Posts Tagged ‘Sons of Anarchy’

Media Update 9/20/18

September 20, 2018


Mayans MC

I really liked Sons of Anarchy and I realized when this show was about to premier that I had never watched the rest of it. The drama surrounding a club of bikers exposed me to kind of a new culture that I had never really been exposed to. When I lived in New Jersey, bikers from Orange County would drive through every so often and I have also encountered them on the way to West Virginia. However, I never really had much experience with actual bikers. Sons of Anarchy added a Shakespeare flavor to a show about gun-running bikers. So far, Mayans feels even better. The show is about a south California chapter of the Mayans, a biker gang mostly made up of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. The show has elements of Sons of Anarchy but it already has conflicts with the FBI, the Cartels, Mexican citizens, and other gangs. The Mexican cartels are the perfect villains as everybody knows how brutal they are in real life. JD Pardo is great as the star of the show, EZ Reyes, a man who is trying to get his life together by any means necessary. Edward James Olmos plays his father, a butcher, who he regularly goes to for advice. Daniel Pino plays the head of a Cartel and is an interesting twist on what you would expect from such a character. The rest of the cast is really great and I am waiting to see who is going to stand out and become more important. The show does not rely at all on the plot of Sons of Anarchy and it definitely stands on its own. I wholeheartedly recommend it.


Boondock Saints

I had heard a lot about this cult classic not long after it came out but I never got a chance to watch it. Back then I did watch the documentary about it called Overnight. That details how much of a jerk the director/writer of the movie is and how quickly a person can firebomb their own success. After watching the movie, that documentary is even more fascinating to me. I say that because it was a lot of fuss over a movie that is not very good. I suppose it is kind of like The Room but for action movies. Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flannery play brothers who are spurred to action by the story of Kitty Genovese and a bar fight with Russian mobsters. They decide to just murder as many gangsters and criminals as they can. They are quirky but mostly uninteresting as characters. They are joined by a bumbling friend David Rocco who is kind of like a character from a bad SNL skit. The highlight of the movie is Willem Dafoe who plays an FBI agent who is absolutely out of his mind. His performance is so nonsensical that it is hard to look away. Without him, the movie would have been bland dialogue (in delightful Irish accents) punctuated by gunfire. However, it felt like each of his scenes was written by a different person. It felt like the movie did not know whether it was serious or a parody and it kind of just happened. I do not recommend it but I am glad to get a cult classic under my belt.


American Vandal

Like most people, I witnessed the explosion of popularity of the podcast Serial and its fresh approach to detailing a criminal investigation and the facts of a case. The crux of that podcast was to present all of the facts and then ask questions. The podcast itself proved nothing definitively but it was eventually enough to gain Adnan a second trial. This mockumentary feels like a loving parody of that style. Much like Serial, this is the story of somebody who was accused of a heinous crime but there are questions about the guilt of the accused. Right off the bat, there are a lot of parallels between the two stories that made me smile. It is enough that I will say that listening to Serial enhances the viewing experience. Instead of a murder, Dylan is accused of spraypainting dicks on every single faculty car at his high school. As the show unfolds, more details are brought to light and each point of data is measured to see if it makes Dylan look innocent or guilty. In the story, the documentary is being made by two members of the AV club who begin to question the established story. The performances of everybody are so good. Everybody plays it with a straight face so the humor comes from situations and more realistic strangeness. More than the humor, I found myself wanting to watch the mystery get solved. I started to pick up clues before the characters saw them and so far it is very satisfying. I definitely recommend it.

 

Music of the Week:
Ariana Grande – God is a Woman

RISE OF THE NORTHSTAR – Here Comes The Boom

Fozzy – Burn Me Out

Twice – What is Love?

YG & Nipsey Hussle – FDT

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Not Quite Within the Law”
– I started watching The Blacklist Season 5
– I started watching Iron Fist Season 2
– I started watching Bojack Horseman Season 5
– I kept watching Once Upon a Time Season 7
– I kept watching The Good Place Season 2
– I started watching The Mae Young Classic 2

Top 11 Horror Movie Connections

October 30, 2015

So, I whipped this up because I love imagining what’s beyond the limits of a film. I readily admit that this is barely researched. I also admit that I know there’s a simpler story for a lot of these examples. I also admit that these were fun to write. These are the top eleven horror movie connections with greater story implications.

Xenomorph
11 Xenomorph Skull (Predator 2)

Alright, we start with a well-known easter egg in the background of the lesser-liked sequel to a great, yet cheesy Schwarzenegger film. This crossover is actually happened so it’s not the most exciting on the list to me. However, back when Predator 2 was released it took a quick eye to pick this out. It was casual confirmation that the two awesome franchises might share the same world. It opened up a lot of possibilities where we could have (and still could see) some awesome stuff. An interesting side note: the xenomorph skull looks an awful lot like the xenomorphs in Alien and Aliens which are set centuries after Predator 2. Does this mean that there were no advances in xenomorph evolution for centuries? Considering that xenomorphs use other species as incubators, they must have some dominant genes. Maybe, they’re a genetically manufactured species?

Max
10 Max Schreck (Batman Returns, Shadow of the Vampire)

Batman Returns is a pretty good Batman movie (Catwoman is great though) and it has some very memorable characters. You have your Batman, your Penguin, your Catwoman (rowr!) and you have the corporate villain who doesn’t really have a comic book counterpart. Max Schreck is the tycoon who isn’t above manipulation, fraud and even murder to earn money. He’s pretty much an unrepentant evil monster who easily out-evils the other two villains put together. The thing is, he started out with the last name Schreck and his parents called him Max. Max Schreck is a little known film actor who worked in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Of course, the one movie of his you might have a snowball’s chance in Hell of knowing is Nosferatu in which he plays the vampiric Graf Orlok. Not only that but in Shadow of the Vampire, a fictional telling of the making of Nosferatu, it’s revealed that Schreck himself was a vampire. Am I saying that Max Schreck (Batman Begins) is a vampire? Well, definitely figuratively as a sort of financial vampire. A bit of a stretch but it makes me smile.

Bachman
9 Bachman (Sons of Anarchy)

Alright, Sons of Anarchy isn’t a horror movie or even a horror television show. Instead it was a long-running show about a motorcycle club’s politics and crimes and the personal lives of the members. It’s a great show (at least as far as I am in it) but it definitely has its dark moments. Without giving away too much, during Season Three of the show a couple of main characters need a body to completely disappear. They call in a guy they know and a character played by Stephen King shows up and claims that his name is Bachman and that he is a cleaner. He plays his scenes pretty low key but there’s definitely a creep factor to his lines and delivery. So, “Richard Bachman” is an alias that King has used freely to publish a few of his books (The Regulators for example). What if Sons of Anarchy’s Bachman is supposed to be Stephen King? What if that’s what he does in his spare time? He travels around and makes bodies disappear for some extra cash but mostly for the fun of it.

Midwich

8 Midwich Elementary (Silent Hill, Village of the Damned)

Village of the Damned is a B Horror movie where weird albino children appear who have psychic death powers that they use to hold adults hostage and get what they want. It capitalizes on how creepy kids can be without even trying. It takes place in the Midwich, England and therefore the creepy kids all attend Midwich Elementary as the adults try to figure out how to survive their predicament. In the Silent Hill video game series (and the first movie) characters encounter a Midwich Elementary where the kids of Silent Hill attend school apparently. It’s situated on Midwich Road but I would still think it would be called Silent Hill Elementary because it’s in Silent Hill. Of course, many places in America are named after places in England but I have a more fun theory. What if the supernatural forces that swirl through Silent Hill were attracted the residual psychic resonance of Midwich Elementary. What if the town wanted to possess such power and somehow transported the school to Silent Hill and then cannibalized it to create its own school?

Chalk Door
7 The Chalk Portal (Beetlejuice, Pan’s Labyrinth)

In Beetlejuice, Barbara and Adam Maitland find a spell to access the Netherworld. The spell has them draw a door and knock three times and the wall opens to expose a portal to a world beyond our own. The book they get their spell from is readable by mortals who aren’t deceased and later in the film a spell is even successfully performed by a mortal man. Granted, the spell that is used isn’t the chalk door spell but there’s nothing to say it couldn’t be done by a mortal. In Pan’s Labyrinth, the main character Ofelia is given magic chalk by a seriously untrustworthy faun who instructs her to use it to form a door. She does and is transported to a dark, twisted version of a faery lair of sorts in order to further her weird faery scavenger hunt. (Seriously, just go watch the movie. It’s amazing.) It’s almost the same dang spell! It involves the drawing of something in chalk that ritual makes real. It’s almost like the spell relies on the user’s imagination to work. Could these two spellbooks overlap? It’s interesting to think about.

Whiteboard
6 “Deadites and Evil Molesting Tree” (Cabin in the Woods)

Cabin in the Woods is an interesting dark comedy/horror movie because it tears horror movies apart while paying so much tribute to them. I could sit here and list dozens of little homages to a lot of horror franchises that range from subtle to brilliant. However, the main thing about these homages and easter eggs is that most of them look like knockoffs of the originals. They’re close but no cigar. Early in the movie, when certain characters are cataloguing supernatural threats, you actually see the words “Deadites” and “Angry Molesting Tree” very close together. These are very specific words that only relate to one movie which is Evil Dead 2 (basically a gorier remake of Evil Dead). Deadites are practically a registered trademark of the Evil Dead movie and video game series and the Angry Molesting Tree is a pretty infamous part of the second movie. What I’m saying is that those words really don’t apply to anything else. Now, I don’t want to give away the premise of an awesome movie by saying this but could “they” be responsible for the events of Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2?

Ethan
5 Striped Shirt (Nightmare Before Christmas, The Addams Family)

In the Addams Family movie from 1991, there’s a very clear art direction which includes brilliant costumes that fit the tone of the movie exactly. One of the prominent costume pieces is Pugsley’s shirt which is a distinctive black and white horizontal striped shirt. The actor playing Pugsley is a young man and is more than a bit chubby, mostly as a visual counterpoint to his thin sister Wednesday. In The Nightmare Before Christmas, there is a little zombie boy who participates in all of the shenanigans of the movie as one of many good-hearted yet misunderstood characters. He wears a shirt with black and white horizontal stripes and he is pretty portly himself. Granted, he’s a little more plump than Pugsley but he’s dead and sometimes dead bodies bloat. If anyone on Earth would have access to Halloweentown, it would probably end up being the Addams Family. So is the dead little boy Pugsley? I don’t think so but they may have shared some fashion tips. Alternately, Pugsley may have shipped some hand-me-downs to Halloweentown.

Chucky4 “Chucky on Crack” (Leprechaun in the Hood)

This next one is just a little bit of evidence but the idea excited me too much to put it lower on the list. I am a sucker for both the Leprechaun and Child’s Play franchises. In Leprechaun in the Hood (Leprechaun 5), two gang members are startled by their first meeting with the Leprechaun. (As we probably all would be). One of them calls the Leprechaun “Chucky on Crack”, not being familiar with the little demon in front of them. There are many similarities between Chucky and the Leprechaun. They’re both vertically challenged and they both rely on ancient magics. Chucky is fueled by Voodoo magic which somehow keeps his little doll body mobile and able to swing melee weapons. The Leprechaun relies on some sort of ancient Irish magic of his own which allows him to basically break reality. Maybe, just maybe, these gang members called him “Chucky on Crack” because Chucky is a well known urban legend. I want a Chucky vs. Leprechaun movie so bad.

Santa Mira3 Santa Mira (Halloween 3, Invasion of the Body Snatchers)

I have a soft spot in my heart for Halloween 3: Season of the Witch mostly because it’s a good movie but also because a lot of people don’t like it. One of the most eerie parts of Halloween 3 is how ordinary people are replaced by unfeeling automatons who serve Silver Shamrock with undying loyalty. This all took place in the town of Santa Mira, California which was also the site of another famous horror movie. Invasion of the Body Snatchers features Santa Mira getting slowly taken over by aliens who replace human beings with emotionless copies. Both plots are only discovered because one man infiltrates the situation and flees to warn the world. It’s definitely too much similarity to simply be a coincidence. Imagine you’re Conal Cochran and you need guards for your big, magical terrorist plot. You think of androids and then you do your research about the Body Snatchers incident. Maybe you get a hold of info from Body Snatcher technology and you use it to perfect your android copy technology in the same town the original incident it went down.

Necronomicon
2 Necronomicon (Jason Goes to Hell)

The Necronomicon was an important object and an intesely detailed prop created for the Evil Dead series. In Army of Darkness we see it in great detail in a time lapse sequence that explains exactly what it is. It’s a book written in blood and bound in human skin and it contains information and dark spells relating to the deadites and the great magical force of the Evil Dead. Somehow such an important book often finds itself lost and in clear sight of people who could stumble onto its evil. First a cabin and now strewn among a whole lot of other magical items in a Friday the 13th movie. Among the many items in the Voorhees house, the Necronomicon is clearly visible as not many books have a face with a gaping mouth on them. This is another one that needs no speculation because the prop was confirmed by Sam Raimi. Later, in the comic books, Ash has to ride to the rescue to take out Jason and Freddy when Freddy gets a hold of the Necronomicon.

Freddy's Claw
1 Freddy’s Claw in Evil Dead 2

Speaking of unmistakeable props, Freddy Kruegger is a vicious killer/dream demon who takes out his victims in very creative ways. However, one of the most iconic parts of Freddy’s image is that unique clawed glove that has drawn the blood of so many teen victims. In Evil Dead 2 you can pretty easily spot Freddy’s glove hanging in the barn. Ash apparently doesn’t notice it but it is a clear sign that Freddy has entered his world. Now, I’ve already covered how Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash became a thing when it was published in the comic books. However, there’s something else in play here. In New Nightmare we are introduced to the concept that Freddy Kruegger is a real dream demon originally from our world aka the world you’re sitting in right now. He was only tamed by making movies about him which trapped him in the film world where he harmlessly killed fictional characters. What if, between Nightmare movies, they desperately wrote Freddy into Evil Dead 2 to keep him at bay for a little while?

Media Update 10/1/2015

October 1, 2015


RWBY

I’ve made no secret how much a fan of Game Grumps I am but let’s move past that because they’re friends with Rooster Teeth. It was through this association that I first heard about RWBY. In fact I think it was from a t-shirt Ross O’Donovan was wearing. The show popped up on Netflix so I decided to look into it. The description used a magic word when it comes to me picking what to read or watch. The word was “Grimm”. If you’ve read this blog enough, you know that I like the works and imagery of the Brothers Grimm. Aside from some heavy imagery at the very beginning of the series, they don’t really use Brothers Grimm. Grimm are evil monsters that Hunters are trained to battle and destroy. The show is very anime-inspired and visually exciting. I love the idea of color-coding characters and giving them a distinct visual style which raises them above and makes them look like superheroes. The animation takes a bit of getting used to but the movement is beautiful, especially the magical weapons the heroes use. Definitely check it out if you like a good action anime with a bit of drama thrown in.

 


Person of Interest

I have several friends who have watched this show and recommended it. I finally got around to checking it out because it’s on Netflix now. I really got sucked into it. The show (six episodes in) is about a billionaire named Finch who has invented a vast software network that tracks human behavior and movement and spits out a social security number. That social security number is either the perpetrator or victim of a deadly crime and it’s up to Reese to stop it before it happens. The show is filled with ways that technology can betray us as it is used to spy on us even if the spy has noble intentions. Reese and Finch investigate people without their knowledge in order to get close to them. What I really like about the show is the action and the characters. Each episode you get to know new characters who are written to be very human. You also get to learn a little bit more about Reese and Finch and why they’re so determined to save these people’s lives. Definitely check it out. I hear it gets even better during the second season.

 


Sons of Anarchy

I started to watch Sons of Anarchy again today (Wednesday) and I forgot how much I like the show. I started up season two after a long, long break and I wasn’t disappointed. The show, of course, is about a motorcycle gang operating in a fictional California town. The show came out the same year as Breaking Bad and the two ruled basic cable together for a while. The two also both center around main characters involved in criminal conspiracies. However, I’d say Sons of Anarchy is a much more enjoyable show. The show really has interesting characters who get themselves into fixes that are fun to watch them get out of. The show also has two of my favorite actors in Katey Sagal and Ron Perlman and I’m really getting to like relative unknown Charlie Hunnam. I’ll keep watching this new (to me) season where they’re apparently fighting nazis.

 

The Fontanelles – Kiss Kicker ’99
It’s Still Good!
The Warning – Exterminated
Key and Peele – Gremlins 2
Panic at the Disco – This is Halloween

Updates:
– I finished Gotham Season One and it was really, really good
– Finally caught the first two Doctor Who episodes of the new season. Wow.
– I will be talking about Larry Wilmore and Trevor Noah soon
– I know what I said yesterday but there’s still glorious Halloween work to do


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