Friday, April 23, 2010

KICK ASS (an "I Saw It" Review)


“Kick Ass? More like…Ass Kicked…heh-heh…” – Big Daddy
“Fucking Cunts!” – Hit Girl (11 years old)

If that didn’t get your attention then what would? The new comic book hero for this decade has to be Kick Ass. It’s the first superhero book to be brutally realistic, funny, and portray teens like they really are in 2010. If anyone at Marvel thinks their newly “re-teened” Peter Parker is anything like today’s youth…they’ve been eating too many wheat cakes…and while I’m at it Amazing Spider-Man has sucked ever since that Brand New Day garbage began.

Now, that said, Kick Ass isn’t going to be for everyone (the movie or the comic). The children heroes of the story swear, fight, kill, have sex, and occasionally have parents who shoot them in the chest with bullets just to teach them a lesson. The general premise presented by the story is: What if someone really wore a costume and went out into the world to fight crime as a superhero? The question gets answered…viciously…and not how you would expect. None of the heroes in Kick Ass have any superpowers…or anything that really makes them special, except perhaps their ability to take a beating and not give up. Kick Ass begins by mocking and having fun with the typical superhero genre elements…and then eventually embraces these same elements to unfold like a more traditional story of heroism (with 11-year old sword-brandishing girls who swear like sailors). Besides our heroic Kick Ass, fans will also be introduced to Red Mist, Big Daddy, and Hit-Girl. Each of these supporting heroes plays an important role in the unfolding of the story…and it is with these three characters that the comic book and the movies differ (familiarize yourself with Big Daddy’s origin in both mediums to see how he is a true hero in one and a self-centered dreamer in the other). Nicolas Cage does a terrific job as Big Daddy in the movie and while in costume does a solid Adam West impersonation.

I’m a superhero fan and I loved the comic book and I loved the movie. One of the nice pleasures to unfold is that they are not 100% copies of each other. I’d guess that they’re about 65% similar which still leaves plenty of room for surprises and enjoyment in both venues. Surprisingly, I believe the comic book ends up being more realistic while the movie’s third act seems like it belongs more in a comic book. The character of Hit-Girl is certainly a breath of fresh air to the genre and a helluva lot of fun to watch fight. Hit-Girl’s showdown with the gangsters felt a lot like when The Bride visited the House of Blue Leaves…neither confrontation leaves the fan disappointed.

So, if you’ve seen and enjoyed the movie then it’s time to checkout the comic book or TPB (let’s be honest the comic industry could use the business). If you’ve read the comic book then you need to see the movie as it solidly delivers on all levels. If you’re under 18…then this shit is not for you!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Rod Stewart.

Years ago I worked with someone who had met Rod Stewart at a club here in Detroit.

"Was he a nice guy?" I asked her.

"Not really. He just wanted to have sex with me. When I made it clear that wasn't going to happen he moved on to other girls." Was her response.

Sigh, Rod…fucking…Stewart. I'm not even really a fan although I do enjoy the piano licks on Downtown Train. No, when I think of Rod Stewart I think of being a 10-14 year old boy driving around with my dad with Rod Stewart's Greatest Hits playing from the tape deck. At some point after Maggie May and Georgie Boy inevitably Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright) would come on. Sure my fingers may have tapped and my feet may have shuffled while sitting there in the 1978 Buick Regal next to my pop. But, it was just a song.

Flash forward to 2010 when I get my Sirius satellite radio and Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright) pops up. It's been almost 30 years so I give it a good listen.

WHAT THE FUCK! I think I had a moratorium on embarrassment for 30-years that suddenly came due. There is some fucked up shit going on in that song.

So Rod and I will break it all down for you…Stewart-style.


Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)

Stay away from my window
Stay away from my back door too

*Ok, his date begins by issuing warnings to his female (we hope) guest. Can't think of ever being on a date where I felt the need to cordon off areas of my house. Granted, you can argue that Rod's talking to his neighbors who may be Peeping Tom's and since Rod knows he's getting laid tonight he doesn't want to put on a "free show". But, let's not be silly.

Disconnect the telephone line
Relax baby and draw that blind

*There goes the phone. Hmmm…if I'm the chick (we hope…come on you remember those rumors circulating in the 80's) my "Danger Will Robinson!" is going off now. "Relax baby"…who talks like this? And after being told to stay away from the windows and doors and to unplug the phone…who on this Earth could then relax.

Kick off your shoes and sit right down
Loosen up that pretty French gown

*Rod's got to get the shoes away from his guest, since shoes can be used as weapons. Especially when fending off the advances of a creep like Rod Stewart. "Pretty French Gown"…Ok probably a chick. If he had said, "Take off your sailor's suit" then we may have had more to talk about.

Let me pour you a good long drink
Ooh baby don't you hesitate cause

*Frankly, I'm amazed it took this long to bring alcohol into the equation.

Tonights the night
It's gonna be alright
Cause I love you girl
Ain't nobody gonna stop us now

*So he loves you and "nobody gonna stop us now". Um, Rod. She could still stop you. "NO" means "NO". I learned that in college when I heard:
"We shouldn't."
"This would ruin our friendship."
"Get off me creep!"
"Help! Police!"
"Can you please take a breath mint!"
Bullshit! My stomach still gets all knotty just thinking about those lost evenings of happy Christian fun.

C'mon angel my hearts on fire
Don't deny your man's desire

*"My hearts on fire"? Your crotch maybe. Have you ever had blue balls? Man, worst feeling on the planet. To be rolling around with a girl and then to feel like someone jack-hammered your balls. I remember once in college pleading for "relief" from the agony of Blue Ball Pain. I wasn't pleading to a girl either. I was in her bathroom quietly whimpering and pleading to God to make the pain go away. Ice cold can of pop or beer right on the giblets…makes it feel much better.

You'd be a fool to stop this tide
Spread your wings and let me come inside

*"You'd be a fool to stop this tide"…see, Rod's got Blue Balls too! I believe I've used this line on Mrs. Jumper a few times to prepare her for the utter disappointment I knew she'd be feeling 2 minutes and 15 seconds later.
As for that second line, how on Earth did I ever sit in a car next to my dad and listen to that delivery and not have a clue what was going on? Today if I was in the same car with my parents when that song came on…I'd open the door and end up rolling down I-75 just to save myself the embarrassment. Still, "spread your wings and let me come inside" is truly the money shot of all song lyrics.

Tonights the night
It's gonna be alright
Cause I love you girl
Ain't nobody gonna stop us now

*Trust me Rod, if you tell a girl to "spread her wings and let you come inside" and she doesn't break for the door. Nobody is going to stop you. Have at this little tramp.

Don't say a word my virgin child
Just let your inhibitions run wild

*Virgin. Hahaha! No girl's are virgins - FACT! The Myth Busters debunked that shit years ago! All girl's are damaged goods who come prepared with two lines, "Well, I had sex but I never enjoyed it until I was with you." And "You're much bigger than my last boyfriend." Virgin…fah!

The secret is about to unfold
Upstairs before the night's too old

*Secret? You lost me Rod. Trust me, this chick is not a virgin. If she was, she'd have been running for the door after the first verse.

Tonights the night
It's gonna be alright
Cause I love you woman
Ain't nobody gonna stop us now

*Speaking of "ain't nobody gonna stop us now", when Mrs. Jumper first got on facebook she grilled the hell out of me to get names of my past girlfriends. Apparently she wanted to be sure facebook was a "secure" site for me to visit. I had an awful lot of trouble remembering names of past dalliances (complete names)…and YET…those girls who said:
"We shouldn't."
"This would ruin our friendship."
"Get off me creep!"
"Help! Police!"
"Can you please take a breath mint!"

Yeah, I remember those names perfectly. Son of a bitch.

I hate you Rod Stewart.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


A few years ago I became addicted to the MMORPG (massive multi-player online role playing game for those not in the "know") City of Heroes. I loved the game so much that I started shutting out some of my daily activities to just wander around as a superhero battling crime in a nice little fantasy world. One day I woke up and played for 14 hours straight (Mrs. Jumper brought me lunch and snacks). Eventually I had to call it quits in order to get back to the real world. But what a ride it was. I will always fondly remember the adventures of Reconciler, AJAX Gold, and Project: Spartan).

Now in 2010 I've delved back into the world of MMORPG with Star Trek Online.'s fun and addictive as all get out. However, since I was always more of a superhero fan, it doesn't quite have the same grip on me that City of Heroes had. Still, the graphics are stellar (out of this world...haha) and it's a blast going into ship-vs-ship combat against the Klingons, Borg, and a variety of other nuisance alien species. The added fun of Star Trek online is that the missions are varied so for every ship action mission there's also landing party missions. The missions also have a decent balance between all out battle and scientific exploration. I've been playing for a month and have clocked 13+ it seems there's a nice balance I'm striking between my real life and the Star Trek Universe.

The overall game gets a solid 'A' from me. And remember, this is coming from the Captain of the U.S.S. Damacles...along with his faithful bridge crew: T'Pau, Salyeri, Booster, and Fife. So maybe we'll see you sometime in our jaunts around the stars.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Ok, I just read that Marvel is beginning to cast for the role of Captain America in their future movies (which would include The First Avenger: Captain America and The Avengers). Apparently Marvel wants to keep the casting of a star cheap so they are looking at lesser stars or unknowns. Based on sites I've visited one of their top choices is JOHN KRASINSKI. Yeah, Jim from The Office. Now, I like The Office and I like Jim.

BUT...I've read Captain America.
I've been a fan of Captain America.
John Krasinski is NO Captain America.

Please for the love of Mephisto let this be an Internet rumor just like Bat-Boy, Elvis sitings, and Eskimos.

If Marvel wants to keep things simple they should hire Ryan McPartlin from CHUCK (he plays "Captain Awesome" with incredible he's at least got the military credentials to pull off the role). McPartlin has the voice, build, and charisma to command the likes of Thor and Iron Man as they go into battle against The Hulk...(YES Marvel, make the Hulk the enemy in the movie and half the battle is immediately won!) Based on his acting on Chuck, McPartlin could also play the "awkward man out of time"-role which is also needed since Captain America is frozen in 1941 and then thawed out in modern times.

Fans always cry: MAKE MINE MARVEL!

I'm attaching this picture of Reb Brown as Captain America for added entertainment value. That shield needs to be blocking something else besides bullets.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

THE WOLFMAN (an "I Saw It" Review)


“I will kill all of you!” – Lawrence Talbot

So, I caught The Wolfman last weekend. I’ll save the typical synopsis and Hollywood jargon which you can find on plenty of other websites. For my two cents I’ll just try and focus on what worked for me. And, YES I enjoyed the movie.

The Wolfman was an entertaining horror movie that made no allusions to being anything except a horror movie set in historical times. The sets and pacing feel very much like the classic Universal monster movies of the 1940’s. I loved this. No quick edits, modern music, insider jokes, changes to the legend, etc…the movie stays simple to the premise…man is cursed and changes into a monster when the moon is full and if you’re going to kill it – think silver. Another bonus is that when The Wolfman does show up on screen it’s a fair exchange between CGI, practical F/X, and Benicio Del Toro (who I am not a fan of but did connect with in this movie) in full make-up. That alone gets a huge thumbs up from me! Too many movies toss CGI monsters at the viewer which clearly live in a world separate from the actors. There’s Gollum (which worked) and then there’s pretty much every other CGI-offering that Hollywood has produced…which don’t resonate with 100% realism. There’s something to be said about the simplicity of an actual made-up monster stalking characters. It adds a sense of true physical danger to the proceedings.

Speaking of the danger, violence is another avenue to the movie that I enjoyed and appreciated. If a man turns into a monster then you’d assume that there is no bargaining or reasoning with the beast. In this movie you’d be assuming correctly. Limbs and heads are severed faster than you can blink. I know I saw one disemboweling and one liver being eaten. And I saw lots of characters screaming and begging for their lives. Fat chance…you’d have better luck trying to broker a deal with the shark in Jaws. This Wolfman is all about the fast hunt and the blood kill…as an animal should be.

I’m a huge fan of the original Lon Chaney, Jr. Wolfman movies so it was also a pleasant surprise that the makers of the new movie didn’t try for too much of a remake and also didn’t err on the side of being too different. The key elements all are here: father-son dynamic, romance, prodigal son returning home, gypsies, curse, wolf, transformation, opening poem, and plenty of monster to behold. The changes incorporated all add a strong new life to the movie and concept. Of particular note is: the asylum transformation which takes place in front of a crowded viewing room, a chase through and over London, and a third act swerve that provides some motivation for Lawrence Talbot beyond, “I need to rid myself of this curse.”

I had read a lot about The Wolfman over the past several years. Normally this amount of production trouble results in a real stinker of a final movie. I was amazed that the end film came out as thrilling and entertaining as it did. For only being the second movie I have seen in 2010 (the first was Avatar)…the year’s looking real good.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


It's SuperBowl weekend (and February weather in MI) so the odds of me needing to go outside for anything are pretty much NONE.

That said, I've got plenty to entertain me for the next 48 hours so traveling outside for some fresh air isn't really necessary.

TV: The SuperBowl!!! Have to root for the Colts and my favorite player Peyton Manning in this one. Nothing against the Saints (and if they do win that's fine too), but if Manning earns his 2nd SuperBowl ring then he's pretty much a lock for the greatest QB ever. Watch the man's amazing! btw - Prop Bet on HEADS to win!

DVR: The shows are piling up. Me and Mrs. Jumper are all caught up on our favorites like Lost, 24, Big Love, Modern Family, and The Big Bang Theory...but that still leaves tons of shows we enjoy like The Mentalist, The Office, Chuck, Chopped, Lie to Me, Man vs. Wild, and several others that we're "testing out" like The Human Target. If you don't watch these shows...then you're missing out on some excellent TV.

BOOKS: I just finished the 4th DIARY OF A WIMPY KID (Dog Days). Hilarious! They're written for a younger audience but much like the Warner cartoons of old, there's plenty of subtle jokes for adults that are just great. This book is one of the best and had me laughing out loud at several spots.

COMICS: I have to get up to Liberty Comics soon but until then I have some issues of Captain America, Green Lantern, and The Flash that I need to catch up with.

GAMES: I just bought STAR TREK online and...well there goes my weekend as I command the U.S.S. Damacles to new and exciting worlds...and boldly go where no genre enthusiast has gone before.

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stalking Robert McCammon!

In the 1980's-90's in horror fiction Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Dean Koontz were probably the three biggest names. However, on a tier just below them was Robert McCammon. While many people may not know McCammon's name today, this is partially because he took a self-imposed hiatus from writing for almost a decade.

As a huge fan of his work, it was brutal not being able to read any new material from this incredible writer. STINGER was the first adult novel I had ever read (until this point in my life it was all comic books). At the time (1987?) it seemed like a very mature purchase to buy a book. I remember standing in the Huron River Pharmacy with the latest issues of Teen Titans, X-Men, Spider-Man, Avengers, and Justice League...looking up and seeing this book cover with an alien arm reaching out from the ground. WOW! I had to know what was going on in that book. Needless to say I was not disappointed.

For the next 4 years I made it a point to try and read every McCammon book I could find. Night Boat (zombie Nazis), They Thirst (vampires destroying Los Angeles), Blue World (a solid collection of short stories on par with the best of horror), Swan Song (planet destruction and epic battle of good vs. evil), The Wolf's Hour (werewolfs and WWII) and the list goes on. Later as Mr. McCammon branched out into other genres I would enjoy Boy's Life, Gone South, and Speaks the Nightbird.

Because McCammon is based in Alabama, I never expected to actually meet him. However, he surprised me and offered a book reading and signing yesterday in Ann Arbor, Michigan! My brother and I made the trek over to attend the event. However, we got there a bit early so decided to have dinner at the neighboring TGI Fridays. As we ate I joked with my bro that, "Wouldn't it be funny if Robert McCammon was eating here too." Guess what...he was three tables over! I realized this when I left the bathroom and almost crashed directly into his table! Way cool!

We headed over to the Border's for the signing. I purchased his new novel MISTER SLAUGHTER, got my seat, and decided to use the restroom before the reading started. As I was leaving the stall, I heard two men talking and one man said, "I was going to ask if there were any stalkers in here." Ha-ha! Yep, Mr. McCammon again. I washed my hands right next to him...and was polite to not ask him to shake.

Mr. McCammon then started his reading with a friendly round of Q&A (I asked the first question), then gave a solid reading of a grim chapter from the new novel (murder, rape, and a villain whom you already want to see meet their comeuppance), and proceeded to sign everyone's books. My brother and I were in the back of the line and besides my purchase, I brought one book from home. It was a hardcover copy of They Thirst that I had purchased on eBay years ago. It was autographed by Mr. McCammon, but up until this point I had no clue if it was legit. I showed the book to Mr. McCammon who chuckled and acknowledged that it was indeed his signature...he then updated it with his new signature (so the book is dually signed).

All I can say is I AM A FAN! Robert McCammon is all class. If you've never read any of his books, I encourage you to give them a try and to check out his website: And no, I'm not a stalker...but for one night I just seemed to be in the right place - three times.