The X-Women

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Claude Perron as bad ass cop Aurore in THE HORDE

Been awhile since I wrote a post on my series of women who kick ass in movies. Well after recently watching this French zombie film called The Horde, I had to write about the awesome French actress Claude Perron. She has been acting for over 15 years and her biggest known film is probably Amelie with Audrey Tautou, which I haven't seen. Well based on what I saw in The Horde, Perron more than qualifies as a woman who can kick ass. She plays tough cop Aurore, who along with other cops lead a siege on an abandoned apartment complex to take down some drug dealing gangsters who murdered one of their own. It's personal for Aurore as she was involved with said cop. Once they arrive things go to hell quickly as France becomes overrun with zombies. So now the cops and the gangsters must work together if they want to survive the night. 
Aurore means business

Aurore more than holds her own with the guys as she shoots, fights and kills more than her fair share of zombies. She has one particularly brutal and epic beat-down with a female zombie in a kitchen that will have you screaming hell yeah! And Aurore becomes more hardcore as the movie goes along as she is pregnant and will do anything to make sure she gets out alive to have her baby. 

Aurore is one bad ass lady!

Awesome image of Perron as Aurore

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Me and my friend Starla decided to honor Paul Walker, who just recently died in a car crash. She has chosen three films she will talk about on her facebook page. I decided to write about the Fast and Furious series in which Paul was no doubt a big factor in its success. 

Let’s roll back the clock to 2001 and see where it all began. It was summer of 2001 and this little movie called The Fast and the Furious exploded at the cinemas. Paul was cast as Los Angeles police officer Brian O’Conner who goes undercover in the world of street racing to find out who has been hijacking trucks hauling goods. He encounters local legend Dominic Torreto (played by Vin Diesel) and quickly becomes part of Dom’s crew. Brian also falls for Dom’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) while keeping his identity under wraps and dealing with Johnny Tran, Dom’s enemy. 
The 1/4 mile race at the film's climax between Dominic and Brian

From it’s small beginning Fast and Furious opened to $40 million dollars that opening weekend and went on to make over $140 million that summer. 
Good friends Dominic (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker)

Let’s keep in mind that when most people say fast and furious series is successful because of Vin Diesel and granted the man has a huge fanbase, but Paul Walker is the piece that has kept the series going through the years when Vin left. 

Case in point for the sequel, 2 Fast 2 furious (2003) Paul returned but Vin did not. This time Tyrese came aboard as the smart aleck Roman Pierce and immediately had good chemistry with Paul. 

The action shifted from Los Angeles to Miami and the racing and the action was just as good but this time Paul was squarely in the driver’s side. 2 Fast 2 Furious was a solid hit, earning just under $130 million, prompting a third movie called Toyko Drift, but without Paul or Vin. And it stalled at the box office, earning only $66 million. That was in 2006. 
Brian O'Conner is the man to beat now in 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS

It would be another three years beore another Fast and Furious movie would hit cinemas. And it was worth the wait as the original cast members from the first film all came back: Paul, Vin, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez in the pivotal role as Dom’s girlfriend Letty. 

Was audiences ready for this comeback? Oh yeah, the opening weekend for this 4th film logged $70 million, which was more than Toyko Drift made during it’s entire run. Fast and Furious was back up and running and would not be stopped. 

Paul’s character Brian O’Conner was back on the force but teams up with Dominic when a new bad guy threatens the ones they love. It was good seeing the guys back together and doing their thing. 
Brian O'Conner (Walker) and Dominic Torreto (Diesel) in the mix again

The ending would set up what I think is the best Fast and Furious movie so far, Fast Five. That film has one of the most audacious opening scenes in film history and sets the tone immediately. 

It’s bigger and bolder than any previous Furious film before as it brings back all the major characters from the previous films, moves the action to Rio and adds one super macho Dwayne Johnson to the mix to make one hell of a movie! It earned a mammoth $209 million during the spring of 2011 and cemented the fact that Fast and Furious was now a major player in movie franchises.
Paul, Jordana Brewster and Vin in FAST FIVE

 The recently released 6th installment called Fast and Furious 6 was a gigantic hit as it earned nearly $240 million stateside and over $700 million worldwide. It’s amazing to see how this little series started out and now is one global juggernaut. 

And like I said, I know most people would say it’s because of Vin Diesel’s presence. But you have to give a lot of credit to Paul walker as an important piece to the success of this series as well. I remember most critics and non-fans wrote off the first movie as a B movie version of Point Break, which to some degree it is. But I think the introduction to the world of street racing to mainstream audiences made the film and entire series stand out from Point Break and all other films of it’s like. And I do believe if there was no chemistry between the characters in the film and no progression over the course of 13 years, it would have got old fast and faded away but it is one series that has actually gotten better over time.
Paul and Jordana in FAST AND FURIOUS 6

 At the time of his death, Paul was in the midst of filming the next chapter of the series and now it will be left up to the writers to see how this will affect the storyline. I do hope they honor his character and Paul himself with a worthy story and movie that will leave a wonderful memory to audiences everywhere.


Smiling faces of Paul and Jordana

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pretty cool stuff about Superman

I got sent this email from Alex Hillsberg, who designed this pretty awesome infographic about Superman. He asked me if I could share it with my readers here on Hero Worship. With Man of Steel opening next week, I thought this was a perfect post to do. Check out the link here:  the-man-of-steel-financial-success-of-superman

Saturday, May 11, 2013

IRON MAN 3 kick-starts the summer...big time!

Just saw Iron Man 3 for the second time in the space of 5 days and I enjoyed it even more the second time around. Mainly because it was not as crowded as it was a Thursday showing and I could actually hear all the wonderful snappy dialogue that kind of got drowned out the first time with so many people laughing and cheering. 

Tony in his spare time

The sequel starts with a voice over by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr for the 4th time..five if you count his appearance at the end of The Incredible Hulk) who speaks gravely about the events taking place. He flashes back to 1999 on New Year's Eve as he and his bodyguard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) party it up in Switzerland and Tony romances the lovely biologist Maya Hansen (new to the Iron Man universe Rebecca Hall). She is working on a new project that can hack into the hard drive of any living organism and upgrade it's DNA. Flash forward 13 years and her idea is being used by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) who Tony rebuffs at the same party those many years ago. Well his project Extremis uses ex-soldiers and grants them the ability to regenerate severed limbs and project intense heat along with super strength. These are the weapons utilized by the terrorist called The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) who threatens the world with his random acts of violence.

Rebecca Hall as Maya
Guy Pearce as Killian

When Happy gets injured in one such incident, Tony calls out the bad guy for a little one on one. Meanwhile Tony is having relationship issues with his girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) as she wants him to give up the super hero business a little and take it easy. Easier said than done as Tony has had trouble sleeping ever since the New York incident involving him and The Avengers. So he is constantly working on gadgets as his latest armor, Mark 42, can now adhere to his body magnetically from a distance which is very cool.

Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin

He will need all his smarts to take down Killian and his Extremis cronies. The Mandarin is an all different issue that I don't want to spoil here. You will never see it coming though. There is also a cool sub-plot when Tony crashes in Tennessee and is befriend by a very wise kid named Harley (Ty Simpkins). Their scenes together are the funniest bits in the whole movie. The whole cast in very engaging. RDJ can now play Tony Stark in his sleep and he does not coast on his laurels as he is just as good and sharp as he was the first time he suited up back in 2008. Paltrow is even more fiery as Pepper as she refuses to take a back seat to Tony's technology. Don Cheadle returns as Rhodey. And this time he is working directly for the President as Iron Patriot. Pearce makes a suitable villain that definitely will get your attention. Kingsley is pretty good too as The Mandarin but I really can't say too much about him without spoiling the movie.

Yep..trouble is coming

This shot reminds me of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang so much...
makes sense..Shane Black directed both films

As far as the action goes, director Shane Black goes all out for this one. The attack on Tony's malibu home by The Mandarin's forces is awesome! If that doesn't get your adrenaline going, then nothing will. Another great scene has to the Air Force One attack and then rescue of the passengers who are falling from the sky. That is one of the best film sequences I have ever seen! The snappy dialogue is still there and the plot never gets convulted or heavy. And the movie never drags. It is a great film and a great start for the summer movie season. And it improves on Iron Man 2 big time. I'm up for seeing it a third time for sure.
Tony loves Pepper!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Can you believe I haven't been to the movies in 2013 yet?

I usually average seeing about a good 20 movies a year. Between films with my wife, friends, and co-workers that has been the amount for the past 10 or so years. Before then I was averaging nearly 30 movies, with my best being 36 movies seen back in 1992. So what is going on now? I mean the offerings have been kinda slim, but there were still some ones I wanted to check out. But between work and being sick with a severe cold/sore throat and recently a stomach bug, just haven't had the time. That will soon change. This month comes two action flicks that I am keen on seeing..the Die Hard in the White House flick, Olympus Has Fallen with Gerard Butler and the sequel, GI Joe 2. Both seem like major check your brain at the door popcorn flicks. So I think that will end my current slump. And then the first weekend in April is already circled on my calendar for the awesomely looking Evil Dead. Oh yeah! And then before you know it the big guns of summer will be unleashed..Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Man Of Steel, among others.
Come on back the world of movies!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Just saw Django Unchained, the newest film from Quentin Tarantino. And for the most part it is a pretty good film, damn near his best. I didn't want to write just another review as most everyone who has seen it has written some very well thought out reviews. I just wanted to point out the things I liked and the things I didn't. First the rating I give Django is a solid.....
King and Django..two men on a mission

Things I liked:

1.) The cast: top notch. One of the strongest casts in a Tarantino film since Pulp Fiction. From Jamie Foxx as the titular hero Django, who is soft spoken but one bad ass character. He wields guns like Uma Thurman wielded swords in the Kill Bill films. Christoph Waltz is excellent as Dr. King Schultz, a German dentist cum bounty hunter who frees Django, and enlists his help to track down some wanted men. Leonardo DiCaprio is perfectly villainous as Calvin Candie, the plantation owner who holds Django's wife as one his slaves. Samuel L. Jackson is unbelievably evil as Stephen, Calvin's house slave who really is more than meets the eye. Kerry Washington as Django's wife, Broomhilda, is ravishing and low-keyed hut effective in the quieter moments. Don Johnson as Big Daddy, another plantation owner who seeks payback on Django and Schultz who have crossed his path.  

2.) The music score: the songs were pretty cool but I actually enjoyed the music score itself even more. At times sweeping, at times epic, at times all comes together for a perfect music score.

Django meets Calvin Candie

3.) The opening sequence: which sets the tone of the film as King tries to parlay Django's freedom from the Speck brothers which begins quite humorous but then turns very violent.

4.) The scene at Big Daddy's plantation and then the subsequent posse scene which is hilarious.

5.) The arrival of Django and Schultz as Calvin's place, Candyland. It's here where we get to meet Samuel L. Jackson's character, who takes an immediate dislike to Django.

Calvin gives a lesson to his guests

6.) The dinner conversation scene with the leads all charming and nice until....they are not.

7.) The explosive shoot-out where Django's just goes ballistic at Candyland.

8.) The finale

Stephen questions Broomhilda

Things I didn't like:

1.) Kinda 2 hours and 45 minutes. Could have been trimmed by 20 minutes but that's a minor quibble.

2.) The ruse by Schultz and Django kind of leads to a big kind of head scratching moment when Calvin wants one more thing from Schultz before the deal is done..but I can kind of understand Schultz's reasons. You have to see the film to understand the moment I am talking about. Once again a minor quibble.

3.) Some scenes are really, really graphic. Like a man getting torn limb from limb by dogs. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Does it go overboard? Depends on your taste.  But at least is buffered by Tarantino's witty dialogue and usual banter. Be warned the language is very harsh as well. But it does fit the time period for the most part.

That's about it as far as as you can see more likes than dislikes. Hence my rating of B+.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Getting hooked on LOST GIRL

I recently started watching this cool show called Lost Girl on SyFy channel last year and immediately fell in love with it. The series just had it's third season premiere last night and it's better than ever. It's about the intriguing and unbelievably sexy Bo, a succubus who feeds on the energy of humans. But she refuses to give in to those dark desires and instead help people by becoming a private investigator who specializes in those weird cases. Bo is played by the wonderfully named Anna Silk, and just exudes so much sexual energy, you can just feel it. I mean she is a succubus after all. Her friend Kenzi (played by the also wonderfully named Ksenia Solo) acts as her conscience and also provides a lot of humor. Now I'm still trying to get up to speed on this show as I have seen most of season 1 and a few episodes of season 2 but I still don't know all the characters and the over-reaching storyline as of yet. But it is certainly fun doing so. If you haven't been watching Lost Girl, I suggest you give it a try. It airs on SyFy every Monday night at 10 pm EST with Season 3 now just underway.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

All My Favorite Things Of Star Trek

I've been watching a lot of Star Trek of late and decided to list my favorite things of all the series and movies. I broke them down into sections with a top 5 in each. So here we go. This may change after the upcoming new Trek film, Into Darkness later this summer. As you can see, I have much love for the original crew and series. But I think each series has something great about them as well.


1. THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982) - Still the best representation of Star Trek. Everything clicks: the characters, the effects, the story, the villian (a magnificient Ricardo Montablan) and it all comes together wonderfully.

2. STAR TREK (2009) - The franchise is rebooted for today's audiences by JJ Abrams and he does a fantastic job. Terrific effects and a young new cast acquit themselves nicely.

3. FIRST CONTACT (1996) - The Next Generation's second movie and the first where they really get to shine. You mix in time travel with the Borg and you've got an instant classic. Patrick Stewart is awesome as he gets to let loose with some action scenes and some exciting acting as well.

4. THE VOYAGE HOME (1986) - After bringing Spock back to life in the previous entry, the crew are headed back to Earth but get waylaid by this destructive probe and must travel back in time to present day Earth to save the day. This is the Trek film that everyone can enjoy thanks to the emphasis on story and not too much techno babble. Lots of hunor as well.

5. THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY (1991) - The final voyage for the original series crew and it's a great send-off. It's more of a mystery/drama than an all out action spectacle but it still works. Great job guys.






2. T'POL



3. Q

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My first Blade Runner experience...many years ago

A lot of my readers know that Blade Runner is one of my favorite films of all time. I wanted to share this little story about the first time I saw it. I was 13 and it was September 1983. My family had just recently got HBO. And that was THE channel back then. To be able to see movies that had just played at the theaters a year ago was cool as can be. The only catch was we only had it for the main large color TV in our living room. Which made it difficult to see certain movies at certain times and days or nights. Well Blade Runner premiered on a Saturday night at 8pm. Now I don't remember why I couldn't watch it then but I missed it. So I was quite upset. I was in 8th grade at the time and when I went to school that following Monday that was like the only topic for that day. From the time I got on the bus to the time I got to homeroom, that's all everybody was talking about. Did ya see it? Man that movie was awesome. Harrison Ford. The flying cars. The replicants. All day long I had to listen to that. Even my teachers were talking about it. It wasn't until Wednesday that HBO would re-air it and I would get a chance to watch it. At 11 pm that night. My mom kept saying you're gonna be sleepy tomorrow if you stay up to watch that movie. And I was like I'm not missing it again. So I stayed up to watch it and enjoyed it big time. So when I went to school the next day to finally talk about it with everyone else, suddenly it was old news and everyone had moved on to another movie or big thing. I was like..damn. Still Blade Runner is an awesome movie and I just wanted to share this story with everyone.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


For my second selection in my ongoing new series of actresses who specialize in roles where they get to show their male counterparts that they can be just as hardcore as them, I choose Milla Jovovich. After kicking ass in five, so far, Resident Evil films, Milla definitely deserves to be in the conversation. But let's wind the clock back a bit to see where this beauty from the Ukraine got her start. After appearing in a lot of small parts in the late 80's and early 90's, I first took notice of her in the high school slacker movie Dazed and Confused as the quiet stoner Michelle. No action to speak of but this film would be a stepping stone for her next role. The 1997 sci-fi starrer The Fifth Element, directed by Luc Besson and starring Bruce Willis. Milla was cast as Leeloo, the fifth element, that is Earth's only hope against an impending evil. The fact that she is child like kind of throws you off as she quickly learns kung fu to become a lethal weapon. Milla would wind up marrying Besson after wrapping this film but it lasted only two years. Their pairing did produce one hell of a joy ride of a movie.

As Leeloo...getting the drop on someone

They would return for The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc in 1999 before their union dissolved and it was another showcase for Milla to flex her action muscles with scenes of sword fighting, and horse riding. 

Ready to kill some zombies

But it wasn't until the first Resident Evil bowed in 2002 that Milla's action credentials were solidified. As Alice, the heroine, she gets to kick much ass. Not so much in her initial offering but as the sequels came, she became more and more stronger and efficient at taking out zombies. The first Evil racked up $100 million worldwide at the box-office so a sequel was quickly green lit. For the sequel Alice was imbued with super strength and agility as she was given the T-rex virus and her body bonded with it but did not turn her into a raving zombie. She became a one woman wrecking crew. There have been a total of five Resident Evil movies now, counting the recently released Retribution, which saw the theatrical grosses swell to $230 million worldwide. Safe bet there will be a sixth movie with Milla returning once again.

Definitely armed for battle

Oh and in between killing zombies Milla got to engage in some derring do as Milady de Winter in the 2011 Three Musketeers remake. She was by far the best thing in this insipid film. Milla Jovovich..a woman who can kick ass!

 After five movies, Alice knows the drill