Bond. James Bond.

007 Group

I love the James Bond movies. I could literally write thousands of words about why I love the movies, all 24 of them.  Before Spectre came out, I sat down and watched all 23-movies in a 4-week marathon.  I loved it, despite my wife’s outward disgust and shame.

A couple weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend and ask what his favourite Bond movie was. He said Octopussy only because he thought it was the best name in the series. For obvious reasons. See kids, even at 41 years of age, jokes about innuendo-ish names makes us giggle.  So of course I threw it on and enjoyed every minute of it.

I had watched a few Bond movies growing up with my Dad.  He wasn’t an overly big fan of Bond, but liked the movies if/when they came on TV.  I remember watching Licence to Kill the most only because it was on the movie network and my dad recorded it (yes, on VHS) for me.  Looking back at it, I wouldn’t say its my favourite Bond movie, but it was the one that I watched the most.

In my late teens, while working at a video store, I decided to watch all the Bond movies that were available (up to that point, the last movie available was, it turns out, Licence to Kill).   I had no idea in what order the moves were released and had to rely on a movie guide book to point me in the right direction.

After that, I have watched every subsequent Bond movie in theatres, starting with Goldeneye in 1995. There is just something mesmerizing about these movies that catches me on so many levels. Sure, a lot of it is crazy and if they were to be stand-alone movies, not held to the universe that is James Bond, most of these movies would be ridiculous. But because they actually do include the character of James Bond, that elevates these movies considerably. Listen, that last sentence makes as much sense as Moonraker, but hey…that’s just the way it is, right?

007 LogoI have been considering introducing my son to the world of James Bond and have had difficulty wondering a) if I should and b) which movie to start him off with. Because, if I show him the movies in chronological order, he may be bored with how dated some of the movies look. But he’s too young for the recent Daniel Craig-era movies as they’re too violent for an 8.5 year old.

So maybe I need to start with the Pierce Brosnan films?  Or maybe the Roger Moore ones…only because Moore played Bond with a bit of silliness, more so than his predecessors (yes, plural. Everyone forgets George Lazenby).  Funny enough, the weight of this decision is based on how he will answer the following question as he grows older:

Who is your James Bond?

And that’s a pretty serious question because there have been six actors to portray 007 and they’ve each brought something so amazing to the role. Yes, even Timothy Dalton, you haters!  In all honesty, its a pretty stressful question because the answer you give informs others of just the type of person you are.

As for me?  I used to think Connery was my Bond but then after watching all the movies a couple years back, I’m not so sure. And to be honest, I haven’t made my decision yet. We’ll talk about it another time. But now? Maybe its time I bring the Bond 50th Blu Ray set down and crack it open yet again, and introduce my son to the amazing world of 007.

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Is 3D Dead?

BluRay3DLogoWhen we moved to our current house three years ago, the wife ‘allowed’ me to buy a new TV for our basement. Given the area that I was putting it in, I decided to go with plasma as it was a pretty dark room and plasma benefits from a lack of light.

I was pretty excited to have a new TV, first one in about eight years, and plasma to boot!  6000:1 ratio!  And then Samsung announced they were halting production of plasma sets about three weeks after I bought mine. Figures.

The TV I bought was a 3D-enabled set. Which was cool because I thought 3D movies would benefit from being viewed at home. I didn’t mind watching films in theatres in 3D and honestly thought that, the way things were going, 3D formats would be here to stay.

Of course, you can’t just have a 3D tv but you also need a 3D Blu Ray player. Ok. So I bought that too. The first pure 3D movie I grabbed was Dredd 3D. I think I got spoiled with the notion of 3D because this movie looked gorgeous.

Every time I mention Dredd, people automatically assume I mean the Stallone flick fromDredd3D the 90’s, Judge Dredd. Same character. But a much shittier movie and interpretation of Judge Dredd. So let’s just ignore that tripe, ok?

But I digress.

I started to spend the extra $5 to get the 3D version of Blu Rays when they were released. I didn’t always watch the movie in 3D but it was good to have the option. Sometimes the 3D conversion wasn’t that great…good 3D is supposed to add to the narrative and atmosphere of the movie. Movies like Dredd 3D and Gravity were filmed in 3D, and you can tell the difference in quality vs 3D converted films, but that’s a whole other conversation.

Bottom line, if there is a 3D-option for a movie that I’m gonna buy, I’ll grab that version over a standard Blu Ray edition. But it appears as though that option may be ending.

A few weeks back I went to grab Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2 at my local Best Buy. I searched the shelves and couldn’t find the 3D edition. Blu Ray? Yup. DVD? Yup. Shit, there may have been a VHS copy but definitely no 3D option. Was it possible that Best Buy sold out or maybe they just didn’t carry it?

I checked the website while I stood in the store. Nothing listed. I checked Blu-Ray.com, a site I go to for news on releases and reviews. They would surely have it listed and…nope. Nothing there. No release date.

Was it possible that Disney/Marvel would release a ‘special edition’ later on? From what I read online in the days later, that wasn’t gonna happen. So I bought the Blu Ray edition of the movie and asked one of the employees if there was any word on the 3D version. He told me that there was no 3D release and likely wouldn’t be; that he’d noticed they weren’t getting as many 3D releases.

Uh oh. But why? 4K. Apparently the studios are pushing for 4K instead and slowly getting out of 3D.

So I went online and sure enough, it’s quite hard to find 3D televisions anymore.  Sure, there are some, but more often than not, you’re finding a 3D set online and not in the brick-and-mortar store. Instead, 4K televisions reign supreme and, apparently, its taking over the home video market.

That said, I was able to purchase Wonder Woman with a 3D disc so I’m sure there are still going to be some releases coming down the pipe, but not nearly as many as there used to be.  Which is sad because, I actually enjoy watching some of these movies in 3D.

I found this online while researching for this article and think it sums everything up quite nicely.

3DTVRIP

 

Until Next time….

 

 

 

Movie Soundtracks

Interstellar SoundtrackLately I have been listening to movie soundtracks during my working hours; specifically, movie scores.  Not that there isn’t anything wrong with compilation soundtracks – I have always rocked the Singles soundtrack since it dropped in 1992 – but my focus has been on the actual scores.

When I was in high school, I was a big fan of listening to Conan The Barbarian soundtrack by Basil Poledouris.  I found that score to be altogether haunting, heartbreaking and exciting.  I used to listen to this soundtrack when I needed to get pumped up for an exam or if I was going out on a date.  Hey, we all need to find our inner courage, by Crom!   I listed to that soundtrack for so long, I eventually wore out the CD.

I had recently wrote about watching Interstellar for the second time and finding it incredibly fun and since then, I have been spinning the original soundtrack by Hans Zimmer.  This then led me to the Man of Steel soundtrack (hey, I like the movie, alright?) and then to again to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack by Daft Punk.  I am a fan of Daft Punk but never really took a listen to the Tron score, even though I think Tron: Legacy as a movie is underappreciated.

Its funny the feelings you get when you listen to this type of music compared to a lyrical-song that we usually would listen to. Not only do the scores make me want to re-watch the movies, but they seem to inspire me in ways that my normal go-to bands cannot.

If its one thing I’ve been learning during this process, is its never too late to try new things.  Except beets.  I think beets look gross.

 

Read This: The Vision 

Vision TabIf you’ve read any of my postings on this blog, it’s easy to assume, and you’d be correct, that I’m a DC fanboy.  Granted, I did read and post about Daredevil: Born Again and if you take a look at my collection of trade paperback, you will see some Marvel books in there. But for the most part, for me, it’s DC.  Their characters and story lines are more appealing to me than the Marvel stuff since I’ve come back to collecting and reading weekly issues.

I’ve spoken to my comic shop guys, read online articles and listened to podcasts discussing the Marvel books and their story lines over the last few years and nothing has appealed to me.  That is, until I listened to The Excelsior Podcast (you can find them on iTunes and here is their Twitter feed) where they spent just under two hours discussing The Vision collected editions, written by Tom King.  The episode intrigued me because Tom King is currently writing the main Batman title at DC – and let me say he is totally killing it and I love what he’s doing – and I had saw the cover to The Vision Vol.1 trade in my local shop and it stuck out in my head.

But as I am not “a Marvel guy”, I didn’t skim through it nor gave it a second thought.  Until I listened to the podcast and the hosts discussing about how good, smart and emotionally rewarding and, at the same time, exhausting it was.  I thought about the podcast for a couple of days and then a couple of weeks later I went and asked one of the guys at my comic shop about it and they said both volumes were outstanding.

Now, this is why I love going to comic book stores and getting to know the staff.  They get to know you and if they think you’re not going to like a book or comic, they’ll tell you.  They’ll also not hold back and tell you if you should be trying something new.  And knowing my preferences, they didn’t hold back when telling me I would regret not reading The Vision solely because of my lack of interest for a Marvel book.

Vision Tab2So I picked up both volumes and took them home.  And I am so glad I did.  As I stated above, I am a fan of Tom King’s current work with Batman and despite my misgivings about the publisher, he wrote such a tight story that it packed a number of emotional punches to the gut that I was not expecting to feel.

The book deals with family and as a father, I couldn’t help but feel gutted during certain moments in the overall story.  The art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta is just out of this world and totally fit the tone of the book.

Listen, there are no super heroics happening here.  This story isn’t about The Vision saving the planet for a 38th time. This is a human story by way of androids and I do implore you to read this.  If my wife would ever get over her disdain for comics as a viable medium, this would be the book(s) that I would ask her to read, its that good.

There is currently a sale at Amazon on some Marvel trades (Kindle ComiXology versions, not physical) where you can pick up Volume 1 and Volume 2 for about $6.50 CAD/each.  If you have been on the fence about picking up these books, this is an affordable way to dig in.

I honestly cannot recommend this story and these books enough. Enjoy!

Steven Seagal: What The Hell, Bro? 

Above The LawDuring the opening credits of Above the Law, Steven Segal’s first movie, he’s in a dojo, taking down charging opponent/classmates with ease.  There were also black and white pics of Seagal when he was younger, learning Akido.  This gave serious gravitas to the fact that Seagal wasn’t some movie-only fighter…this guy was a legitimate badass. So quick and fluid.

I’m not reviewing his movies here. Instead, I’m just wondering what the fuck happened?? While his first few movies were pretty much copies of Above the Law, you can’t deny just how much they satisfied that action craving you had.

Above the Law (1998)

Hard to Kill (1990)

Marked for Death (1990)

Out for Justice (1991)

Under Siege (1992)

These first five movies had a re-watch factor of 100%.  This was, in my opinion, the period where Steve Seagal was at his peak.  Under Siege is the movie that, when people think of Seagal, its the first to come to mind.  Personally, I think Above the Law is his best movie but I get why a lot of people prefer Under Siege.   But then Seagal hit a bump in the road on his next few movies.

On Deadly Ground (1994)

Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)

The Glimmer Man (1996)

Fire Down Below (1997)

The Patriot (1998)

In 1996, he had a brief cameo in Executive Decision, which is an ok movie, but best remembered for Seagal dying by getting sucked out of an airplane.  I remember people just loving that scene…and it was then that I realized the tide had changed for ‘ol Steve.

The last movie of Seagal’s that I watched was the ridiculous Exit Wounds in 2001.  But for me, I was pretty much done after seeing The Glimmer Man, which co-starred Keenan Ivory Wayans. It was in this movie that he started to pack the pounds on and his quickness and intimidation of the bad guys was more funny than it was meant to be.  His action scenes were a shadow of what they were in previous movies.

Fire Down Below was an environmental movie that Seagal wanted to make because he wanted to bring attention to how we were destroying mother nature.  And I don’t fault the guy for such a passion project but is it too much to ask to make it, I don’t know, watchable?

I have a friend who likes to ask “Has anyone seen Richie? Anybody know why Richie did Bobby Lupo?”.  This is a quote from Out for Justice which may contain one of the best fight scenes using pool balls as a weapon.  Seriously, check it out.

The other day I had a craving for a good Steven Seagal movie so I did a check on Netflix (Canada) to see what they had.  This is what selection was available to me:

Steven Seagal

What…what are these?  I have never heard of these movies.  A quick Google search later and I see that Seagal is just turning out straight-to-video movies like coffee’s through a Tim Horton’s drive through.  And from what I read, they’re all shit.  All of them.  But some people must like them because someone keeps giving the dude money to make more.

I guess I could have watched one for “research”, to ensure that I was being thorough for you, dear reader. But fuck that.  My time is limited and I don’t have time for Gutshot Straight.   

Steven_SeagalPeople used to make fun of Seagal and his ponytail, but I’ll take skinny pony’d tail Segal over chubby, black spray-painted hair and goatee any day of the week.  Seriously, what is up with his look?  What happened to the man who could stare down a group of thugs with those oddly weird-looking eyes and kick the shit out of all of them without breaking a sweat?

I love those first few movies of his.  And I will continue to watch them (as an aside, I just checked Best Buy Canada’s website and they don’t carry any of his movies.  Not even in the bargain bins??) and relive how great action movies were in the late ’80’s/early ’90’s.

I have resigned myself to the fact that I/we will ever know what really happened to Seagal.  The fact is, the dude has way more money than I and I am sure he’s enjoying life, making movies.  I just wish he was doing it like he used to 20 years ago.

outforjustice

Logan.

I’m a movie fan.  I’m a comic book fan. This has been well established on this site so its no surprise that I went and saw Logan on opening weekend.  When I got back to work on Monday, everyone was asking whether I had seen the movie and, if so, my thoughts.

I’m not a film critic, dear readers.  And the reality is, my opinion isn’t really going to sway your decision to either see it or not. You’ve likely made up your mind by the time you’re reading this.   As I’ve said previously, when you’re a parent of two kids, its hard to get out to the movies as often as you did when you had no kids.  And when you do go, you want to make sure its worth the money you’re gonna spend.

So, from that perspective –  Logan is worth the coin you’re going to drop on the ticket(s) and popcorn. It’s a great, fun, amazing movie.  I’ll comment later on the fact that I like ‘R’-rated comic movies…and make no mistake, Logan hits the ‘R’ rating HARD. But for this moment, for this movie, Logan is worth the time and money.  Go see it.  Logan 1