Monday, February 27, 2012

The 84th Academy Awards – Revised

Another year of Oscars, another year I disagree.

Best Picture: The Artist.  The What?!
What I would have chosen: Drive

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Who I would have chosen: Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Who I would have chosen: Carey Mulligan, Drive

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Who I would have chosen: Ryan Gosling, Drive.  Not even a nomination, what a travesty!

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Who I would have chosen: I won’t dispute this one.  Drive didn’t really allot enough time for a supporting actress.

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners. 
Who I would have chosen: Albert Brooks, Drive

Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, The Descendants
Who I would have chosen: Hossein Amini, Drive
Amini far right

Best Sound Editing: Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty, Hugo
Who I would have chosen: Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis, Drive.  The only nomination it actually received.

Best Costume Design: Mark Bridges, The Artist
Who I would have chosen: Erin Benach, Drive.  That scorpion jacket!  So cool! 

Oh well, maybe they'll ask my opinion next year : ) 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cool Movie Posters

I can't think cool, and I can't think movies without thinking Eastwood.

One of the best silent films, and one of the best movie posters.

Not many positives can be said about this mess of a movie, but they made  a damn good poster for it. 

Another mess of a movie with superb poster design.

An epic shot for an epic story of an epic person.

Bond doesn't really appeal to me, but this funky, psychedelic poster sure does.

"Hail to the king, baby."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Spawn walking between the heroes of old and their creators

More amazing than a spiderman.  More incredible than a hulk… SPAWN is one of the seminal comic books of the 90s.  Conjured from the mind of Todd McFarlane, it’s an explosion of creativity, bursting with energy that bounces off the pages.  Someone could be illiterate and still love it as a visual masterpiece.  What Dante is to poetry, is what McFarlane is to illustrative art.

The story revolves around Al Simmons who is more or less a good guy in the eyes of society, a dutiful soldier, a Captain America type who dies and goes to hell because of the copious amounts of blood he spilled during his days as a soldier, always following the orders of the powers that be and never really thinking for himself.  In Hell, Al makes a deal with the devil Malebolgia to come back to life on earth, so he can see his beloved wife again, but (there’s always a “but” with the devil) he has to assume the role of Hellspawn (aka Hell’s pawn) – a super powered corpse looking entity of demonic force.  And in a cruel, twisted joke, Malebolgia returns him to earth five years after his death, only to find his wife now has a kid and is married to his former best friend.  Oh the drama!
first issue

Bewildered, confused, perplexed as to what his purpose/mission really is; Spawn spends much of his time in the back alley slums of New York City, his own fortress of solitude, trying to figure out what’s happening with his life, trying to resist the forces (good and evil) tugging him back and forth, while serving as a kind of hero, a kind of protector, a kind of king to the homeless and downtrodden.  Armed with limited unlimited power, he can do pretty much anything – heal diseases, resurrect the dead, beat the crap out of evil monster things, BUT the more he uses his awesome powers, the more it drains his life force, and eventually will return him to Hell, and thus begin his duties as Malebolgia’s general in the wars against heaven.  So he has to be careful about when he chooses to fight, which to me is a cool paradox for a hero to have to pick and choose when he can use his crazy awesome powers for the good.  
Angela featured on cover #9

So many interesting characters arise from the shadows of this series:  Angela – a badass, renegade angel, at first foe, and then friend to Spawn; The Redeemer – an evil, ruthless bastard forced by heaven to do the work of good, essentially the opposite of Spawn; The Violator – a joker like demon clown, charged with keeping tabs on Spawn; John Sansker aka Heartless John – a vampire’s vampire, and so many more.

Enjoyed this series very much.  It forever has a place in my pantheon of kick ass comics, right alongside Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta, and Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hidden Things by C.P. Cavafy

David Hockney, Portrait of Cavafy

From all I did and all I said,
let no one try to find out who I was.
An obstacle was there that changed the                 pattern
Of my actions and the manner of my life.
An obstacle was often there
To stop me when I’d begin to speak.
From my most unnoticed actions,
My most veiled writing –
From these alone will I be understood.
But maybe it isn’t worth so much concern,
So much effort to discover who I really am.
Later, in a more perfect society,
Someone else made just like me
Is certain to appear and act freely.

Translated by Edmund Keely/Philip Sherrard