The X-Women

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Adrianne Palicki just can't catch a break...

Adrianne Palicki...poised for greatness

Actress Adrianne Palicki has had some bad luck recently regarding her films and TV series. If they're not getting canceled, they are getting delayed. I have been following her career since the pilot episode of Supernatural back in 2005, where she played Sam Winchester's ill-fated girlfriend Jessica. She played that role on a recurring basis over the course of a handful of episodes. Her biggest role was that of hot to trot high school vixen Tyra on the NBC series, Friday Night Lights. So far a steady, decent career, nothing earth shattering but she wasn't making commercials either.

As the new Wonder Woman

Her bad luck would first appear when she was cast in the new proposed Wonder Woman series. But once images of her in that shiny WW costume appeared, there was an immediate backlash. NBC pulled the plug on the series before one episode ever aired. That could have been her break-out moment, but alas it did not happen. That was last year. This year she had a plum role in the expected blockbuster GI Joe 2 as Lady Jaye, co-starring The Rock and Bruce Willis. Originally poised to come out in June, the studio pushed the film back till March 2013 to tweak the 3D they say. Most people gather it was to shoot more scenes with Channing Tatum, who was having an unbelievable year with hits The Vow, 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike. Word is, he initially was only seen briefly in Joe 2 before his super year took off. A bad break for Adrianne. And now this week her long delayed film Red Dawn finally hits theaters after sitting on the shelf for two years. It came in 7th this week at the box-office. Ouch!

As the delightful Holly Rocket in Elektra Luxx

But I happened to see Adrianne over the weekend in this underrated, little scene gem called Elektra Luxx, playing Holly Rocket, a not too bright porn star wannabe. She gives a funny, off the wall performance that was perfect. But like I said, no one has heard of this 2010 women ensemble pic. It co-stars Carla Gugino, Connie Britton, Marley Shelton, and Garcelle Beauvais. Bad luck that not too many people have heard of it.

Hopefully Adrianne will soon get the attention and credit she deserves because she is an actress right on the cusp of stardom.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bond is back and better than ever in the terrific SKYFALL

After an extended four year break from cinemas, James Bond returns...with a vengeance. Skyfall is the 23rd Bond film since 1962, so it marks the 50th anniversary of that occasion. And let me tell you something...this film is beyond awesome. Daniel Craig returns for this third time and now he fits very comfortable in the role of the super spy. I mean he fits really good. The film begins in Turkey with Bond being assisted by a field agent named Eve (wonderful performance by Naomie Harris) tracking down a stolen hard drive of deep undercover British agents. This leads to a frenetic chase by car, then motorcycle, then train. Things go south, as the two agents fail and Bond is reported missing, most likely dead. M (played by the always terrific Judi Dench) has to take heat from her superiors about the botched affair while Bond spends his time recovering and drinking trying to get over his own personal demons.

Bond on motorbike in Turkey looking dapper

But once an explosion goes off at MI6 headquarters Bond comes home to do what he can. The banter between him and M is distinctly frosty but also caring. This is probably the best onscreen employer/employee relationship ever. Before Bond can go back into the field he must pass a series of physical and mental tests to deem him fit for duty. His skills are decidedly not up to snuff as he can barely hit a target with his PPK. And is severely out of shape. But pass he does..sort of and M sends him back out, much to the chagrin of Gareth Mallory (played by Ralph Fiennes), a new figure in MI6, who is worried that Bond might mess up again. Bond gets a new personal PPK by the new Q (played cleverly by Ben Whishaw) and they get to have some classic Bond/Q banter that recalls the old Bond films.

Okay Bond, let's get these buggers!

On to the mission which sends Bond to Shanghai after the hard drive to encounter the exotic Severine (played by French actress Berenice Marlohe) who winds up taking Bond to her employer and the villain of this film, Silva (a blonde Javier Bardem). Silva's introduction is a classic one as he meets Bond and tells him of a childhood story involving rats. From the first time you meet Silva, you know this guy is bad news. And once you find out his connection to M, it becomes a more personal film for Bond and M too.

The villain of Skyfall...Silva

Skyfall is amazing. I can't praise it enough. I know some have complained of not enough action and being too long but this film is more than just about action. I think it's a great story about three people (Bond, M, and Silva) who are haunted by their past sins and must confront them and each other. This film is gorgeous to look at. The cinematography is excellent by Roger Deakins. Taut direction by Sam Mendes. A great music score by Thomas Newman, who supplies the Bond theme quite a few times through out the film. Also Craig gets to drop a few more one liners that was sorely missed in his first two outings. But he doesn't get carried away with them, just the right amount. The action scenes when they do come are quite thrilling. From the opening chase sequence to a thrilling fight sequence in a Shanghai skyscraper between Bond and an assassin.
There's also the exciting subway chase/courtroom shoot-out that will get your adrenaline going. And then things end with a standoff at Bond's childhood home between him, M, family friend Kincade (played by wily Albert Finney) and a whole passel of Silva's men. The performances are all top notch, especially Craig, Dench and Bardem. They form quite the fractured trio and you are fully vested in their relationship and how it all will end. I also love the homages to the classic Bond films like the aston Martin Craig keeps in storage and finally gets to drive, the introduction of Q and a new Moneypenny as well. Wait till you see her..she's cool as can be. Oh and the theme song by Adele...heavenly!

Bond going old school on some fools

All in all, Skyfall is one of the best Bond films ever. And one of the best films by far of 2012. It's great having you back James! Can't wait for your next adventure.
Eve draws down on someone

The exotic Severine

Bond and Severine take a little boat ride

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Be My Guest: June Hill Dentzer

My guest for the month is a friend of mine I met on Facebook. Her name is June and we've been friends since last summer. We share a love of movies and comic books. And she graciously accepted my invite to come on Hero Worship for a little Q & A. Take it away June..

1. If you don't mind, could you feel in my readers on what makes June who she is.
Your likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc...

I've been a registered nurse in an emergency room for the past 14 years. I suppose this has made me pretty intense, though I really always have been. I am ridiculously opinionated. I love film, and the types of films I watch vary widely from 70’s grindhouse to art cinema, indie films, horror, superhero movies...just about anything except really stupid comedies.  In my spare time I dabble in photography and I’m passionate about pop surrealism and art vinyl toys, and I’m in recovery from a $70 a week comic book habit.

2. What are some of your favorite films? Modern and classic

I love everything by Quentin Tarantino, and I’m currently really enjoying the Dutch films of Paul Verhoeven, especially The Fourth Man, Spetters, and Turkish Delight. I love old Hammer horror films, like The Legend of Hell house, I love Corman films, old musicals like Singing in the Rain. I love Hitchcock films. I love Almodovar films...The Skin I Live in is one of the best modern films I’ve seen in a long time. Or really violent films like Ichi the Killer.

3. Describe your first movie-going experience. Like where, how old, with who, etc...

The first movies I can remember seeing were both with my Aunt Suzie. She took me to see Bambi and a version of A Christmas Carol...I don’t remember which one. There was a scene looking up from the grave that I remember being pretty freaked out by. I can also remember going to the drive in with my parents and being told to sleep in the back of the station wagon. I saw Up the Sandbox and I think it was What’s Up Tiger Lily? that way

4. What is your favorite film genre?

I love a really black comedy. Or a really violent film, preferably with brutally homicidal women. I giggled all the way through Kill Bill the first time I saw it.

5. Who are some of your favorite actors/actresses?

I have a lot of favorites. I love Angela Bettis. She was chilling in the movie May, and more recently All My Friends Are Funeral Singers. I like Chloe Moretz and Juno Temple. Keep an eye on them. They’re young but I think will go far. I like Michael Fassbender. He’s been showing an interesting range lately.

6. What films upon first viewing did you not like, then later on when re-watching them,
loved the hell out of them.

Bad 80’s horror films and Corman style B movies. Years ago I was a bit of a movie snob, preferring a more cerebral indie film or foreign films. I couldn’t appreciate a more low brow type film. Now I can’t get enough of them!

7. What are some of your favorite film quotes?

 There's a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you." Now... I been sayin' that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, that meant your ass. You'd be dead right now. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin' made me think twice. See, now I'm thinking: maybe it means you're the evil man. And I'm the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here... he's the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd and it's the world that's evil and selfish. And I'd like that. But that shit ain't the truth. The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.  Jules..Pulp Fiction

8. What classic films that are widely loved, could you care less about?

Casablanca. I watched it once and didn’t care for it at all.

9. If you threw a movie theme party, describe how you would do it. The costumes, decorations, food, etc..

Wow...that’s tough. Obviously a Tarantino themed party...probably with all the food in the shape of feet.

10. Who's the biggest film fanatic that you know? Besides yourself of course.

No question about that...Chris Dallis, my boyfriend. I met him online. On our first date, I told him “ I’ve gotta warn you...I like movies” Chris-“Great! I like movies too!” Me- “No, I mean I REALLY like movies”. This led to a four hour discussion that proved that while I loved film, I knew NOTHING about it at the time. And how sexy it is to finally find another movie nerd. He has since proceeded to educate me on all the finer aspects of film. Just today he received Tim Lucas’s All the Colors of the Dark, the ultimate work on Mario Bava, on which he dropped a startling sum

11.Describe the perfect way for you to watch a movie.

Curled up on my couch with Chris with NO interruptions. I love to go to the theater but all too often find that at least half of the people there are absolute jerks. The best theater experience I’ve had was at Whip It...I was the only person in the theater. It was delightful!!

12. And finally, who are some of your favorite film characters?

Maggie Gylenhall’s character in Secretary, Angela Bava’s in May, and the Bride in Kill Bill. I always love the homicidal women, and the whole rebirth through S&M theme of Secretary is a delight. Sorry...I’m a bit off. My therapist says it’s okay

Wow..what awesome answers June gave. Does she not sound cool or what? I would like to thank her for being my guest this month and I hope everyone enjoyed having her here as much as I did.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


This is the start of a new series entitles Women Who Kick Ass. Subtle, right? Actresses who specialize in roles where they get to show their male counterparts that they can be just as hardcore as them. I got the idea after reading about Comic Con's panel they had dedicated solely to women who kick ass in film and TV. Let's begin with Lucy Lawless, a recurring theme on Hero Worship. Having played Xena, Warrior Princess for six years back in the mid to late 90's, she more than earned her stripes for kicking much ass on a regular basis. From her excellent sword fighting skills to her hand to hand combat to that fabulous war cry, Xena was amazing. Lucy would then pop up in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series in the mid 2000's as the ruthless and conniving D'Anna Biers. Which was quite the departure from Xena. But was still another strong female character to contend with. Of late she has appeared on the series Spartacus as the manipulative Lucretia, a woman who you would not want to cross. And one more reason Lucy Lawless is a woman not to be trifled with...the name itself. Lucy Lawless...what a great name!

 as Xena

as D'Anna

as Lucretia

Monday, July 23, 2012

Is DARK KNIGHT RISES the best third movie in a film series?....why yes it is!

Upon a second viewing of The Dark Knight Rises, I truly believe it to be the best third film in a trilogy...ever! Now while I still like The Dark Knight a little bit more..not by much mind you, I will give Dark Knight Rises props as being the best third film in a movie trilogy ever. You know sometimes when a film series gets to that third chapter, it loses some of it's luster. Like The Godfather Part 3 and The Matrix: Revolutions. Or tries to pack so much into the concluding chapter that it feels bloated and overwhelming ala Austin Powers 3, Spider-Man 3 and X-Men: The Last Stand. Now some third chapters get the job done like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, The Bourne Ultimatum, Toy Story 3 and Return of the King, but they are rare and few between. So it is with a sigh of relief that the third chapter in Christopher Nolan's excellent Batman series scores big time and becomes the best third movie in a trilogy of all time. Well at least to me it is. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012) wraps up an epic trilogy with an amazing finale!

Let me get my review started by immediately making this statement: The Dark Knight Rises is really good but it's not better than The Dark Knight, in my opinion. Sorry, had to go ahead and say that. Now onto my review.

*Just got back from seeing Dark Knight Rises for the second time and my initial rating holds up. As with most midnight screenings it's hard to be objective as the crowd is so into and amazing. Some films I have watched at midnight showings do not hold upon a second viewing..Phantom Menace and Superman Returns are good examples. But Dark Knight Rises does. With that said onto my full review.

Bruce Wayne about to suit up again for the first time in 8 years

The Dark Knight Rises picks up 8 years later after the events in the last film and Gotham is a much better place. Well crime wise it is. Batman has hung up his cape and cowl and resides in his alter ego guise of Bruce Wayne at his mammoth mansion. Christian Bale ratchets up his acting and is the best he has ever been in this series. Especially as Bruce, he comes across more wounded and human. And his Batman voice is much improved, thank god. But he is not the same Batman, as he has been away from the game for 8 years. His body is wracked as he needs surgery on his knee and shoulder and walks around with a cane. When you first see him, you think holy shit, there is no way this guy can take on Bane, the new villain played by Tom Hardy who terrorizes Gotham. This guy is a freak of nature as he is stronger and faster than Batman and is just as smart. Watching footage of this guy even Alfred says what we all are thinking.."Look at him Master Wayne, his speed and strength. You can't win!" Reminds me of what Adrian use to tell Rocky before a tough fight. 

Bane wreaking havoc in Gotham

Anyway Batman doesn't just have to worry about Bane's attack on Gotham's finest and richest but he is also attacked by a rival businessman who aims to take down Wayne Enterprises. So it is a two pronged attack that our hero doesn't see coming. And then there's the loose cannon in the form of Selina Kyle (played by Anne Hathaway) a sophisticated cat burglar who is at first a pain in the ass for Batman but then comes through at the end when he needs her help. By the way, Anne rocks as Selina. To all those naysayers who thought she was a bad choice for this role..I say, take that. She is dangerous, funny, smart and sexy as hell. Dare I say it, but she is my favorite Catwoman. I know other fans may take offense to that but she is. She pulls off an incredible performance that has you guessing which way she is going go. 

Selina Kyle/Catwoman

Bane on the other hand is a little different. While Tom Hardy is perfect in this role, his voice is sometimes hard to understand and when you do understand him, it's kind of weird sounding. I really can't describe it but once you see the film, you will immediately know what I'm talking about. After seeing it a second time, it still sounds weird.

Batman rides again

So back to the film which like I said is really good. But it falls just a little short of The Dark Knight. Which I knew would be pretty hard to top. But Chris Nolan and company give it their all and go for broke. The action is amped up with some intense fight scenes and shoot-outs. There is a tense hostage situation at the Gotham Stock Exchange where Bane and his cronies take over that is quite riveting. Which leads to a very cool chase sequence involving Batman on his Bat-pod and those bad guys on motorcycles and about 50 police cars. And Hans Zimmer works his magic music score once again as the theme swells every time things get a little tense and exciting.

John Blake on the job

All the regulars return and give solid performances again such as Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. Newcomers Joseph Gordon Levitt as cop John Blake and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Fox, a woman who has to bail out Bruce Wayne's struggling company are top notch. And it's very cool seeing Aidan Gillen in a role as a CIA operative dealing with Bane in the opening scene. Fans may remember Gillen from The Wire and recently Game of Thrones. Matthew Modine as the acting police commissioner is dreadful. Every time he speaks he says the most stupid and unbelievable things. Reminds me of Paul Gleason from the first Die Hard movie. Both are totally ridiculous characters.

Bane and Batman in the brawl of the decade

The film does have a few slow spots but considering it is 2 hours and 45 minutes long that was expected. But it never drags and you're are never checking your watch. You are caught up in everything that goes on. I will say that the plans the villains use to take down Bruce Wayne/Batman are methodical and strategical. Lots of planning and execution from a lot of parties. That being said, it makes The Joker's plan all that more amazing in The Dark Knight because he really didn't have a plan as he stated.  And he damn sure didn't have all the resources these baddies had. Either way, this was a worthy follow-up to that film and a great wrap up to an amazing film series. Long live Batman!
Say what again! I dare ya!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is a fun summer movie!

I know there were a lot of naysayers out there saying it was too soon for a reboot after Sam Raimi had just delivered the divisive Spider-Man 3 five years ago. But I for one was thinking bring it on. A new director in Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer), a new Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Andrew Garfield and a slight spin on the origin story of our web slinging hero. Add all that up and you have one hell of a movie.

Peter just hanging out on his roof

The movie opens up with a young Peter being whisked away by his parents in the middle of the night and being left with Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (a really good performance by Martin Sheen). Peter's parents are then killed under mysterious circumstances and he grows up in the care of May and Ben. Flash forward a few year years and Peter is in high school dealing with bullying jocks, namely Flash Thompson. While at home he stumbles across some of his dad's old papers which lead him to Dr. Curt Connors (a surprisingly engaging Rhys Ifans) who worked with Peter's dad on some very hush hush secret experiments. One like cross-breeding animals genetic codes to other animals. Connors work at Oscorp, which will be familiar to all Spider-man fans and will have a teaser at the final credits. 

Peter suited up

It is here where Peter gets bitten by a radioactive spider and soon gains some really cool powers. But as the adage goes, with great power comes great responsibility which is a hard lesson Peter must soon learn. After a tragedy strikes his family, Peter makes himself a costume with some really cool web shooters and starts doing heroic deeds all over New York City. Meanwhile Dr. Connors is fired for not coming up with the formula that could help the company and he ends up using the highly dangerous formula on himself and turns into a raging reptilian creature called The Lizard. 

Doc Connors about to go through a serious change

Spider-Man and The Lizard have some particularly awesome fight scenes which has our hero constantly wise-cracking even though he takes quite the beating. Also going on is a potential love interest in Gwen Stacy (a winning performance by Emma Stone) that showcases some really good quiet moments between her and Peter.

A quiet moment between Gwen and Peter

Things collide with one hell of a smack down at Oscorp Tower between Spidey and The Lizard that will have you cheering by the time the credits roll. Like I said this is one great fun filled summer movie. Maybe not as good as The Avengers, but it is by far the best Spider-Man movie yet. Top notch performances by the entire cast, especially Garfield. He slides into the role of Peter Parker as if he was born to play him. No slight to Tobey Maguire but Garfield owns it. The visual effects are quite amazing too. If you see this film, see it in 3D. It pays off when Spider-Man starts swinging all over the city and you feel like you are swinging with him. A thrilling music score adds to the greatness of this film. I can't wait to see it again.
The Lizard playing a little game of hide and seek

Garfield has got the moves and some game as Spidey

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A great double dose of sci-fi with PROMETHEUS and MIB3

Sci-fi is one of my favorite genres and I just watched two really good sci-fi movies. Prometheus last night and Men In Black 3 just a few hours ago. And I highly recommend both of them. Wanted to let everyone know what I thought of them. I shall begin with Prometheus.
The title ship..impessive ain't she?

Prometheus is director Ridley Scott's quasi prequel to his classic 1979 film Alien. Loaded with a top tier cast in Charlie Theron, Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, and Guy Pearce. About 80 years from now, some explorers from Earth head out in search of a race of beings they think may have created them. Noomi Rapace plays Elizabeth Shaw, the head scientist, who believes, this race left clues for humans to find them. Charlize Theron plays Meredith Vickers, the Weyland Company executive who comes along for the trip to make sure things go smoothly. Of course things don't go smoothly, as once the team lands on the distant planet, after some snooping around, all hell breaks loose. Let's just say several crew members get infected and then try to kill each other. 

The cast is superlative. Noomi is terrific as Elizabeth and is much tougher than you might expect. She has several horrific moments that she has to endure. In fact several scenes with her will cause some genuine moments of sheer terror. The other cast members are top notch too including Theron as Vickers; Elba as the captain; and Fassbender as the android Dave. He speaks with the most soft and sincere voice but is hiding a deadly secret that may cause harm to everyone else.

The inquisitive Dave

The visual effects are stunning. Some of the best I have ever scene. A great music score and top notch direction by Ridley Scott. I was quite pleased with Prometheus. Oh and there are several nods to the first Alien film including a new take on the chest bursting scene. Not for the squeamish!
That's a wrap folks!

Men In Black 3 is a cool and fresh entry in the series and it definitely improves on MIB 2.
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return as Agents J and K, this time they have to stop Boris the Animal (played by Jemaine Clement, who makes for a terrific new villain) from killing the younger K (played by Josh Brolin) in 1969. 

J and K are back

So J must travel back in time to help the young K stop Boris from killing him and thus averting an alien invasion of Earth. By setting this new film in the past, makes it all that much fresher. Will Smith still has game as he handles most of the jokes and gets terrific chemistry with both Jones and Brolin. 

The young K, all business

The special effects, which are a hallmark of the series, are the best yet. Some truly inventive stuff takes place on the screen and you will be just in awe. So is it better than the first Men In Black? I would say close, but not quite. But it's still entertaining as can be.
Boris the Animal..not a nice guy..well alien