Tag Archive for movies

You Need to See Pacific Rim

The people who said Pacific Rim is too geeky for general audiences are morons.

Yes, there is plenty there for geeks, but overall it is a great, blockbuster action flick with plenty to entertain everyone. The effects are very well done, you can see everything that’s happening, and the 3D IMAX I saw was gorgeous.

Yes, the plot touches on some expected clichés, but it is solid and fun. Idris Elba has the standout performance, and Charlie Day and Burn Gorman are a lot of fun, but I really had no problems with the cast. If you like Charlie Hunnam as Jax Teller, you’ll dig him as Raleigh Becket.

The flick opens with action, and every fight scene is escalated from the last. They are fun and brutal, and you get a real sense of the characters actually being in danger. There is a bit of exposition in the middle, but it moves quickly and moves the plot forward rather than bogging everything down in pointless detail.

Thank you, Guillermo del Toro, for showing us that a big-budget action flick with a geeky subject matter does not have to be dumbed down or peppered with goofy comedy. With Pacific Rim, del Toro redeems Hollywood for putting out that piece of shit Devlin and Emmerich Godzilla flick.

Your move, Japan.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Amish Twist

I stumbled into a showing of Violent Saturday on TCM last night, a bank heist flick starring Victor Mature, Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine, and quickly got sucked in.

There’s not a lot of action until you get to the actual robbery, but it does a great job of setting up tension by introducing relationships between many of the characters in and around the bank incident. It does have some 1950s film artifacts like the entire subplot involving the Martin boy’s fight with his best friend and the way the parents handle it (which, incidentally, sets up the climax), but it’s still a good flick.

The neat twist to me was the inclusion of the Amish farm family. The Amish show up from time to time throughout the movie, and we soon learn the bank robbers’ escape is going to be via an Amish farm. What happens there really helps make the movie work, and adds a nice twist to your standard bank caper flick.

This YouTube clip is pretty much the climax of the flick, so yeah, major spoilage if you  haven’t seen the movie and are compelled to check it out in its entirety. If you’d just like to see the final showdown and what happens with Ernest Borgnine’s Amish father character, then here you go:

It is handled very simply and you don’t see character development or progress taking him to this point, but hey, you can’t have it all.

The characters, in fact, are the real key to this movie. We don’t get a ton of depth with any of them, but given the physical action doesn’t kick off until the final act, the characters are all that keep us watching. Without them, there’d be no reason to watch anything but the clip above, and that would be the real crime.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Fear of a Digital Age

It’s been nine years since Metallica launched their crusade against Napster. Since then we’ve also seen the MPAA and RIAA shit their respective beds, Sony’s assault on consumers, the DeCSS controversy, and the rise and fall of DRM.

Through that time, I’ve been wondering when the same behavior would hit the publishing industry. The Google Book Search brouhaha came first, and it was subsequently settled. Now we have the Kindle 2 and the controversy over its text-to-speech capabilities. Neither of these have been as bloody as the music and movie entertainment battles, but they amount to the same thing: a given body fighting change they don’t understand.

And the worst part is they’ve been through this before. Why aren’t the industries learning from their mistakes? Why aren’t they partnering with digital innovators instead of trying to crush them?

It also bothers me that it’s never been proven that all this digital bootlegging has been detrimental to the industry (in fact at least one study shows file sharing does not affect music sales). They see X number of people downloaded an album/movie or may have read a book on Google, and they claim it’s Y lost dollars. Meanwhile, they have no idea how many of those people turned around and bought a copy of the real thing. They have no idea how many of them enjoyed the item and told all their friends about it, and how many of those friends turned around and bought copies.

The music and movie industries are coming around, finally doing away with DRM and coming to agreements with distributors and retailers to get their product out in such a way the consumer won’t get screwed. I shudder to think of how much money they wasted on lawsuits, studies, and encryption/restriction research that ultimately failed.

With luck the publishing industry will step up before it’s too late. Guys like Cory Doctorow give away their books in multiple electronic formats, yet still sell enough copies that Tor Books is wiling to publish his work in hardcover. That may not be a common situation, but it shows that it can be done without harming sales.

For my own work, I know for a fact Werewolves: Call of the Wild showed up on several torrent sites. Did that have a negative effect on my sales? I sincerely doubt it. I’m much more concerned about the number of people who told me they ordered copies but their comic shop never received them. That tells me if I want to be read, I can’t rely solely on the current distribution model.

Whether we’re talking books, movies, comics, or music, they’re all about one thing: grabbing ears and eyeballs. If you can get enough people to pay attention, you’re going to make a profit, regardless of how the product is getting to those ears and eyeballs and how much they’re paying for it. Theft, be it shoplifiting or digital distribution, comes with the territory. It’s a cost of doing business, and publishing has been lucky to get a free pass for this long.

Keep in mind, people are not afraid to pay for their entertainment. Take movie ticket prices, for example. I spent $27 for the Midget and I to see Monsters vs. Aliens: $9 for each ticket and the 3D glasses and another $9 for a medium popcorn and medium drink. People bitch about that, but you know what? The theater was packed, despite all the whining about the economy. Or consider the Kindle: it’s essentially a $359 bookshelf. If Kindle books average $6 a pop for titles available in mass market paperback for $8, you’d have to purchase 180 books to break even. Nevertheless, everyone I know who owns a Kindle raves about it to anyone who will listen.

Content creators who want to make a living on their properties need to concentrate on earning those eyeballs and eardrums. We need to market ourselves as best we can, and if our publishers are unwilling or unable to leverage new technologies to get our work out to our fans in every way possible, then we need to make sure our contracts allow us to do it ourselves.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Drive-By Blogging

I ran into a few items today I thought were worth mentioning, but really didn’t merit a longer, dedicated blog post. So I’m just going to pile them up here.

After reading that the great state of Kentucky is officially relying upon God for their state security, I learned that the group American Atheists is suing to have that portion of the law removed. Normally I hate lawsuits, but this is one I fully support. Not just because I feel it crosses the line of separation of church and state but because I’m not sure where this one ends. Will God protect homosexuals, devotees of other religions, and atheists from terrorists? What happens when similar provisions are written into other laws, and these people are excluded? It’s a dangerous precedent, and allowing these people to write God into the law is taking us one step closer to an American Taliban. I have no problem with people living by their religion, so long as they do not force the rest of us to do it.

On a side note, I found the picture in the insurance ad accompanying the article strangely appropriate:

Next up, hot on the heels of their announcement to build infrastructure in the Bay Area, Better Place announces they’ll be setting up shop in Hawaii. Very, very cool. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all plays out. The potential is huge if they can pull it off.

Finally, Hollywood is on the remake path again, this time on its way to remaking the Carpenter classic They Live. Now, I do use the term “classic” loosely here, but I’m not seeing any reason to remake a movie featuring a five-minute fight over putting on a pair of sunglasses. Even scarier, however, is the closing line of the article:

Strike is also working on a remake of Carpenter’s “The Thing.”

You’ve got to be kidding. Like 1951’s The Thing from Another World, The Thing is an adaptation of a novella by Joseph W. Campbell called “Who Goes There?”, so some already class it a remake. Some of Carpenter’s flicks are very uneven to me (They Live being a good example), but The Thing is a true classic. It’s scary, it’s suspenseful, it has some great scenes and memorable lines, the effects aren’t half bad, and it’s an improvement upon the ’51 adaptation of the novella. What are they going to do to improve Carpenter’s film? Cast Shia LaBeouf as MacReady? Write in a sexy love interest for him to protect?

It boggles the mind.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Perils of Fatherhood

The Wife handed me a nice, big chunk of my ass again today.

Yes, again. I have a bad habit of forgetting what the rugrats should and shouldn’t be watching, and I have yet to live down a two-week streak of nightmares the Midget had when he was two. Nightmares caused by a viewing of the climax of Aliens. My thinking at the time was something like “It’s edited for TV, how bad can it be?” My defense was “But he said he wasn’t scared! He wanted to watch it!”

My first lesson in Fatherhood. Well, among the first.

See, the Wife and I had two very different upbringings. I was a kid when John Carpenter’s The Thing hit an old cable network called ONTV, and my old man recorded it. By the time I was a teenager, we had literally worn that tape out, as well as another with recordings of First Blood and Robocop. Conan the Barbarian? No problem. Aliens? I could quote it on command. By the time Predator came out, we just had to see it in the theater.

The Wife’s family, meanwhile, stuck to Disney flicks. The Wife was weaned on a steady diet of musicals, Shirley Temple, and The Wizard of Oz. The closest she came to any kind of violence was Doctor Who (when it still ran on PBS Channel 11 out of Chicago) and James Bond flicks. James Bond is nothing to sneeze at, but he doesn’t hold a candle to An American Werewolf in London.

As such we’re operating on two different gages of appropriateness. Hers is set to Metric, mine Imperial. Hers is well maintained, always oiled, and calibrated regularly. Mine’s rusting, jams, and has a tolerance of a yard, give or take a cubit.

And the moment the Midget started quoting Frylock from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, my gage got thrown out in the street. I was pretty good about referencing hers for a while, too, but somehow it made its sorry way back into the house. I felt bad and made it a sandwich rather than telling it to stay out there where it belonged. Then we shared a couple beers and reminisced about the good ol’ days.

Which leads me, at last, to the ass-whoopin’.

The Midget got on the subject of kidneys. The Wife explained their form and function, and of course the word “pee” entered the conversation.

“Some people have thorny bugs with big, sharp teeth living in their pee!” the Midget informed his mother.

Oh shit, thought I. I’m toast. Because yes, I knew exactly where this was coming from.

“Why do you say that?” the Wife asked, already shooting a glare in my direction.

“I saw it on TV! The guy was peeing in the river, and the bugs climbed up his pee and into his kidneys!”

“Yeah,” the Squirt chimed in. “And they said ‘I don’t want to see your ass!'”

Oh shit!

“And what exactly were they watching, Daddy?” She rose from the couch like the Kraken from the sea.

Metalocalypse!” the Midget supplied.

“What?” I asked, feigning innocence. “Haven’t you ever heard the stories about the parasites in the Amazon? Murderface was peeing in the river, and the parasites climbed into his kidneys! It’s a survival lesson!”

“Yeah, and he was naked!” the Midget said.

“Ix-nay on the Etalocalypse-may.” I shot a nudge into his ribs.

“And then their jaws melted off!” the Squirt added.

It was completely unrelated. See, these Amazon warriors blew some kind of hallucinogenic dust into the characters’ faces, and they started seeing some crazy-violent stuff, right? A continuation of the life lesson, to be sure. When you go into the Amazon, you best back some heat, Son! But the Wife took a step in my direction, so I bolted for the door.

Her nostrils flared. Furniture flew through the air. Fire rained down from the heavens. The children plead for her to spare Daddy’s life. But the little Roman emperor in her head said “Thumbs down, Byotch!”

Thus began the ass-handing.

Good thing they didn’t tell her about The Venture Brothers

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Done Already?

Spring Break is officially over. I work in education so I got the week off, but it went by so fast it felt like just another weekend. It was one of those weeks I was constantly on the move, out running around for one reason or another or working on things at home. Today we even did spring cleaning and rearranged the living room.

I made fitness a priority, though. I still made it to my karate classes, and if you check out the Nike+ badge on the right you’ll see I managed to keep up on the running program as well. On Monday I visited the doc for a brief check-up, and on Tuesday I got my cholesterol checked (borderline total/HDL/LDL numbers, but triglycerides were nice and low). Not too shabby.

We upgraded the family ride this week. We had a bland, boring minivan and now we have one that’s a little closer to a man’s van. No flame job or anything like that, but it’s black and it has a lot of the electronic gadgets like navigation, Sirius satellite radio, and drop-down video screens for the rugrats. It also has a bigger set of balls under the hood, so I feel a lot less like a closet soccer mom when I’m sitting behind the wheel.

As of this week, I’m jamming the Blu-ray on an upgraded theater setup. I didn’t catch Full Metal Jacket in the theaters, but watching it in 1080p high definition gave me a craving for a bucket of popcorn. The setup took a while, but it was totally worth it.

Speaking of movies, I snuck out to see Doomsday with a friend. It’s one of those movies that’s so bad it’s good. It’s best described as a cross between 28 Weeks Later, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, and, of all things, Robin Hood. I wasn’t particularly taken with that third bit, but I had a blast through the rest of it and I really dug the subtle jokes. Clark, meanwhile, loved it all the way through. It was exactly what we expected and awesome in its badness. (By the way, Doomsday‘s site makes a big deal of it carrying the trailer for the new The Incredible Hulk flick. Meh. Doesn’t seem to be much better than Ang Lee’s lackluster version.)

The rest of the time I visited family, did some shopping, played the buy/pick-up/go-back-and-exchange game with Best Buy, and last night played a couple hours of Halo 3 co-op with some friends online (gotta put the new TV through its paces, don’tcha know).

Did I get any writing done? No. Did I catch up on my comics reading? No. Did I read anything besides magazines on the crapper? No. Those were also my goals for the week, but I did a piss-poor job of making them happen and I’ve been flogging myself for it. I need to finish reading The Road so I can get started on Brian’s Dark Hollow. I feel like magazines, websites, and even the odd style of The Road haven’t been providing the fuel for the writing urge that many books give, so hopefully jumping back into the horror genre with both feet will give me a much-needed jump start.

I wonder if I can get the school board to extend the Break another week…

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Pros and Cons of Illness

Between flu, pneumonia, and now some kind of killer, sinus-assaulting virus, this winter has just plain sucked for me. It all started with a fever on Saturday, progressed to sinus headaches, and now is a combination of both, complete with the occasional fat blob of ugly, brown-green snot streaked with red. This has given me plenty of time to weigh the pros and cons of being sick.

Pro: Another day off work.

Con: Too frickin’ worn out or lightheaded to get any work done at home, either.

Sadly, the latter includes writing. The fever just kills my concentration, so my planned three days of writing became three days of vegging out in front of the tube. Which brings us to the next set:

Pro: I’ve been able to eliminate a lot of old programs from the DVR

Con: Boredom.

Yes, I cried like a baby at the fade-out to the Rescue Me season finale, and I’m glad to have finally burned through the second half of Damages. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was better than I expected, and The Brothers Grimm was worse than I expected. There’s only so much TV I can watch in a stretch, though, and I far exceeded that limit and got bored. Boredom in creative types leads to:

Pro: Learning about things like nasal irrigation.

Con: Actually trying things like nasal irrigation.

Oh yes. I tried it. The Wife was thrilled to see me using her fine China creamer to do it, too. This created its own subset of pro and con, so I’ll indent them:

Pro: It actually works.

Con: Salt water across a nose you’ve rubbed raw over the weekend burns.

I’m thinking less salt next time. Or maybe something besides coarse kosher salt… But hey, it did work. Flushed loose all kinds of nasties. Gross.

Pro: Being home for the arrival of the iMac.

Con: Being too damn fuzz-brained to set it up.

Yeah, the iMac’s here. Big, sleek, white box. Unfortunately I never had the time to set up the office for it, and I’m still too worn out to do anything about it tonight. Heck, I can hardly stay focused on this simple blog post.

In the end, the cons have it.

I hate being sick.

My nose smells salty.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Scan 'Em All

The last several times I’ve gone to the theater have been miserable experiences, and Friday night was no exception.

It’s those times it would be really nice to have the Scanners head-exploding powers.

Take the two trendy teen couples who sat down behind me. They tripped over one another getting to their seats, one of the guys got irritated, and one of the girls said “Peace, nigger!”Then one of them spotted the black man sitting down the aisle from them.

“OhmyGodohmyGod! I hope he didn’t hear that!”

Uh huh. Blam!

If I could have exploded her head right then, it would have saved me more grief. She lost her ring as the credits rolled: “I dropped my ring! Oh no!” Then she lost her necklace: “I can’t find my necklace! Oh my God! You guys! Help me find it!”

Maybe she wears mommy’s jewelry. Blam!

In case anyone was worried about her necklace, she did find it. In her shirt. “Tee hee! There it is!” Blam!

Then the cell phone rings. She put it on vibrate, so I was ready to let it fly. Unfortunately she decided to answer it, then complained she couldn’t hear over the theater sound. Blam!

Then the boyfriend started kissing on her. “Don’t! There are people around!”

Yes, but the rest of us are trying to watch a movie, not your scuzzball boyfriend slobber on your neck. Blam!

This was all between bumps and kicks of the chair back. I was willing to write that off as accidental, but then one of them tried to put their foot up on my armrest (I sat on the aisle). I looked over my shoulder the first time, but they didn’t say anything. The second time I looked over my shoulder and asked them to knock it off. Obviously I was the idiot for being in their way. Blam!

They weren’t the only pinheads. Everyone’s familiar with the basic movie-going rules, right? Silence your cell phones, don’t talk, take noisy kids to the lobby? A guy down the same row from the trendy teens managed to break all of them.

He didn’t bother to silence his phone, and he took three calls during the course of the film. On top of that, he’s apparently deaf because every conversation started with “Hello?” then, louder, “Hello?” again. Blam!

Apparently his wife was embarrassed enough to do something about it, because he got mad at her. “What are you doin’, tryin’ to break my muh-fuggin’ phone?” Blam!

And then their baby cried. They got him quieted down pretty quick, but later the baby started playing with some bells. This was apparently okay with them. Blam!

Yeah, if I had the head-explodo powers, Jumper would have been a much better flick.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Clive Owen's On First

Last night I finally got around to watching Shoot ‘Em Up, and I invited the wife to do the same.

“Hey hon,” I said. “Come watch Shoot ‘Em Up.”

“Which movie?” she asked. Like many people, I’ll refer to a high-octane action flick as a shoot-’em-up.

Shoot ‘Em Up,” I told her.

“Right, but which movie?”

You can easily see where this was going. About a half hour later, after the rugrats finished bathtime and she put them all to bed, she sat down in the living room.

“So what’s the movie called?” she asked.

Shoot ‘Em Up!” I replied.

I was tempted to say “Clive Owen’s On First.” She can dig Abbot & Costello, she’d have got it.

The movie itself is a lot of fun. Way, way over-the-top action and does a great job satiring the action genre. The one-liners alone are worth the price of admission. For example, Clive Owen shoves a carrot in a bad guy’s mouth and then hammers it through the back of the guy’s head and tells him “Eat your vegetables.” Classic! That’s right up there with Schwarzenegger’s “Let off some steam, Bennett!” in Commando, right after he uses a pipe to spear a guy onto a boiler.

At least the ridiculousness of Shoot ‘Em Up was intentional.

Owen munches carrots throughout the entire flick. I’m not quite sure whether it’s a reference to Bugs Bunny and the cartoony quality of the violence or if it’s a lampoon of Stallone’s matchstick in Cobra. Or both.

As a whole, though, I enjoyed Crank more. Jason Statham is a lot more intense than Clive Owen, and Crank was likewise very tongue-in-cheek with its action. If this is a sign of where action flicks are headed, keep ’em coming.

In other news, I just learned that Roy Scheider died. That’s a bummer. In addition to Jaws and The French Connection, I’ll always remember him in Blue Thunder. I loved that flick when I was a kid.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Blair Witch Monster

If I had known the entire movie was going to be shot through a hand-held camera like Blair Witch Project, I might have held off on seeing Cloverfield until it hit cable rather than plunking down nine bucks at the theater.

The plot is simple: five twenty-something New Yorkers are trying to rescue a friend in Manhattan in the midst of a giant monster’s rampage through the city. They happen to be carrying a camera, and it is through this camera that the entire flick is shot. The plot isn’t terrible, and the characters are a lot more interesting than the Blair Witch characters, but the first-person business gets real old, real quick for me. If you hated Blair Witch, you will probably be just as frustrated with Cloverfield.

At this point, if you haven’t seen the flick and you want to avoid spoilers, then stop reading. Maybe you can check out some great artwork instead.

I completely understand what JJ Abrams and director Matt Reeves were trying to accomplish with the way the flick is told and shot, so anyone wanting to defend the flick by telling me “you don’t get it, Mike!” can just save the keystrokes. My beef with these flicks is the way they go out of their way to make the film look poorly shot. For example, during an action sequence, the last thing I want to see is long segments of running feet or spinning kaleidoscopes of blurry light.

Why couldn’t the flick be shot by embedded journalists? Why not an experienced camera man and a quick-thinking reporter interviewing refugees and soldiers they encounter rather than a pinhead amateur? This was made particularly obvious when the characters go into an electronics store and the guy with the camera points it at a television and we get to watch the news with him for a few moments. Instead of making a big-budget Blair Witch, why not cobbling together disparate news sources and amateur video to tell the larger tale?

Then, of course, the flick would be about the monster, not the love story between the leader of the group and his girlfriend trapped in a fallen building on the other side of the city. Again, compelling characters, and there are some great touches such as when Mom calls the main character. However, if I’m going to a monster movie, I’d like to see more than just two seconds at a time of said monster. They try to make up for this with a shot at the end, but it’s so obviously CGI and cheesy that I felt like I was watching Disney’s Dinosaur rather than a monster movie.

If you hate loose ends, especially the loose ends Abrams leaves us with on Lost, you’ll have another reason to hate Cloverfield. It makes sense not to share the monster’s origin in the movie because the characters have neither the time nor the resources to figure this out (determined folks can pick up clues at the Slusho website and by following its links), but it’s the rest of the things that go unresolved that bother me.

First, one character gets on a chopper and is whisked away. Did they make it or not? Is there any reason they couldn’t be telling us the story? Or that this character couldn’t be used in a sort of epilogue as they’re debriefed by the military?

Second, another character is dragged away by the military and quarantined. We get a spray of blood and the camera’s gone. What happened? Did something come out of this character, like a chestburster from Alien? Did some pustule explode? Did the doctor cut the character open in emergency surgery?

Last and most disconcerting is we don’t even know what becomes of the monster itself. We see it shrugging off gunfire, rockets, missiles, tank rounds, and even carpet bombing. How are we supposed to know if the grand finale finished it off? I’m okay with open endings in general, but you’ve got to give me some indication that there was a resolution. It was for this reason alone that most of the folks in our theater walked out grumbling. One person yelled “That’s it?” when the credits rolled, and someone an aisle or two ahead of me leaned over to a friend and said “What a ripoff.” Several of us stayed through the credits, hoping there would be some teaser or alternate ending or something a the end, but no joy.

Again, yes, I understand the monster is not the point of the movie, and we do get resolution with the main chracters. Unfortunately I expected a lot more from the flick, so it just isn’t for me. I suspect it’s going to be a case of love or hate for most viewers.

If you can live with all that, by all means, get thee to the theater. Despite some hokey moments, I was fine with the plot and characters. If you want a monster movie and hate all the loose ends, save your money.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

"Let's put a smile on that face."

I was a little skeptical of Christopher Nolan’s choice to cast Heath Ledger as the Joker in the next Batman flick. To me, it felt more like studio pressure than real casting.

Then I watched the new Dark Knight trailer, and it removed all doubt. I guess I should have known to trust Nolan better after his handling of Batman Begins and his brilliant flicks Memento and The Prestige. I’m sure few expected the performance Nolan got out of Hugh Jackman in the latter.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Harold & Kumar Ride Again!

I just watched the trailer for Harold & Kumar 2. It picks up where the first left off, with our intrepid heroes headed for Amsterdam. Shortly after they get on the plane, an old lady decides Kumar, an Indian, is a terrorist and they guys are promptly locked up.

I can’t wait. John and I caught the first one in the theater and had an absolute blast. If this one’s just half as good, it will be well worth the ticket price.

(Wow. From pseudo-cerebral robot talk to Harold & Kumar. My blog is so freakin’ eclectic. Which, of course, is a nice way of saying “I hope it doesn’t suck.”)

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.