Archive for March, 2009

dvd review: SPECIAL

March 29, 2009

special

George Romero’s 1977 film Martin remains one of the greatest vampire movies of all time. A brooding deconstruction of the genre and mythology of vampires, Martin raised the burning question of whether or not the title character was really a blood-thirsty monster, or just a very crazy young man. If in fact Martin (John Amplas) was a vampire, then the film stripped away all the magic and superstition surrounding the supernatural creatures, making them sad and mundane creatures that lead lives of lonely desperation. But if the antagonist in Romero’s film was not an 84 year old blood-sucker, then he was merely a disturbed kid who happened to be a serial killer. And while Romero himself has clearly stated his intention, the film is vague enough that it can be interpreted either way, which is what makes it genius. That same level of thought-provoking genre deconstruction can be found in co-writers and co-directors Hal Haberman and Jeremy Passmore’s Special. (more…)

Advertisements

dvd review: NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN

March 27, 2009

neversay-never

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Never Say Never Again, the 1983 James Bond film that marked the return of Sean Connery, but was not part of the actual Bond franchise that had started back in 1962 with Dr. No. That same year saw the release of Octopussy starring Roger Moore, which represented, at least at the time, the worst of the Albert Broccoli produced Bond films. Octopussy was so bad that when Never Say Never Again was released a few months later, it seemed brilliant. The best Bond movie ever. But twenty-six years later, released as a “special edition” DVD to coincide with the release of Quantum of Solace, and without the stench of Ocotpussy making it smell like a bed of roses, it seemed like a good time to revisit Never Say Never Again. (more…)

Blackenstein for President?

March 26, 2009

bsteinI find no end to the amusement provided by RNC Chairman Michael Steele (a.k.a. Blackenstein), a man I look at with slack-jawed wonder every time he opens his mouth. Now he’s talking about possibly running for president. Please excuse me…I simultaneously pissed myself with laughter and vomited in disgust. Calling Blackenstein a retard would be an affront to all mentally challenged people across the globe, just as calling him a sell out would somehow undermine the efforts of ever non-white person who has attempted to make white people accept them by buying into the Myth of Ofay Superiority (MOOS). He transcends both retardation and self-hating sell out-ism. Someone needs to talk some sense into Blackenstein, perhaps by performing some sort of exorcism that involves force-feeding him fried chicken and watermelon while repeatedly playing James Brown’s “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.” Or maybe someone should just beat his ass like he was a runaway slave.  At the same time, I can’t express how much I enjoy the grand spectacle of stupidty that follows him everywhere like the lingering stench of rancid flatulence. If nothing else, Michael Steele serves as a beautiful counter balance to President Obama, giving people everywhere a wonderful way to gauge the measure of a man, and providing a burning question we can ask our children for generations to come: Do you want to be like Barack or be like Blackenstein?

dvd review: PUNISHER: WAR ZONE

March 25, 2009

pwz3

Let’s be honest with each other. Anyone who did not have low expectations going into Punisher: War Zone was pretty much an idiot. Sure, some of the trailers looked pretty cool—especially the red band trailer—but that wasn’t really enough to make up for the fact that there were two other film incarnations of Marvel Comics’ vigilante, and both of those sucked. But when I watched this most recent version in theaters back when it was released in 2008, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, the film may have paled in comparison to other ’08 comic book movies like Iron Man and The Dark Knight, but taken on its own, and judged by its own merits, Punisher: War Zone was at the very least an entertaining diversion. (What follows is an updated version of my theatrical review.) (more…)

New article on MSN

March 22, 2009

CLH1.CA.Of.1129.brian.O.1

Check out my latest article on MSN.

BUY MY NEW BOOK!!!!

March 18, 2009

blax-book1Okay folks…here is a little something from the Department of Shameless Self Promotion: I have a book coming out at the end of the month. Reflections on Blaxploitation: Actors and Directors Speak is a collection of interviews with some of the most legendary names in blaxploitation history. The interviews were conducted by me, Andrew Rausch and Chris Watson, and die hard fans will not want to miss this essential collection (especially since it includes several interviews that have been long out of print, including my conversation with the late Ron O’Neal). Since I didn’t actually get paid for the book, make sure you buy your copy from Amazon by following one of these links (that way I get a commission).

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bamo-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=0810867060&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

The New Adventures of David Walker

March 15, 2009

jugglingheadThose of you paying attention to the Adventures of David Walker should know by now that I have a new job. But just in case you missed any recent updates to this ongoing saga, I’ll give you all a brief recap. Less than two weeks ago I interview for the position of “coordinator” for something called the Intel Computer Clubhouse. Three days later I was hired, and three days after that I flew to Boston for training at the Museum of Science. The ICC is an after school and summer learning program founded by M.I.T. and the Museum of Science that serves under privileged young people by providing creative and technological resources and education. The ICC in Portland is hosted by the Salvation Army, and has been closed for quite some time, and my job is to get it up and running, create a curriculum, recruit volunteer instructors/mentors, and find young people to teach. (more…)

Mabel Evans – Rest In Peace

March 10, 2009

hancock-sisters
It’s a cold night here in Boston when my phone rings. My mom is on the other line with some sad news she doesn’t really want to share. Aunt Mabel passed away yesterday. She was ninety-something years old, one of my grandmother’s sisters, one of the Hancock Sisters, and the last of that particular branch of the family tree. (more…)

dvd review: ROLE MODELS

March 7, 2009

rolemodels

There are people who will no doubt not like Role Models, deeming it, as one of my school teachers used to call me, “rude, crude and socially unacceptable.” Well, the truth of the matter is that I am rude, crude and socially unacceptable. I scoff at political correctness and the delicate sensibilities of others as my brow hangs defiantly low. And while all of that may lend itself to why I enjoyed Role Models so much, the real reason is, quite simply, that Role Models is a very funny movie. (more…)

In the Army

March 6, 2009

There are some major developments going on in my life, and I wanted to share them with anyone who is interested. I have been hired to run something here in Portland called the Intel Computer Clubhouse. The ICC is an after school and summer learning program for under privileged young people that provides creative and technological resources and education. In Portland, the ICC is operated by the Salvation Army (hence my announcement that I have joined the Army). It is my hope that this new job with provide me with an opportunity to help young people that are marginalized or lacking guidance, so that they can begin to maximize their potential. I’m headed off to Boston for training this week, so chances are pretty good that I won’t be updating any of my sites/pages while I’m gone. I still plan on doing as much writing as possible, so keep checking back at all the usual places.