The X-Women

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Lucy Lawless - Monday, March 29th

Lucy Lawless
Lucy Lawless Photos
I'm a huge Xena fan and I've loved Lucy Lawless ever since that series premiered. Monday March 29th marks her birthday.

New Zealand icon Lucy Lawless, is most famously known for her role as Xena the Warrior Princess but her talent has exceeded that as you can see in her other roles.

Born on the 29th of March in 1968, the New Zealand superstar has most recently starred in the hit TV show Battlestar Gallactica. Lucy was also in several made-for-TV movies including: Locusts, Vampire Bats and Footballers Wives.

Lucy also lent her voice to the straight-to-video movies: Justice League: The New Frontier and Dragonlance: Dragons of the Autumn Twilight.

Currently, in 2008 she is living in the USA and is married to Robert Tapert, with 3 children.

In 2010, she now stars in the cable series Spartacus: Blood and Sand on the Starz channel.
Lucy's co-star on Xena, Renee O'Connor (Gabrielle) recently celebrated her birthday last month.
And Lucy is also a talented singer as she has been recording albums and touring around the world for several years now.

Lucy will be my star of the month here at Hero Worship in April.

Lucy Lawless
Lucy Lawless Photos

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hero Worship in April

Here is a preview of the things I have planned for April. The star of the month will be Lucy Lawless (Xena).
I will post pics and facts and personal reviews of her movies and other things this talented New Zealander has done. She is one of my favorite modern actresses by the way. I need to complete that list too, and you will see where she falls.

Once I see the new Clash of the Titans, on this upcoming Friday, I will compare notes on it with the 1981 original.

And hopefully I will begin my long planned overview of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, beginning with season 1.

Not to mention the usual comic book and movie reviews, happy birthdays and more random fun things.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Elizabeth Mitchell

Elizabeth Mitchell as makeup artist Lisa (Gia`s lover) in the HBO biopic.
Elizabeth Mitchell as makeup artist Lisa (Gia`s lover) in the HBO biopic. Photos
Today is Elizabeth's birthday. Elizabeth Mitchell was born in Los Angeles in 1970. Shortly after her birth, her parents moved to Dallas, Texas. She was graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas. Later, she earned a BFA degree in acting from Stephens College and also studied at the British American Drama Academy. Additionally, she spent six years at the respected Dallas Theatre Center and one year with that theater's Encore Company. Before her big screen debut, she started her acting career from theaters. Her theatrical stage credits include productions of "As You Like It", "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum", "Measure for Measure", "Baby" and "Chicago", among many others.

Her breakthrough performance was opposite Angelina Jolie in Michael Cristofer's acclaimed HBO telefilm Gia (1998) (TV) endearing her to audiences and critics, alike. Following with the sci-fi time-travel adventure, Frequency (2000) with Dennis Quaid and Neil LaBute's highly anticipated Nurse Betty (2000) opposite Renée Zellweger, Elizabeth showed her charismatic acting skills. She also appeared in the successful Santa Clause movies with Tim Allen. And became a fan favorite with her role on the hit show Lost. With numerous credits from theaters, TV series and movies, Elizabeth Mitchell continues to give her best in the acting field.
She is currently starring in ABC's updated take on the sci-fi series V as FBI agent Erica Evans.
Elizabeth Mitchell
Elizabeth Mitchell Photos

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: Iron Man

Flixster - Share Movies
This is my original review of Iron Man when I saw it back in 2008.

One word to describe this movie: AWESOME! I saw it Thursday night with some friends with a packed audience and this movie did not disappoint. Robert Downey Jr is perfect as Tony Stark, the wealthy industrialist who makes weapons for the US government. When he gets captured by some insurgents in a foreign land who force him to build a weapon of mass destruction, Tony resolves to start helping the world by taking down bad guys like these. This movie takes the essence of the comic book Iron Man and brings it to life wonderfully. Downey Jr never takes a wrong step in this role. No one else could have pulled it off. The supporting cast is also solid with Jeff Bridges as his rival Stane, Terrence Howard as his friend James Rhodes, and Gwyneth Paltrow as Tony's assistant Pepper Potts. Paltrow is terrific. This movie weaves incredible visual effects with a solid story that mixes drama, action, and humor effectively. I already claim Iron Man as the second best comic book movie, right behind X2. And I plan to see it again. Oh and stay for the scene after the end credits when Tony receives a special visitor. It was that scene and others throughout the movie like when he dons the red and gold armor that made all my fanboy dreams come true. A great way to start the summer movie season.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Top Ten List: For the week ending March 21st

Taking a page from Entertainment Weekly's Hit List, where they rank 10 of the most talked about events in the entertainment world including TV, movies, music, books, etc. My take on it will be similar but focus more on movies and TV. So here we go:

1.  Alice in Wonderland - Still making a killing at the theaters, surpassing $265 million in the US alone. Me and my wife saw it over the weekend and enjoyed it.

2. Tron:Legacy trailer - AWESOME! Can't wait for December 17th.

3. Sandra Bullock & Jesse James - I feel bad for Sandra, coming off that emotional Oscar win and now having to deal with her husband's infidelities.

4. Justified - The cool new show on FX, starring Timonty Olyphant as tough US Marshal bringing justice to his  hometown in Kentucky.

5. March Madness kicks Dick Vitale would say, Awesome, baby with a capital A.

6. Mo'Nique as a Oscar winner of her portrayal of the worst movie mom ever.

7. The search for an actor to play Captain America is in full swing.

8. Sugarland kicking off their concert tour next month. Me and my wife love them and it would be great to see them in concert.
9. Flash Forward returns after a 4 month hiatus and it was um ok, nothing too special. Maybe they shouldn't have taken so long of a break.

10. Ninja Assasin hits DVD and it's super cool.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Just saw Alice in Wonderland with my wife and we enjoyed it. A review is forthcoming. But the really good news is I saw the full trailer for TRON:LEGACY in all it's IMAX 3D glory. It was one of the best trailers I have ever seen. The visuals, the booming music, all cut into one sleek looking trailer. But it doesn't come out until December 17th, so it's gonna be a long wait. I posted the trailer from You Tube on here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Justified on FX (Tuesdays, 10 pm EST)

Just watched the premiere of this new show on the cable network FX called Justified. And I enjoyed it. The network describes the premise as such: U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is a modern day 19th century-style lawman, enforcing his brand of justice in a way that puts a target on his back with criminals and places him at odds with his bosses in the Marshal service. That conflict results in a reassignment for Givens to the U.S. District covering the town where he grew up. He is an anachronism - a tough, soft spoken gentleman who finds his quarry fascinating, but never gives an inch. Dig under his placid skin and you'll find an angry man who grew up hard in rural Kentucky, with an outlaw father, who knows a lot more about who he doesn't want to be than who he really is. Timonthy Olyphant is perfect as Givens. You may remember him from the HBO western, Deadwood, as Sheriff Bullock. While Givens is just as forceful and take charge, he is also a little more friendlier. But he still will drop the bad guys without hesitation. The opening scene has Givens in a tense confrontation with a slimeball at a ritzy hotel having lunch. Givens says the guy has 2 minutes to leave town before things get messy. It's a situation that is just brimming with hostility and drama. I won't give away what happens though. Trust me, it gets your attention. Then Givens arrives back in his hometown to help with the US Marshal office there and immediately is thrown into a case involving his high school flame Ava and his ex buddy Boyd ( a wild eyed Walton Goggins, who was Shane from FX's other cop show The Shield). Boyd is running a white separarist group who is into blowing buildings up and making money from drug gangsters. When Givens rolls back into town, the former buddies meet and greet like all old friends do, but then things get violent. Givens stares down one of Boyd's lackeys who comes to fetch Ava (a beguiling Noelle Carter) who just recently shot and killed her abusive husband, who also happens to be Boyd's brother. Givens, who has a shotgun drawn on him by the guy just calmly says "Think you can rack in a load before I put a hole in you?". Tough guy talk in the Dirty Harry mold. Justified is not all about action though. In fact there are only 3 action scenes in the premiere episode but one involves a trio of US Marshals surrounded by the bad guys in a wild shootout in the streets. And then there is the climatic showdown between Givins and Boyd at the end. But Justified mixes the action with drama very well and Olyphant gives a commanding, centered performance. I intend to add Justified to my list of shows to watch and judging by the first episode, I'm in for an entertaining time.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Review: The Thing (1982)

Very cool sci-fi/horror flick set in Antarctica. At an American research base of only 12 men, an alien life form is discovered and all hell breaks loose. This alien has the unique ability to imitate any other life form it comes in contact with - including humans. Kurt Russell plays RJ MacReady, the pilot who tries to figure out how to kill this thing before everyone is taken over. Directed by ace horror master John Carpenter with terrific gore effects, a suspenseful music score, and a twinge of mystery. Done before the heyday of CG, this 1982 film holds up remarkably well. A treat for horror/sci-fi fans.

Childs: You're gonna have to sleep sometime, MacReady.
MacReady: I'm a real light sleeper, Childs.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Review: Zombieland (2009)

An old school kill the zombies flick with several doses of well conceived humor. The story is simple enough as the first person who is infected with mad cow disease from eating a burger spreads the infection across the USA, turning regular people into mad crazed, flesh eating zombies. The hero of the film is Columbus, a kind of nerdy kid played by Jessie Eisenberg, who survives his first encounter with a zombie, his next door hottie of a neighbor. He narrates the film and gives out his tips on how to survive in this new zombie infested world. First rule: Cardio. You have to be in shape and be able to outrun zombies, if not you're a goner. Another rule is the double tap. Don't just shoot a zombie once, shoot them at least twice to make sure. His rules end up saving his life on more than one occasion. He is trying to get home to find out if his family is still alive when he runs into Tallahassee (a scene stealing Woody Harrelson), a regular guy who loves coming up with inventive ways of dispatching zombies. And he craves finding some twinkies. The guys soon meet up with two sisters named Wichita (a fetching Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). All the characters names are destinations where they are from. So these four people, after some issues of mistrust, end up making their way to California to visit the ultimate theme park to just have some fun. Of course, they get to kill a crap load of zombies in the process. Zombieland is a fresh and funny take on the zombie story. That has enough gore and action to please the horror fan, and enough comedy to please everyone else. There is a surprise cameo by a popular actor that will have you busting a gut. I rank Zombieland right behind Shaun of the Dead in terms of entertainment value. And at a breezy 88 minutes, the movie never stalls or gets boring. It will have you either laughing or gasping the entire time. Good wholesome fun for all. Yeah that was a little sarcasm. But watch Zombieland and you will have a good time. I'm already waiting for the sequel.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Review: 2012

Let me give everyone some tips if you want to get the most out of this movie. There are basically four spectacular FX scenes that you need to see that totals about 30 to 40 minutes of screen time. Now the movie itself is about 2 hours and 40 minutes, so you can do the math. The opening prologue is all talk about what will happen to Earth and it gets kinda old real fast. Then comes the destruction of California by the mother of all earthquakes. It's visually impressive watching the state just get ripped in half. But after that attention getter, things get bogged down with more talk as our hero played by John Cusack, who can drive a limo like no one else can. I mean, the dude outraces the quake in Californa while everyone else bites the dust. Anyway he has a plan to get his family to China, where the world governments are building these massive ships...arks if you will, to survive the oncoming destruction. Cue the next good scene at Yellowstone Park, where a volcano goes active and lays waste to the entire area. Then comes, you guessed it more boring talk before what I believe is the film's showstopper. It's money shot if you will. The giant tsunami that takes out Washington, DC. It delivers with a super sized aircraft carrier, the JFK, right to the doorstep of the White House. All the president can do is just close his eyes and say goodbye. That shot right there is awesome. Then the climax which involves those massive ships trying to keep people alive. 2012 is pure fantasy and all sense of realism is quickly jettisoned by the first act of the film. Cusack survives so many situations that, it becomes almost comical. The film is way too long and has some of the most awful dialogue you will ever hear ,even for a disaster film. Bonus points though for Thandie Newton who looks stunning as the President's daughter and can speak very fluently in French with no problems. So if you want to see 2012, just cue up those four main scenes on your DVD chapter list: California, Yellowstone Park, Washington, and the finale and that should be all you need to see. And you only waste about 40 minutes of your time. You can't beat that.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Robert Downey, Jr. rules in Tropic Thunder

Flixster - Share Movies

I laughed my ass off at this movie. Mainly Robert Downey Jr steals the show. He is hilarious from the word go. Ben Stiller is not that good acting wise. But he does a great job directing, mixing comedy and action quite well. Jack Black is ok, he gets in a few good lines. The supporting cast though is solid from Brandon T. Jackson's Alpa Chino to Nick Nolte's gruff ex-vet to the hilarious Danny McBride's explosion expert Cody. If you get easily offended, this might not be your type of movie. But the laughs come very fast and frequently. And the action is top notch. And the buzzed about cameo by Mr. Tom Cruise is hilarious. You will see Tom like never before. But back to Robert Downey. He kills in this movie. I can't praise him enough. Coupled with Iron Man, this was truly RDJ's year.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Star Of The Month: Robert Downey, Jr.

To kick a new monthly feature here on Hero Worship, I chose Robert Downey Jr as the first actor to have this honor. Similar to what I do on my classic movies blog All Good Things which focus on classic movie goddesses. Here I will focus on the current generation of actors and actresses. My other choices for the rest of the year will include Sarah Michelle Gellar, Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, Lucy Lawless to name just a few.

Robert John Downey Jr. was born in Greenwich Village, New York City, at 1:10 pm. He's the son of underground filmmaker Robert Downey Sr.. His first part in a movie was in his father's Pound (1970), in which 5-year-old Downey played a puppy. When he was 20 years old, he joined _Saturday Night Live_ (1985) for one season. After that, he went to Hollywood. In 1987, he got the leading role in director James Toback's film The Pick-up Artist (1987), co-starring with Molly Ringwald. The same year, he played drug addict Julian Wells in the movie Less Than Zero (1987). In 1992, he played Charles Chaplin in Sir Richard Attenborough's film Chaplin (1992). For his astonishing performance, he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. In the year 2000, he guest-starred in the comedy series "Ally McBeal" (1997), where he portrayed the attorney Larry Paul, who became Ally's love interest. For that performance, he won the Golden Globe for "best supporting actor in a comedy series." On "Ally McBeal" (1997), Downey got to show that he can sing as well as act, when he sang Joni Mitchell's "River," "Chances Are" as a duet with Vonda Shepard, and "Every Breath You Take" together with Sting. He released one song of his own, "Snakes," on the "Ally McBeal" (1997) album "For Once in My Life," and a full album of his own work entitled "The Futurist" in 2005. Robert has had a huge resurgence in film and 2008 was a banner year. First he played Tony Stark in the super-hero flick Iron Man, which became Downey's biggest hit ever at over $500 million at the worldwide box-office. Then he followed that with a hilarious role in Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder, which landed him another Oscar nod. He continued his hot streak in 2009 with a new take on the Sherlock Holmes legend. And 2010 should yield his biggest hit yet with the sequel Iron Man 2 due in May. Not bad for a guy whose career had hit rock bottom thanks to drugs back in the 90's. It's good to see Robert doing so well.

I will post facts and trivia and reviews about Robert Downey Jr. all month long.