Sweeney of the site Film School Rejects has a great opinion piece on why Watchmen wasn’t widely embraced by mainstream audiences.  While people like me who are familiar with the source material were satisfied with the film, many people saw the marketing as just another superhero movie.  Therefore many people were let down by Watchmen based on their expectations.  Watchmen is a thinking person’s Superhero Movie and I’m not suprised by the mainstream audience reactions.

Head over to Film School Rejects to read the article.