Archive for March, 2013

It’s not the destination, it’s the trip (that hurts!)

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It’s been a hectic few weeks but the miles run are getting faster and the weight or distance carried (or both!) of my Boulder Boogying is increasing as well. The latter thanks in part I’m sure to a new workout I devised and run at least once every other week. It’s called “Nine Circles” and if you don’t get the reference read a book! Nine rounds of varying poundage and footage. First time I ran this I think only three laps were doubles (one of my backyard laps is about 300′) and I used a lot less weight. With good eating and consistent training I’ve grown and it shows. Still not sleeping enough thanks to home decoration projects and Gears of War: Judgment but there is no normal life there is just life right? So here it is:

1) 100# for 300′

2) 100# for 600′

3) 125# for 600′

4) 125# for 300′

5) 100# for 300′

6) 125# for 300′

7) 100# for 600′

8) 100# for 300′

9) 125# for 600′

No more than 3 minutes of rest between rounds.

Sure I’m real sore from all this and it hurts, like the huff-puff scream breathing kind of hurt but I do really enjoy it. I like to jump over things and run fast and make my forearms burn and my lungs catch fire and my stomach hate me and so many really painful things. I like them. It all hurts. But stopping hurts more.

I just can’t ever stop.

I want to go out gritting and grinning. Because with the scars, with ever kink in every step, there is life. Disease, disability and ultimately death are chasing me down, chasing all of us down, so why make it easy for that bony bastard? I’m not scared of him but I’ll at least make him work for it. 

Western Watchins Week 19

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You know what’s funny? The fact I just noticed the tagline “An Epic Martial-Arts Western” on this Ghost Rock poster. I had no idea that anything was going to get kicked in the face other than my pride for watching what could have been another Frank and Jesse but almost immediately after the first break-dance fighting sequence out in the desert between some random ruffian and what looked like a six foot tall Jawa I was hooked.

It also made me think “what the hell is under a Jawa’s hood anyway?” So I googled “Jawa revealed” and up pops this image.

Among other images mind you but I couldn’t confirm any of them as actual hood-less Jawa photographic evidence either so from now on I’m just going to assume that under all those little brown robes are huge tanned tits! Also, every time I hear “utini” from now on I will become slightly aroused.

As was my curiosity mere minutes into Ghost Rock. Gary Busey, Jeff Fahey and personal friend/production fight choreographer Dan Southworth led an ensemble cast to almost end all B-Western ensemble casts. Sure it’s no Tombstone but neither was Wyatt Earp and look how much money they wasted on that. Plus when Kevin Costner doesn’t drink his own pee in the first five minutes forget about it. He did that in Dances with Wolves right?

Anyway, anything by “Two Steps from Hell” is awesome music to write to.

Also anyway, in case you weren’t sold yet on Ghost Rock and wanted to go watch, say, Hooded Angels because you weren’t doing something more enjoyable like shitting thumbtacks let me fill you in on the fact that also appearing in this film are James Hong (from Big Trouble in Little China!), that dude (who played Rain in Big Trouble in Little China) and Adrienne Barbeau still rocking the rack in her golden years.

No this isn’t a screen-cap from Ghost Rock but c’mon! Cannonball Run! She was one of my earliest crushes and before you laugh you go watch Swamp Thing right now and tell me you don’t want to immediately dress up like a tree and masturbate in your backyard! Tell me!

Feel free to continue reading this after you’re done or, if you’re talented, just do both at the same time because I haven’t even gotten to the good part yet. And that’s this mysterious woman.

Also all the kung fu fights. And gun fights. And kung fu gun fights! But also Savanah Starr as she’s called in the script and so also is called in the movie. Is she a long lost, and thought dead, love from the past? Who is she after? What does she want? Will she get naked, or kill someone…or kill someone naked? Hint: She kills a lot of people naked or at least it’s implied. Not the killing part, the naked part. But it’s all tastefully and humorously done. This whole movie is tongue in cheek but it knows it and it isn’t one bit afraid to show it. Ghost Rock is so over the top it’s coming up underneath you.

It’s surprising like that and surprisingly well done for what I’m sure was not a ton of money or production time. Shooting on location at Old Tucson Studios in Arizona didn’t hurt my impressions of this film either. Many of the locations I had toured last fall were plain to see and a it was utter delight to catch so many familiar locales on screen. Like this bar that featured a deer, some whores and lots of kicking.

But, even if you’ve never been there, you still can’t help but be pulled in by all the spectacle before you. Watching Ghost Rock makes you feel like you’re taking in one of those cheesy but terribly entertaining stunt shows at any given off the beaten path theme park. I felt like I was back in Helldorado Town in Tombstone (I love you Kyle and Billy!) and that made me smile.

So did this movie.

4 rounds in the chamber for Ghost Rock. If you came to my house and as we sipped on bourbon and yelled out “bullshit” to any number of dice on the table were you to mention that you’d never seen this flick I’d gladly fire up the 360 and sit you ass down for a good old one-two punch of a Western. I bet you’d be stunned and amazed. Then throw in several leg sweeps, some round house kicks, two heartfelt moments plus a few great one-liners and you will leave satisfied. Getting you’re ass kicked by a ghost hasn’t been this much fun since Stand Alone Complex. Till next week then amigos.

Haikuesday

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Across many years

I rest on pale blue cushions

This couch hugs my soul

Western Watchins Week 18

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The most important thing to take home with you about The Last Rites of Ransom Pride is that Gears of War: Judgment comes out today! I may or may not get a shout out somewhere hidden all Easter Egg-y inside of it too (EDIT: I do! Wrote this on Tuesday to post on Wednesday). I’m not exactly sure what it is or where it happens (just pay attention during “Aftermath” :)) as my wifey is out picking it up and I’ve not played a lick up to this point but soon…oh so soon. Pepper is gonna pick it up, go to her waxing appointment and then come home to a bourbon filled me. A smooth lady, a smooth drink and a pair of smooth goggles. If that doesn’t sound like one of the nights of your life you need to get out more!

And watch more Westerns too! Which is what I do all the time now. I put aside my need to go bro-crush all over Damon Baird for a few hours in order to keep these reviews a comin’. In fact, if I keep doing this for as long as I live (and I will) that’ll be about 2,514 movies I take in if I make it to a predetermined 86 years old. Why “86”? It was a great year so I’ll go with it. ALIENS and Transformers: The Movie came out and in reverse it’s “68” and that’s when Once Upon a Time in the West was released and that’s the best Western of all time! Ransom Pride is not one of the best Westerns of all time but it is fun, I enjoyed it, and here’s the Hell why.

Lizzy Caplan here is Juliette Flowers.

Besides looking like a reject from Les Miserables she’s also out on a revenge and bury my dead boyfriend mission. The dead guy is Ransom in case you’re slow in the head. He dies early on and she’s pissed, overly pissed really, and because she’s a whore with a heart of gold she’s gonna go get him and bring him home and put him six feet under herself. All the while talking with a voice that’s reminiscent of rusty nails dragging over sandpaper. Oh and the nails are really angry! Her voice is so gruff Tom Waits is like “fuck girl, here’s a lozenge!” Seriously, like she’s tryin’ to piss fire out of a penis she don’t have but she’s grunt talking so hard she thinks she’s gonna grow one! Maybe that’s what that chastity belt thing is for. Not keeping guys out but keeping her angry grunt pissed talking penis in! Holy shit this is deeper than Seraphim Falls. 

I am kidding about that.

Despite the angry affectations I liked Juliette. She was different. How many Hell bent for leather cowgirls or courtesans had I seen that strapped on a gun only to look like, well, a pussy with a gun strapped to it? She came off a bit man-ish but the role required it and honestly compared to one of the main antagonists she was a dream. Here’s that antagonist, Bruja.

“Bruja” is Spanish for “What the fuck is wrong with your face good lord you’re one fucking ugly Pirates of the Caribbean swamp lady rip off if I ever saw one and then immediately threw up because goddamn you are fucking ugly!” I’m pretty sure it means that. If it doesn’t don’t bother emailing me because I know for a fact I don’t care. And I really didn’t care too much about Bruja. For all of Juliette’s bad ass believability Bruja just looked impotent by comparison. I mean Dwight Yoakam was scarier. Here he is with his dick caught in a mouse trap…and he’s laughing about it!

He was a real son-of-a-bitch and creepy and great for the given role but then Peter Dinklage shows up defining “perfectly cast” and you get to just sit back and enjoy the utter amazing that is a small person wearing a top hat and emo eye make-up with a floor length beard wielding two shotguns! All the dwarves from anything Tolkien should just give up now because “There and Back Again” just means “there” is where Peter fucked your career up for ever and “back again” is when he did it a second time!

And did I talk about the opening credits yet? Or the editing style of the opening credits that the director used ubiquitously the rest of the entire movie to flash back, or forward, anywhere from twenty minutes to twenty seconds in either direction. It was the visual equivalent of Nine Inch Nails’ video for “Closer” riding the Scrambler at the county fair after an extra large funnel cake and two dozen corn dogs. All sound and fury and chunks and equal parts amusing and upsetting. I loved the first five minutes of Ransom Pride, the music and all the imagery, it was all so cool…but…it became laughable when the movie ended up skipping back to something you literally saw earlier in the same scene. It did this a lot. Yeah I know, I’ve been drinking, that doesn’t mean I’m all of a sudden retarded. But whatever, shotgun midget and little Miss GrizzVoice McThighHighBoots makes up for a multitude of filmmaking sins.

And you know what? Mention that Jason Priestly is in your movie during the opening credits and then have me realize the next day that I couldn’t  recall seeing him in it until I looked him up and saw just what this movie did with him and, damn, you got me brother. Job well done!

Yes, that’s Jason Priestly in one mightily disturbing role. If this doesn’t shock you because you don’t know what he used to look like then fuck you for being so damn young! You can laugh now but at some point in your future Zac Effron will be in something and eye rape you too and I’ll be there and I will laugh at your ocularly driven pain!

Damn! Watchin’ all these old timey movies is turning me into a right Frank like bastard eh? Not really bothered by this. I don’t make excuses and rarely apologize for the good, bad and ugly that brings. I live the way I see fit. Do and drink and love as I see fit. And watch as I see fit too. Saw fit to watch The Last Rites of Ransom Pride and not sad that I did. 3 solid rounds in the chamber. Was it a classic? Hell no. Did it feature some great lines and some great characters and leave me feeling rambunctious like a good Western should? Hell yeah it did. And you can take that to the grave.

Haikuesday

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Vigor in stillness

A starry blanket comforts

Warm soul breathes cold air

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