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The public executioner at Rome, who executed persons of the lowest rank; hence, an executioner or hangman.

Category: Movies and TV

Review: Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards

Posted on January 29, 2019  in Movies and TV

Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards is one of my favorite movies. It is a classic heroes journey tale told by a 1970’s stoner. The movies detractors complain that the animation is awful, the story is uneven, silly characters and it is terribly dated. I agree with only one of these things, the movie did not age well at all. However, I do not think this is a bad thing. Many movies made decades ago are now dated, but still considered classics. The animation of this movies was and is actually very good, it has bright colors and made good use of the tertiary color schemes. The retroscoping was definitely a low point, but really only because it was so different from the rest of the movie.

 

The story on its surface was simply about good versus evil, two brothers hashing out their differences. However under the surface, we see a world that has been devastated by war, pollution and excesses of greed. A world which is once again on the brink of destruction. While much of the movie is in fact a bit goofy, but there are many iconic scenes that pointed to deeper issues. For instance the scene where Blackwolfs army goes to the church and asks the priests to take the prisoners of war, the priests say “Patience. We must first observe sundown and pray.” and then promptly danced and prayed for hours before the soldiers finally killed the prisoners. This draws attention to how often religion does nothing in the face adversity, preferring instead to pray and let god sort it out, rather than taking action. The classic “They killed Fritz” scene is another good example, it is a satirical look at soldiers dying from friendly fire. The whole movie is a commentary on the dangers of war and unrestrained industrialization.

 

While I am talking about iconic things, many of the characters are very iconic. Avatar, the wise cracking, cigar smoking hero. Weehawk, the brave and fierce elven warrior. Blackwolf, the most evil man in the world. Necron 99/Peace, the assassin turned good guy. Then of course there was Elinore, I am pretty sure Elinore played a big part in my life during puberty. I can remember at least one conversation at the time about how sexy Princess Leia was and my comment was, “Yeah, I’d do Princess Leia, but I would be thinking about Elinore.”.

 

In spite of what anyone says Wizards is a great movie, every time I watch it, I see something new and laugh at gags I have seen a dozen times, because they are still funny.

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Category: Movies and TV

To the Internet with Love

Posted on October 9, 2018  in Movies and TV

Sometimes when I am surfing the internet, I come a crossed a picture that makes me stop and think for awhile. This is one such picture, when I saw it, I thought it was a picture of a 60’s hippie chic, after all, she is obviously naked under those coveralls. As I thought about it though, I came to the conclusion that perhaps she was a country girl, with her dirty feet and unkempt hair. Of course my mind did not stop there, she is obviously posed and seems comfortable in front of a camera, it is also possible she is a model.

 

 

I finally broke down and did a reverse image search and found this woman is Bessie Love, a silent screen era actress, the picture was taken in 1923. She was in fact all of the things I considered, she was born a Texas country girl, who was by all accounts a woman a head of her time and an academy award nominated actress. This picture is endearing because of its earthy innocents and time transcending beauty.

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Category: Movies and TV

Sense8

Posted on June 10, 2018  in Movies and TV

If you have not seen Sense8 yet, I suggest you put it on your list of shows to watch. This was some of the best TV I have seen in years. It is well scripted and acted, the story is engaging and the whole thing is very sexy.

Before I go any further, let me say, if you are a cynic who does not want to believe that love conquers all or you do not believe that diversity makes us stronger or you don’t like hot sweaty beautiful sex, then this show is not for you, go back to watching Fox News or listening to Rush Limbaugh or whatever it is that makes you feel better about the world, you will not enjoy this show.

For the rest of you, this show is about 8 people who are spiritually and psychically connected and share their lives with each other. It is surprisingly emotional and intimate. Like many Netflix series, the show is full of nudity and sex that spans the full spectrum of human sexuality, I found the orgy scenes to be be especially arousing. Over the two season of episodes, the story explores how each of these people reacts to the situation and adjusts to having complete strangers with access to their most private moments and how this affects their lives and their loved ones. There is also a big bad leading an international conspiracy, but this is really just a side line to the relationship stories that are played out on screen.

This is probably the best TV show since Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, it is innovative both is characterization and in story telling and it is one of the very few TV shows I consider must watch. So put aside a weekend, get naked and binge watch this show, you will not regret it.

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Category: Movies and TV

Justice League v. Avengers

Posted on May 10, 2018  in Movies and TV

Shannon and I went to see the new Avengers movie last week and I have to say I was a bit disappointed by the movie for a couple of different reasons. For instance, we know the majority of the characters who died will be resurrected in the next film, there is no way they leave Spiderman, Dr Strange, Black Panther or most of the Guardians of the Galaxy dead. This kind of cheapens the whole thing for me, especially the Groot and Spiderman death scenes. Second, there were three distinct plot lines happening, each with 4 or 5 characters involved. With 15 or so characters in the movie, this meant no one got enough screen time for any meaningful character development. Pretty much everyone got one or two cute lines in and that was pretty much it. Finally, in the comic he was an interesting and dynamic villain with some off the wall motivations, the movie adaption of Thanos was a bland villain whose motivations were not very interesting and in the final battle he basically wins by not loosing.

Tonight, I watched the Justice League for the second time and I think it stood up pretty well. I said when it first came out that the movies biggest problem is it was not an Avengers movie. Now I think it is the other way around, the problem with the Avengers movie is that it was not a Justice League movie. Both movies have similar plots, evil cosmic powered bad guy collecting MacGuffins to destroy something. Both movies were on the dark side, but the big difference was the point of the Justice League, was Bruce Wayne trying to return hope to the world, at the end of the movie, I felt that aim was accomplished. The point of the Avengers movie was to drag the plot out to justify another movie and kill off a bunch of characters so the producers could say “Look at how edgy we are, we killed Spiderman”, and it just felt cheap and shallow.

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