Monday, July 27, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
As you loyal listeners know, I love Tron. It's unhealthy love but I love it none the less. You also know I'm excited by the fact that TRON 2 now being called TRON Legacy
About a week ago I was alerted to a website http://www.flynnlives.com/ apparently in the new movie, Kevin Flynn disappeared but not everyone thinks he's dead. This site was part of a mini ARG. I say mini because at the current moment, I'm not sure there is more to this then what happened next.
Flynn Lives had a countdown clock that ended at July 23, 2009, 9:30pm. At which point in the terms and uses section of the site, an address showed up in San Diego. a bunch of people went there and what should be there and soon lit up in the glorious 80's neon?
This was a big set piece in the original TRON. Flynn had his own arcade, stocked with the games he created along with air hockey, pool tables, etc.
Now I would have forgiven Disney and the film makers and the ARG people handling this, if the arcade had only arcade machines from the era, like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, etc.
But no, these guys took it that one step further. Inside the arcade had working Space Paranoid machines! The game Flynn had created in the film.
God I hope Toronto gets something like this. I should point out while I think this may have been the major reveal of the ARG, a new website has popped up.
Check out the video down below to see what I mean.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Guesthole #3, Alex Krueger was working on a blog about violence in film. He asked me (being apparently qualified as a "pop culture guru", his words, not mine) If I would share my thoughts on the matter.
And much like Alan Cross, Alex discovered when you give me an inch, you get 5 miles. Instead of just a couple of sound bites (which is what he asked for), Alex got a rather big and decent letter about my thoughts on gore and violence in film and horror.
The blog can be found here
My letter is underneath in bold.
The rise of gore in horror movies is a pretty interesting phenomenon because it did sort of a weird cycle.Let's take Friday the 13th as an example.
If you start with the first Friday the 13th movie, it's fairly realistic. A little over the top maybe but an arrow in the head is an arrow in the head. Chopping someone's head off is brutal in real life and film (terrorist home videos have proven that). As the films went on, the gore got more excessive and the kills more interesting (the trademark of the films was more inventive ways that Jason would murder people...keep that in mind)
But by the time you get to the last stand alone Friday the 13th (Jason X) film, the violence has gone from gory and realistic to so far whacked out that it's no different then a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Bloodier yes, believable, no.
And then gore disappeared.
Sure there was a little bit during the 90's but not a lot. There are three main reasons behind this.
1) The core audience had disappeared. While Jason and Freddy and Micheal didn't get older, their audience did. For the most part, these films are geared towards teenagers. Those teens had grown up and moved away from the films.
2) Parents groups. As you mention Alex, your mom didn't allow you to watch this stuff. She wasn't the only one. A movement to erase violence from film (not just horror but everywhere) became huge during the very late 80's and early 90's. Hollywood appeased these groups by getting rid of violence. Horror was not the only group that got hit. Take a gander at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and then TMNT 2. Notice how much the Turtles use their ninja weapons? That is due in part to parent groups of various sorts campaigning against the turtles use of violence.
3) PG-13/A demographic. During the mid 90's, the PG-13/A demographic became highly desired by film companies for whatever reason. Hence we get a lot more suspense filled teen horror then actual gore. Movies like Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer are prime examples of this. A lot of suspense and scares but not a lot of gore. Scream is probably the goriest of the bunch and while we see bodies and deaths, there isn't a whole lot of blood, especially in comparisons to similar films from a decade earlier.
But much like Jason himself, gore returned from the dead.
Guys like me who were in the younger age bracket when the original films came out, discovered them on home video. If you look at the guys behind this new wave of gore, they are all in their 30's. James Wan who directed and co-wrote the first Saw film (and a great action/revenge film called Death Sentence which also has some rather vicious violence) was born in 77. Eli Roth who is behind Cabin Fever and Hostel was born in 72. In fact the oldest "member" of the so-called Splat Pack is Neil Marshall (director of Dog Soldiers, The Descent and Doomsday) was born in 1970.
Now Alex, you also posed the question of why, despite the fact that I love violent films and my parents let me watch them at a very young age (for the record I remember seeing the original My Bloody Valentine on video with my cousin Julie when she babysat my sister and I. I was probably 7), why I didn't turn out to being a murderous psychopath or have social issues.
Once again a multipart answer.
1) Parents. I had parents who loved me, cared for me and took an interest in what I read, listened to and watched. When my grandmother got me into Terminator 2 while it was in theaters (I was just under the age mark at that point), my parents knew about it. I also grew up with a number of people who had guns and other hunting implements. I was raised to know that violence with a gun or a machete can do serious harm to someone. I was raised to know how to properly handle weapons or that punching someone in the face is not an acceptable form of behavior. I was also raised with the idea that movies are not real. They are fantasy. Real life, you suffer many more consequences for your actions.
2) The gore and the violence. I am a true believer in the fact that violence in film should be realistic and gory. Why? Because even though it can be cartoony and ridiculous at the very least when some one gets stabbed, they should bleed. Let's take X-Men 2 as an example. There are tons of moments where Wolverine is running around and stabbing people with his claws but there is no blood and gore. For all intents and purposes, when those army guys hit the ground, they might as well be sleeping, because that's all a kid's going to see. You can make that connection in your mind with blood. You know when you're bleeding, 9 times out of 10, you are hurt, probably in some form of pain. When there isn't blood, it's harder to make that connection. Same with gunshots. Gunshots are not pretty, they are not cute little goreless holes. You get hit with a 12 gauge shotgun at close range it will damn near cut you in half. But you see guys in a movie get shot but yet they stand up and they're not even bleeding it's as if there are no consequences to shooting someone.
That's why I like gore.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
From way back in the vault, the Two Asshole and Guests continue their commentary tracks by taking a whack at The Monster Squad.
This is a lesser known 80's movie, but is still available on DVD. As such, it's likely to be available at your local video rental shop.
Seriously, these tracks don't make a great deal of sense unless you're watching the movie. We'll wait, just go get it, pop it in, and put this audio track on. We'll tell you when to start playing the DVD, and we try to describe what's going on every so often in case you happen to be mistimed.
It should be noted that this episode was recorded immediately after doing the commentary for The Goonies. So, where during Goonies, we went from sober to inebriated, in Monster Squad, we go from inebriated to even more inebriated. You have been warned.
So this weeks Bad Movies that Are Awesome has been delayed once again cause...well...I was cheating on our site.
Yup at the end of the last week I got an offer to write a small piece for our friends at Explore Music .
That piece was about the connections between rock music and comics.
Take a gander and tell me what you think.
Special Thanks go out to Alex Krueger and Pete DeCourcy.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I'm kind of weird in the fact that I usually connect with voices.
I love radio when it's good, audio books, cartoon voice overs, singers with good voices, singers with unique voices, you name it, I am drawn to voices.
Which is why it pained me when I woke up this morning to find a half a dozen posts and messages from people letting me know that Martin Streek had killed himself.
Now for those of you who aren't in the Toronto area, Martin was one of the main stay voices at local radio station CFNY 102.1 until he had been let go in May.
Despite the fact that we had never had a chance to meet, Martin was one of the reasons I do this show in a lot of ways.
The first time I heard him was in the car on the way back from the movies in Newmarket. It was a Friday night, I was in grade nine. My buddy Dave's older sister had given us a lift and she had The Edge playing as we discussed the movie.
From this real ancient stereo in this old beat up oldsmobile came a low rumbling voice that was joking around but introducing bands like Pop Will Eat Itself and Tool and Ministry.
I had already been a fan of these bands but now I discovered a radio station where I could actually hear them. Keep in mind guys, the internet barely existed at this point. No wikipedia, no streaming music, no downloading mp3's. CD's for bands that didn't sell much were also expensive when you didn't have a job.
It was a live to air from a club (I'm thinking it may have been NRG but I'm not sure) and Martin Streek was the man hosting.
I became a faithful listener on weekends. I can remember thinking at various times "Fuck yeah! They're playing Bauhaus!" or "Yay! New TOOL!" All accompanied by Martin's voice. The music was awesome, Martin appeared to be having fun and seemed to love the music that he was announcing.
And at some point during grade 10 I began thinking... "Ya know...I could maybe do that."
Martin's live to airs also introduced me to the station itself. From a decent morning show to listen to when I got out of bed before the grind of high school to some dude named Alan on Sunday nights who apparently had the same love for obscure musical knowledge that I did.
So it probably shouldn't be a surprise that after high school, I ended up going to college for radio broadcasting. If I ever post up some of my original voice work from school, you'll notice I'm doing a real bad Martin Streek impression. I later moved to a bad Alan Cross impression and finally I found a kind of my own groove doing production.
I don't listen to The Edge anymore.
It's not the station's fault entirely. I got older and I'm not in their key demographic so the music they play tends not to be to my tastes. That's why it came to me as a surprise that Martin hadn't been with CFNY since May. I had noticed on a few Friday and Saturday nights that I tuned in that he wasn't there but I figured he was out somewhere snowboarding. I guess the powers that be figured his time at the station was over.
I didn't end up in the radio business for a variety of reasons but I still do this podcast due to my love of speaking to an audience and due to a love of radio.
I love doing this show.
And part of that is due to Martin Streek.
I don't know what demons drove you to your end Martin, but I hope you are at peace.
We are trying to get base player extraordinaire Melissa Auf der Maur on the show.
What we want you guys to do is go to Ms Auf der Maur's website (which we will list below) and ask her to come on our show.
First one to do it will win dinner at Fan Expo with the Assholes. We will pay for your dinner and a drink or two. How you get fan expo is your own problem.
You must also be nice. Any comments that are mean, derogatory, filled with cussing will be disqualified.
There will also be a second place prize that will be chosen randomly from all the comments, so if you aren't the first you still might be able to win free stuff.
You can find her at:
Guestholes are not illegible
Monday, July 6, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I've also been to a ton of wrestling events in Toronto and surrounding areas. Indy shows, big house shows, small house shows, tv taping's for both Raw and Smackdown.
I say this not to brag but to show that when I saw that witnessing PFL 30 last night was more fun then 90% of those past events.
For those who aren't sure what I'm talking about, the PFL is a Toronto based Pillow Fight League.
Yes pillow fighting.
Now I know what you're saying, "Oh Brent and a couple of the guestholes went to a ripper bar and saw to chicks go at it and then make out."
Not at all.
The PFL has been running in Toronto (and other areas) since 2005 ish and while many of the women are certainly attractive (Carmen Monoxide...call me) that isn't the point. Falling somewhere in between UFC, WWE and roller derby, the pfl is a shitload of fun to watch.
I made my journey to The Mod Club (is it bad that every time I think of the Mod Club, I think of it's owner and then I think of this ) along with Guesthole #3 Alex Krueger and eventual Guesthole Gavin Whitehead.
The set up was a little smaller then what I thought it was going to be. We proceeded to hit the bar and find seats or should I say stools. At which point the guys just slightly in front of us start telling us about how much fun it is and the brutality of the sport. The guys sitting in front of us had also been to quite a few shows, one gentleman had even been a judge on a few occasions.
Drove the anticipation up a little. It was also good to see that our friends at Bite TV were also very present at the event with members of TheWingMen and The Surf cast a crew floating around including a friend to TATANS, Jason Agnew (host of The Surf, Convetntioneers and producer on a ton of stuff at Bite) who stopped by quickly to say hello.
And then the show began.
Two things I was not prepared for.
1) The amount women in attendance.
2) How much athleticism goes into these fights.
These girls go at each other hard. There is no mercy...there are rules that you can find at the site but no mercy.
The thing of it is, as long as you use the pillow, most moves are legal. Take downs, elbows, are all good. And man are they used. Even saw one girl manage a fireman's carry.
Beyond that, it was a fell put together show. The PFL has the right amount of story, pillow fights and venue (at least this night, I have yet to see them at another location) and crew that make it that awesome. The announcer, Dan Lovranski is an old school wrestling fan (and co-host of Live Audio Wrestling ) and brings a lot to the proceedings as does Comissioner Stacey P. Case (great handle by the way).
If you are ever in Toronto when the PFL is running an event, I highly recommend checking it out. Next time I'm bringing more friends.