Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dreams a Skunk Can't Leeve Entwined

A friend and I were riding up an escalator that led to the theater that was playing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and said friend mentioned, however casually, that it blew his mind to think that it had been nearly twenty years since the previous installment hit the sliver screen. He was right about that, just as he was correct about the absurdity of the vine swinging sequence, but what his words really did were remind me of images, opinions, and old video tapes that had been stashed away within the cerebral cellar, stuff that rarely gets cleaned up for a resurgence.

Nothing to see here, folks. No memories worth mentioning, but I'll mention a few anyway, if only to feed your luscious ire.

Twenty years ago, during the crisp May of 1988, is when I acquired my first issue -of four total throughout the course of my life- of Playboy magazine. I couldn't tell you precisely why that issue was the inaugural experience, insomuch that I hadn't selected it for any particularly striking reason. The cover lacked a beautiful woman, and it was mostly white, except for the headlines, some painted eyes and succulent, rosy lips. Knowing what I know now, I would have consciously chosen such an issue to be my first, but at the time, it must have been due to preternatural factors, dumb luck, or my inability to discern quality from crap. Whatever the case may be, the snowy white issue was to be my first encounter of many kinds.

I'll leave it to your imagination as to how I procured the magazine, as I was most certainly under the age of eighteen; but do me the courtesy of overestimating my ability to haggle, if only for a brief, single instance. (You owe me that much for the time I almost offered you my spare ticket to Lollapalooza, douche.)

I remember two things about that issue of Playboy, the first being the interview with Don King, and yeah, that's mostly etched into my brain because of the pontificator's ridiculous hairstyle, but you understand such things. The second vivid memory is that of the centerfold, one Diana Lee, an exquisite specimen of femininity. If nothing else, I'll freely admit that Ms. Lee was the first person of non-caucasian persuasion that I had ever seen in the nude. Up until that point, my main exposure to unclothed women stemmed from my adoration of horror movies and, as you once assured me, slasher films were adamant about showing gratuitous nudity that satisfied the genre's core audience of young, white males; so white women were all we got. I'm not complaining, as the nubile, bicycle-riding twins from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter deserve a post all their own, but that's beside the point.*

Twenty years is a long time to remember a centerfold from an otherwise mediocre issue of a gentleman's magazine, but her name remains, one effigy adrift in a sea of beautiful women from bygone eras. It doesn't surface often and, to be honest, doesn't elicit ravenous longing on my part, but it's inescapably ingrained within my psyche, much like Kurt Russell was via Big Trouble in Little China and The Thing. It shouldn't surprise you that I'm lackadaisically nostalgic like that.

Diana Lee is probably a forty-something divorcee with 2.7 kids at this point, but that doesn't mean she's been entirely forgotten by at least one silly boy turned skunk, and that's good enough for me.

Psychology Major: So this explains your relocation to Asia. You're so predictable.

Kmart: Maybe it does, or maybe it ruined my perceptions of certain females, in that nothing will physically compare to the fond, pristine remembrance held by a disheveled lad.

Idealjetsam: A bit of both, I'd venture. Don't sweat it, son; I've been there, blown that.

Psychology Major: True.

Kmart: Actually, I just have a latent crush on Don King.

Psychology Major: That's more like it.

Denz: Am I the only one that thinks he's bullshitting us on this?


* I need not mention Amy Steel, but she deserves some love.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Internet of the Confounding Critics

Word to T.S. Eliot*, April truly is the cruelest month for moviegoers. In preparation for the big releases, film fans have to sit through Hollywood's dumping ground (or wastelands, as it were) in anticipation of the summer blockbuster schedule. It is a time comperable to a sports fan's July, when the MLB is marching through its mid-summer malaise, and neither the NBA, NFL, nor, hell, NHL are active save drafts or arrests.

Hopefully, just like that time the call girl you ordered ended up looking more Park Ji-Yoon (either one; take your pick) than Park Ji-Seong, the films you've been waiting for -- in some cases decades -- will live up to your expectations. If they don't, the results can be anywhere from mildly disappointing or frustrating to, in the case of some enfant terrible fanboys, life-threatening. Or George Lucas life-threatening. I'm not sure which is more desirable.

Of course that last bit is a joke, but let me be perfectly honest: I don't recall such prior fan displeasure reaching the sweltering Hell fire of May, 1999, when George Lucas's...Oh, hell, you know the fucking movie. In my own case, I went to see Phantom Menace on opening night, was perfectly elated afterwards, then, as the night slowly progressed and I talked about the film with the friend I saw it with, a feeling of profound and bitter disappointment set in. I'd like to think I woke up the next morning feeling hungover, but the stone-cold truth is that I hated myself for self-deception. (Tomorrow, I'll hate myself for massive hyphen usage when I wake up.)

I am not by far the only one. Episode I isn't merely a bad Star Wars movie, it's a terrible, terrible piece of filmmaking. I would rewatch it twice; the first time when it was released to video, the second after the release of Revenge of the Sith. Upon second viewing I saw how deeply misguided I was in my original opinion; I wanted to destroy every available film print and digital copy upon my third. (And that's a fairly strong belief from someone who actually liked Eps II and III.)

But the summer movie season has become Christmas writ large for movie lovers. I was convinced when I was a kid that my parents didn't get me a Red Ryder BB gun not because, as they said, I'd shoot my eye out, but because they hated me and looked upon my very existence with contempt. Now that I'm a grown-up and no longer receive Christmas or birthday presents that I don't buy for myself**, that upcoming summer film better knock my socks off and rekindle the magic, or somebody's gonna get called a penis toucher on an Internet message board.

I know I'm getting carried away and that a lot of very smart people are able to look critically on both their fanatic love of certain films and film franchises, but when the four main CHUD.com writers, all who eschew fanboy uber-bitching, decided to write an article titled 'Indiana Jones Post-Mortem,' I have to say I was a little flabbergasted. Fuck that, a lot. It's one thing to dislike a film; it's another to trash one; and it's a completely-fucking-other thing to hold a geek support group on the Internet because a movie didn't live up to your expectations. That's dumb. Capital D.

Mostly, though, I'm very surprised that the CHUD staff reacted so negatively toward Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. For months they seemed to hint that the film is disappointing (sight unseen, mind you), which, if you listen to the PKasts (eff you if you don't), I relayed with much apprehension to Kmart, who subsequently told me to stuff it. Still, like mostly everyone else, I was prepared to see the fourth Indiana Jones installment regardless of whether it was dubbed "great" or "merely passable". I love Raiders of the Lost Ark like Gene Simmons loves his lick size, but I was still in primary school when I saw Temple of Doom and barely remember it, and The Last Crusade, although I loved it in the fifth grade when I saw it on opening day, has never beckoned me for a revisiting. (My cell number is 010-3321-4968, Last Crusade. Please give a call.)

So here we are. And here's where I try to figure out the complaints people -- and molemen; mostly molemen -- have against Indy IV. Kmart and I will probably (read: definitely) talk more about the film in a future PKast, but let it be known that a) my brother from another father psychically called me the moment I returned home from my matinee viewing so we could briefly agree that Crystal Skull is a great movie (classic, no), and that b) I'm getting really fucking tired of seeing that Asian bitch in the University of Phoenix ads on dictionary.com.

That's not Indiana Jones! He's an afterthought of a character. And Indy getting married is heresy.

As I told Kmart on Sunday, it felt weird seeing Ford play Indy after almost twenty years, and it didn't help that in the opening scene he talks, ostensibly, so the Russians can't read his lips. (Intentional, perhaps?) As the movie progressed, Ford felt more and more like Indy, which is weird, because AS I TOLD KMART, the scenes weren't shot in sequence. So it wasn't Ford's acting that was off at the beginning; it was that I had to adjust my (fly) eyes after so many years away.

As for Indy not being a proactive whip-cracker, let us remember that the single-greatest scene in the Indiana Jones films occurs in Raiders when Jones, confronted by a sword-wielding Arab, pulls out a gun and takes the shortest of shortcuts. There's no non-action scene in Crystal Skull to rival that slice of efficiency, but Jones, at least to me, has always been more about taking the easiest possible route toward resolving conflict rather than facing trouble head on. (Word to bazookas.) And it's pretty darn obvious that the age angle was being played up, and in a very classy way I might add. Maybe it's me at 30 and afraid of death speaking, but that aspect was handled very well, with no cringe-worthy old man jokes.

(Mutt's "What are you, eighty?" cracked me up, because the scene and the timing is so perfect.)

And Indiana Jones as a married man? Jesus, the guy is sixty-five years old! Let him get some steady!

Indy isn't James Bond; whereas Bond is a skirt-chasing bird catcher, women have always fallen into Indy's lap without his pursuit. Isn't it kinda nifty that the only one who matters to the character and to Indiana Jones aficionados falls into his lap again, and that they live happily ever after?

There's too much exposition! The villain sucks!

I've read a number of reviews stating the film contains too many scenes of straight-out dialogue, as though its pace suffers. I cry bullshit. You want a film with scenes of stiff dialogue, watch Speed Racer (which I fully endorse, by the way). The dialogue, while never balls-out compelling, is effective and never bogs the film down, and the pace, oh boy. As much as I love Iron Man (you'll see what I'm doing in a sec), Crystal Skull trumps it as far as pacing goes.

I don't know what else Cate Blanchett's Irina Spalko could have been other than the most memorable Indiana Jones villain not named Belloq or Toht. Those latter fellows had the distinction of being bad-ass Nazis, perhaps suitable for their time, but I for one appreciated that Spalko wasn't a blood-hungry Red (which is why the KGB agents chasing Indy and Mutt around the university campus bugged me a little) and instead a woman with a definite goal who uses Indy to further her means yet doesn't hold any grudges, the same way Indy, in the film's first major scene, doesn't adamantly refuse to help out Spalko and her Commie comrades. (is that redundant?) Both know what the other wants, and I found the mutual, unspoken connection they share throughout the film engaging. I kinda liked that I felt a little sorry for Spalko when she gave up the ghost, which, if we're going for an old-man's theme of forgiveness and atonement, fits like a lamb-skin condom. To boot, Spalko is a much better villain the the Iron Monger. As much as I love Iron Man. (Can you see it yet?)

Aliens don't belong in an Indiana Jones movie!

No, full-frontal male nudity doesn't fit in an Indiana Jones movie. Aliens? Par for the course in a series of films that twice uses religious artifacts as their Maltese Falcons. The Ark of the Covenant is completely acceptable, but an alien saucer? Hold the mayo!

See, what's great about Crystal Skull is that it embraces everything that was suspicious about the time period. Mind-reading Russians. Double agents. Aliens from outer space. And that's what makes me appreciate Crystal Skull even more. For while it's been nineteen years since the last Indiana Jones installment, and a large portion of fandom is stuck (on stupid) in the ten-year time frame of the first three films, it feels good to see Indiana Jones still doing what he does best so many years later: saving the world from mass extinction by the hands of manic threats.

I can't wait to see Shia LaBouf as Henry Jones III save the planet from a dirty bomb, or massive fan death, in 2032.

Respect your elders.

What I didn't like

First and foremost, Shia's vine-swinging adventure (which actually coulda -- call me crazy -- worked if he weren't the supporting hero, and if it didn't Mehmet Okur during an already-thrilling action sequence); Gophers as punchlines; Lead-lined refrigerators as protection against a nuclear bomb (the set-up, however, is brilliant); the titular crystal skull looking like a massive Christmas tree ornament.

That's it. Everyone who's written a negative review of this movie will regret it in a month.

* That glove still fits.

** Wii? Oui!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Aces High / Kentucky Rye

Oh me, oh my. Another fantastic Masta Ace Day has come and gone, and I'll freely admit that, next to Halloween, May 13th is easily the best day of any given year. It's not just the man himself which makes the day special, nor is it a day to remind ourselves of the countless bodies that clutter the Slaughtahouse that is our lives. The day is about the music, man, and the masterful energy that invigorates devotees each and every holiday season.

Masta Ace Day is a tradition nestled within tradition; and while the food, song, and dance remain the same, the veneer is what shifts incessantly. Inclined toward the harsh, nihilistic demeanor that only a hard, ghetto upbringing can fully instill (and that is a lifestyle the boys of PK know all too well), any fan of the Masta intuitively apprehends that it's the unyielding spirit that makes -or breaks- the glorious day in question. In other words, it's about being the same snake but with a different skin. Some of you readers don't feel me, so I suggest you loosen that cuff and take a closer look at the Ace up your sleeve. 'Tis a gateway to the past, present, and forgotten future of adventure.

5/13/94: Sparkles and sister celebrate the inaugural Masta Ace Day by smashing open an Aladdin's Castle token repository, and then attempt to purchase cigarettes with that dopey currency. Successfully, I might add.

5/13/95: Denz decrees that the phrase bros before hos only works for men who are more than 63% gay, just after he finished having rough sex with the headmaster's wife.

5/13/96: Forbes and Highly successfully drag a shopping cart behind Sparkles' Suzuki Samurai down a street at speeds in excess of 35MPH, and then proceed to set the cart free, watching as the aforementioned cart hurtles away in a veritable explosion of spark and sound. A young girl is hospitalized in the process, but Forbes scores some big tits nonetheless.

5/13/97: Standing before an audience of Icelandic exchange students, Idealjetsam reads a passage from Kingston's Woman Warrior aloud, one hand raised with clenched fist. Riots ensue.

5/13/98: A council of elders (populated by the likes of Sherman Hemsley, Stephen Geoffreys, Irene Cara, and the ghost of Vincent Price channeled through Bob Sagat) set the official snacks of Masta Ace Day: Country Time lemonade, Bacardi 151, pickled pigs feet, Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, and baby corn. Sparkles flies into a rage, threatening to start a folding chair melee if Jack Daniel's isn't added to the list. Amendment made.

5/13/99: TMH headbutts former president Jimmy Carter at a stag party. Several strippers ease TMH's agitation, while Carter promises to never fuck with the man again.

5/13/00: Masta Ace celebrates the new millennium by conquering Guam with his musical stylings.

5/13/01: Masta Ace loses control of Guam to the Backstreet Boys. Meanwhile, Denz decorates his newly acquired abode with stolen hubcaps.

5/13/02: Frustrated by the lack of enthusiasm for Masta Ace Day by proletarians, Idealjetsam, TMH, and Toni Morrison set fire to six Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits locations. Masta Ace objects on behalf of such quality biscuits, and the trio reach a compromise with Ace by promising to only kill shift managers. (Morrison is later indicted, taking a fall for the greater good.)

5/13/03: At a local party, Kmart observes coked-out friend Steve Collins launch a bottle rocket from between his ass cheeks. Inspired, Kmart launches a Black Cat 44 millimeter mortal shell toward his own automobile, and hilarity ensues. Sherman Hemsley loses a limb in the process.

5/13/04: For Masta Ace Day, Sparkles treats himself to a Playstation 2 video game console. In protest, his future ex-wife bites the head off of a cockroach and the posterior of a rat. Sparkles responds by putting the dead rat between two slices of bread and states 'You can't stifle this shit.'

5/13/05: Backstage after a Masta Ace concert, Idealjetsam and his consort (Korean sensation, BoA) chat with Ace. Ace prompts IDJ to hit Coney Island for amusement park rides galore, sans Korean singer. Via satellite, Denz annuls the sacred Bros before Hos agreement.

5/13/06: Heavily intoxicated, TMH and Kmart make a pact to actually begin working for a living. Such dedication lasts for approximately sixteen minutes.

5/13/07: Whilst vacationing in luxurious Kalamazoo, Kmart has a chance meeting with Ms. Supergirl herself, one Helen Slater. Despite repeated attempts to successfully woo the maiden, Kmart goes back to his room at the Motel 6 alone. He does, however, make sweet love to numerous Taco Bell signature items, so it's not a total loss.

5/13/08: Sparkles and Kmart, fueled by several alcoholic beverages, decide to refer to themselves as Wang Chi and Jack Burton, respectively. Sparkles repeatedly attempts to slice a bottle of Cass in half with a machete, while Kmart makes innumerable calls to a Korean automobile insurance agency, seeking his stolen truck. In an unrelated sequence of events, the dyslexic duo choose to wear their underwear on the outside (atop their pants), and several Korean men approach them enthusiastically. Somewhere, Denz cackles maniacally.

Take these examples, faithful readership, and alter your life accordingly. Grab the Ace, and never let go of the magic.


Detective McNulty

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Scoundrel's Last Breath

On the eve of my passing, some final words:

Oh, to be 29 and free again...

See you when I'm 30.

(Unless I see you first.)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Empire of the Ants

For the moment, I'd like to wish a happy birthday upon one Tad Miyamoto. Mr. Miyamoto, a man of many passports, is an aficionado of the Busan (booty) lifestyle with a massive ax to grind against parents that never loved him enough to satisfy his urge for バイエルン brand sausages (made from real beefuh and porkuh!). He only wanted them because of Sylvester Stallone's endorsement, and that may be a silly reason to want anything, but the pain remains all the same.

That birthday card is in the mail, Tad, so use that cash to splurge on a bag of sausages, Ajax*, and let go of the rage. Also, don't forget to have a beer alongside those sausages, and yes, you know exactly what kind of beer to which I refer, the only beer endorsed by the living God of Japan, the Lord of the Rising Sun, the progenitor to the royal family in its entirety, the creative force behind Toho's greatest films, and the man that cannot walk down the street (that's any street in Japan) without being mobbed by hordes of slinky women and even slinkier men: Harrison F. Ford.**

In a similar vein, it looks as if Egon's birthday is coming up, as is Masta Ace Day (as if you hadn't marked your calendars), and I was looking for something cool to throw out as a gift, but it's been tough. I mean, what do you get the man that already has a Nintendo Wii? What can you possibly provide a man that ditched you to go see Iron Man*** with someone sexier? It's problematic to say the very least, and while I have been able to come up with this gem, such a gift demands to be blown up and laminated by a professional, and I haven't the slightest idea as to where to satisfy those requirements.

I saw a romantic comedy DVD three-pack at the local Emart, and that seems like a proper substitute.


Winston Zeddemore

* Have you ever shoved a baseball bat up some marauding street thug's ass? Tad has. Testify.

** The extra F stands for fuckin' yo' dead Airedale terrier without a prophylactic.

*** But you already knew that an Iron Man review was in the works.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Tag Team

That's right! You know what I'm talking about!


Really, you do.

I need you to remind me what this post is supposed to be about, before I lose focus and rape a paraplegic ape with an old ZZ Top cassette tape.*

Those two monuments of pop culture references, IMDB and Wikipedia, never cease to provide their readers with sparkling tidbits of useless information, and I -for many- applaud the seemingly endless array of factoids available to any diligent individual. They work in flawless concomitance, this dynamic duo; and much like Batman & Robin, Luke & Bo Duke, the Bushwackers, Pimp & Ho, etc., this explosive combination knows how to get the shit done. The only question is, what you want, (sucka)? I want movie info, that's what.

Recently, I watched The Crow: City of Angels which, for those uncertain, was the rushed sequel to a (relatively) successful film adaptation of James O'Barr's graphic novel, the Crow, and given that I hadn't seen the sequel in more than a decade, I feel the need to address this slice of happenstance. Before I go any further, I'd first like to state, for the record, that I was a fan of the original film directed by Alex Proyas. Say what you may about heroes that dress in black and run around a shadowy, rainy cityscape to avenge deaths in brutal fashion, but Proyas did it with charming style, and the success of the film allowed the director to move on to other projects, such as Dark City. I will refrain from gratuitous exposition on the whole Brandon Lee affair, as this post is supposed to be about the sequel, and his situation has been chronicled to death, pun intended.**

Not a Review

As demonstrated in previous posts, I couldn't write an effective, elaborate review if Sparkles were to hold a .38 Special to my head, so bear with me here. The movie stars European hunk Vincent Perez as Ashe Corven, the dollied avenger of wrongs done by a quartet (soon clumsily revealed to be a quintet) of irredeemable rapscallions, led by the sadistic drug lord Judah Earl, played by actor Richard Brooks.

--Trivial Pursuit Answer #1: Richard Brooks is best known for his recurring role as token black character on the long-running television series Law & Order. Similarly, Perez has found limited success on the French equivalent, Paris Enquêtes Criminelles.--

These two characters should, arguably, make or break a film of this genre, and in that sense, the film disappointed me. I don't place the fault on Perez particularly, as following the clamor surrounding Brandon Lee would have been difficult for anyone, let alone some random Swiss guy. Having said that, Perez wasn't an atrocity, and he displayed an apt amount of ferocity in the role, coupled with a bit of quiet, somber recollections of the life that was stolen from his son (as well as his own) by the aforementioned gang. You know what? You score a few points in my book, Perez. You're okay.

On the other hand, Brooks as the vile Judah just didn't cut it. I place half the blame on him, and half on the script and/or editing. It's the case of a bad guy who is supposed to be really, really evil just because we're told he is such a person. Basically, he's a cardboard stand-in for Top Dollar, the kingpin from the first film, replete with mystic seer to advise him on how to deal with the Crow.

Which brings me to another point, even though I should continue to focus upon the characters (formatting is really important here at Psychedelic Kimchi). I've read that the original script, penned by the now famous David S. Goyer, was substantially different from both the first film and the theatrical release of its sequel, but that it was chopped up by Miramax for the purpose of making the film unremarkably similar to the original movie. I have my doubts that the film would have been much better (let alone good) had Goyer and director Tim Pope (best known for directing music videos) been allowed to make the film as they intended, but anyway.

Corven and his son are killed in the beginning of the film, and the group of killers should be somewhat important, you know? I mean, since Ashe is going to spend the majority of screen time hunting them to extract vengeance, you'd think that we'd be privy to some minute level of characterization, so as to better feel that justice has been served, and to impact us as viewers. In this regard, the film was partially successful.

First, we've got Spider Monkey. From what may be gleamed by this cinematic masterpiece, Spider Monkey likes to laugh, do drugs, and throw flowers at dead people. He spent about three minutes onscreen, and that's about all I was able to gather before he died in an explosion. --TPA #2: The actor also played a victim in Anaconda. Nice resume, player!-- Scratch one bad dude, and keep riding that angst, Ashe. (No picture for you, Monkey!)

Second, comes Nemo, played by Thomas Jane aka Frank Castle from the Punisher, and the dad from the Mist. As a stepping stone to bigger things, I guess Jane had to pay his dues somehow, and for ten minutes, we get to watch him hang out at a porno theater, masturbate, carry a video camera, and have his eyes gouged out by Corven. I can dig the porno theater setting, but that can't save Jane's appearance from being forgettable, the exception being that ridiculous hairstyle he was sporting.

Things aren't looking so good, hair notwithstanding, but now we've got the big dogs and, sarcasm aside, the situation does improve, Mighty Morphin Rock 'n' Roll style.

Hey, Kali, you're up, and you're pretty good at being bad. As stated previously, I'm a fan of making the villains as memorable as the good guys, and Kali fit the bill. She's the one that killed Corven's son, she's the one that carved a tattoo artist's eyes with his own needle, she's the only character to put up any reasonable fight against the Crow's emissary, and she is actually given ample screen time as a character. Kali's physical appearance was also rather intense, due neither to the writing, nor the cinematography, but to the efforts of the actress that portrayed her, a woman named Thuy Trang. --TPA #3: Trang played the Yellow Ranger on the popular kids' television show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Wild.-- In consideration of her acting history, I grant the bloodthirsty Kali bonus points by proxy.***

Lastly, we have Curve, played by charismatic punk rocker Iggy Pop. As one may suppose, Pop goes over the fucking top in his portrayal of the drug abusing, flamboyant, and trigger-happy motorcyclist that personally shot Corven to death (at the behest of Judah). Unlike Nemo and Spider Monkey, who are basically a coroner's wet dream, Curve is an actual character, and unlike Judah, who is such a paper tiger, Pop's Curve is maniacal, yet ruled by fear. When lit up, Curve is all balls, and when he's off the junk, he's worried about the impending punishment.--TPA #5: Iggy Pop has done a lot of drugs.-- At times, Curve serves to remind us of the characters from O'Barr's original work, and that's not a bad thing. Iggy's character is a punk, doing what punks do best, but he's also entirely human, drugs and all. Unlike Kali, who is intent upon killing Ashe (again), Curve just wants to get the fuck out of LA, avoid death if possible, and do some more coke.

--TPA #6: Iggy was initially sought to play Funboy in the original film, but was unable to do so, due to scheduling conflicts. Kind of weird, as I fail to see how Pop was so busy in any way, shape, or form.--

Basically, where I'm going with this useless diatribe is that despite the sequel curse, this film could have been decent had it relied more upon the strength of its characters. Viewers are, basically, left with two worthwhile villains when there should have been four (omitting the lackluster Judah Earl), and an antihero that doesn't have enough to properly empathize with. There is also a weak subplot that involves a character from the first film, named Sarah, that has a connection to the Crow itself as well as having a vaguely romantic attachment to the resurrected Ashe. That situation in-of-itself wouldn't have been such a useless thing, had the film devoted more time to fleshing out its characters and the struggles contained therein.

--TPA #7: There are also some 'insert moments of kindness here' moments revolving around a young druggie named Grace, played by actress Beverly Mitchell, who looked oddly familiar, and IMDB informed me that she played a younger sister on TV's 7th Heaven series. I suppose that's a step upward.--

As for the cinematography, it's surprisingly good. Utilizing a rust and yellow color scheme (supplemented by faded blue for flashback sequences), the film presents a visually appealing perspective of a decayed, near-future Los Angeles besieged by faux anarchy. Tim Pope's experience with music videos serves the film's action scenes well, barring the ridiculous finale with Judah and Ashe, and to describe Judah's absurd demise would be to forever soil the reputation of our beloved blog. Trust me on that one.

Dialogue is serviceable, but there are a few instances of idiocy too egregious to be forgiven, such as:

Kali: Do you know how to fight?
Ashe: Do you know how to die?

To be honest, I laughed aloud at that point, but those weren't tears of joy streaming down these precious cheeks of mine.

After more than a decade, I still dislike this movie, but there is some indescribable quality to the film that demanded my posting about it. Train wreck mentality, and all that.

--TPA #8: Apparently, there have been two more sequels to the Crow, one of which starred Edward Furlong. Best lay off the cocaine, son. --


(Fuck you) Iron Man

P.S. Would you be my newfound God, Wikipedia?

* Ho, ho, wait, stop: I've already accomplished that very feat, albeit it was actually a snapped and splintered LP of Sweet's Desolation Boulevard that penetrated the aptly nicknamed 'sweet spot.' I've taken to calling my ape Mercil, and it's such a lil' bitch.

** Which is not to say that I'm apathetic toward the affair. Contrary to popular belief, I don't find the death of people, celebrity or otherwise, to be a form of entertainment, but I also think that there are people qualified to speak about the situation, and I am not one of them.

*** TPA #4: While searching for related information about the movie, I learned that Trang died in a car accident circa 2001. That's neither entertaining nor amusing, but don't flog the messenger.