Shut up and Listen…Bishop's Movie Article

Like a serial rapist, 2005 is upon us. And that’s a good thing, I think, especially movie wise. 2004 gave up some decent films, but for the most part, it was a series of good-but-not-great sequels like the Bourne Supremacy or Spiderman 2 (bite my piece off for that one if you have to), straight up awful sequels like Shrek 2 and Resident Evil: Apocalypse, and warmed-over movies that featured such familiar sights as Will Smith saying “Oh Hell No.” 2005 is overing us… well, it’s a mixed bag. I will not introduce to you my top five most anticipated movies… one’s I’ll probably be in there opening day for… as well as a few I think are going to hit the ground like a bag of war cow farts thrown from the Empire State Building.



What can I say? Everything I’ve seen regarding this movie so far has blown me away. They’ve assembled some great actors (as well as Jessica Alba in buttless chaps, which is something I thought I’d never see) in three tales straight out of the Frank Miller series of the same name… the original “Sin City”, as well as “That Yellow Bastard” and “The Big Fat Kill”. What gets me is the atmospherics of what I’ve seen… how every character lives in the person who plays them. Particularly from what I’ve seen, Mickey Rourke (as Marv) is supposed to take us in, but it’s the hard-jawed good-guy personality of Clive Owen (as Dwight) seems the most outstanding. Bruce Willis hasn’t stood out in anything I’ve seen in the previews (which I’ve watched a retarded number of times), but I’ve learned never to doubt him. Also, we’ve got Benicio Del Torro as Jackie Boy, Nick Stahl (yeah, I dunno who he is either) playing the Yellow Bastard, and Elijah Wood as a serial killer cannibal. Interested yet?


Batman’s cool. Anybody who can go from gay-ass pedophile in the 60’s to the murderous avenger of the night (and back if you’ve seen Batman and Robin) is cool in my eyes. After Schumacher treated the franchise like a Vice City hooker, I couldn’t help but feel depsondent. BUT THEN… BAM. We get the guy behind Memento and Insomnia to tackle this franchise…. to bring in Ra’as Al Ghul (most unappreciated Batman villian… ever) into the fray, plus the Scarecrow. But what gets me is this CAST…. this is a really amazing cast! Gary Oldman? GARY OLDMAN. Yeah, that’s right. Plus Katie Holmes, which is never terrible.


Peter Jackson is a hairy, sweaty, fat man. But he can make a mean movie. And when this filthy, rotund little mutant releases King Kong, I’ll be there. Know why? Because the man can truly turn fantasy into reality… and keep it so the average viewer can tell what’s going on. Can’t wait.


Night of the Living Dead is still the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. And Dawn of the Dead sometimes gives me messed up dreams. I’ve looked forward to this guy’s next entry, and from what I’ve heard, this is going to be a movie that will do things with this genre never thought possible.


I don’t care if the name’s retarded as the children of a imbred alchoholics who live under power lines. I want to see it. I dont’ give a damn what you think.


Steve Correll playing Richard Kane. Simply awesome.


TWO mothereffin’ Tim Burton movies in ONE YEAR. What the hell did we do to deserve this? And both star Johnny Depp. I’ll admit the Charlie trailer did very little for me with its wierd wierdness, but that won’t keep me out of the theater. And Corpse Bride… well, I just have to see a major motion picture with THAT title, don’t I?


Hey, remember putting that towel over your TV? Man, what a dork. Still, I’d like to see how they expand on this idea. Very curious about this one.


I don’t know why this is on here. They’ve disappointed me time and time again.


Would be higher if the trailer didn’t blow like Paris Hilton after five hits of ecstacy. I have faith in that neutered old wiener Speilberg, and figure this’ll either be Jurassic Park or, at the very worst, A.I. Which is pretty damn bad.



If I wanted to see bald men who appear to have down’s syndrome change baby’s diapers, I’d… I’d… well, why would I want to see that anyway? Why would ANYBODY want to see that? And why would anybody want to see this? Vin Diesel just sucks. I’m very sorry, but… I can’t think of anything to say that would spell it out any clearer. The fact movies like this get made gives me nightmares.


Yes, this is what we needed. A sequel to a movie that’s already as dated as a Duran Duran remix by fatboy slim. Not only didn’t they get any of the original stars yet, but they’ve decided to give us what the public has been asking for for as long as I can remember… TALKING DANCING BABIES! Awesome! This will be the best sequel since Baby Geniuses 2! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get a hot poker and Edward the Second myself.

3. XXX 2

Hint: If Vin Diesel wouldn’t do the sequel in your franchise, your franchise sucks ass. See Fast and the Furious.


Yes, there’s been a loud outcry for as long as I can remember for this movie. People just wanted to see a 50’s sitcom made into a movie. I mean, after the runaway success of Leave it to Beaver and Rocky and Bullwinkle, can Perfect Strangers be far behind?


Hey, Disney! Remember when you closed your animation departments to do computer animation? That was stupid. Let Pixar do what they’re good at. And don’t make your animators pay for your own sorry-ass business decisions.


Oooh, Jennifer Lopez in a comedy. Can’t you just smell it already? Wait, that’s just J-Lo.

7. SAW 2

You know, I hate movies that mess up my perception of the original. But Saw was such a blazing, fly-covered piece of crap that this can only improve things. No Cary Euwels please. If I want to see bad acting, I’ll go have sex.


Ah, Lindsay Lohan, she of the fake boobs and…


…Disney contracts suck a Persian dick, don’t they?


Think Saw 2, but worse. Rob Zombie should not be allowed near any technology, ever. And Diamond Dallas Page? STARRING? Let me point you to “Ready to Rumble” to give you some idea of how bad of an idea this is.


I think they’re sort of gay… “Flame On!”… but I was willing to give them a chance, until the trailer gave me Catwoman vibes. Ouch. Here’s an idea, when you do a trailer with music, use COOL MUSIC. People might see your movie, then.

Well, that’s enough out of my ass. Enjoy the damn article.


Back in the Day Cafe #1

One of the minor plot points of the movie Pulp Fiction, is that the wallet carried by Jules Winnfield is adorned with three powerful words…

Bad. Motha. Fucka.

When Jules first mentions this to the Tim Roth character, he seems to think it’s a joke. When prompted, he finds the wallet, and seems a bit bemused by the fact that this man, THIS MAN, carries with him something that looks like an eighth grade summer camp project… Then he remembers the gun pointed at his balls.

In any case, I’ve wondered for several years now…

Who Else is Qualified to Carry the Bad Mothafucka Wallet?

bad mother fucker walletWell, I’m glad you asked, bitches… Sit your asses down, and don’t spam my damn topic or I shall be forced to revoke your L.A. priveleges.

Mind if I borrow some of your frosty beverage?


Do they speak English in What?


Sorry… Sidetracked. Bygones… Counting backward on my incredibly overambitious idea, all the way to Number One!

Bad Mothafucka #100: Prickle the Dinosaur

bad mother fucker walletI know what you’re thinking. And you’re right. It IS true what they say about men with big… dorsal fins. Prickle is most notorious for being a cohort of Gumby, the Clay Boy, and Pokey the Big Ass Former Italian Pornographic Star Horse. His place within the Gumby Pantheon is that of the God Mars, The War Bringer.

While surrounded by silly morphing clay children, Prickle brings 3 things to the table…

#1: Voice characterization.

While every other Gumby character sounds like a ten year old sucking helium, Prickle sounds like Archie Bunker after a bad day at the plant. He’s got no time for bullshit, and isn’t afraid to say it. Prickle cuts to the point.

bad mother fucker wallet

#2: He ain’t cuddly

Them spines is Razor bleedin’ sharp. In a world made of goop, he’s the blade of truth and liberty.

#3: This exchange:

Pokey, Gumby, and Prickle are in the big city, amazed by the diversity and strangeness of it all. They’re on an elevator, alone, unable to call for help.

A menacing stranger enters, with a large vicious looking cur on a leash. The dog growls, the stranger approches… Gumby and Pokey shrink to the back of the elevator car.

Prickle… steps… forward… smoke rolling from his mighty nostrils. He quickly lets fly a bolt of pure hellfire from his flaming snout.

Prickle – “Call off your dog, Mister… BEFORE I FRY HIM!”

Bad. Motha. Fucka.

Daaaaaaamn Right.

(Next Time: Sleeper speeding, People Bleeding.)

Hyper-Realism and Cognitive Dissonance – OR: Why Alex Ross Must Be Stopped! Part 2

Welcome back, restrooms on the left, emotional baggage claim on the right! Last time around, I was ruminating about the things that have begun, over time, to bother me about the work of superstar comic artist/painter Alex Ross. Feel free to pop out and check part 1. I’ll wait…

Okay, you back? Are you sitting comfortably? Right!

The most problematic aspect that I discover with Mr. Ross’s (admittedly pretty) art: he draws from real-world models TOO faithfully. Check out this picture of Barry Allen.


Looks remarkably like my Uncle Jerry on his way to a costume party. The overall costume is shiny spandex, the cowl puffs up in the middle (as though badly darted), and The Fastest Man Alive looks pudgy where his chin and cowl bunch up. It looks chintzy, it looks tacky, and quite frankly, it looks like Alex painted a self-portrait wearing his Comicon costume. (And hey, if you dressed as Flash at Comicon, more power to ya! I gotcher back! Please don’t hit me.)

Now, look here: Flash?

First off, I am aware that this is Wally West, Flash III, rather than Barry Allen, Flash II. The costumes have minimal differences. But look how VITAL, how SLEEK, how much this picture conveys the MOTION aspect of The Vizier of Velocity… This is a Flash in action, unlike the pudgy, shiny, flabby Ross version.

In his excellent volume, “Understanding Comics,” Scott McCloud explains why the shorthand language of American comics has evolved the way it has: “By stripping down an image to it’s central meaning,” says Scott, “[an artist] can amplify that meaning in a way that realistic art can’t.”

Alan Davis’ drawing takes liberties with perspective, with time and dimension, with anatomy and musculature, using the pre-existing language of comics (i.e. speed-lines) to make The Flash look… well… Flashy. The Ross painting, again, comes off as a still life, under harsh lights, and suffers by the comparison.

Another example: The recent cover of Wizard X:

Superman. Batman. Tubby. And Frozen.

Jim Lee, working alone on The Man of Steel:


The collaborative Ross/Lee Superman looks very much like a waxwork to me. His coloration and depth are wholly out of sync with the simplicity of the form beneath. To put it bluntly, they’ve put hubcaps on a tractor.

Lee’s Superman, as seen below, is more iconic, possibly more “cartoony”, bringing with it a sense of tone, of the themes that Jim Lee wants to show with his work.

Is it George Reeves? Is it Kirk Alyn? Chrisopher Reeve? Tom Welling? None of the above. It’s Superman, end of sentence. Because we aren’t wasting nano-seconds of recognitive time figuring out WHO he is, we accept that he is Superman. Who he is, has become clear… The question now is WHAT is Lee’s art (and Brian Azzarello’s story) going to SAY?

Definition time! Cognitive Dissonance: ‘A condition of conflict or anxiety resulting from inconsistency between one’s beliefs and one’s actions.’ In this case, expanded (and possibly abused) to envelope my inability to accept that Alex Ross’s version of a beloved character is THE version of a beloved character.

Case in point: Reed Nathaniel Richards.

Mister Fantastic.

The one and only Mr. Fantastic, leader of Marvel’s flagship characters, The Fantastic Four. In some ways, I find I know Reed better than I know my online friends and associates. Reed and I have history. I’ve been interacting with Reed (admittedly, via a one way communications channel) for probably 27 years. I KNOW Reed. Alex Ross chose this man as a model for Reed:

Mister Fantastic?

I’ll say it right now. I love Gilligan’s Island! I do… But to MY MIND, Russell Johnson is NOT Reed Richards. So, every single appearance by Reed in Alex’s art, DRAGS me out of the enjoyment of the story, and forces me to be aware of the artist and his self-centered prediliction for stunt casting.

Anthony Stark. Iron Man. Captain of Industry. Two-Fisted Drinker!

Iron Man, Iron Man!

Alex’s pick?

Does Whatever An Iron Can!

A better choice, in my mind… But still, every time I see him, I am reminded of how he played a Nazi collaborator in the Rocketeer… How he’s James Bond… How he’s BLEEDIN’ IRISH!!!

The looser, more iconic form of, say, Jack Kirby’s Reed, or Bob Layton’s Tony, or even a quasi-photo-realistic interpretation like Matt Wagner’s Superman painting Seen Here.) give us a “blank slate” This allows EACH reader to bring a little piece of him or herself into the proceedings, to be an active participant in the book, in the experience of reading, rather than being dragged about, as if in a museum, being shown SOMEBODY ELSE’S idea of art.

Scott McCloud (him again?) opines that this precise theory is what makes children so receptive to cartoons. The simplicity of the drawing, the need to use YOUR imagination, makes the consumer a PART of the creative process. You fill in the gaps, in a way, BECOMING the character. A photo-realistic Star Spangled Kid makes me nervous, for her safety, for her parents, for my own ability to look at a 17 year old in skin tight costume without going to special counseling.

Simply put: When you look at a photo of a face, says McCloud, you see the face of another. When you look at an iconic/stylized/cartoonish face, you fill in the blanks, designing, participating; in essence, BECOMING the character.

Alex Ross’s artistic choices force the reader to draw himself or herself out of the story, to give up a bit of enjoyment by making them AWARE of their suspension of disbelief. Mr. Ross can be, in my opinion, a selfish creator, FORCING the consumer to accept HIS vision, rather than allowing his fanbase to participate and interpret the work through their own ends. Photo-realism, in this case, undermines part of the joy of comics, the vicarious thrill. A stylized, more abstracted work, like the Lee Superman above, doesn’t force a perspective on the reader, instead, it allows the reader to draw out of the story what he/she wants, and heightens the enjoyment of the overall process.

Enjoy The Silence 8

I just want my country back…

Today we live in a society that is more generous than it’s ever been in history. How many world leaders pre 20th Century would give millions in aid to developing and impoverished states? I doubt many would have given a damn. Today’s world leaders are about peace and equality (well, most of the time) rather than looking for a country with it’s pants down to invade.

However, are our own countries themselves suffering greatly for our own generosity? Alot of people in Britain believe so. Since the decadent era of the pre 1970’s British society perhaps looked down upon helping others, especially of other race or creed. Yes, even the land of hope and glory can hang it’s head in shame for how it looked upon the black and Asian community during this time. Now it would seem that things are heading to the other extreme. Taxes are higher than ever and the British Government whilst spending money on peacekeeping in Iraq for instance, we also spend billions on benefits for people who have entered the country either by Asylum or illegal means.

The Labour party who are currently in control of the British government under Tony Blair are keen to enter the European Union constitution (EU). This would mean Britain having tax rates, human rights and other legislation dictated by other European politicians. Our country would not be our own. That is the general consensus in Britain at the moment, that our Government welcome people from other shores with open arms, spend tax payers money to sustain them and leave Britons short-changed.

I’m sure this scenario is played out in other nations such as the USA and everyone is affected by it. Yes, we should support other nations in poverty, yes we should protect those being persecuted across the world by inhumane dictatorships, but at what cost?

Personally I would like to see our leaders get it right at home before trying to play fairy god-mother for other nations, and it hurts to see foreigners who contribute nothing to my nation enter our lands at a whim, who leech upon the resources available to immigrants and bad-mouth Britain behind closed doors. Certain groups of Islamics even managed to have Christmas carols/trees banned in some towns as they felt it offended their religion! GET THE FUCK OUT! Britain is a Christian nation, you are welcome to your religion but for fucks sake I’ll be damned if any believer of Islam puts a stop to our religion on our own shores!

I’m not naive enough to believe that all foreigners are bad and shouldn’t be here. If you have skills that we are short of you are welcome, if you are willing to live under and embrace a British way of live you are welcome. If you are here just because you married some desperate housewife, GET THE FUCK OUT, if you are here because we give too much money to immigrants GET THE FUCK OUT.

I just want my country back

WWE 2004: Year In Review

(Written on January 3, 2005)
Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) remained the top professional wrestling organization in 2004. This column is going to be the “Best and Worst of 2004” of the WWE.

This was a year of up and downs for Vince McMahon and company. Wrestlemania XX saw the crowning of Chris Benoit as World Champion and Eddie Guerrero retained his title, but we also saw Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg wrestle their last matches in the WWE. The year was marred with the premature pushes of John Bradshaw Layfield, Randy Orton, and Carlito “Carribean” Cool. However, I will give them credit for the gradual and rather impressive push of Batista these last few months. The visit to Iraq was a wonderful thing, yet they ruin it with Muhammad Hassan and the 9/11 remarks. Sometimes it seems as though Vince has absolutely no clue what he is doing. Well, let’s get to the awards.

Worst Female Wrestler – Lita

Lita racked in what had to be the worst year of all the female wrestlers. In my opinion, she’s lucky she was not released along with Gail Kim. After going through neck surgery that sidelined her for some time, her in-ring work greatly diminished. One of the major angles of the year was the pregnancy angle between Lita and Kane. The angle was absolutely HORRIBLY written and Lita’s ATROCIOUS acting did not help it either. The angle did bring out two bright spots for me though: Trish Stratus’s unbelievably good heel-side was brought out in her dealings with Lita, and Gene Snitsky’s terrifically bad, yet funny, acting. I thoroughly enjoy watching Gene Snitsky and hope he continues to grow in the ring.

Best Female Wrestler – Trish Stratus

For the last few years Trish Stratus had been the loveable, blonde damsel. In this past year, she took a major step forward in her career when she turned on Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania XX. Throughout the year, her mic and in-ring skills vastly improved. She is, without a doubt, the backbone of the women’s division in the WWE. With Trish’s skills improving, I expect her to have another big year in 2005.

Worst Tag Team – The Dudley Boys

The Dudley Boys ended 2004 as the worst tag team. Arguably one of the best tag teams of all time, the Dudleys, fell off the face of the earth in 2004. They had a brief stint as Spike’s “enforcers,” yet that didn’t last very long. The Dudley’s just aren’t the entertaining tag team that they used to be. I don’t know what is in store for this team in the year 2005.

Best Tag Team – William Regal and Eugene

I thoroughly enjoy watching Eugene in the ring, however, the “special kid” angle has been pushed way, way too hard. The thing I enjoy the most about Eugene’s matches is when he unleashes the Rock Bottom or the Stone Cold Stunner on someone. William Regal is finally being used to his ability as a gifted technical wrestler, and he and Eugene have gelled well together. The fans have fully backed them as a team, and I see La Resistance (Sylvain Grenier and Rob Conway) as the only team able to unseat them.

Worst Single Wrestler – Christian

“Captain Charisma?” You have got to be kidding me. Watching Christian wrestle is like listening to someone scratch their nails on a chalkboard. Christian is a tag team wrestler. He needs to stick to tag matches. In his short-lived feud with Sheldon Williams, Christian was really exposed for his bad technique and LACK of charisma. You do know the reason he calls himself “Captain Charisma” right? That’s because no one in their right mind would call him that. I enjoyed Edge and Christian as a tag team, but when they split to follow single careers it was obvious that Edge was the talent on that team. Hopefully the WWE will ease my pain and take Christian off of Raw.

Best Single Wrestler – Chris Benoit

Chris Benoit had a great year on Raw. At Wrestlemania XX, Benoit realized his dream of winning the World Title. At the Granddaddy of them All, Benoit defeated Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a great Triple Threat Match for the title. He carried Randy Orton through their World Title Match at Summerslam. Throughout the year (and his entire career if you want to be honest), Benoit has continued to produce great match after great match. Barring a serious injury, I expect him to have another stellar year in 2005.

Most Overrated Wrestler – Randy Orton

Randy Orton takes the cake in the Most Overrated Wrestler department. The guy definitely has mid-card skills, no doubt about it. However, he’s not up to main event level, and I believe the WWE realized it after awarding him the title over Benoit at Summerslam. A mere one month after defeating Chris Benoit, Randy Orton dropped the title to Triple H at Unforgiven. The WWE made the mistake of skyrocketing Randy Orton to the top before he was prepared. Finger of shame at the WWE for not developing Orton like they’ve done with Batista lately.

Most Underrated Wrestler – Chris Jericho

Y2J continues to be the most underrated and underappreciated wrestler in the entire WWE. He’s held every major title in the WWE (minus Cruiserweight), and he was the first-ever Undisputed Champion, beating Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, arguably two of the greatest champions of all time, in the same night. He has carried Christian through a feud that has dragged on for too long. Jericho continues to put on amazing matches time after time, yet he never gets any love for it.

Worst Match of the Year – Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar : Wrestlemania XX

A majority of the fans in the arena knew that this was going to be both of these superstars last match in the WWE. With Goldberg not signing back with the WWE and Lesnar leaving for the NFL, the WWE was put in a horrible predicament. Who do you have win? They decided on letting Goldberg win the match, however; they allowed Stone Cold to deliver the Stunner to both men at the end of the match. During the match the fans showed both how they felt about them with loud booing and chants of “Boring” and “You Sold Out”, the latter directed mainly at Lesnar.

Best Match of the Year – Brock Lesnar vs. Eddie Guerrero : No Way Out

The WWE finally realized the tremendous fan support behind Eddie Guerrero placed him in the World Title match against Lesnar. The match was absolutely amazing from opening bell to pinfall. The interference by Goldberg added a great future feud between Goldberg and Lesnar as the Smackdown fans popped like crazy for Goldberg. Eddie capitalized on the interference and pinned Lesnar to win the match.

Well that’s all from me about the WWE in the year of 2004. Hopefully 2005 will be another good year. I also want to see how JBL continues to grow on the Smackdown side of things. He’s got some of the best mic skills on the Smackdown roster, and he seems to be developing into a true heel, as long as they keep him from getting too political. Hopefully NWA:TNA will continue to grow and actually put up a decent challenge to the WWE in the upcoming year so we can have some better all around wrestling action.