Blog Archives

Suck It, Future-Me: Looper Review

“I’m from the future. Go to China.”

I’m not going to recap the plot. Every blog, website, and newspaper article has tried their hand at summing up the story.

note: I tried very hard to stay spoiler-free, but it’s hard to do that with a movie like this

Speaking from experience, both personal and via the hundreds of pieces of media I’ve consumed, there comes a very special time in a young man’s life when he tells an older, wiser, and more versed person to go to Hell.

It doesn’t matter what this person says, knows, or has lived, the young man is sure that whatever that person is telling him isn’t true.

“You don’t know.”

“What happened to you won’t happen to me.”

“I’m better.”

“Smarter.”

“Meaner.”

“Luckier.”

“It does not matter. It will not, ever, happen to me like it happened to you.”

These young men are wrong, of course. Most of the time it’s chalked up to universal truths that must leave their mark. These are lessons that can’t be taught; they must be felt. These are the mistakes that are made when youthful exuberance meets ignorance.

And there is no force on Earth, not even time travel, not even a future version of you who has literally made every choice you want to, telling you, to your face, that there is  a better way.

This is one of the two major thematic elements of Looper, and this narrative thread is begun with a fantastic scene, glimpsed for a few seconds in the trailer, of Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt having a sit down to discuss just what is going on; what is going to happen, and what the other guy plans to do about it. Read the rest of this entry

The Watchmen Thing

I am a comic book fan.

I’ve been reading since I was six. I still have that issue of Uncanny X-Men with Wolverine and Gambit on the cover that started this whole mess.

I have many, many, many opinions on the whole Watchmen debacle.

I don’t think they should do it.

All right, so maybe just the one opinion.

I’m going to attempt to elucidate this opinion for you here without swearing non-stop or turning into an entitled fan.

Read the rest of this entry

Frank Herbert’s DUNE: The Drinking Game!

Sandworms Love it, Fremen Approve!

Around a year and a half ago, I was out at a local pub with a few friends of mine (Editor’s Note: Just say the writing staff of Nonstop Karate. -Ed.) when we all began reminiscing about the books and movies that truly inspired our childhoods.  Most had been adequately represented in today’s culture by reboots, sequels, prequels, and gritty reimaginings; that is to say, the traditional way to honor anything that was remotely successful or “good” in the past.

One franchise that we realized hadn’t really gotten much attention lately (aside from a tepidly received SyFy channel mini-series) was Frank Herbert’s wildly popular 1965 science fiction series, “Dune”.

So we did the only thing we could think of to rectify the situation. We turned it into a drinking game.

The game you are about to learn about can be quite fun, although to be honest it has only been played once amongst my circle of friends, and even then in a very prototypical form (as in we were inventing it as it was played.) If nothing else, you will get drunk pretending to be an alien worm-riding space baron.

Be aware that this is isn’t one of those terrible “games” where you watch the film adaptation and take a shot every time someone says “spice”.  This is a true gentlemen’s sport with real, complex rules. A game of strategy and nuance. And beers.  Lots of beers.

If you’ve never heard of “Dune” or you don’t like getting wasted with a group of idiots, you should probably just stop reading now.

If you like one or both of those things, read on! Read the rest of this entry

Where Art Thou, Kaiju Monsters of Yesteryear?

You still have a place in the wellspring of my heart, old friends.

In 1954, a Japanese stuntman by the name of Haruo Nakajima wriggled into a suit made of 270 lbs. of stiff vulcanized rubber.  The limbs were inflexible and painful to wear, the body unventilated and stifling, and the tail pulled his spine into an unnatural curve.  Under the haze of dozens of halogen studio lamps in a cramped Tokyo soundstage, he paused until the instant he heard the director shout the repeated phrase “Haimemashou!” (“Begin the action!”)

With that, Nakajima began a dangerous game of filmmaking chicken — pushing himself to stay conscious in the extreme discomfort of the poorly-constructed costume and searing film lights… just long enough to destroy as many papier-mâché skyscrapers, cars, tanks, trains and villagers as possible before the overwhelming pain and exhaustion of the scene pushed him into heat stroke.

Several weeks later, in a separate soundstage, an actor by the name of Jiro Mitsuaki turned his gaze to the empty ceiling overhead as the cameras rolled on him,  awaiting him to summon every ounce of his strength to shout one, very strange word at the top of his lungs. He was to yell as loud as the condenser microphones could register. One word out of fear for his life. At the time, it was a nonsense word. But a terrifying one.

“GOJIRA!” he screamed. “GOJIRA! GOJIRA!” he shouted again and again.  Gojira. Literally translated, “Gorilla-Whale”. Nonsense.

Gojira. Read the rest of this entry

A Board Game Movie

They’re making a movie based on the board game Battleship.

This brings to mind a couple of questions: Read the rest of this entry

Your Comic Con Primer

 

As a self proclaimed nerd (obviously since I’m writing for NK) I am making the trip down to San Diego for Comic Con this year.  This is the fourth year I will be going, so I believe that makes me a bit of a Comic Con veteran.  If you don’t know what Comic Con is, I’m not going to take the time to explain it. And you should probably just go on living your life as a well adjusted human being, because I assure you that you’re better off.  But for those of you that care, let me share some of my wisdom from years past and give those of you who won’t be going a little insight into how awesome/horrifying Comic Con can be.

Just to start, Comic Con has changed significantly since it began in 1970.  But the most radical change has come in the last decade or so when the internet began to be so ingrained into our daily lives.  Now everything: movies, TV, video games, comics, EVERYTHING thrives on the buzz created on the web and the word of mouth of nerds.  And for a lot of these, it all starts with their appearance at Comic Con. Basically, Comic Con has become significantly less about the comics themselves and more about everything else that nerd culture loves.  For example, there was a large Guild panel before the Community panel last year. The Guild. The Guild is…awful. Just. Really terrible.  My point is, a sub par web series that had no business being there in the first place, held a panel in a HUGE ballroom. Guys, Felicia Day is super hot. But. Fuck off. What’s wrong with us? Read the rest of this entry

Fight the Future, Beat Your Kids (with knowledge)

I was all set to write a character piece from the perspective of a 12-year-old discovering an older relative’s “classic movies” and then use that to start doing a series of articles about a kid watching stuff like Blade, the Matrix, and Old School.

Pictured: Blade, Motherfuckers Trying to Ice Skate Up Hill.

It was funny, then it got less funny, because it made me feel super old. Well, that’s not entirely true. I spend most of my weekends drinking beer and watching cartoons, and my nights are spent coming up with outlandish scenarios for comedy sketches, action movies, and sci-fi stories, but the beginnings of that article did force me to acknowledge the unstoppable advancement of time.

Thanks to being an unusually oily teenager, my skin is thus far, holding off on the worry lines and crow’s feet, though everytime I look in a mirror, I swear my hairline is slowly sliding back.

Hold the line, you bastards.

Time marches on, and I’m forced to come to grips with the fact that pop culture is continuing to move on without my permission or attention. Read the rest of this entry