Nov 092011

Back in the 1990s, America was prosperous. We weren’t in any wars, the economy was awesome, and the animated MTV sitcom Beavis and Butt-head ruled the airwaves.

A prime example of how good things were then? Politicians had to look deeply for things to criticize. Beavis and Butt-head gave them that ammunition.

Let’s face it: when times are good, politicians go looking for villains within our ranks. Back in the 1950s, when the economy was booming, everyone who didn’t agree with our government was a communist. McCarthyists began to finger comic books, among other cultural products, as dangerous products that could turn our youth into axe murderers and homosexuals. And when the oppressed youth of the 1950’s grew up? Well, they, in turn, became concerned that the youth of the 1990’s would become sadistic freaks with bad taste in music because of Beavis and Butt-head. Continue reading »

Aug 102011

By Kevin Martinez

It’s finally here! The Marvel Comic that is the last of the big name characters to be made into a proper feature film. This is one that has been long overdue.

Yeah, there were attempts at making Cap before. Most recently, there was the Albert Pyun directed straight to VHS dud back in 1990. That one starred Matt Salinger, son of J.D. himself. The less said about that the better. Continue reading »

Jul 272011

More Tufnel troubles

By Kevin Martinez

I have to admit to being a closet fan of Transformers. I was probably too old to be into the toys when they first arrived back in the 1980s, but I do own a few of them. Most notably I have Megatron, who I bought on clearance at Hills since it had been opened and had some shelf damage. They were just so innovative as toys, and Marvel Comics had released a mini-series to tie into the toy line, much in the same way they had with G.I. Joe. I remember the comics not really grabbing me that much, although the subsequent animated TV show was entertaining enough to where I had a familiarity with the concepts behind the line.

When the first movie debuted, I was excited about the prospect of seeing this made into a big summer blockbuster. I had no pretense of it being an Oscar winning film with great performances. I just wanted to see giant robots turn into cars and beat the crap outta each other. In other words: a 21st century Godzilla film with a big budget and actors whose mouths sync up to the dialogue. Continue reading »

Jul 132011

Disappointing adaptation scores low on Tufnel scale

By Kevin Martinez

Yeah, it’s yet another comic book movie. But, unlike all the other entries this summer, this one is from DC Comics. And it’s not a Batman or Superman movie. Finally, Warner Brothers has decided to dip into the stable of characters that they own and pull out something new.

I’m a big fan of Green Lantern. I have to admit that it comes from being a kid and discovering the Justice League comics. I knew Superman and Batman, but when I found that they teamed up with guys like the Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkman, suddenly comics became much cooler to my young mind. Green Lantern always looked very elegant—his costume didn’t have a clumsy looking cape. Then you discover that he’s one of many Green Lanterns who are part of an intergalactic police force guided by small blue men in red robes. Continue reading »

Jun 222011

Paco Chaos returns with the Nigel Tufnel Rating System

By Kevin Martinez

Ok, I’m back with the review of this summer’s second big comic book movie, X-Men: First Class. This is a prequel to the four other X-Men movies that have already been released, the most recent being 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine which was a prequel that takes place after this one.

The X-Men movies have always been a mixed bag, with the first two films being decent fun. The third was a slapdash mess that suffered from not having Bryan Singer at the wheel as he had been for the first two. The Wolverine prequel was another example of how Hugh Jackman is a talented actor getting stuck with goofy schlock. Continue reading »

May 112011

By Kevin Martinez

As a child, I had a great fascination with the character of Thor. This began when, as a 7-year-old, I was laid up sick with meningitis and my mom brought me home an 8 inch Mego figure of Thor to cheer me up. From that point on, I was hooked. I soon after bought a giant size tabloid reprint of a classic storyline by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. These comics had a boldness and captured my imagination. I remember having a Mead notebook and 7-11 Slurpee cups with Thor. The comics were so vibrant that I even went and read the Norse myths on which Jack Kirby and Stan Lee had based their characters. In fact, I once aced a test on Norse Mythology during my senior year at Henry Clay because I had been reading Walt Simonson’s brilliant run on Thor. I also can recall the great disappointment back in the late 1980’s when Thor appeared in an Incredible Hulk TV movie of the week. A low budget approach may have worked for the Hulk, but not for Thor. Continue reading »