Preview: X-men Origins: Wolverine

I’m pretty excited about this film, seeing as how much X3 truly sucked, and how good of a character Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine was becoming in X2. This one pretty much ignores all the problems with 3 and continues the character down that sort of path of memories.

On a further note, I am interested in this breed of film. Lately I have had the desire to make an action film similar in scope and technique to fantasy films such as the first two X-Men, to an extent the Blade Movies, and with a twist of Ryuhei Kitamura. I just bought his Ultimate Versus 3 Disc Collectors box, btw.

Anyways, I’ll update/edit this post more later, but I was just trying out this quick post thing for now. I’m really inspired by this trailer- the movie looks a lot of fun and the action looks fantastic, and Hugh Jackman is, as always, pretty badass.

[MP3] – Download the podcast
Format: 00:42:59, 39.3 MB, (MP3)

This week, the Salisbury University FUTURE FILM MAKERS club is presenting it’s first podcast. Utilizing a small group discussion format and a flash recorder, the Film Makers took 43 minutes to comment on the up and coming website, The Dark The Dark Campaign is a website with the purpose of pushing the DARK KNIGHT to get an Oscar Nod for best picture, and possibly win it.

The have a well-composed video that hosts numerous review quotes, many of which discuss the film’s thematic strengths– a truly important part to winning the Oscars. After watching this video, the club discussed our own thoughts on the subject, the big question being “Should the Dark Knight, a film based on a comic book and in the action genre, be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar?” The podcast itself raises such points as A) The film as a metaphor for post-911 America, B) The role of heroes in our society and their consequences, C) How the term “comic book” is becoming something that adults shouldn’t cringe at anymore, and how people who wouldn’t be caught dead with one are starting to read them because of films like this. D) How the film itself has changed its comic book because of how powerful it is, and E) the pop art form as high art. F) A lot of other stuff too.

It was a very comprehensive discussion, raising some good points, and in the end it really compliments, in our opinion, The Dark Campaign’s reasons and goals. We hope many people get a chance to hear it, as it is a discussion between a diverse group of people- comic book fans, literary book readers, film buffs (and nerds), our academic adviser, and people who just love making movies for fun. In the end everyone reached an agreement, but you’ll have to listen to here what it is. Please visit The Dark Campaign’s website , as well as our youtube page to let us know what you think.

And of course comment here on our website.

Batman For Oscars

News Package: War On Parking

Much like the last video I posted in my “catching up” post, which I’ve failed to keep my word at maintaining, this next package (filmed before the Skate package) was created by myself and news production (CMAT 373 at Salisbury, TAKE IT!) partner, Bryan Babcock. As in the last project, Bryan did the reporting, while I worked as cameraman (photog in the lingo).

Bryan’s connections and sources, combined with my knack for framing, netted us a huge A (97 or 98, I believe) on this project. I’ll be posting all of these to the films page soon under one post called “News Packages,” but for now, here’s a post from Bryan’s Youtube page. Also remember to look him up on

More videos from us are to come, as well as one or two where I actually do the reporting, one where a certain local Governor is featured, and eventually one where we show how one nearby-campus beer store is still making money; OFF OF MINORS!

This has seriously been my favorite class of the semester, and its the only one I’m really going to miss. Wait till you see Bryan’s documentary profile on me, and mine on him. Those are going to be classics.

I’ve Got Some Catching Up to Do

Here are some updates on our film making, and a few other notes. First in the news:

We’ve filmed a new movie with Future Film Makers called “Be a Dude, Man”- a quirky classroom comedy about a conflict resolution student who’s desk neighbor plans to kill him as soon as class lets out! Working with nearly 15 members of the Club, this is the biggest cast I’ve ever directed, and also one of the most diverse and cooperative.

In News Production (Videos WILL be posted soon), I’ve worked with Bryan Babcock (check out his feature length Documentary “Bicycle Man”) on 4 news packages, each one receiving excellent reviews from our teacher. We’re certainly top of the class over there. Here’s one of them:

Most of the credit on that one goes to Bryan.

Personal projects such as Clarity and Line of Sight are still in production but its been a bumpy road thanks to all the work I’ve gone through for school. I’ve been writing screenplays in Dr. Moeder’s classes, and those have gone, for the most part, well, and I hope to make some of them. I’ve written two essays for Film Genre, one on Eastern Promises and one on Brokeback Mountain. These will be included in the soon-to-come Essay’s portion of the website. I also wrote an essay on the Paradigm as guided by Syd Field, which has become a helpful tool in my story structure.

I’ve seen, what…three movies in theaters this semester? I know I saw Quarantine and Max Payne (reviews NEED to come, so far behind!), but I forget whatelse I’ve sat through. Quantum of Solace and Transporter 3 come out this month, so that’s what I’ll be looking forward to.

Other than that, it was this little news story that got me pumped to write again.

From always resourceful

Action heroes Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Jet Li are in final negotiations to play the team of mercenaries in “The Expendables” for Nu Image/Millennium Films says the trades.

In “Expendables,” the main characters are sent to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator to liberate the population. Their team is “expendable,” hired to do jobs that no one else can or will.

Sounds simple. Even sounds really dumb. But hell, SOUNDS FREAKING AMAZING!

So I’ll try and catch up. At least this time I wasn’t a full month behind.

Mean Guns Quick Review

Ok, I know what you guys out there in blog land are thinking: A Christopher Lambert movie that ISN’T Highlander isn’t really worth anything. Well my friends, you’d be absolutely WRONG! Here’s my ghettolicious review of MEAN GUNS (1996) by Albert Pyun!

Mean Guns, a B-Action movie directed by Albert Pyun, is a non-stop crazy train of violence and comedy. It contains both utter malice and over-the-top machismo charisma thanks to a collection of leads and supports that play each of their simple parts to the most amusing letters possible.

So where to begin? How bout that plot! It’s all in the tagline, baby! 100 Assassins, 1,000 Guns, 10,000,000 Dollars! Ice T himself spells it out to his top-tier gamers: The World’s Best Assassins From the World’s Most Powerful Syndicate. They arrive at a state-of-the-art prison (which looks more like an uptown high school to me, but hey, that lighting makes it shine!) under no pretense whatsoever except to heed the call of their elite syndicate. The game? Fight to the death, cause all you motha-fuckas betrayed at some point–big or small it’s ALL THE SAME. Think the motivation of the badguy from Oldboy on a corporate level, and just as messy and impersonal and BOOM you’ve got the motivation of…well people you never see. But that’s beside the point because they get their personification through Ice T’s “platinum” grill yo!

The follow through is simple: Three players can win the game, claim a split of the money, and leave with their lives (I won’t spoil the twist where the syndicate is going to backstab them in the end and kill them all anyways…oops). This is all supported by the amazing cast of crazy people that Pyun and his writer Andrew Witham have created: Lou the psycho played by Lambert, a three sweet ass bitches (one kicks ass, one complains a lot, guess which one is hotter?), two hilarious birds known as Crow and Hoss, and Marcus the cold-blooded badass as played by an immensely under appreciated Michael Halsey. After the released of a case of guns and a box of baseball bats upon the crowd, CHAOS ENSUES. The main characters go through the prison forming bonds, backstabbing each other, and murderin otha gangstaz who get in der wayz. Deez G’s all play it fo Real yo, bringin out da beats to make dis gangsta ass film some heavy shit.

What I mean to say is that Lambert’s crafting of the character Lou is quite different from his typical shy-but-cunning Mcleoud persona of the Highlander series (or pretty much every other movie he’s ever done since). He brings such a joyous bloodlust to the role that it becomes hilarious contagious, bridging the gap of cheese-that-could be to enjoyable B-movie killtacularocity. There’s some range provided for his character as well, with comedic lines, bad ass looks, and even some real dramatic pauses in the end. I liked Lou. He was a cool character, with action moves such as running across table tops, wielding two handguns and smiling while being shot at, it was like watching some bastardized American version of Devil May Cry– and you all out there know my love for DMC.

Bringing a balance to Lambert’s over-the-top madman is Marcus, played effortlessly, flawlessly, and damn near wordlessly by Michael Halsey. Now Mike hasn’t been in a lot of things people would remember, and I’m not sure if this is the one he’d want to be remembered for, but if I had to be known for a performance I’d pick this one: The man freaking channels Charles Bronson’s natural bravado and quiet masculine power from Once Upon a Time in the West as if he had just played Ouija with a Death Wish box set. He’s the kind of killer who is quiet, composed, and never misses a shot simply because he “timed it right” rather than has super-draw abilities (more on that by the end of the film) and impresses more with his piercing gaze than any crazed-kill one liner could ever accomplish. He’s really the main highlight to this show and its sad to say he didn’t get nearly as much credit for holding this movie together as DA T or Chris Lambert.

So what do you get when you throw a Ghetto Gangsta, a Foreign Nutjob, and a Trans-Historical Gunman character into a death match? You get 100% pure awesome. The fights are brutal without being bloody, complimented with great sound effects that really pound the senses without the use of bloodpacks. The action is messy without being incongruous allowing the editing to keep it sharp and painful, and the comedy is stylishly timed keeping the film from feeling far too serious. Nods to greater works are peppered throughout, including but not limited to John Woo flicks like Hard Boiled and Sergio Leone films like The Good The Bad and the Ugly; the latter of which has a familiar melody possibly mimicked into the score of Pyun’s movie. Its a real collage of hand-to-hand, bat-to-face, gun-fu combat all kicked into overddrive.

If you find this movie, please buy it! It is a real treasure of B cinema and is a perfect template for amateur action makers to follow. And it sure as hell had a better story than Paul Anderson’s recent action disaster Death Race. It probably cost one quarter of the budget as well! You wanna make action movies, then get MEAN GUNS and learn sometin you FOO!