Sunday, July 30, 2006


Michael Mann has returned with another gritty, urban tale about cops and crooks and the war they wage. This film fits right in with his previous films Collateral, Heat and Manhunter showing the really brutal side of undercover police work. It was magnificently photographed as the scenes switched back and forth from Miami, to Haiti, Cuba and parts of South America. I really enjoyed the film but I actually want to catch another screening because they were so technical with the dialogue that I had trouble keeping up with what they were talking about. I was never a real huge fan of the Miami Vice TV show but I gotta say if that show was anything like this, I would certainly be an avid watcher.

Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs (Jaime Foxx) are undercover vice cops who get dragged into a personal case concerning an old C.I. (Criminal Informant) of theirs who is exposed as a Federal stoolie by a very serious drug cartel. Crockett and Tubbs prove their loyalties to this drug kingpin, Montoya (Luis Tosar), by acting as drug runners for the cartel. They use supercharged boats called Go-Fast Boats. Crockett attempts to get cozy with Montoya's woman, Isabella (Li Gong), and things start to go downhill fast. Montoya's top Lt. Jose (John Ortiz) doesn't trust Crockett and Tubbs and he tries to find ways to undermine them.

As I said the film is dirty, dark and violent, no pastels in this movie I can tell you. Rather than a smart-alecky Don Johnson you have a reserved steely eyed Colin Farrell who seems very capable and dangerous. I don't honestly remember Rico from the original show but I will say the only negative to this film is that they don't allow Jaime Foxx to do a little more. His Tubbs is definitely more than just back up in fact he has one of the best bad ass moments in the film, I won't say which one but you will know when you see it. The other belongs to one of the Vice crew, Gina, when they have a standoff with a couple of Klansmen, let me just say that she had the most intense bad ass moment of the whole film. The entire theatre erupted at the same time with a ---Damn!--- The locales were gorgeous as well as disturbing and the action sequences were top notch, sometimes it felt as if I was watching the COPS reality show that used to play on FOX with very shaky camera movements and in your face intensity. There were also good performances from Cirian Hands as F.B.I. Agent Fujima and from Barry Shabaka Henley as the very straight forward and almost unemotional Lt. Castillo. No one does crime stories better than Michael Mann, he gets into the mind of both the predator and the prey, the cop and the robber and he makes you feel sympathy for both, but in the case of this film he shows the technological power of the modern criminal and what lengths Crockett and Tubbs must go to in order to bring them down.

Grade: 5 Buckets

Saturday, July 29, 2006

COMICS: San Diego Comic-Con 2006 Day 3 part 2 The Ghost Rider and Spider-Man 3 Panels

Saturday July 22

After I got out of the Lost panel on Saturday I milled about on the floor getting sketches here and there, I got one from Tim Sale (Spider-Man: Blue, The Long Halloween and Daredevil: Yellow), just a quick sketch but still very cool. My friend Dezi and I were not going to take any chances, even if we had to wait all day, we were going to get into the Spider-Man 3 Ghost Rider panel, oh yes, we would push and shove and claw, but we will get in. Luckily after a few hours waiting outside we didn't have to do any of those things, and of course thanks to our good friend, Ian, who spotted us as we completely miscalculated the line. Ian was about mid-way through; if we had to go to the back we definitely would have been screwed. By the way, while we were in line Dezi, who was wearing his Spidey shirt got asked to say a few words to the Spider-Man 3 Sony Blog so go and check it out. After a bit more waiting we get to go inside but it's already packed to the hilt so we had to split up. Dezi and I found two seats together a few rows from the back of the room. They had these giant monitors, because the room was at least a football field long, just in case you were in the very back, so really there wasn't a bad seat in the house.

When Dezi and I entered they were just wrapping up the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest special effects panel. I missed most of what they were showing but I did catch the Davy Jones squid beard tests. I couldn't believe that all of it was CGI--very impressive. Even when Orlando Bloom's Will, lifts the Davy Jones' tendrils to take the key--it's all CGI. When it was over everyone cheered some people start to fan out--honestly I don't know what's wrong with some of these people, the entire con I noticed that when I got to a panel early for something cool the convention center has a relaxed policy about coming into a panel while another one is in progress so you can basically reserve your seat in advance. So why would these people leave? Don't they know that Sam Raimi and Nicholas Cage are coming up next to promote the biggest films for next year; don't they know they will be allowed to see secrets the average Spider/Ghost nerd will not be able to see? -- All I know is that my mind became focused when Dezi dropped a hint to me that he had heard that Sam Raimi did not come alone--he brought the whole cast. This was getting better by the minute on top of that every time there was a cool revelation or a surprise guest--especially regarding Spidey, Dezi would get so damn excited he would jump up and down like a little kid and beat up on my shoulder, and I thought I was a Spider-Man fanatic. Nick Cage, Eva Mendes, Avi Arad and Director Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil) step up to the table. I enjoyed the trailer it was a little more in-depth than the teaser that was released a month ago. You actually get to see Nick Cage's face burn off, which looks terribly--awesome. Nick Cage is funny I think he's on crack or something, but he's definitely high. I think someone asked him how he prepared for the role and he said something like this, "Ghost Rider enjoys Jellybeans in a martini glass and the vocal stylings of Karen Carpenter, this is what he needs in order to relax while he's being chased by Satan." What the f#@* is he talking about? He did say that he listened to Trent Reznor's new album when he had to do the face ripping scene, makes sense, when I listen to Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor I want to rip my face off. Mark Steven Johnson seemed like a good guy he apologized for Daredevil again, which I appreciate, and he let us know what he thought about FOX after they gutted his film. I was in the naysayer’s camp when I found out a few months ago that Johnson was directing Ghost Rider, but after today I realized that he was a humble guy who was not given the opportunity to make the movie his way. When asked about sequels he referenced the X-Men films saying that, X-Men was good but X-Men 2 was better, he didn't mention X-Men 3, nor would I, cause as we all know it's a pile of monkey sh**--Maybe I should just let my Daredevil animosity go.

The panel ends and they don't waste any time as the emcee announces the guests from the film Spider-Man 3. Everyone is there except for James Franco who plays Harry Osborn. Toby McGuire (Spidey/Peter Parker), Sam Raimi, Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane), Bryce Dallas Howard (Gwen Stacy), Thomas Haden Church (Sandman) and Topher Grace (Eddie Brock/Venom). Sam Raimi starts out immediately saying that they didn't have any footage to bring to Comic-Con-- the room erupted. He had a half smile to his face and said he decided to bring some clips anyway. Dezi began punching me. The theater dims and they show an in-depth trailer of the perils Spidey will face in this new film. Harry Osborn (James Franco) continues his father's legacy but he doesn't appear to be in a goblin uniform, Sandman smashes through buildings trying to suffocate Spidey. We also see the black suit Spidey and the mental strain that comes with it, as well as a hint of the evil that lies beneath the symbiote suit, but the ending was the most phenomenal as we see Eddie Brock in the church asking God to kill Peter Parker as the black drops fall from the ceiling. The last scene is of Eddie being totally consumed and a giant maw and tongue lash out at the audience--Venom has made it to the big screen. Dezi does a wrestling move on my shoulder. It was a great trailer even if it was unfinished, I can't wait till next summer, and obviously neither can Dezi. We get to the Q&A portion of the panel and everyone has questions for Sam, Toby or Topher. No one at first wanted to ask Thomas Haden Church anything until he gets his first question about working with Sam Raimi. Church said that it was a good experience and that Sam was nurturing, so much so that he has offered him his breast, trust me it sounds a lot funnier when he says it. Church also got the stupid question, if you had super powers what would they be. He raised his arms in the air and shouted he would like to have the power of corn--"I would be the Corn Cobb Goblin!" Sam and Toby said that the third film will tie up some of the loose ends from the previous two and that there will be an open ending to this film. This means to me that the one and only villain in the fourth film has to be Venom!

So that was my busy Saturday, I know it was long but it certainly wasn't boring. For all of you fans out there who are looking forward to Ghost Rider, the film opens February '07. Spider-Man 3 will be released in May of '07.

Sunday July 23

Instead of having another article about my last day at Comic-Con I can sum it up for you here in just a few sentences. I didn't attend any panels I just relaxed met some great artists on the floor and got a few sketches and commissions from artists like Billy Tan, Greg Manchess, Ryan Benjamin and John Snyder III. I totally enjoyed my stay in San Diego and I can't wait to come back next year for Comi-Con 2007.

Friday, July 28, 2006

COMICS: San Diego Comic-Con 2006 Day 3 - The Lost Panel

Saturday July 22

I realized that yesterday turned out so terribly because I was not waiting in line for two hours for my panels. This was a bit of an annoyance because I also wanted to explore the main floor of the Comic Con. So I decided that an hour will have to do, if I don't get in oh well, I get crazy if I have to wait in line for more than an hour cause my legs start to atrophy and--well you have a big mess. So there were a couple of panels that intrigued me, most especially the Lost Season 3 panel. I rushed over early and was rewarded with a pretty good seat in the middle. As people were filing in there was some lady, I swear to god she was bored or something, she was a bit crabby telling people to settle down and repeating over and over again that if they left the room they may not be able to get back in. For at least a half hour this chick was saying the same thing over and over again, but she kept herself hidden well, I never physically saw her. Anyway--they play some ominous music and the special guests enter and the show begins---

Well sort of--before they could start off with a clip that crazy woman comes back on reminding people again and again that they can not record what they are about to see and they will be escorted out of the room blah, blah--all right already, play the damn clip. They started off with what the moderator called, "Video Biscuits," a quick little scene with Hurley (Jorge Garcia), Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and Kate (Evangeline Lilly) where Hurley finds a video camera in the jungle and is subsequently attacked by Sawyer. Very cute. Then they showed another clip that explained the conditioning experiment on the island through the Dharma initiative. If you are confused, check out the Lost website, if you do not watch Lost then you might want to skip this part of the article because you will be confused. The video was sketchy just like on the show and they explain the three steps of observation, conditioning and conclusion. They also showed a couple of behind the scenes clips of two episodes last season Dave and The Whole Truth. The best part of these scenes were the stunt shots of Hurley attacking Sawyer into a tent, some of the time it was Jorge sometimes it was his stunt double, but it was very amusing. They must have shot that scene about fifty times; poor Josh Holloway must have been all bruised up.

So we get to the panel which consists of Jorge Garcia, Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), producer/writers Damon Lindloff and Carlton Cuse as well as producer Bryan Burk. They open up the floor to questions. First off the producers assured us that there will be no more mini breaks between episodes. They will start in October for I believe it was eight or nine episodes and then have a break around Christmas/January and then come back for the final episodes of the season. I wish there were no breaks at all, but I can live with this schedule. So a couple of things that head writer Damon Lindloff said in response to some of the questions. Someone asked him how long the survivors are going to be on the island. He stayed mysterious by saying they might have been there longer than they or we have originally thought, curious. He said there will be more romance in Season 3, especially Kate who will apparently hook up with someone in the first six episodes. Just in case you were wondering, Rose (L. Scott Caldwell) and Bernard (Sam Anderson) do not work for Dharma, just in case you were wondering.

So we are chugging along, people are asking questions, nothing too out of the ordinary, until some crazy woman named Rachel Blake stepped up to the mike. Now I say crazy, cause she started off ranting to the producers about the Hanso Foundation, and that they know it exists and that all of these things that are happening on the island are real--bizarre stuff. Anyway click on her name and you can watch the thing yourself, security had to escort her from the room. I have to admit if this was a stunt it was a pretty good one cause the panel looked pretty shocked by what she was saying, so I don't know. Honestly I believe it was a stunt but I gotta say that panel was doing a helluva an acting job, I don't know you decide.

A couple more tidbits regarding the show, Lindloff loves The Wizard of Oz and he references it many times like the Henry Gale character who shares the same name as Dorothy's uncle. Of course there is the balloon reference, but he did not confirm or deny that Lost could be an underplayed land of Oz, curiouser. He did deny vehemently that there have not been nor ever will be CLONES on the island! Lindloff said that there will be more spinal surgery with Jack (Matthew Fox) at the helm. We will also have a conclusion to Hurley and Libby's (Cynthia Watros) stint in the nut house in Season 3. The producers assured us that after the 5th season they will not be apart of keeping the show on life support. Damon Lindloff said that if there are no new stories to tell he will walk, he is not interested in keeping up the show for financial concerns, he said it is for the fans only. If you want daily updates for the show during the season you should go to the Lost website and check out the pod casts, they give you insight and information on the show in case you get a little confused, plus they're kind of fun. Lindloff assured the fans that you will see more of Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) and you might even see Anna Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez) in somebody's flashback. And just in case you were wondering: The cloud monster on the island is not--repeat--not a cloud of nanobots--whatever that means. There will also be some new regulars on the show and the focus of this season is to explore and understand The Others, why they are there, how they got there and what they want. Producer/Writer/Director J.J. Abrams will return to write the premiere and the seventh episode of the season. Damon Lindloff assured the loyal viewers that if and when they run out of material the next logical course--Zombies! You heard it here first folks. The first episode of Lost, A Tale of Two Cities aires on ABC Wednesday October 4, so check it out.

I enjoyed the panel and because this one was so long I will continue Day 3 on my next entry, you are going to want to read this, especially if you are a big Nick Cage/Ghost Rider fan or Toby McGuire/Spider Man fan, I got the scoop on both upcoming films.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

COMICS: San Diego Comic-Con 2006 Day 2 - Webcomics and Dark Crystal 2

Friday July 21

Day 2 in my mind was the most important day of the entire Comic-Con. As I was eating my almost stale doughnut in my room Friday morning I was perusing the Friday programs in my Comic-Con events guide and I noticed two things that made me very excited. One was a panel called Spider-Man: Then and Now with panelists Stan Lee, Joe Quesada and my favorite writer of them all J. Michael Straczynski. The second panel was also with Straczynski solely about writing. This was the panel I was most excited for, I was determined to sit in that damn line all day if I had to I was not going to miss this.

I got to the panel for Spider-Man early and was rewarded with a pretty good seat, everyone was just filing in but I noticed a few extra people on the panel that were not mentioned in the book. John Romita and John Romita, Jr. Oh, this makes this panel complete; John Romita took over the artistic reigns of Spidey in the late 60's early 70's right after Steve Ditko left the book. His son John Romita, Jr. penciled Amazing Spider-Man during Straczynski's run in early 2000. This was a nice bonus and I was looking forward to what they were going to say. Apparently we learned that John Romita and Marvel came up with the death of Gwen Stacy while Stan Lee was away in Europe, they wanted the story to show the readers that no one was safe even Spider-Man's girlfriend. Apparently they had taken Gwen as far as they could take her. Stan Lee said that Mary Jane was fun, a bit of a ditz but she was wild and unpredictable which made her more attractive than Gwen, he also said that's when he knew that Peter would marry Mary Jane instead of Gwen. When they mentioned the current run of Spidey they kept saying before they moved on with the character they would ask themselves what Stan would do. Stan praised Straczynski for his work on Amazing Spidey, which of course made me very happy. Although, maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think Stan would have liked the big reveal of Spidey's identity to the world. It was a pivotal part of the story telling back when he was writing the book. But he did say that change is good and that he was generally pleased by Spidey's course in the past 20 or so years. -- I had a good experience in this panel but I was really looking forward to my next panel after lunch where Straczynski would lay all of his secrets out on the table to give me the inspiration to write something absolutely fantastically brilliant.

This of course was not to be, after I foolishly decided to get some lunch before the panel I found myself waiting in line at the Quiznos for what had to be an eternity. By the time I got out of there I raced back to the convention and found myself in line with twenty minutes left to go before the panel started. The problem was I had no idea where the friggin line ended. It must have wrapped around into three different corridors before I found the end. At first I was worried that the room may fill up and I would be left outside, but the line began to move and I thought maybe it's a big room? It was not to be I almost got up to the door when some pecker head from the security team told us that the room was full. URGH!! My trip was ruined this was why I came out here in the first damn place!! No Straczynski? Are you kidding me!!? Well that sucked so to console myself I went down to the floor to get a few sketches. The only one I got today was a cool Green Lantern from artist Mark Buckingham (Fables). What a nice guy too, I mean he had a line all the way to kingdom come and they all wanted a sketch from him, and he obliged us all.

I ended up in two more panels--The Webcomics panel on finding your audience which, before I even walked into the room, taught me something very important. The audience is out there for Webcomics, half the damn room was there for one comic in particular, Penny Arcade by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. I mean if I hadn't gotten there early I wouldn't have gotten in the room. They also had Bill Barnes from Thursday's panel and a few new ones; Scott Kurtz from PvP, R. Stevens (Diesel Sweeties) and Kristofer Straub (Starslip Crisis). The panel was snarky especially Scott Kurtz who reminded me of Matt Stone and Trey Parker, this guy just spoke his mind. It was an interesting panel, but I was getting tired, so I met up with the fellas as we walked the Con floor one more time before closing.
The last panel of the day was the Jim Henson Company: Power of the Dark Crystal and sneak peek. This was very cool as they showed clips from the original Dark Crystal film directed by Jim Henson himself and a few clips from the upcoming movie directed by Genndy Tartakofsky (Star Wars: Clone Wars). Tartakofsky and Jim Henson's daughter, Lisa, assured us that the new movie would have puppets and they will be adding CGI into the mix to make it even more exciting. Very cool, but the thing I think I enjoyed the most from this panel was the clip from a proposed new show. It's kind of like Whose Line Is It Anyway except with puppets. It was hil-frigin-larious. It was aimed at older audiences as the moderator asks the crowd for input. The scene is two criminals who have robbed something and they have to get by a police man, Colombo style. Someone in the crowd yells out--A Sperm Bank--now the criminal in this scenario is a cute Koala who speaks only Angolese which is apparently an offshoot of French. So you have the cop who is trying to speak to the Koala crook through the other one who looked like a Ferret or something, anyway it was funny as shit. So look for it this fall--Jim Henson's Puppet Improv. So it's time to look forward to another day, today was disappointing but we'll see what Day 3 holds.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

COMICS: San Diego Comic-Con 2006 Day 1

I just got back this morning from a very fun trip to San Diego for their annual Comic-Con. This was my first time to the San Diego Con and I have to say it was quite the experience drooling over all the beautiful and cool celebrities that were there, as well as the little toys and grab bags handed to me throughout the weekend.
I arrived in San Diego on Wednesday night late; I was tired and hungry so I decided to join a few friends in the Gas Lamp district to scavenge for food. I had to settle for a slice of bread and some ham from Ralph's grocery. At that point I didn't really care what I was eating cause they didn't feed me on the plane, which was a first for a five hour trip--You would think they would feed you more than some crackers, a cheese spread and a box of raisins. -- But I digress--back to the really important stuff--COMIC-CON 2006!

Thursday July 20

So we arrived early, about 9:00 AM or so to pick up our badges and wait to get onto the main floor of the Comic-Con. Once we made it inside I was bombarded instantly with a hoary host of imagery. Signs, posters, flashing lights, the flickering of monitors--it was intense. I didn't know where to start, luckily the night before I had planned out my day with the various panels scheduled, so I revolved my time on the floor around that. I followed my friends Ori and Dezi as they worked the room talking to various artists from different books and getting a few original sketches to boot. I was looking forward to my first panel it was a Comic Art Conference Session called the Great Leap: Adapting Comics into Film with Kate McClancy from Duke University. Honestly I did not read the description below describing what this panel was really about, I thought they would be discussing the details of how to take a comic book and make it into a film. It turned out to be a group of speeches or lectures about how certain comic book films do not depict the themes of the books very well. Of course these --very educated people-- decided to tell us why. There was a panel of about four of them and after the second one, I could take no more. It reminded me of an essay class in my freshman year of College, no real information just a lot of over analysis. The first lady, Kate McClancy, took her shots at the V for Vendetta film and how it was different from the comic, she was trite and she blah, blah blahed about the anarchy of V in the book and the, as she put it, fascist nature of the hero in the film (She was stretching a bit when she got to this part). To put it mildly I was bored, plus I personally liked the comic and the film so she wasn't winning any points with me. So to put it simply I left, and it's a good thing too, it gave me more time to explore the great hall and try to slow my brain down long enough to figure out where the hell I wanted to go and what the hell I wanted to see.

At three I decided to go and check out the Grant Morrison (All Star Superman, Batman, X-Men) and Deepak Chopra (How to Know God) panel about the Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes. Personally I was intrigued as to why a spiritual novelist would be at a Comic-Con. Apparently Grant Morrison is a deeply spiritual person and was inspired by Chopra, not a real shock if you've read any of Morrison's work. Actually the real reason I believe he was there to support his son Gotham (I'm not kidding) Chopra, who is a comic book writer for the newly founded Virgin Comics. It was an interesting panel; the two men discussed their lives and what they believe. Chopra seemed very interested in working with Morrison at some future date as they discussed the new evolution of the superhero and how they create a new idea of being. Chopra suggested that the seven spiritual laws were very similar to the seven chakras, which is a conduit between consciousness and reality. I don't know if it was enlightening per-say but it was very interesting. I do believe in the continuing evolution of super heroes, it's how they stay fresh and inventive. Otherwise you have golden age Superman, which in this day and age would just put the reader to sleep. Speaking of sleep, I was a bit tired cause I didn't get much sleep the night before so I kind of dozed here and there, it must have been the calm and soothing voice of Deepak Chopra I felt at peace and since I was tired I slept, price of being a spiritual guru I guess.

So my last panel of the afternoon was about Webcomics and how to get started. It was an interesting panel chaired by Bill Barnes (Unshelved) with panelists Dave Kellett (Sheldon),
Jon Rosenberg (Goats), Brian Fies (Mom's Cancer) and Phil Foglio (Girl Genius). I didn't get a lot of concrete info from this panel but I did feel that this panel did give hope to my fellow colleagues and I in our uphill battle to self publish and build an audience. They talked about merchandising and about just getting out there and creating buzz for your comic. Hopefully this weekend our little company, Cave Drawing Inc., will also have its own site where readers can come and enjoy free comics. Also click on the blue highlights in this article if you are interested in seeing some of these webcomics.

Overall I had a good first day of Comic-Con; I got a dose of comic elitism, some spiritual healing from the guy who writes All Star Superman and some good old fashioned inspiration. I can't wait for tomorrow. It's Stan Lee, J. Michael Straczynski, Joe Quesada and the Romitas, kick ass!

MOVIE REVIEW: My Super Ex-Girlfriend

So before I get into the events of Comic-Con I ended up with a free day on Monday because I had a late flight home from San Diego. I had a couple passes given to me by a friend and I decided what the hell it's free I'll go check out the latest comedy by the genius behind Ghostbusters, Mr. Ivan Reitman. Before I go much further let me just say that I'm glad I didn't have to pay for a ticket.

Matt Saunders (Luke Wilson) meets a shy art dealer, Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman) on the subway and decides to ask her out. When he finds out that Jenny is extremely needy and a psycho to boot he gets a little nervous. It doesn't help when he finds out she has a side job as a superhero named G-Girl. When they came up with this movie they must have sat around a table and thought of every way they could satire the Super Hero genre, the only problem was the jokes were not funny, they were stupid, insipid and honestly I can't believe that Ivan Reitman directed this movie. I guess the Hollywood story is true, once you've reached a certain old-age in Tinsel town you lose the pulse of the average movie goer. At least it's true with this film, plus it's another strike against Reitman because of that terrible comedy Evoulution. So back to the trainwreck--Matt ends up having sex in mid-air with his G-Girl friend, she breaks his bed and then she clings to him so badly that he decides to break it off. This is the part we have been waiting thirty to forty minutes ---For the shit to go down like the title promised. So G-Girl screws with him a bit writes DICK on his forehead with her heat vision, snatches his clothes in front of his clients and gets him fired. Maybe it sounded funny on paper--I don't know, all I know is that if this movie was rated R it might have been funny, but they decided on cute. G-Girl tosses a great white shark into Matt's bed, um okay. Maybe it's Luke Wilson; he's not as funny as his brother Owen and the hang dog look of his gets annoying as the movie barrels on. I mean what's the deal here you have Anna Faris from Scary Movie as the other female in the story-- not funny. You have Rainn Wilson as Matt's buddy Vaughn, and this guy normally is hilarious on Office Space. I got a chuckle from his antics, not a guffaw or a really good blubbery laugh. It's pathetic; WANDA SYKES was in this movie for Christ Sake! Why was she in this movie? Her scenes were paltry and the most important reason to have Wanda Sykes in any movie is--Cause she's F***in Funny! Did I also mention that Eddie Izzard is in this movie as the supposed Heavy, yeah you know what's coming next--not funny.

So unless you get free passes to this movie or you're bored out of your mind and need to see something --anything, on the big screen. Then see this movie but don't say I didn't warn you there are other far better films out there for you to see, like Pirates of the Caribbean, Lady in the Water and of course Superman Returns. I'm betting Monster House is funnier than this piece of garbage. I think it's time for Ivan to retire before he does anymore damage to his almost sterling career.

Grade: 1 Bucket

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Yesterday I saw a film from the makers of I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and Scary Movie, The Wayans Brother's, Little Man. These are also the same guys who did that incredibly bad movie a year ago called White Chicks (albeit the film did fairly well). So I went into Little Man with much skepticism and discovered that my intuition was right on almost all levels-- to put it plainly this film sucked.

The film follows, of course, Little Man Calvin with Marlon Wayan's face plastered on a little person's body, which raises the question why not actually get a little person to play this role, why waste all the money on CGI? Anyway they play up the fact that Calvin is a tiny person and that he is also a fierce criminal who works out, he has serious daddy issues and he has a bit of a Napoleon complex. So he gets out of jail accompanied by his idiot partner Percy, (Tracy Morgan) who should be a lot funnier because of his former SNLer status, but unfortunately he falls prey to the stupid sidekick shenanigans. So these two knuckleheads steal a diamond and allow a young married couple, Darryl and Vanessa(Shawn Wayans and Kerry Washington) to take the diamond home unknowingly. So as Calvin is plotting his scheme on how to get the diamond back he overhears Darryl's over the top almost psychotic rant about how much he wants children, and decides to dress himself as a baby at their front doorstep. There are a few funny moments as Calvin impersonates an infant with the mind and body of a thirty year old, but the jokes get old and the fact that it takes the whole movie for anyone to realize he's not a baby makes them seem even more idiotic than ever. The CGI was impressive though, I only hope they didn't spend too much money on it since I can't imagine the box office numbers for this movie to be very big. I was also disappointed with the supporting cast; they had the very funny John Witherspoon as Pops from the movie Friday and I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, and did not allow him enough screen time to really get going. Also there was a really great moment at the beginning with David Allen Grier, who unfortunately is not in the rest of the movie. Why the hell was Chazz Palminteri in this movie, he's so much better than this. He plays another Italian esque Mafioso, who really isn't very funny. So I ask the question again, why was he in this movie? Who knows? Anyway, if you like overused jokes, abused in a not-so clever way, then you will love this movie, if not then I suggest everyone let the Wayans brothers know that they need to go back to the drawing board and start making good comedies again, cause I know and you know --they can do better.

Grade: 2 Buckets

Thursday, July 13, 2006

COMICS: What You Should Be Reading This Summer!

Hello all, I'm just giving you the skinny on what main stream titles you should be reading. Now I'm not alienating the Indies, they are going to have a special article on their own very soon after I return from the San Diego Comic Con next week. In this week's comics review we'll look at the best titles from the House of Ideas, Marvel comics and their cross town rival DC.


Civil War: Frontline issue #3 written by Paul Jenkins and illustrated by Ramon Bachs, Steve Lieber and Lee Weeks. The deadline for the Hero Registration Act has passed and the line has been drawn. Captain America and Falcon have started their resistance against the government and we get our first hero against hero tragedy. The Front Line focuses mainly from the press point of view caught in the middle of this war. There are three mini-stories within this issue; the first delves into the two sides of the conflict. Reporter Sally Floyd gets the scoop on Cap and the rebels while Ben Urich of the Daily Bugle gets a story from Fantastic Four leader Reed Richards. There are many questions posed about the righteousness of democracy as well as the foolishness of tyranny and how both are being manipulated by the Rebels and the registered heroes. I personally enjoyed the second story dealing with the remaining hero from the group New Warriors, Speedball. He's stuck in prison, charged with the murder of innocents and the worst part for him he's lost his powers. You really feel bad for the guy. The third story is a little more confusing but it gauges the reaction of a terrorist bombing in a residential area, but the title is Sleeper Cell and it is the first ish so we'll have to see. Frontline is worth a read especially if you're up to par on your current events, it pushes the character's story's along well and we get to focus on smaller tier heroes and ordinary folk.

Squadron Supreme issue #5 written by J. Michael Straczynski and penciled by Gary Frank. Personally I liked this whole series when it was R rated, it was visceral and real and most importantly Gary Frank draws the female form real well. In this issue the Squad led by Hyperion takes on an army in the desert of the Middle East somewhere, most likely of Arabic descent. The story focuses mainly on team member named Inertia, who has invulnerable skin and super strength, mostly about her abusive childhood and how this very different country brings her old feelings back to the surface. This country they are attacking is supposed to be I assume a mini Iraq led by a Saddam like person who commits a form of genocide on his own people. You get to see a lot of action in this as well as develop a sense of this group's dynamic and how they probably will be sparring with each other very soon. It's not bad, but it took a long time to get to this action. Hopefully we'll be seeing some more ass whuping as we continue to issue #6.

Sensational Spider-Man issue #28 written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and penciled by Clayton Crain. Spider-Man has been unmasked and we've seen some of the reactions from various people from Jonah Jameson to Norman Osborn. Now we get to see what Peter Parker's pupils think of their unmasked Science teacher. We follow a young student of Peter's who is a bit of a nerd just like his teacher and he loves science. It's an interesting set up which mirrors Peter's own upbringing--nerdy guy gets teased at school for having a big brain. It's a nice issue with Doc Ock flipping out about the revelation and how he should have known all of these years. He now has mental scarring because he realizes now that he had his ass handed to him by a fifteen year old.


The Green Lantern issue #12 written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ivan Reis. Hal Jordan's past has come back to haunt him in this episode, Geoff Johns weaves a great tapestry as GL has trouble with a group of Manhunters controlled by the psycho Cyborg-Superman and he has about a dozen Green Lantern rings to F*** up Hal's lunch box. Luckily Hal's got Guy Gardner watching his ass. Personally I never knew you could get Superman to look so damn creepy, I mean I know he's a cyborg Superman but--damn!

Superman issue #654 written by Kurt Busiek and penciled by Carlos Pachecho. I thought this issue was a little standard. Basically Supes has been recovering for the past year as he had previously retired the tights, he's back now and he's trying to get his balance back. His old rival Intergang is back in town led by a slightly larger Manheim. Something is brewing with Manheim and this story is obviously just the beginning, but we get a glimpse of Supes trying to tackle his reporting duties while remaining the boy in blue, nuthin' fancy. Nuff said.

Green Arrow issue #64 written by Judd Winick and penciled by Scott McDaniel. I love Green Arrow he's fun, he's a smart ass and he's bringing new game. After being out of action for the past year he's been in training as well as running the city as its new Mayor. Mayor Ollie Queen just put Slade in the big house using a little muscle, mostly the one upstairs and is now showing off his new skills downtown against a bunch of hopped up zombies who have taken over the slums. Green Arrow gets a little help from a local villain, Brick, who has turned over a new leaf, at least temporarily. The issue is fast and cool and Slade kills a guy with a wooden table. Nuff said.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Jack Sparrow is back and I am a sucker for swashbuckler films. Films like Mutiny on the Bounty, Treasure Island, Master and Commander and even though it wasn't filmed on the open sea, The Goonies--come on it's about Pirates--And of course I loved the original Pirates film. I read a few early reviews on this one and it wasn't sounding very good. Entertainment Weekly, Variety and seemed to be bored by the film, personally I thought it was everything a summer popcorn movie should be.

It starts off dark enough with poor Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) and her betrothed Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) being arrested for aiding the wobbly footed pirate we all love, on the eve of their wedding, by a very sinister Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) of the East India Trading Company. Beckett releases Will on the condition that he brings back Captain Jack Sparrow's (Johnny Depp) north challenged compass for the pardon of Elizabeth. This movie is chock full of plot, between cannibal natives, voodoo witchdoctors, a father/son reunion, and a soul taking squid man. The infamous Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) wants Jack Sparrow's soul and he uses all manner of creature above and below the sea to do just that. I loved all the various crustaceous creatures that Davy Jones has aboard his ship the Flying Dutchman. They all seem to have pieces of corral reef, conch shells, crabs, and shrimp falling off or attaching on to each and every crewmember of the Dutchman, but my favorite was the first mate who has the head of a hammerhead shark, very cool. It was great to see pretty much all of the supporting cast from the previous film all ready to hoist the main sail on the Black Pearl once more. Like the surly crewmate Gibbs (Kevin McNally), who does more than enough arghhs to prove this is an official pirate film. You also see the return of the comic relief pirates Pintel (Lee Arenberg) and Ragetti (Mackenzie Crook) as well as Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport) who makes an almost unrecognizable return. Of course what trilogy would be complete without the Father Son dynamic and a little bit of Star Wars referencing, if you didn't see the film I would suggest you not read any further.***SPOILER**** Bootstrap Bill Turner (Stellan Skarsgard) gets his chance to play a variation of Darth Vader to Will's Luke Skywalker. His face looks about as pretty as Darth's.

Overall the film was a little long and the sword fight sequence with the water wheel went on a bit longer than it should have but other than that I enjoyed this film greatly. Gore Verbinski has outdone himself visually from the first film; the effects were spectacular as well as the cinematography. This film continued the legacy of the first film adding a wider more worldly expansion to the story and to the characters themselves. I won't give it away but you will get a nice surprise at the end of the film, and of course do not expect a complete ending this is after all The Empire Strikes Back of this trilogy, so it will end with a pretty big cliffhanger. It was so fun it made me want to go rent a boat on the Hudson and hit the High seas--I can't wait for Pirates of the Caribbean: At the World's End.

Grade: 4 Buckets

Monday, July 10, 2006

TV: Cable Rules the Summer and HBO is the King

This summer has turned into a blockbuster summer for movies at the Cineplex, with solid opening numbers from X-Men 3 (102.8 million), The Da Vinci Code (77.1 million), Ice Age: The Meltdown (68 million), Cars (60.1 million) Superman Returns (52.6 million) and of course Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which made a whopping 132 million this past weekend beating out Spider-Man from 2002. What that means is that people, hopefully, are going back to the theatre and not sitting on their lazy asses drinking the Kool-Aid. This is the summer of the Giant Blockbusters TV people, so WATCH OUT!! -- But on the other hand if you do find yourself lazying around the house on a Sunday evening I suggest you watch the best lineup Cable TV has to offer. Now I know my last post was about Blade: The Series and I still recommend you watch it on Wednesday nights at 10 pm on Spike TV, but I have a few other shows that I think everyone over the age of fifteen should be watching regularly this summer.

The first is Deadwood which aires on HBO at 9pm on Sunday night. If you muddled your way through it last season then I commend you for sticking around cause season 3 has been fun. Last year I was constantly confused by Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) and his strange relationship with that other town of Yankton, and the politics therein, of course Al's volatile relationship with town sheriff Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) made things entertaining. I think the worst part about the show last season other than the Shakespearean speak that caused me to rewind my DVR, was friggin E.B. Farnum (William Sanderson). He was very funny the first season but he kind of went nutty in the second season and talked to himself and his strange servant Richardson (Ralph Richeson), a bit too much. This year has been much better with the arrival of the flamboyant theatre group led by John Langrish (Brian Cox). Also I have enjoyed the bulldog businessman George Hearst (Gerald McRaney); obviously he must be a direct descendant of William Randolph. Which would explain the hardball tactics and dirty pool the man keeps trying to play with Bullock and Swearengen. Personally I'm just happy to see Major Dad is still working. Deadwood is growing and the political maneuvering gets tougher and tougher and after seeing just three episodes this season I have to say, I enjoyed every foul mouthed, backstabbing, soap challenged lot of them.

The absolute best show on HBO has to be Entourage, which aires Sunday nights at 10pm. This is the third season of the Hollywood based show and it just keeps getting better and better. Now maybe you have to have an understanding of the film and celebrity world to fully understand the Hollywood in-jokes, but honestly unless you are totally clueless like my wife is about movies and super stardom than you should be able to turn your brain off and follow this show with ease. Between the break out star Vinnie Chase, Aquaman, (Adrien Greenier) and his best friends from childhood Eric (Kevin Connolly), Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) and Turtle (Jerry Ferrrara) you end up with a great comedy about the difficulties of keeping your friendships without letting it get in the way with your career and of course you see the lifestyle that these guys are living in. I know I'm married and everything, but the women on this show--Damn!--Sorry baby, but I have to say it again --Damn! It's a smart and funny show that doesn't take itself too seriously but also shows some of the petty crap that goes into making movies. Of course this show couldn't be complete without the funniest mo'fo on this show Mr. Ari Gold (Jeremy "Let's Hug it Out, Bitch" Piven), the agent to the stars. Ari brings the Hollywood superficiality to a new level, he's shameless at all times, he's crass and he never stops kissing ass and we wouldn't have him any other way.

The third show and I think it needs some time to ferment before it can be considered a bona-fide hit is Lucky Louie which aires at 10:30 pm on Sunday. This is the first sitcom with a live studio audience that has nudity, cursing and any other raunchy thing you can't normally do on a live sitcom. Louie, (Louis C.K.) works at a muffler shop and lives in a crappy tenement building. The formula is kind of like Men Behaving Badly with a dose of the Flintstones and the Honeymooners. Louie's crabby wife Kim, (Pamela Adlon) works as a nurse and constantly tries to straighten out her jackass husband. So far there have been a few chuckles, but other than the shocking lude content it hasn't really caught on with me. I'll give it some time, the cast is pretty good and I think it has potential, so we'll see where this one goes.

So check out these shows and if for some reason you don't have HBO--There is always ON- DEMAND.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

TV: Blade: The Series - Some Bite, Lots of Skin

If you are like Cody and enjoy reality shows then you have Treasure Hunters, The Real World vs. Road Rules and yet another stupid challenge, there is My Fair Brady and now My Fair Brady: We're Getting Married, about the has been middle child of that annoying show we all know and love, the Brady Bunch. Why anyone would care about this middle-aged guy and the stupid hot model he is about to marry is anyone's guess but if I had a choice between that crap and Blade? -- I'm sticking with Mr. Sticky Fingaz.

Blade: The Series is in the similar vein as the three Blade films except that Blade is now played by Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones. You might remember him as one of the lead rappers from the group Onyx, from the early 90's. This series started out with all the normal clichés regarding vampires, Blade hunts them down with Spock like efficiency. The Vamps have their different houses just like in the films. I'm not that impressed with the basic plot about Vampires trying to find cures for their aversion to garlic, sunlight and stakes, nor in the humorless, emotionless almost boring Blade. But after watching the second episode yesterday I find myself more intrigued with the main villain of the story Marcus Van Sciver (Neil Jackson) and the beautiful Krista (Jill Wagner) who has infiltrated the Vampire house of Cthon at Blade’s request. This angle is a little different from most vampire driven stories; it actually could be similar to the film Interview With a Vampire. It explores the vampire lifestyle beyond the monster status. The angle here which is also interesting is that Van Sciver, in his public life, is a humanitarian and is attempting to save the city of Detroit. They kind of push the Vampires as mafia a little bit more, this guy is like a British Tony Soprano. The series was written by Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, Infinite Crisis) and David Goyer who wrote all of the Blade films and directed the last one. He also wrote Batman Begins. Geoff Johns, by trade, is a comics writer getting a chance to write for TV, and for all of you comic geeks out there I'm gonna drop a little knowledge on you. Johns borrowed the name Van Sciver from a close friend and one of the more popular artists at DC comics, Ethan Van Sciver. Take a look at the reviews, most are unkind, but I believe there is a nugget or two of value in this new series. Its fun, the women are hot and you get to see a new kind of illegal street drug called ash, which if you hadn't already guessed, is the remains of fallen vampires that humans snort to have temporary vampire like powers.

So if you are like me and don't think much of Reality shows then check out Blade: the Series on Spike TV at 10pm on Wednesday night. If you can't catch it on Wednesday they replay the last episode on Friday night at 11:00pm.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

COMICS: The Identity Crisis for the Webslinger is Over...

...Or is it just beginning? For the past forty plus years Ole Peter Parker has enjoyed the freedom of his secret identity. If things got too hot for Spidey, then Peter would just put him away in his sock drawer, unfortunately he doesn't have that luxury anymore. The second issue of Civil War ends with Spidey unmasking revealing to the world that he is Peter Parker. The after effects of this event can be read on the pages of Amazing Spider-Man, issue 533. I read the Civil War issue as well as ASM 533 and I'm pretty undecided on whether this unmasking is such a good idea.

The stakes have been raised; Spidey/Peter is now more vulnerable than ever. His wife, his aunt and his friends (that aren't supers) are all at risk. This is how Spidey's life is anyway, so I think it's great that they are giving him real issues to deal with; and as everyone knows the best stories about Spidey are when he is in considerable danger. Ironically this will mirror his counterpart from the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man; every villain in that book seems to know who Spidey is anyway. I think you'll be able to complicate the swimming pool better now that villains like Doc Ock, Electro, Vulture, Scorpion, Chameleon, Hydro Man and not to mention his greatest rival J. Jonah Jameson who practically had an aneurism as he was watching the unmasking unfold on television. The part I think I am enjoying the most is the reaction from Norman Osborn the original Green Goblin; he was pissed when he found out saying that Peter was breaking the rules, interesting. Norman of course has known for years that Peter is Spider-Man and he has held Peter's head to the fire by threatening to expose his secret. I can't wait for this battle royal between Gobby and Spidey. I can already see that they are going to be putting the screws to Spidey very soon, especially if you've seen that cover of Spidey getting thrashed by all of his worst villains. I say bring on the blood.

On the other hand this revelation could also be the beginning of the end for this most beloved Marvel superhero. Spider-Man, Peter Parker's ability to be a phenomenon in public as a masked superhero at the same time, when the mask comes off, a mild mannered, broke photographer who could hardly be noticed by anyone. This everyman quality is what makes Spider-Man so endearing, this is how he is relatable to you and me. He does his own laundry, he sometimes cannot pay his rent, and he struggles like many of us just to get by in New York besides fighting super villains that want to kill him. Look at him now, he's an Avenger and he gets free room and board at the luxurious Avengers Tower. Now that he has revealed who he is, his life may be more at risk, but that means he is now an official celebrity with and without the mask. So his everyman status has now been revoked. Sure he may have newer more complex problems with his assorted villains, but there is another thing that was so great about Spidey that has been totally forgotten. His Loner Status. This guy has never had a stupid kid sidekick, he may have been the kid his entire career but he never played second fiddle to any hero I've ever seen, until now. Spidey has been adopted by Tony Stark (Iron Man) and he tends to call him boss, this is not a good sign. Spidey has teamed up with many heroes over the years but until recently he has never officially been on a team. That's what gives him that charm of one man with his back against the wall, who has to fight everyone by himself. This is Spider-Man at his finest and it doesn't look like we will be seeing that Spidey anytime soon, or maybe ever again.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

TV: Cruel Summer

Ah yes! It's that time of year again... the daisies are in bloom, the swallows are returning to Capostrano, and the caked fecal matter on subway bums' loins smells extra shitty! Yes, friends, it's summer time. And with all that aforementioned good stuff comes the most fantasmagoriffic thing of all.... IT'S SUMMER REALITY TV SEASON!!!!!!!

And this summer, we have so much to be thankful for. The return of Big Brother... SEVEN, by the way. Which bestows the honor upon us of being the first All Star edition of Big Brother. Inevitably, making itself the most KICK ASS edition of Big Brother EVER!!!! But, alas, we all must wait until 7/6/06 to experience the ever lovin’, all star splendor of it all.

And then there is the return of the The Contender. The Sly Stallone, Suga’ Ray, Mark Burnett reality boxing masterpiece that never quite found an audience last season on NBC. But, for my money, was, bar-none, the best reality TV series of last fall. Thank heavens the ESPN gods sought fit to give the show another shot. Just goes to show you that every time you get knocked down, you gotsta get back up! Get it (insert cheeky wink)?

But the first, and quite possibly the best on my list of summer reality hits (sorry So You Think You Can Dance) is TREASURE HUNTERS! Yes, Treasure Hunters. With it's completely wooden toolbox of a host. What the f*** is his name anyway? And it's completely unoriginal premise. If you haven’t seen it, the show is basically a total bite off of Amazing Race, The Da Vinci Code, and National Treasure. In the first episode, 2 groups of 5 teams of 3 start off from different ends of the world, only to meet up in... VIRGINIA(?). Already confused? So am I. Anyway, after the two groups of teams meet up, they begin competing against each other to solve clues that ultimately lead to the discovery of an “artifact”. The “artifacts” the teams find will ultimately lead to a treasure. The treasure is... something that us, the audience, and, it seems, the producers of the show have absolutely no idea what it is. But... IT'S A TREASURE... that's for sure!

Anyway, so far, the stand-outs of show have got to be The Wild Hanlons, The Fogels, and the The Brown Family. The Wild Hanlons are basically the two mountain dudes from Deliverance along with their much more intelligent, much younger and keener protégé. The Fogels are a family trio of bible thumping morons from Orange County (yes, The OC) who have positioned themselves to appear as the biggest religious hypocrites to have ever appeared on TV since Jim and Tammy Faye Baker. And the Browns (God bless ‘em) are three fat, black brothers who have a no quit attitude and hearts the size to match their guts. Kudos to you, Brown Family, for keeping it real and I wish you all the best! God knows I will be watching, as should all of you. Treasure Hunters is my pick for the reality TV show of Summer ‘06.

Monday, July 03, 2006

SPORTS: Yankee Superman Returns

Last nights game at Yankee Stadium against the Mets was almost like a comic book adventure; of course this depends on your point of view, if you are a Mets fan it is something else entirely. The Yankees started late last night due to rain. Jaret Wright, who has pitched pretty well in his last two starts, took the mound. In the second inning the guy imploded allowing four runs and just four outs before Joe Torre yanked him from the game. Ron Villone filled in and got the Yanks out of the inning without anymore damage. The Mets starter Alay Soler allowed a solo homerun at the bottom of the second from Jorge Posada. Jorge got the blood pumping back in the Yanks to set up for the bottom of the third when the Mets awoke a sleeping giant.

The bases were loaded Alex Rodriguez stepped up to the plate, he took a couple of pitches and then creamed a slider into the bleachers. Superman was so ecstatic that he admired it a little longer than usual, personally I don't think he was boasting or being an asshole, I think it was just such a good thing and he had such a terrible June that he had to enjoy it. Apparently Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca shared his resentment with A-Rod after he crossed home plate. Giambi looked as if he was going to start something but thankfully cooler heads prevailed. I do understand Lo Duca's frustration, I know I hate it when Manny Ramirez, from Boston, admires his home runs a bit too long, but I think this was just a misunderstanding. Rodriguez has been slumping for a while and he really needed this, the fans have been total jackasses to him, of course the irony is as soon as he jacked the grand slam everyone started chanting A-Rod again like he never slumped before. But A-Rod wasn't finished there he had a single and yet another homerun bringing in three more runs in the fifth inning. Its A-Rod unleashed.

Ron Villone put in great relief pitching three innings and only allowing one run. Villone gets the big W as the relief staff saves the game, with good stuff from T.J. Beam, Mike Myers and Scott Proctor. By the end of the third inning the Yankees had scored eight runs making the score Yankees 9, Mets 4. I can't forget the help from the Yankees replacement 2nd basement either, Nick Green. He belted a two run blast helping to extend the lead in the third. The hurt on the Mets continued as the Yanks rolled into the fourth inning scoring four more runs. The final score was 16-7, even though it was nice to win so decisively it would have been even better to have held the Mets a little more. As great as the Yankees played, the Mets still had seven runs, not to mention the four big ones that Jaret Wright gave up in the second. It's nice to have days where the hitting is so good that pitching takes a back seat, but those games are rare. The Yankees have got to start putting together a better pitching arsenal, otherwise they might consider changing their strategy, cause as much as I appreciate what Superman Rodriguez has done for this ball club last night, it might not be enough to get the Yanks to the post season. It's called the Boston Red Sox pitching and, forgive the pun, they might just bring the Kryptonite to squash any hope of a World Series. That my friends would make it a different kind of story, it’s called a tragedy.