Thursday, August 27, 2009


Just wanted to give you all a little bit of information with regard to FanExpo, which starts tomorrow, being Friday, August 28, 2009, in case you had intended to try and catch up with us during the show.

We will likely be spending a considerable portion of our time in the Media Room, as we are officially members of the media, but we will also undoubtedly end up getting some random wandering in. If you happen to see us, don't hesitate to flag us down. We're always more than happy to meet fellow geeks who actually consider us remotely entertaining.

Sunday, after the con festivities have either wound down, or ended, we will be attempting to set up some measure of Beer Summit, as Brent described it. We started this tradition at Anime North, and it seems like a good one. We'll just gather in a bar, have a few drinks, and wind down from the rigours of the convention. Just a nice, relaxing drink with whomever decides to show up. Once we get some more details for this worked out, we'll post it either here, or in the Facebook group.

As always, if you have any questions to be asked of guests, interviewees, or if you just have something you want to say to, or ask us, our convention email is This email address goes directly to my iPhone, and is active during conventions only.

We hope to see you there!

Episode 12 (High Quality)

Just in time for FanExpo, the Two Assholes (along with one of our favourite Guestholes, Evan Fraser) deliver up some ranty ravey goodness for you to enjoy.

This time around, we spend a considerable portion of time examining the wide and varied ways that our collective childhoods have been violently raped by the "revivals" of various '80s properties, specifically Transformers and GI Joe. To avoid possible spoilers, it's best for you to have watched Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The venomous rampage of verbiage will make much more sense that way.

After the rage is all out of our systems, we managed to actually get down to a relatively normal show. The beer likely also contributed.

Episode 12

Just in time for FanExpo, the Two Assholes (along with one of our favourite Guestholes, Evan Fraser) deliver up some ranty ravey goodness for you to enjoy.

This time around, we spend a considerable portion of time examining the wide and varied ways that our collective childhoods have been violently raped by the "revivals" of various '80s properties, specifically Transformers and GI Joe. To avoid possible spoilers, it's best for you to have watched Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The venomous rampage of verbiage will make much more sense that way.

After the rage is all out of our systems, we managed to actually get down to a relatively normal show. The beer likely also contributed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inglourious Basterds review

This review may contain spoilers. I'm going to try not to give out too many but there are probably a few in here. Turn ye back now or face thee the consequences of Movie Nerd-dom!

Still there?

Okay you're now in ODF territory (Own Damn Fault).

Quentin Tarantino is a weird director for a lot of people of my age group. Like Metallica, Tarantino seems to have a sharp dividing line of when he was awesome and when he went downhill, or vice versa. For example, a lot of Metallica fans point to the Black album as the album that started them into crapacity: phrases like “They were much better before that fucking Sandman” or “Metallica has turned into a bunch of fags” (please note these aren't my words, they are the words of two guys in particular I went to high school with) were used. Other people, myself included, see the Black album as Metallica in their best form.

For film fans and specifically Tarantino fans, this rings true with Kill Bill. Some fans see it as a turning point and a triumph, others see it as a “Where the fuck is the dialogue-heavy gangster movie I love? What's with this kung fu shit?”.

And to be honest, I can completely understand both sides of the argument.

Now for the sake of the rest of the article, you should know, I am firmly in the former territory.

Still there?

Okay now for the three of you left reading this, we're getting to Inglourious Basterds, so bear with me.

I love Kill Bill (both volumes soon hopefully to be put back together in the Whole Bloody Affair DVD set I'm willing to kill to have put out) and I also rather enjoy Death Proof (his contribution to Grindhouse – although to be honest, I much prefer it as part of the double bill with fake commercials, etc).

I see them both as the work of a director who is not only skilled at his craft and in storytelling, but also as films the director wanted to make. No one badgered him into making either of these films, they aren't based off a comic book or a remake of another movie: like them, hate them or love them, both of those movies were exactly the movies Quentin Tarantino wanted to make, with very few compromises.

Inglourious Basterds is the same way.

And before a single one of you gets on me about it being a remake, it isn't. It shares a similar title (not misspelled however) with an Italian film starring Bo Svenson and Fred Williamson, but the plots are nothing alike. I know; I own it in a two-disc special edition DVD...yes, I am that one guy.

The Inglourious Basterds is a multi-sub-plot film about a plot to kill Hitler and the majority of his top guys during a film screening in Paris. Part of this involves Aldo the Apache (Brad Pitt) and his group of Basterds: Jewish American soldiers using gruesome guerrilla tactics to scare the Germans, tactics including but not limited to brutally murdering and scalping Nazi soldiers. The other main story revolves around a young Jewish woman named Shosanna, the only survivor of a raid on her family's safe haven by Colonel Hans “Jew Hunter” Landa.

Basterds is a war film that is completely Tarantino's from start to glorious finish. It is not historically accurate, nor does it pretend to be. It is also a film that borders on comedy at many moments While the violence is grisly and brutal, there are moments where the film almost ventures into Marx Brothers territory.

Tarantino has also proved some critics wrong by demonstrating an ability to do suspense effectively. There is a bar scene in Basterds that, at first, seems like a typical Tarantino dialogue scene. Then it seems like it's a scene going a little too long...and then a lot too long...and finally you're just begging for something to happen – not because you want the scene over and done with, but because the suspense is driving you nuts. You know that someone has to die...but when?

I was surprised by a few things in Basterds. The first is that a majority of the dialogue is in French or German.

The second was Eli Roth.

For those of you who didn't know beforehand, Eli Roth, who plays the baseball bat wielding “Jew Bear” Seargent Donny Donowitz (and who gets the majority of the screen throughout the film) is himself a director. He is the guy behind Cabin Fever and the Hostel films. And while I don't think this proves he's an amazing actor by any stretch, it does prove if he wants a second career, he could probably have it.

The third thing that was almost a revelation to me is Austrian born actor Christoph Waltz, who portrays the villainous “Jew Hunter”. Every single moment this man is on screen, he commands it. As far as I can tell from his IMDB entry, this is his first North American/English language film, but I really hope it's not his last. Hell, I'm even thinking of searching out some of his German work just to see more of this guy.

The film is well written – over his last couple films, Tarantino has used learn his trademark dialogue-heavy scenes sparingly. The action is well filmed and as with all of his movies, his use of music is superb. There are a few of his “regulars” showing up as bit parts, the best of which is Harvey Keitel playing (perhaps) the father of his Winston character from Pulp Fiction. If you noticed his cameo, you will completely understand what I mean.

Now for the bad.

If you didn't like Kill Bill or Death Proof, chances are you are not going to like this film either, nor will it make you a believer in Tarantino's current direction as a film maker. Sam Jackson does make an appearance but he ain't in a suit and this definitely is not a crime picture.

I also felt, despite the slightly-over-two-and-a-half hour running time, some of the film seems rushed. I would love to see more of Aldo and his Basterds or more on how Shosanna went from running away from Landa to owning a movie theater.

Now I'm going to get a little political.

My only other main concern was the film taking up the Indian Jones banner of “All Germans WERE NAZIS and therefore ALL Germans were EVIL fucks who deserved the same treatment they gave the Jews.”

While I know it's just a movie, and as I also pointed out it's not historically accurate in the slightest, it still bothers me a little that all Germans are painted with this brush. The truth of the matter is, not all Germans were Nazis, and the majority of German soldiers did not know the Holocaust was occurring. One of the few positive things to come out of Bryan Singer's Valkyrie was the fact that is brings up this point. It's like saying that every solider in Iraq rapes and pillages.

And before someone gets up in arms. I am not a Holocaust denier in any regards. I know it happened, and to be honest, I also happen to think it's a lot worse then the general media lets us think: beyond the millions of Jews there were also millions of Poles, POW's, various Slavs, disabled, mentally ill, homosexuals and Romani who were sent to the camps and never came back. Not to mention the atrocities that the Japanese committed during the same time period.

Anyway, back to the movie.

I understand it makes it good for the plot but a couple more good Germans would have been nice.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

BMTAA #6: Darkman

Everyone does things people more or less for get about. Actors are in movies that people forget about and Directors are no exception to this rule either.

Which brings us to this week's film, Darkman.

Sam Raimi.

Ask your general nerd about Sam Raimi and they will tell you about two sets of franchises he has directed. The Evil Dead series and the Spider-Man films.

Ask a more advanced nerd, they may bring up his latest movie, Drag Me To Hell or the fact Raimi was an executive producer on Xena and Hercules.

But along the way people forget about a good chunk of movies he did that were not related to any of those films. A Simple Plan for instance is probably hands down, Raimi's best film and was even nominated for a couple of Oscars but is now more or less forgotten by the general public. There's also The Quick and the Dead, For the Love of the Game, The Gift (okay well that one can stay forgotten) and Darkman.

You see boys and girls, Sam Raimi is really a fan of comic books and heroes and after Evil Dead 2 had garnered him a bit of interest from major film studios (film companies like guys who can make a profit. Sam and producer Rob Tapert and producer/actor Bruce Campbell turned profits on both Evil Dead films...eventually). Sam was really keen on getting the rights to Batman...or maybe even The Shadow.

Unfortunately, both were taken and we ended up with Tim Burton's version of Batman in 1989 and Russell Mulcahy's The Shadow in 1994. And for the record, I like both of those films...yes I like The Shadow...yes it will appear in this column sometime in the future.

But given his jonesing, Sam and buddy Rob Tapert managed to convince Universal to give them money to do their own superhero flick.

Peyton Westlake (played by Liam Nesson, a guy who was nominated for an Oscar) is a good scientist. He's trying to help burn victims and other people fake skin by...well developing fake skin. But it has one problem. If in a light source it only lasts 99 minutes. In the dark however, it does pretty good.

Peyton has a girlfriend named Julie (played by Oscar winner Frances McDormand) who has discovered that that an evil real estate developer has teamed up with an evil mobster to bribe land commissioners to help them zone for OCP's New Detroit!...wait wrong movie....but they more or less want to build the same thing.

How bad ass are these mobsters lead by evil SOB Robert Durant (played by Larry Drake...who's never been nominated for an Oscar but he did win two Emmys)?

At the start of the movie, this mob of five guys wipes out a gang of what looks to be at least a hundred guys with a machine gun hidden in the fake leg of one of the mobsters.

Anyways the mobsters and the evil land guy wants Julie's proof so they go to Peyton's labs and smash the shit out the lab, out of him, kill his lab assistant, and then leave him to die by blowing him up.

Peyton gets blown from the lab and found. He's in the hospital for a while where they destroy the nerves to his brain that have him feel pain. This also gives him enhanced strength and the mood swings of a manic depressive emo 15 year old girl who is pms-ing.

Peyton wakes up and then goes out for revenge. he rebuilds his lad...sort of and uses his fake skin to trick the bad guys, kills them but knows he can not be with Julie until he fixes all of his skin and emotional problems.

And he has makes one mask that looks just like Bruce Campbell.

When this movie was released it did fairly well despite what reportedly was constant interference from the studio.

Where this movie is good is the idea. I love the concept behind the character. It's a little bit the Shadow, a little bit Batman with a dash of Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame for good measure. I also think the general story of the film is good for a superhero movie, especially for that time.

Where this movie is bad is the acting. yes despite all of the awards the actors I mentioned have won, the acting in this film is by in large, horrible and really over the top.

Liam Neeson for instance spends 90% of the movie channelling Bruce Campbell's Ash persona but then turns the volume up to 11. Not that I really blame him. The part was obviously intended for Campbell (who studio execs balked at) and if you need any further proof, watch the scene where Peyton is shit kicked by the mobsters and has his head rammed into variety of windows, beakers and liquids. This is obviously a traditional Raimi-torturing Bruce scene that poor Neeson still got stuck doing.

Larry Drake is probably the most solid performer in the film...I honestly can't take anything away from him in this.

The other bad is the effects and sound editing. From what I remember, Campbell mentions in the book how the film was out of money but not quite done so that explains part of it but really, Sam, you come from a big family, you put Ted in the movie, you couldn't call up the other brothers and their girlfriends to give you a hand with the adr? All you could get was Bruce?

Now maybe this isn't noticeable to someone who isn't a Bruce Campbell fan but for someone who is, you can clearly hear his yelling and screaming throughout the film.

But overall even now, the film is still fun and pretty cheap. I got it at Blockbuster, brand new in a Franchise collection with Darkman 2: The Return of Durant and Darkman 3: Die Darkman Die! (both were straight to video sequels) for a grand total of...Five dollars.

Darkman alone is worth at least $7.50

Friday, August 14, 2009

BMTAA Extra: Cult Movies That Are Awesome#1 The Warriors

"Warriors...come out and play!"

Hey there boys and girls. Now this is a movie I was kind of conflicted with this film because it can be argued that the film I'm about to discuss is not a bad movie.

It can also be argued that it is a bad movie with a great story at it's core and a bunch of raw actors who later prove themselves.

But what is not under dispute is the fact that The Warriors is a film that has achieved a rather decent cult following and should be discussed by someone... so here I am.

The Warriors is about a street gang Warriors and their quest to get home. You see The Warriors are kind of caught up in a sticky situation.

The Warriors along with what appears to be a hundred other gangs. A gang messiah of sorts named Cyrus has brought everyone together in order to become one united gang.

But one of the other gangs called The Rogues decides this isn't a good idea for some reason. They smuggle a gun in and shot Cyrus. The man doing the shooting is Luther played by character actor extraordinaire, David Patrick Kelly (48 hrs, The Crow, Last Man Standing, Commando) and then points the finger at The Warriors for the shooting.

All hell breaks loose.

The gangs go after The Warriors, their leader gets jacked and presumably killed in a vicious manner. The Warriors book it and begin their long journey back to Coney Island. At every turn a new gang or a new problem arises; fire on the subway tracks, gangs come out of the wood work, cops, the whole nine yards.

And the gangs!

The gangs are what makes this movie special. Each gang is unique. They all look a little different, the most well known is the Baseball Furies who are dressed in pseudo Yankees uniforms, face paint and wielding baseball bats but in the opening sequence alone we are introduced to gangs of 70's style pimps, mimes, gangs in fatigues, gangs of guys in biker gear with shaved heads, a weird Asian gang wearing a combination of traditional style Tibetan hats and Chinese military jackets, it's just a rich world of gangs in this film.

The movie introduced us to James Remar (veteran character actor best known today as Dexter's dad on Dexter) and helped to expand the audience of director Walter Hill (48 hrs, Extreme Prejudice, Deadwood) and the classic Joe Walsh/Eagles track In The City which ends the film.

As far as low budget action movies go, this one is truly a gem.

Now for the bad...or not so good depending on your views.

There are two versions of The Warriors out on dvd and both have issues.

An older version of the dvd (still in print) has original theatrical cut of the film but suffers from a not so great picture quality and only the original 2.0 mono soundtrack and no extras at all.

Now an Ultimate Director's Cut was released on dvd a few years ago. It includes a vastly improved picture, sound in a decent 5.1 mix as well as 2.0 and a decent making of extra.

Now the bad.

For this version Walter Hill went in and pulled a little bit of a "Lucas" and inserted some comic book style panels in between certain cuts and edits. According to Walter Hill's very brief introduction to this new version, it's to make the film more like what he originally envisioned.

Now for newer viewers, probably doesn't make much of a difference.

Guys like me, it's a bit annoying. Hill even mentions that he knows some fans won't like it. What makes it more annoying is that considering the space on a dvd, there is no reason why this dvd couldn't have held BOTH versions of the film (Like a few of the dvd versions of Terminator 2 hold both the extended cut and theatrical) other then money.

I'm all for trying new things and if you are a film maker and want to extend or fix a film, by all means go a head, just give me the original while you're at it. Blade Runner is a prime example of how to do it. The set I have has four different versions of the film.

So if you do plan to check this out, just be aware of the differences.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Real Canadian Assholes to view Real American Heroes! GI JOE Screening!

Hey everyone.

For all of your Toronto area listeners, we have a little bit of a rare treat for you. If you listened to our last episode, you will know that Adam and I are going to be watching GI Joe this upcoming Saturday and we want YOU to join us!

Saturday August 15th

Yonge and Eglington Silver City (Yonge and Eglington Center, google map at the end of the post)

Well be attending the 7:10 show, on the off chance Silver City completely rearranges their listings before Saturday we will be attending the FIRST showing AFTER 7pm. The 6:30 meet time is just to meet and greet the few of you we don't actually know.

Please feel free to bring friends and spread the word about TATANS! The more people we get out to this one, the more likely there is to be another one but with prizes and cheap ticket prices.

And for a few of you, there will be a very SPECIAL surprise after the film.

Yes we've heard that the movie is terrible but that's going to be part of the fun now isn't it?

Adam and I hope to see some of you there!

Yonge and Eglington Silver City HERE

25 Years of Kicking Shell! A look back at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and it's Future

Well it's a little bit of nostalgia time. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It also marked the end of an era.

25 I'm old.

I know what some of you are saying. "Geez Brent, stop your talk about the 80's and how much better it is...why don't you just roll your wheel chair out to the porch and start yelling at the kids to get off your lawn."

I don't need to use a wheel chair, thank you very much, my walker is just fine and those kids are jerks and need to get off my lawn.

The fact of the matter is, what started off as a one issue parody comic book grew into not only something really interesting but a comic that helped spark a revolution in comics.

But first a little bit of history.

May 1984 saw the printing of 3000 copies of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1. Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird had come up with an interesting idea that parodied a lot of things going on in comics at the time that were popular, the New Mutants and Daredevil being prime examples. Using a family loan from Eastman's uncle and tax refunds, Eastman and Laird did a small print run.

And it sold out. And caught on.

Soon we saw Turtles comics, spin-offs, cartoons, movies, action figures but the other thing that occurred was that it proved to many comic book creators that once and for all there was money to be had in self publishing. Laird and Eastman owned the Turtles. The destiny of the Turtles was in their hands, not some editors or some large company's, theirs.

They made the decisions, they reaped the rewards.

TMNT was far from being the first indy comic but it will probably go down is one of the most successful. Had TMNT not been the huge hit that it was, would we have gotten an Image Comics? or Bone?

Very hard to say in hindsight.

The Turtles have gone through over the years, while the core characters stay relatively the same the maturity level has changed through out. The original comic book Turtles are fairly violent and surprisingly decently written. I say surprisingly not as an insult to the creators involved just when you look at the story on the's a pretty hard stretch but even with a lack of experience, Laird and Eastman made the book work really well.

A lot of people of my generation who aren't comic book fans remember the Turtles from two main sources. A cartoon series and a film (or films..urgh..get to that in a minute).

The cartoon is very kid friendly and very much a family oriented version of the comic. It was here that the Turtles got different coloured head bands (in the comic when we did see them in colour, all the bands were red). It introduced more mutants and changed various aspects of some characters to fit the needs of the show. It also introduced the world to another indy comic character in Usagi Yojimbo.

The first film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles however is probably the closest to capturing the feel of the original comics. While not incredibly violent, the characters remain true to their comic roots and for a kid/teen flick, well written. Not to mention the suits!

If you ever wonder what we would do for monsters and such in film if CG suddenly vanished, here you go. Created by Jim Henson's company, these suits were and still are a fantastic representation of what you can do with practical effects.

Now after the first film, two others arrived unfortunately watered down by parents groups and other outside forces. Urgh. The Turtles no longer used weapons, they got a pizza boy side kick, Casey Jones disappears in Part 2 (apparently a hockey stick wielding vigilante was too violent) and cameos as a pretty much useless character in the 3rd. Skip them, stick to the first one...and maybe the CG one...get to that in a minute.

Now since then we have seen a live action show (terrible), a few more cartoons and a CG movies. The CG film out of the modern incarnations is probably the best but it still seems to be missing something.

As for the creators, Kevin Eastman got out of the Turtle biz quite a while ago. Using the money he had made, he first started Tundra, a comic company hoping to help other creators realise their dreams of creating comics that they wanted to create.

The company didn't do too well but a couple rather big things did come out of it, most notably Dave McKean's Cages and Alan Moore/Eddie Campbell's collaboration on From Hell.

After Tundra, Eastman went on to buy Heavy Metal Magazine and remains it's owner and publisher. They currently are working on multiple graphic novels, the magazine and apparently a new animated film that may or may not have contributions from James Cameron, David Fincher, Guillermo del Toro amongst others.

Eastman sold his last remaining ties to the Turtles empire in 2008 to Peter laird.

Peter Laird has been the constant in the Turtles universe gaining large control in 2000 with a purchase of Eastman's share with the exception of a small continuing income participation which was then bought out in 2008.

And then this we week it was announced that Viacom/Nickelodeon has bought the Turtles. According to Jim Lawson's (long time Turtle artist) blog, Laird has retained the right to publish 18 issues of Turtles comics a year but other then that, he's done.

Laird has mentioned in his blog that the main reason he has sold the Turtles was he wants to work on other things and the all consuming entity of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hasn't really allowed time for that. Pretty much the same reasons Kevin Eastman got out several years ago. He also mentions the fact he still loves the characters but he isn't enthusiastic about working on them anymore.

In other words, if you love them, set them free.

How will the Turtles fare under their new owners? No idea. This could be a good move of this could be horrible but no matter what, it won't destroy the past. My copy of the original Turtles flick is still safely on my shelf, my trades of the Turtles early adventures are still on my bookshelf, Viacom can't come in and take them.

On a purely personal note, I over my years of fandom and being a would be professional in comics have met a great many people who work in comics. Some of them are still around in the industry, some of them are long gone. Some are dicks and others have been a pleasure to meet.

I first met Peter Laird around five, six years ago at Fan Expo (or whatever it was called then). He was pleasant and very willing to talk Turtles and other comic stuff. He was just about to start a head sketch for me when the power went out (we later found out a raccoon fell inside a transformer). But with the dim light coming in from the windows of building, Peter finished the sketch, apologised if it was a little rough and thanked me for my support. Overall, a really nice guy.

Lights came back on, the sketch was perfect. I was amazed.

It was at this point I over-heard someone mention to Laird that the Turtles were twenty years old. At which point I realised (and this is not to take away from Peter's skill as an artist at all) that he had drawn this head so much that he could draw a Turtle with his eyes closed.

Now after that ask me if I blame him for wanting to do something new.

A few years later, I got the chance to meet Kevin Eastman. I was over joyed and frightened. I have one of the original Mirage printings of the first Turtles trade paperback. It was my first purchase from Ebay and I love that book. Laird had been kind enough to sign it for me four years earlier and Eastman's signature would kind of complete the book.

Only problem, the grapevine had it that Eastman hated the Turtles.

But I had to try.

I went to the Heavy Metal booth a bought one of their books and drooled over an original Simon Bisely painting (that there was no way I could afford). I slipped the Turtle's book in with the Heavy Metal book. When he got to it, he noticed Laird had signed first and he looked at me and said "Well I guess that's what happens when I don't come to Toronto for years." sketched a Turtle head and signed the book. I then handed over my sketch book over and he asked "Who's your favorite Turtle?"

As what's customary in my sketch books, I allow the artist to draw whatever they want. He proceeded to do a full blown Leonardo sketch that is one of the prizes of my collection. We shot the shit about the announced Heavy Metal animated film and I mentioned the rumours going around about his possible Turtles hatred.

Kevin explained there is no way he could ever hate the Turtles. While he no longer wanted to be part of them creatively, the Turtles had built the foundation for what turned out to be a rewarding career in comics and publishing.

He, much like his former partner, was a top notch dude.

So which now brings us to the end of this article, the end of a chapter in the Turtles Saga and the beginning of a new one.

What else is there left to say?


(hit play on the video below)

Friday, August 7, 2009

R.I.P. John Hughes

"I do have a test today, that wasn't bullshit. It's on European socialism. I mean, really, what's the point? I'm not European. I don't plan on being European. So who gives a crap if they're socialists? They could be fascist anarchists, it still doesn't change the fact that I don't own a car."

Ferris Bueller - Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Yesterday as I was chatting with friends, I discovered with a fair bit of sadness, that director/writer John Hughes had passed away.

While this may not mean much to a good chunk of you, but kids of the 80's remember Hughes's name as a mark of quality comedy and family films. From National Lampoon's Vacation to the recent Drillbit Taylor ( he wrote the story under the name Edmund Dantes), Hughes had made a great name for himself as not only a good writer, but a commercially viable writer.

His dialogue was funny and hip. Much like current writers like Kevin Smith and Wes Anderson (who are the film offspring of Hughes in many ways), Hughes had a way of writing teen characters like Ferris or Judd Nelson's bad ass with a heart of gold, John Bender in The Breakfast Club where the dialogue was quick witty and you believed it. And it's quotable. Anyone who has ever seen Ferris Buller's Day Off has at least said the basic line of "Bueller?...Bueller?" from Ben Stein's economics class.

He was also a decent director starting with Sixteen Candles and continuing with The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off amongst others. Even today, the last shot of the Breakfast Club with Judd Nelson walking off into the sunset on the football field, arm raised triumphantly, is still often copied and parodied.

The hallmark of a great many of the John Hughes films was the fact they were kind of in a shared universe. Weird Science, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink nad National Lampoon's Vacation all feature the fictional town of Shermer, Illinois. I always had an idea that I would one day do a crossover comic where all the characters would meet one another. A gang of nerdy Anthony Micheal Halls!

The sad part is that due to his passing and lack of being in the public eye for the past few years, John Hughes will be unfairly categorized as "that 80's movie guy". The truth of the matter is, yes the clothes and the music (which was awesome) are now dated but the themes still ring true. Teens have problems, not all teenagers are idiots and cars can be the gateways to great stories.

R.I.P. John Hughes.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

BMTAA #5 Purple Rain

This week on Bad Movies That Are Awesome, we're changing gears a little. Don't worry, I'll get to your requests again soon but for now I present a movie that is largely overlooked in the annals of Badwesome Cinema.

You see young'ens once upon a time there was a man who was the master of the guitar. He was an incredible song writer. He easily blended r&b, rock, funk, jazz and pop. He was a musical genius to behold.

And he was very short.

Yes ladies and gentleman, his name was Prince.

Serious, his real name is Prince. Prince Roger Nelson...but I digress.

Prince was become a real mover and shaker in the music biz and during the tour he came up with a movie idea about a really talented musician who's trying to not become like his dad, an alcoholic wife beater. He's also trying to get gigs for his band and keep his absurdly named girlfriend, Apollonia by his side all while battling the evil machinations of Morris Day and his band The Time.

Now first off, a warning.

This movie is terrible, from almost top to bottom. The script for instance is lazy. All of the characters with the exception of Prince and his on screen parents (his dad played by Clarence Williams III best known to folk at the time as Link on Mod Squad now known to a generation of stoners as the villain in Half Baked) go by their real first names. Morris Day plays Morris. Apollonia (to clear this up, that's not her real name but Prince apparently had this weird thing about naming the lead singers of bands he created) played a character named Apollonia. Prince however, having a ridiculous first name get's to go by "The Kid".

Follow that up with terrible acting. I mean dreadful. The best performance (acting wise) is Morris Day and he's esentially playing a bad version of himself. And Prince is terrible. Even though you know he probably fucked the crap out of her in real life (probably kinkier sex than you could imagine, probably up there in Adam imagination levels), you do not believe Apollonia would date this dude.


Because women do not date 2x4s and that's the extent of Prince's acting range.

So why, you are asking yourself, should I bother with this movie?

Because normally this would be just a fun, drinking movie. You know, you're spending an afternoon in your underwear watching reruns on TBS...sorry Peachtree TV and it comes on and you watch it because you are obviously hung over or bored.

But what pulls it together is the fact that with the bad acting comes an incredible soundtrack. It's amazing that it happens because it's bad acting bad acting and then BAM! Morris Day and the Time do "Jungle Love" then bad acting bad acting bad acting WHAMO! "I Would Die 4 U" (no that's not an error, that's how it's listed in the soundtrack).

The soundtrack makes the movie this weird combination that truly full fills the title of this column Bad Movies That Are Awesome.

And just in case you were wondering at how good the soundtrack is?

It won three Grammys (back when they sort of meant something) and it won an Oscar back when those did mean something.

Sure it was up against The Muppets Take Manhattan and some movie I had never heard of (which is saying something) called Songwriter (It stars Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson and from reading the description, instantly went on the must find and watch list) but damn it, Purple Rain still kicks ass 25 years later (random trivia, the 25 anniversary of the release date of the album was June 25 but got kind of over shadowed by a Charlie's Angel and a King of Pop dying the same day).

And it was never to be repeated. Prince went on to make two more films (Under the Cherry Moon and a Purple Rain sequel called Graffiti Bridge) that are not nearly this good or this bad.

Now I know a great many of you are going to do one of two things.

You are going to download the movie or you will buy it in an ultra cheap set that double bills it with Fame.


And I'm not saying this out of a "Shame on you, stealing is wrong!" kind of thing or a "stop being a cheap bastard" kind of thing.

I'm saying this because this is a movie that deserves non compressed non avi sound. This is something you should get the disc for due to sound quality alone.

And to be honest with you, if you're ordering it off Amazon, the two disc Purple Rain is only 2 bucks more expensive AND you don't get stuck with Fame.

Yeah that's right, I said it, Fame sucks.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Episode 11 (High Quality)

The Two Assholes are back with another regular episode. This time around, we ramble on about comic book movies, and movie comic books, as well as video games, Harry Potter, and Tiger Rape. Plus, we throw in a few teasers for the upcoming "How Our Collective Childhoods Were Raped In The Ass" episode.

Download Episode 11 (High Quality) - iPod Enhanced Version

Episode 11

The Two Assholes are back with another regular episode. This time around, we ramble on about comic book movies, and movie comic books, as well as video games, Harry Potter, and Tiger Rape. Plus, we throw in a few teasers for the upcoming "How Our Collective Childhoods Were Raped In The Ass" episode.

Download Episode 11 - iPod Enhanced Version