Monthly Archives: July 2009

My Secret Shame

Paul Blart: Mall Cop ~ Often when I’m writing I will have the TV on as background noise. For fiction I usually require a soundtrack or a playlist, but non-fiction I just need background noise. In the afternoons I set the channel and just leave it run – turns out by cosmic design or just dumb luck I have involuntarily absorbed quite a lot of “The King of Queens.” It seemed like the show was always on, too, whether it was TBS or the CW, its programming was almost endless. The scary part, and this is confession time here, folks, I started to like the show. Yes, it’s true, Kevin James grew on me like a fungus.

So when I started seeing ads and previews for Paul Blart: Mall Cop, aired conveniently during the show that’s always on, “The King of Queens,” my interest was more than piqued. Yeah, as bad as it looked, I wanted to see it. This is my secret shame. I waited until it hit DVD so I wouldn’t feel so dirty.

It’s not bad, one might even say it’s good. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not talking Citizen Kane here, folks. We’re not even talking Mothra Vs. Godzilla, but it’s a matter of expectations. Mall Cop has that warning label on it, you know, the one that says this is a Happy Madison film, indicating that Adam Sandler was involved – always a bad sign.

As far as expectations go, I was fairly correct in my assessment as the movie started. It’s so formulaic and almost painful to watch – until – until it becomes Die Hard in a mall. And I’m not saying “Die Hard in a mall” the way those pitchmen in Hollywood would try to get a flick made – but I mean it in a literal way. Paul Blart: Mall Cop truly is Die Hard in a mall. And I just don’t mean if the bad guys were acrobats on X-bikes and Bruce Willis is a fat guy on a segueway.

Mall Cop follows its inspiration in plot and theme and at moments in duplicating shots. It’s really something to behold. It’s like watching Mel Brooks pay tribute to old movies, there’s a respect that is truly sincere. Again, Paul Blart: Mall Cop is not a great film, but as far as expectations go, it’s a good film. Check it out if there’s nothing else on.

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Bacon Cheese Fries… Or Are They?

French Fry Diary 33: The Winner

Feast

Feast ~ Despite the horror stories and rumors from the set that plagued the production during HBO’s “Project: Greenlight,” I liked this a lot. This is brilliant creative self-aware horror of the sort we haven’t seen since maybe Scream.

I love the sarcastic and sardonic captions that introduce the characters, much fun. The bomb shelter setting in a bar surrounded by hungry (and horny) mutant killing machines only lends to the suspense and terror. Henry Rollins is great as a motivational speaker, just when I thought undertaking of ironic roles was getting clichéd. And look quick or you’ll miss Jason Mewes as himself.

Also for fans of the genre, don’t worry, it’s bloody, gory and violent. And funny. When Bloody-Disgusting said this flick pulls no punches, they were sooo not kidding. Must see for horror folks, otherwise, not for everyone.

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San Diego Comic-Con Wrap-Up

It’s Monday and Comic-Con is over. So what happened? To be perfectly honest, not much, at least not comic-related. When San Diego began, it was a comic book event, but now and in recent years it has become more of a Hollywood event – more about promoting upcoming movies and television series than about comics. Lucky thing that many comics are becoming films and TV shows.

There were screenings and sneak peeks at projects like District 9, Where the Wild Things Are, Legion, “Hero Up,” and amazing new video games from both Marvel and DC Comics. There were panels and buzz about “24,” the final season of “Lost,” “ Caprica” and “Smallville” the last of which promises Metallo, Zod and the Justice Society of America in its next season.

In comics news, Marvel made the intriguing announcement that they have secured the rights to Marvelman. On the other side, DC has similarly announced that they now have the rights to the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. We truly live in interesting times.

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Where the Wild Things Are – Sneak Peek

Spike Jonze’s big screen adaptation of the classic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak comes to theatres on October 16th, 2009.

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Jonah Hex on the Big Screen

For those folks who think comic books are just about people who wear their underwear on the outside of their pants and strike dynamic poses as they punch bad guys, you obviously haven’t heard of Jonah Hex.

Mysterious scarred bounty hunter of the old west, Hex was created a few decades back by John Albano and Tony Dezuniga, and has become one of DC Comics most celebrated western anti-heroes. Jonah Hex has even met the Justice League, and visited Earth’s apocalyptic future, but for the majority of his history he remains closer in tone to Clint Eastwood’s man with no name than any costumed clown. The character’s most recent comic series by writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti is simply one of the best on the shelves consistently.

Next year, director Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who, sigh) will bring Jonah Hex to the big screen. With Josh Brolin in the title role and co-starring Megan Fox and John Malkovich, it should be very interesting. I know I can’t wait.

Jonah Hex will be released June 18th, 2010.

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Cajun Potato Wedges

District 9 – Sneak Peek

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French Fry Diary 32: Olga’s Diner 1949-2009