Sense 8 Christmas Special (god bless us… every one)

So yeah I didn’t know this was happening. It’s like a Christmas miracle.

You guys know how much I loved Sense 8… well

Check this shit out.

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMFG

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMFG

It looks like it’s gonna be sappy… but like in a really good way.

I know what I’m doing the week between Christmas and New Years (AKA the year’s taint, AKA the dead zone, AKA the darkest week of the darkest year of the darkest timeline)

Watching This…

then The Doctor Who Christmas Special

And then this again and then Doctor Who again

And then…

– Mel

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Top 20 Biggest Cinematic Disappointments of 2015

Looking back over a year’s worth of Spared or Spoiled Reviews, I noticed that there were a lot more spoiled than there were spared. It’s not me, it’s the movies. There were a bunch of extremely disappointing movies in 2015.

So here are 20 movies I reviewed that weren’t up to snuff. I’ve arranged them in order of disappointment. With the movies I had high hopes for ahead of movies I had little hope for. With the movies that were very bad ahead of the movies that weren’t really that bad.

So I’ve ranked my disappointment, you see. You get it, right?

I also include a link for each one to my original review. If I don’t, just click on the title.

To the list…

My Top Twenty Biggest Cinematic Disappointments of 2015 

At number one is the only movie on the list I did not review but hated just the same… I mention it in my What’s Good post under the headline of What’s NOT so Good.

1. Chappie

Chappie is crappy

Chappie is crappy. And I wanted it to be good. I really did. I had high hopes for the director, Neil Blomkamp. I loved District 9 and Elysium wasn’t all that bad. But Chappie was in fact crappy.

2. Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending Poster

Again. I love the directors. I’m a big fan of The Wachovskis. Jupiter Ascending was complete garbage… in every way. Click on the title for my review.

3. Ted 2

Ted 2 Poster

The first Ted was very funny. The second Ted… not so much.

4. Get Hard

Get Hard Poster

I wasn’t expecting much from Get Hard but it is one of the worst movies of the year, so disappointing (by definition).

5. American Ultra

American Ultra Poster

I wanted American Ultra to be good… it was not. Click on the title for my review.

6. Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four Poster

Wow was I disappointed with Fantastic Four but I kind of knew going in that it wasn’t going to be that good. It was horrible.

7. Hot Pursuit

Hot-Pursuit-Movie

I knew this would be one of the worst movies I would ever see. I had no idea it would be the worst movies ever made. I wrote…”(Hot Pursuit) is bad in every way a movie can be bad and then it invents new ways to be bad.” Can’t wait for Hot Pursuit 2.

8. Terminator Genisys

Terminator Genisys Poster

I thought this would be a return to form for The Terminator franchise. Needless to say I was disappointed. But I didn’t spoil it. I invented a new category for it: UNSPOILED.

9. Run All Night

Run All Night

They should have just made this Taken 3. But it was just as bad.

10. Aloha

Aloha poster

I knew it was going to be bad and it was bad. Not disappointing. Just bad.

11. Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland Poster

Tomorrowland was a big disappointment but the movie had its moments. Decent effects. A few great action sequences. Tomorrowland was bad but it wasn’t that bad.

12. The Voices

The-Voices

I knew nothing about The Voices going in but it was a little too much creepy for me and far too disturbing for its own good.

13. Jurassic World

Jurassic World Poster

What can I say about Jurassic World that I haven’t already said in my rant. You can find my rant here. It bothered me. It had its moments but it bothered me.

14. Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman Poster

Wasn’t expecting a lot from Kingsman but I was hoping it would be fun and funny and exciting and cool. And it was none of those things. It was bad.

15. Z for Zachariah

Z for Zachariah poster

I saw this movie as a racist, ageist, sexist, horrendous political attack on science and Liberalism but maybe I was reading too far into it. Click on the title for my review .

16. Me and Earl and The Dying Girl

me-and-earl-and-the-dying-girl-film

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl really wasn’t that bad. It just wasn’t that good. My disappointment was that it started so well and then went off on a tangent.

17. Cinderella

Cinderella Poster

Didn’t think anyone could screw up Cinderella… but they did.

18. Dope

Dope-movie-poster

This movie was too silly for me. It was about my people and it was just too silly. Great music though. Really great soundtrack. Click on the title for my review.

19. Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton

Here’s another one with great music but a disappointing movie. A great beginning but it loses its way halfway through. If only they had concentrated on the music more.

20. Paper Towns

Paper Towns Poster

As much as I enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, I expected more from Paper Towns. It was cute and I loved the characters, I just didn’t believe HER as a character, or a love interest. And the story doesn’t work without her. I think I would have liked the book better.

And that was my list of disappointments.

There were more bad movies in my 2015 than I would have liked, but I still had fun reviewing them. Don’t get me wrong, my favorite reviews are the ones where I love the movie. Where I absolutely love the fuck out of it. Those are the most fun. But when a movie makes me angry, those can be fun too.

So here’s hoping that the movies of 2016 are either incredibly good… or hilariously and horrendously bad. No middle ground.

Raise you glasses in the air.

“NO MIDDLE GROUND!!!”

Later,

– Mel

Sense 8 on Netflix (a love story)

This weekend I watched the new Wachowski series on Netflix called Sense 8. What follows are my barely edited thoughts…

Sense8 (Netflix – 12 episodes)

Sense8

Created by The Wachowskis & J. Michael Straczynski

Written by The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski

Directed by The Wachowskis, Tom TykwerJames McTeigue and Dan Glass

Starring Aml AmeenAlfonso HerreraDoona BaeJamie ClaytonTina DesaiTuppence MiddletonMax RiemeltMiguel Ángel SilvestreBrian J. SmithFreema AgyemanTerrence MannAnupam KherNaveen Andrews & Daryl Hannah

I loved everything about this show. Sense8 is straight drama with the slightest hint of sci-fi action adventure. But it is, at its core, a drama. After 12 episodes I can’t even count how many times this show almost made me cry. Yes. There are some fight scenes (at least one per episode) and there’s some shooting and action but that’s not where Sense8 shines. Sense8 shines when it’s breaking our hearts. And I loved it.

Sense8 photo 4

Sense8 is the story of eight distinct people. Eight people who are worlds apart and miles apart. One an actor in Mexico City. Two a business woman in Seoul. Three a DJ in London. A cop in Chicago. A trans woman in San Francisco. A van driver in Nairobi. A young scientist in India, and a criminal in Germany. And it is in our discovering of these characters that Sense8 is at its absolute phenomenal best. Us discovering them and them discovering each other.

Sense 8 photo

In Sense8, eight people share a connection that allows them to see, hear, feel, taste, smell, remember and share emotions and aspirations with the seven other people in their “cluster”. Although miles apart they are able to communicate and help each other as they’re hunted by a corporation and a mysterious man who also has the power to project himself into the minds of some of the Sense8.

I can’t really explain it, but what it is to me is a vehicle for absolutely outstanding character development and exciting and emotional and I loved this show so fucking much. But I have no words to describe it properly. So I’m just gonna say this…

Sense8 photo 3

You ever say that you’re going to re-watch something? I say it a lot. I watch a full season of a show and swear I’ll watch it again. I may even buy the DVDs or save it to my hard-drive. But I never really get around to it. There’s always already a backlog of things I need to watch (or do). Well, I’m watching this shit again. Probably this weekend. One of the most enjoyable fucking things I have seen in a long time. I’m gonna watch it several times probably. I loved this show so much I want to marry it.

The Actor

Sense8 is so many things at the same time. It is sexy as all hell. Interesting, entertaining. It is romantic and heartbreaking. It is frustrating and crowd-pleasing. Exciting. Did I mention that the S. Korean business woman is also a kick-ass bad-ass kick boxing martial artist? Or that the trans woman is a hacker? The criminal a psychotic mastermind? The group compliment each other but it is in the scenes where they combine their powers that it almost becomes a superhero program. “Our eight powers combine as one.” (NOT actual dialogue from the show)

Machete Sense8

My only problem with it, if I had to find one, is that every character has their own accent. They’re all decent actors but not all are the best English speakers. And all the characters are speaking English. Well not really. They’re speaking their native languages but we hear them as English with many different accents. Including British actors doing American accents and more. This is a little annoying at first for me because I can’t stand bad accents… I’m sorry. Except I guess that a whole mess of subtitles would have been even more messy. Plus they have to communicate with each other. So I’m nit-picking.

Sense8 Poster

Sense8 is damn near perfect. I didn’t know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised by a show featuring eight main characters, all in different cities and different countries, and every single one beautifully connected to the others. A fantastic show.

– Mel

The Fast 7: A Furious 7 Inspired Car-Loving Mega-Post

In honor of the seventh (and final) The Fast and the Furious movie, (RIP Paul Walker), arguably the most successful driving movie franchise in film history, Mel Rook & The Seven Deadly Sins presents: The Fast 7: A Furious 7 Inspired Car-Loving Mega-Post.

This will be 7 lists of my 7 favorite car & driving pop culture… things. The Categories: TV, Movies, Video Games, Fantasy Cars, Batmobiles (Batman gets his own category), Sports Cars and ending with my 7 favorite Movie Car Chase Scenes.

To the list(s)…First up television…

Driving Shows

My 7 favorite driving TV shows that really know how to cut to the chase.

7. Knight Rider (1982-86)

Created by Glen A. Larson

David Hasselhoff and Kitt

David Hasselhoff and a talking car. What’s not to love about this cheesy 80’s driving show? KITTs voice. I didn’t like KITTs voice. He should have sounded more like a Cylon.

6. Transporter: The Series (2013-Current)

Based on  Transporter by Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen

Chris-Vance-as-The-Transporter

A decent adaptation of the Transporter movie series (with Jason Statham). At least for one season. The second season of this show was a bit rough after a big cast shake-up. But the first season was so good it should be renewed for a third.

5. Wacky Races (1968)

Produced by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera

Wacky Races

Wacky Races was an animated version of the movie The Great Race (1965) with Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood. It was always fun, funny and wacky.

“And they’re off… to a standing start. And why not. They’ve been chained to a post by shifty Dick Dastardly, who shifts into the wrong gear.”

4. The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-85)

Created by Gy Waldron and Jerry Rushing

The Dukes

Two pretty cowboys and their little sister (with the long lovely legs) outrun the local corrupt sheriff (Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane) and his deputies. Waylon Jennings did the narration and sang the theme song. I was not the biggest fan of this show but I loved the car chases, the jumps, the stunts, the bad guys and Daisy Duke.

3. Starsky & Hutch (1975-79)

Created by William Frederick Blinn and Ryan Matthew Blinn

Starsky and Hutch

So many alleys to speed down while chasing the crooks. It’s a wonder they didn’t run-over more homeless people than they did. Starsky & Hutch were always jumping on cars and chasing down bad guys. And Huggy Bear was somehow always involved.

Poor Huggy Bear. It’s hard out there for a pimp.. or snitch or whatever he was.

2. CHiPs (1977-83)

Created by Rick Rosner

CHiPs

Yeah, I know the main characters were on motorcycles and not in cars but this show was one big car chase scene… seriously. And every couple of weeks or so there would be a huge 20 to 30 car pile-up on the Interstate highway. Ponch & John. California Highway Patrol… CHiPs.

But my favorite driving show will always be…

1. Speed Racer (1966-68)

Written by Jinzō Toriumi (adapted by Peter Fernandez)

Speed Racer

My favorite cartoon growing up. I wanted a Mach 5 so bad… and a monkey. I wanted a monkey to hide in the trunk. (Fishbone dedicated an entire album to the little guy called Chim Chim’s Badass Revenge… one of their best). This show is dated and awful but when I was little it made me happy. And there weren’t a lot of things that made me happy.

Next up…

Driving Games

My 7 Favorite Driving Games: The seven best and (most fun… for me) driving and racing video games (I go for realism. So these are all about the real cars and not cartoon cars)

7. Gran Turismo (1998 – Playstation)

Developed by Polyphony Digital

Gran Turismo

The licenses. The music. The mechanics. The best racing franchise and driving simulator of all-time hands down. This is the one that started it all. And these guys were just getting started. I remember having the old beige PS1 and marveling at how pretty this game was.

6. Grand Theft Auto IV (2008 – X-Box 360)

Developed by Rockstar Games

Grand Theft Auto IV

Sure there’s shooting and running around and stuff but the driving was the best thing about it. You could just drive all night listening to the radio. The radio stations were the best. Speeding through the city late at night. Why even play the story. Just get in a car and drive. Or in a truck. Or a motorcycle.

5. Grand Turismo 3: A-spec (2001 – PS2)

Developed by Polyphony Digital

gran-turismo-3

One of the best-selling video games of all-time, Gran Turismo 3: A-spec featured incredibly gorgeous graphics (for that generation) and realistic cars with the opportunity to tweak every aspect of your car’s performance. And the dual-shock controller so you could feel the engine humming and feel every bump on the road.

Gran Turismo-3 A-spec

I would spend hours and hours trying to cut tenths of seconds off my track time, all to the sound of another fantastic soundtrack featuring great songs by The Cardigans and Soul Coughing and Foo Fighters.

4. Burnout Paradise (2008 – PS3)

Developed by Criterion Games

burnout_paradise

Street racing gone mad. This game was a lot like Grand Theft Auto but without the shooting and with a multi-player mode so you could race other players online.

Burnout Crashes

Not to mention the insanely fun crash mode where head-on crashes are rewarded with points for the more you roll and the more other cars you get involved in the wreckage. So much fun. And a pretty decent soundtrack.

3. Pole Position (1982 – Arcade)

Developed by Namco

pole_position

The first racing game worth a damn. Pole Position was an arcade favorite of mine. I could spend twenty dollars in quarters just trying to qualify, make pole position and leave my competition in the dust again and again.

2. Pole Position II (1983 – Arcade)

Developed by Namco

Pole Position 2

I loved this game so much. More tracks and better graphics this time around. It’s just a better game. I can still hear the beeps that started every race. BEEP (red light) BEEP (yellow light) BEEEEEP (green light) Go.

But my favorite driving game is still…

1. Gran Turismo 5 (2010 – PS3)

Developed by Polyphony Digital

Gran-Turismo-5

I guess there’s something about the odd numbers in this franchise. This game is great. Winning new cars by racing online. Buying used cars. Collecting different drivers for your friends to race against while you were offline in the cool B-spec mode. Coming back online to collect your winnings. This game is awesome.

gran-turismo-5-inner-2

Not to mention the addition of NASCAR and more difficult licenses (How do they drive those heavy-ass cars?) and more downloadable tracks. Gran Turismo 5 is still my favorite racing game. Perhaps the greatest racing game of all-time.

Gran Turismo 5 Graphics are sickI don’t have a PS4 yet but if I were to get one it would be because I wanted the newest Gran Turismo game when it comes out. But for now I’m still playing 5. (I skipped 6 because there was nothing new). So Gran Turismo 5 is still my go to game when I feel the need for speed. My favorite.

Next up…

Driving Movies

My 7 Favorite Driving Movies.

7. Drive (2011)

Drive Poster

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Written by Hossein Amini  Based on Drive by James Sallis

Starring Ryan GoslingCarey MulliganBryan CranstonAlbert BrooksRon PerlmanOscar Isaac & Christina Hendricks

Ryan Gosling

It’s in the title. This movie is like a meditation. Great cast. Lots of tension. Good driving scenes. The best Ryan Gosling in my opinion. Great driving throughout.

6. The Fast and the Furious (2001)

The-Fast-and-Furious-2001

Directed by Rob Cohen

Written by Gary Scott ThompsonErik Bergquist & David Ayer  Based on “Racer X” by Ken Li

Starring Paul WalkerVin DieselMichelle RodriguezJordana BrewsterRick YuneChad LindbergJohnny Strong & Ted Levine

The Fast and the Furious

The first one is the best one (actually it’s the only good one). Hot girls and fast cars and street racing. What else do you need? Well… A better plot for one. Better acting for two. Better directing for three. But for a car and racing fan it’s still a lot of fun.

5. The Transporter (2002)

The Transporter

Directed by Louis Leterrier & Corey Yuen

Written by Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen

Starring Jason StathamShu QiFrançois Berléand & Matt Schulze

Jason Statham

Great driving. Yes. But this movie is all about Jason Statham kicking serious ass. And he’s very hot. There’s something about Jason Statham that is very very hot.

4. Bullitt (1968)

Bullit Poster

Directed by Peter Yates

Written by Alan R. Trustman & Harry Kleiner  Based on Mute Witness by Robert L. Fish

Starring Steve McQueenRobert Vaughn & Jacqueline Bisset

Bullit

You can’t list the best driving movies without including Bullitt and his bad-ass Mustang. With one of the best car chase scenes of all-time (maybe even the best), Steve McQueen and Bullitt comes in at number four on my list of great driving movies.

3. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)

Gone in 60 Seconds

Directed by Dominic Sena

Written by Scott Rosenberg  Based on the movie Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) by H.B. Halicki

Starring Nicolas CageAngelina JolieGiovanni Ribisi & Delroy Lindo

eleanor-1967-shelby-mustang-gt-500

I love this movie because while Nicholas Cage is Nicholas Cage-ing, Angelina Jolie is Angelina Jolie-ing. And a lot of cool cars.

gone-in-sixty-seconds-cage

Everybody is stealing cars and out-running cops and looking cool while doing it. I love Gone in 60 Seconds. It’s one of the coolest movies of all-time.

2. The Cannonball Run (1981)

The Cannonball Run Quad

Directed Hal Needham

Written by Brock Yates

Starring Burt ReynoldsRoger MooreFarrah FawcettJackie ChanDean MartinSammy Davis, Jr. & Dom DeLuise

the-cannonball-run

Classic driving comedy with Burt Reynolds and a cast of hundreds racing across country. It was kind of raunchy for its time but tame by today’s standards. Still loads of fun if a little dated and a tad bit racist and sexist and.. we were crappy people back then. But you know… it was the 80’s. We were all on coke.

Adrienne Barbeau Cleavage

With the added bonus of both Adrienne Barbeau and Farrah Fawcett in the prime of their hotness, The Cannonball Run is what you get if you took Wacky Races, The Fast and the Furious and the Burnout Paradise game then threw in every famous actor from the 70’s.

Jackie Chan

A young Jackie Chan, Dom DeLuise, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Roger Moore and cameos galore. This is one crazy movie. They made two more but they never came close to matching the magic from the first one.

However my favorite driving movie is…

1. Speed Racer (2008)

Speed Racer Movie

Written & Directed by The Wachowskis

Based on Speed Racer by Tatsuo Yoshida

Starring Emile HirschChristina RicciJohn GoodmanSusan SarandonMatthew FoxBenno FürmannHiroyuki SanadaRain & Richard Roundtree

Speed Racer cast

Incredibly campy and colorful, the Wachovski brought the Speed Racer cartoon to the big screen with unapologetic enthusiasm. Maybe a little too much. But the racing scenes are some of the most exciting and acrobatic racing ever on film. I usually go for realism but these races are anything but real. The laws of physics need not apply. The cars skid around on impossibly shaped tracks that look like they were built from Matchbox and Hot Wheels tracks welded together by… well… by me as a kid. They look like they were put together by me. I love this movie so much. The cars don’t so much as race. The cars battle each other like high-flying martial artists on wires. Which, as far as I can remember, was the spirit of the original Speed Racer cartoons. Pass the cereal.

speed-racer-movie-01

I love this movie. And it got such a bad rap. I saw a review on-line that was just a picture of a plastic Mach 5 with a dog turd on top of it (seriously). The Wachovski’s say this was a movie for the Speed Racer fans. And they are correct. Because I am a Speed Racer fan. And this is a really bad bad bad bad really bad movie… that I loved. Don’t judge me.

Next up…

Fantasy Cars (Non-Batmobile Division)

My 7 Favorite Fantasy Cars: The seven coolest fictional cars that aren’t the Batmobile. But no hovercraft. If it doesn’t roll on the ground at some point, it ain’t on this list.

7. KITT (Knight Rider 1982)

KITT

I didn’t like the voice of the original KITT. It sounded kind of whiny and too human but I loved the controls and the special gadgets and weapons.

Inside KITT

I loved that the steering wheel looked like a game controller for a flight simulator.

6. DeLorean Time Machine (Back to the Future 1985)

Back to the Future

One, it was a DeLorean. Two, it was a time machine. And three, that baby could fly. “Roads? where we’re going we don’t need roads.”

Flying DeLorean

But the best part about it was that it was a freaking time machine… in a DeLorean.

5. Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger 1964)

aston_martin_db5

The classic Aston Martin. James Bond’s first tricked out car. Still one of the best. And you can’t beat the classics. You never forget your first car. Revolving license plates. Bullet proof shields. The tire slashers in the wheel hub. Smoke screen. Oil slick. Machine guns in the front. And say it with me people… Ejector Seat on the passenger side.

Bond: Ejector seat? You’re joking!
Q: I never joke about my work, 007

4. Lotus Espirit (The Spy Who Loved Me 1977)

lotus-esprit

I put the Lotus above the Aston Martin on this list because It’s part car, part submarine… all bad-ass. This was the coolest James Bond car because of how the dashboard changed to the submarine controls and the periscope when it submerged.

lotus-esprit-the-spy-who-love-me

And of course the torpedoes in the front were handy for dealing with those sharks with the freaking lasers on their freaking heads..

3. The Mach 5 (Speed Racer 1967)

mach-5

You were expecting something else?

Mach_5_Steering_Wheel

Look at these buttons. Look at them! Eat your heart out, James Bond.

Mach Mechanics

The Mach 5 was the best. My favorite one of its gadgets was the auto jacks underneath that made the car jump over obstacles. I know. I know. It wouldn’t be possible in real life. But it was still cool to me as a kid. The laws of physics be damned. BOING

2. Lola (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D 2013)

SHIELD Flying Car

Lola is a Chevrolet Corvette C1 already a cool classic car but Agent Coulson had it modified so that she can float like a hover craft and fly like a jet..

Lola_(Car)_001

But Coulson takes pains to remind everyone that she’s still the same Corvette where it counts; underneath… and don’t touch her. Don’t touch Lola. Flying cars rock.

So my number one favorite is…

1. Blade Runner Police Spinner (Blade Runner 1982)

blade-runner1

There have been many movies with flying cars in them. Fifth Element had flying cars but they weren’t really cars they were hover vehicles shaped like cars. Others have had what were essentially airplanes that looked like cars. Harry Potter made a car fly but was it designed to do that? The Jetson’s flew but they never rolled so that’s not a car. Luke’s car was a land speeder. So just another freaking hovercraft. And we’ve already seen Lola.

Spinners

The best flying cars were the Spinners from Blade Runner (quite possibly the best film ever made). This is how you do flying cars, people. Gorgeous design. Function, form, realism. If there were flying cars today, you know only the police would have them. Police, Fire Department, EMT… no one else would fly.

Next up…

Fantasy Cars (Batmobile Division)

My 7 Favorite Batmobiles

7. The Batmobile (from Batman Forever 1995)

Directed by Joel Schumacher

Batman Forever

Say what you want about the movie but at least The Batmobile was pretty… pretty phallic. Form over function in every single way. And most definitely penis shaped. Am I right?

6. The Batmobile (from Batman the TV Series 1966)

Created by William Dozier

Batmobile 60's

“Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed.” I loved this show growing up. Almost as much as I loved Speed Racer. (Didn’t think I could sneak in another Speed Racer reference did you?) A bunch of cool gadgets including a saw blade in the front to cut tow cables, a car phone and computer terminal. (This was in the 60s people)

5. The Bat Tumbler (from Batman Begins, The Dark Knight & The Dark Knight Rises 2005, 2008 & 2012)

Directed by Christopher Nolan

batmobile-Tumbler-2005-the-dark-knight

Function over form. I love it. An all-terrain tank with a low center of gravity. Definitely the most practical of all the Batmobiles. Speed, weapons and armor.

4. The Batmobile (from Batman: The Animated Series 1992)

Developed by Bruce Timm & Eric Radomski

Batman The Animated Series

Art Deco gorgeousness. The best Batman series by far was Batman: The Animated Series. Some of the best writing of the Batman universe. And the artwork had a classic cartoon feel like something from the 40s. This was close to Tim Burton’s Batmobile but with sleeker lines and that gorgeous Art Deco style.

3. The Batmobile (from Batman & Batman Returns 1989-92)

Directed by Tim Burton

Batmobile Tim Burton

More function than form but still very pretty. Part tank, part sports car. The grappling hook for sharp turns was a nice touch. This car was hot.

Batmobile Armor

And of course the voice-activated impenetrable shielding for when Batman had to get out.

2. The Batmobile (from Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice 2016)

Directed by Zack Snyder

batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-batmobile-official

Speaking of tanks, tumblers and sports cars that double as Swiss army knives… The new Batmobile is sick. Deadly and sick. More of a Mech than a mobile. This bad boy is ready for battle. I predict some serious destruction.

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice

Outstanding. I just hope the movie lives up to the hype this new Batmobile has generated.

But my favorite Batmobile is not a mobile at all… I’m sorry. I have to cheat here because this thing is bad-ass. Absolutely bad-ass. It’s the…

1. The Bat Pod/ Bat Cycle (from The Dark Knight & The Dark Knight Rises 2008 & 2012)

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Bat Cycle

Everything about it is appealing. The way it turns. The front-mounted guns. The controls. The suspension. The way Catwoman looks when she’s riding it. The way Heath’s Joker looks when he’s jousting with it. The Bat Pod rocks.

Catwoman Cycle

This thing is amazing and I want one. I want one now. Right now.

But it’s not real. So let’s talk about real cars that I still can’t have…

Sports Cars (Real Cars)

My 7 Favorite Real Cars: The seven coolest cars I would own if I were obnoxiously wealthy, juvenile, in the midst of a mid-life crisis and doubted my sexual prowess.

In other words… Penis mobiles.

7. Ford Mustang Mach 1

Ford-Mustang-Mach-1

I love a Mustang. If I owned this I would never drive slow. Never. ‘I’m going to the store. I’ll be back in exactly 5 seconds.”

6. Shelby GT500 Cobra

2013-Ford-Mustang-Shelby-GT500-Cobra-2

Not as penis-y as the others but just as powerful and gorgeous.

5. Corvette Z06

2015-Chevrolet-Corvette-Z06

Sweet ride and I even like the color. Sing it, Prince. “Little Yellow Corvette…”

4. Jaguar E-Type

Jaguar E-Type

If that’s not a penis mobile. I don’t know what is. It’s a Jaguar.

3. Tesla Roadster

tesla-roadster

I had to include a Tesla on this list. They make electric sexy. I want this one in black.

2. Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X

Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X 2010

Hell yeah. Hell fucking yeah. Hurry up and build that highway between Alaska and Siberia so I can drive around the world in this. From cape to cape… Yeah baby.

1. Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche

The kind of car you jump into while wearing driving gloves and a scarf.. because, you know, it gets cold when you’re driving fast. Porsche. There is no substitute.

And the last category in my car loving mega post…

Car Chase Scenes

My 7 Favorite Chase Scenes (from non-racing movies… because in racing movies every other scene is a car chase. The whole damn thing is a car chase)

7. Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Super exciting motorcycle chase from another Wachovski film that gets a bad rap.

6. Die Another Day (2002)

An amazing car battle between James Bond’s tricked out Aston Martin and an equally tricked out Jaguar.

5. The Blues Brothers (1980)

They drive through a mall. ’nuff said.

4. The Bourne Identity (2002)

I love the European car chases because the streets are narrower and every so often there’s a flight of stairs in the way.

3. Ronin (1998)

This tunnel chase is off the freaking chain.

2. The French Connection (1971)

This is one of the best chase scenes ever. This blows me away every time I see it.

But at number one with a bullet…

1. Bullitt (1968)

Arguably the best car chase ever. But on this list it just beats out The French Connection by a car length. The French Connection comes in second only because there is just one car in the chase. But that William Friedkin subway chase is incredible.

I hope you enjoyed my Car-Loving Mega Post. And I hope you enjoy Furious 7 in theaters on Friday. (or not. Honestly, I’ve only seen the first one… and I love cars)

What’s your favorite car chase? car game? car movie? car show? Did I miss yours? Let me know in the comments.

Catch you later,

– Mel

Spared or Spoiled Film Reviews: Jupiter Ascending

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

Jupiter Ascending (Warner Bros. PicturesRoadshow Entertainment [Aus, NZ])

Jupiter Ascending Poster

Written & Directed by The Wachowskis

Starring Channing TatumMila KunisSean BeanEddie Redmayne & Douglas Booth

There is one glaring problem with the visually stunning, science fiction epic, Jupiter Ascending, from the Wachowskis. Well two things really. And they’re staring you right in the face the entire time. Arguably the two most important things in any movie; the two lead actors. I loved everything about Jupiter Ascending except for the one thing that can turn an otherwise great movie into a bad one; Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum could not act their way out of a paper bag! And it’s a shame because Jupiter Ascending is a fun, sweeping, epic tale of intergalactic dynasties and sibling rivalries that burn at the core of every inhabited planet in the known universe. There are hybrids of major species. Like lizards with eagle wings and robots and spaceships. And at the center, two duds. But because I liked the story, I’m gonna spare you guys a spoiler-filled rant.

Verdict: SPARED

But I’m still gonna rant though.

Mila Kunis

Instead lets talk about Mila Kunis. I love me some Mila Kunis. She is very cool. Not a very wide acting range but she is likable, funny and good-looking. Like Matthew McConaughey was back before he found his acting chops. And I love her in action films, but she is at her best when she’s playing an Eddie Murphy type. Every word out of her mouth should be a wise-crack or some biting sarcasm. This is her wheelhouse. She’s funny. The three best lines in Jupiter Ascending are her being funny or sarcastic. She’s not the damsel in distress that the Wachowskis have cast her as. She’s the cool chick laughing in the face of danger. I love her too much to have to blame her for this. You’re making me blame her for this. And while she is to blame for this, it’s not her fault.

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum on the other hand, can not be saved. He stinks. These are both very hot people but don’t make them emulate emotions. It’s painful to watch. Interestingly enough, had Mila Kunis played this part for the comedy, which I think would have worked so much better, Channing Tatum’s stoned-faced wolf-boy would have been her perfect straight man. Give Mila some jokes and Channing’s character, with his sour-puss acting style, would benefit hugely from it. Also give them some down-time to fall in love. Because if all they’re doing is running. And all he’s doing is saving her life again and again. She’s not in love with him. She’s in love with the fact that he saves her life. Will someone in Hollywood please stop confusing these two things. But anyway.

Eddie Redmayne

Jupiter Ascending is spared because of its gorgeous special effects and exciting chase scenes and dog-fights and fight scenes. And the gadgets are super-cool. Especially Channing’s anti-gravity boots. And the creatures are awesome. And the costumes are awesome. And the worlds are awesome. Have I said yet how visually stunning this film is? Because if you look-up the phrase visually stunning in the online movie reviewers handbook you’ll see a picture of any frame of this movie right here.

Terry Gilliam

Jupiter Ascending is spared because the story is this beautiful cross between Herbert and Asimov. And the style is all Fifth Element meets Tarsem Singh meets Terry Gilliam. So much so that at one point Terry Gilliam shows up to tell the Wachowskis to cut that shit out (not really but it’s still very funny). And the other actors are great from Sean Bean to Eddie Redmayne and all points in between. It’s just those two. The main two.

Creatures in Jupiter Ascending

Let me put it this way. There are two large paper sacks. Each one with a name on it. One says Mila Kunis and the other says Channing Tatum. And the Sack Master (That’s his name. He puts people into paper sacks) comes along and places both Mila and Channing into their respective sacks. And all they have to do is to not be themselves. Just pretend to be another person. That’s all it would take to make the Sack Master think he’s made a mistake and let them out. This was not always the case. Traditionally people had to punch their way out of his sacks or even dance. But on occasion, some barely decent acting would get you set free. What I’m saying is, neither Mila Kunis nor Channing Tatum could act their way out of a paper bag. But anyway that was a little sneak peek at my new horror series: Sack Master. SACK MASTER, he puts people into paper sacks. (sometimes they’re wet… it’s very scary). But I digress.

Jupiter Ascending is a gorgeous, epic, sci-fi, space adventure that only suffers when the main characters open their mouths. It’s just that they open their mouths a lot.

– Mel

My Top Ten TV Mega Post in Ten Parts! (New Shows 1/10)

It’s been awhile since we talked about how good TV is these days. Time for a Mega Post.

Turn amc

“Any last requests?”
“Yes. I’d like to live to see the end of Mel’s TV mega post. If you don’t mind.”

My last TV Mega Post was a five parter. It included Cable, Premium, Animated, New Shows and All-Time Faves but in the interim TV has gotten TWICE as good and the number of good shows has increased exponentially. Even my ALL-Time Faves have made a few additions. So, this time around I present to you:

My Top Ten TV Mega Post in Ten Parts!!

Ambitious? Yes. Outrageous? Yes. Should I be writing my novel instead of doing this? Yes. But will it be fun to compile and also serve to keep my blog current? I say – YES!

Eva Green

“I’m sorry to tell you this but getting through ten posts about TV, Mel, is just not in the cards for you. Perhaps you should take up knitting.”

So, on this very blog, I will present to you my Top Ten Cable Comedies, Cable Dramas, Broadcast Comedies, Broadcast Dramas, Premium Comedies, Premium Dramas, Imports, Variety Shows, All-Time Faves and My Top Ten New Shows. That’s one hundred motherfucking TV Shows in ten posts.

Bob Odenkirk

“I could do without the potty mouth, mister.”
“Oh geez. We don’t like that kinda talk round here dontcha know.”

But for New Shows this time around I’m not going to list the shows that have just started like I did last time. Shows that I like and that will probably soon be cancelled (like right after I post about them). Nope. For the new shows list I’m going to list shows that haven’t started yet, that are coming later this year and that I’m really excited about and think we should all watch from episode one.

Haven’t done that before. In fact… I think I’m going to start that one right now.

My Top Ten New Shows coming in 2014.

To the list…

First up… Spies.

Turn (AMC, April 6th)

Turn

Created by Craig Silverstein

Starring Jamie Bell, Meegan Warner, Daniel HenshallBurn GormanSeth NumrichHeather LindKevin McNallyAngus Macfadyen & JJ Feild

Based on a book by Alexander Rose this AMC American Revolution espionage drama with a pilot directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) will premiere on April 6th.

Jamie Bell

“Mullet. It’s called a mullet and yes, it did come with the pretty bow. Why do you ask?”

Every war has it spies. This is the story of the American Revolution’s little known spy ring. History, Espionage, Americans w/ British accents. What more could you ask for?

AMC's Turn

“I swear to you gents. I did not steal these photos. It’s not like there was anyone’s name on them. I mean… what’s that? Look to my right? How’d that get there?”

Watch This (AMC has been on a roll. So, I’m hoping for good things out of this one)

Next up… a movie adapted to the small screen

Fargo (FX, sometime in 2014)

fargo-tv-show-fx

Written by Noah Hawley

Starring Billy Bob ThorntonMartin FreemanColin HanksBob Odenkirk & Kate Walsh

Loosely based on the movie Fargo by the Coen Brothers this small screen version boasts an all-star cast w/ Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), Billy Bob Thornton, Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad) and Kate Walsh.

Fargo

“…and then he said, ‘Hey Bilbo, you kiss Sherlock with that mouth?’ so I slugged him. I just didn’t see the other two guys behind me… Does it look really bad?”
“It’s hardly noticeable.”

Scheduled for ten episodes, Fargo the series has the potential for greatness, as long as the producers keep the feel of the original, the humor of the original, the violence & suspense of the original. In other words, as long as they respect the source material.

Billy Bob Thornton

Do you want to build a snowman, Billy Bob?

Watch This (with Justified, The Americans & American Horror Story, just to name a few, FX has proven that they can do good work)

Next…

Penny Dreadful (Showtime, May 11th)

Penny Dreadful

Created by John Logan

Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona

Starring Josh HartnettEva GreenBillie Piper, Rory KinnearTimothy DaltonReeve CarneyHarry TreadawayHelen McCrory & Simon Russell 

With a monster cast, this Showtime monster mash which stars Eva Green (Camelot) & Billie Piper (Doctor Who) among others, hosts an amazing array of legendary monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray just to name a few.

Penny Dreadful

“So we’re in agreement… We’re all keeping the wardrobe.”
“We do look cool as all hell.”

Penny Dreadful looks to me like it will be some seriously sexy supernatural costumed horror and I, for one, am very excited. And even if it does devolve into campy, Abbott & Costello meets Frankenstein awfulness, this fantastic cast should rise above the material.

Penny Dreadful

“Quickly, son. Just get a badass overcoat on that guy. He’ll feel better.”

Watch This (Showtime costs a little extra but they have Homeland, Nurse Jackie, Masters of Sex, Shameless, Ray Donovan, House of Lies. Seriously Showtime is bringing it hard)

Next… more from AMC…

Halt & Catch Fire (AMC, June 2014)

Halt and Catch Fire

Created by Chris Cantwell & Chris Rogers

Starring Lee PaceScoot McNairyMackenzie DavisKerry Bishé, David Wilson Barnes & Toby Huss

Halt-and-Catch-Fire

The 80s you say? That looks like my garage now.

Halt & Catch Fire (a fictional computer command that would cause a machine to self-destruct) is billed as a Mad Men type show about the rise of the Personal Computer. It’s set in Texas in the 1980’s. I like the cast and the premise but not the Mad Men comparison? Those are some pretty big shoes to fill fella.

Halt

“Don’t be afraid to jump up on this table at any time. In fact, I’m going to do that right now. Who’s with me? I say, who’s with me!!!”

Wait & See (Mad Men is amazing but it’s the acting and writing that does it. Without some of the best acting and writing on TV it would be a boring mess. We’ll see about this one)

Next… we move to Netflix…

Sense8 (Netflix, Late 2014)

Sense8

This is fake. There are no pictures anywhere. Not even a logo.

Created by The Wachowskis

Showrunner J. Michael Straczynski

The Wachowskis, Science Fiction & Netflix… and that’s all you need to know. Actually that’s all the Wachowshis will let us know at this time. 

Wait & See (We’re in the dark about this one but that doesn’t mean we’re not excited)

Next up…

Tooken (NBC, Fall 2014)

Tina Fey

“Hi Mel.”
Hi Tina.
“See you later tonight?”
Yes you will.

Created by Tina Fey

Starring Ellie Kemper

Tooken is a single camera series about a woman who escapes from a cult and lives in New York City. Written and created by Tina Fey, I see good things. Tina has two other shows in the works but this one is already a go for Fall.

Ellie Kemper

“This is not from my new show. This is obviously from some Christmas episode somewhere. What are you trying to pull here anyway?”

Wait & See (Tina Fey produces. Ellie Kemper stars. You had me at Tina but I’m also a big Ellie Kemper fan. So… fingers crossed)

Next…

Silicon Valley (HBO, April 6th)

silicon-valley-hbo

Created by Alec Berg & Mike Judge

Starring Thomas MiddleditchT. J. MillerZach WoodsKumail Nanjiani & Martin Starr

silicon valley mike judge

“Does anybody here remember LAN parties? No? Just me? Well alright then.”

This Mike Judge (Idiocracy, Office Space) sitcom about a tech start-up company has a very funny cast and very funny and creative creators. I expect great things.

Silicon Valley

” I was only trying to…”
“I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s just pretend it didn’t happen”

Watch This (I mean, come on, It’s HBO)

Next up… more from HBO…

The Leftovers (HBO, 2014)

hbotheleftovers

Created by Damon Lindelof & Tom Perrotta

Starring Justin TherouxAmy Brenneman, Carrie Coon, Christopher EcclestonLiv Tyler & Ann Dowd

Damon Lindelof’s post-rapture drama based on the novel by Tom Perrotta looks like it’s going to be really interesting, really mysterious, and probably really good. It is the story of the people in a small town left behind after a rapture event.

Heroes Day Meeting

“Please tell me Kirk Cameron’s NOT gonna be in this… god I hate that guy.”

With another fine cast featuring Liv Tyler (Lord of the Rings) and Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), The Leftovers is looking like an unfolding mystery with a touch of the spiritual… but on HBO. So, you know, like Lost… but on steroids.

Liv-Tyler

presented without comment

Watch This (think Left Behind but without all the self-righteous preachiness… I hope)

Next we go to the UK…

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (BBCA, Summer 2014)

jonathan-strange-and-mr-norrell-by-susanna-clarke

Written by Peter Harness

Directed by Toby Haynes

Starring Eddie MarsanBertie CarvelAlice EnglertMarc WarrenSamuel WestCharlotte RileyEnzo Cilenti & Paul Kaye

Jonathan Strange

“Hey. I’m walking here… I’m walking here!!”

A fantasy drama about two rival magicians who were once friends, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is based on Susanna Clarke’s novel of the same name.

Okay, I couldn’t find any pics from this either. So, sue me… (seriously DON’T sue me)

Jonathan Strange will be a seven part miniseries directed by Toby Haynes [Doctor Who episodes “The Pandorica Opens” / “The Big Bang” / “A Christmas Carol” / “The Impossible Astronaut” & “Day of the Moon” as well as the Sherlock episode “The Reichenbach Fall”]

Watch This (The story and the director are awesome so I’m pretty psyched)

And lastly…

The Knick (Cinemax, 2014)

The Knick

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Starring Clive Owen

The Knick Cinemax

“Do I still have to hold your purse?”
“Yes… and quit whining.”

The Knick is a medical drama series directed entirely by Steven Soderbergh (Out of Sight, Traffic). It’s the story of New York’s Knickerbocker Hospital in the early 20th century.

Steven-Soderbergh The-Knick Cinemax

“If you don’t stop pointing that camera at me, I will retire again… I swear to god.”

Watch This (I’m loving the way Soderbergh keeps reinventing himself. I can’t wait to see what he does with this Cinemax series)

So to recap…

I have no idea if any of these shows will actually be any good but they all look good to me. With great casts, great creators, great writers, great directors and great source material, these are just a few of the new things coming down the TV pipeline.

More to come…

– Mel

Jupiter Ascending (Trailer)

The Wachowskis are the masters of Sci Fi.

There I said it.

This looks interesting.

It will probably be overwrought with spirituality and complicated by duality (Mila Kunis plays two parts).

But the summer release is a good sign.

The cast is decent and attractive.

The effects look sensational.

I don’t know much about it but I trust The Wachowskis with my money… blindly.

Summer 2014

– Mel