Stay on top of where Roger L. Jackson will be next with his Facebook Community page. You can meet Roger, March 14-16, 2014 at the Lexington Comic & Toy Convention in Kentucky. He'll have new printouts that you can have signed -- video game characters and more Mojo Jojo! He really enjoyed his first convention last weekend. The community page has photos showing what a great time he had with the fans and how much fun it was to meet his idols. Line up early if you dare... he'll be ready to sign anything you bring to the table!
Monday, March 10, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Meet up with Roger L. Jackson, voice actor from Scream I - IV, Khumba, Mars Attacks, "Robot Chicken," "The Powerpuff Girls," and hundreds of video games. He's a horror fan, too! The Monster Mania convention is March 7-9, 2014 in Cherry Hill, NJ. Get in line early and, at the end of the weekend, post about what it was like to meet Roger in the comments below. Comments are monitored for spam, but are promptly published when legit.
Friday, December 20, 2013
Wednesday's Korner followers, 2013 commences with exciting news from Roger L. Jackson. You can now follow him and tweet to him your respectful praises regarding his voice work on Twitter.
"Dance Pantsed" is the title of a newly designed and re-imagined The Powerpuff Girls coming to Cartoon Network on January 20, 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. Mojo Jojo kidnaps Fibonacci Sequins, whom is played by Ringo Starr.
Roger will be appearing in 2014 (March 7-9) at the Monster Mania Con in Cherry Hill, NJ, celebrating the Scream movies. Become a follower of the Korner to keep an eye out for more convention appearances in the coming year.
Don't miss Khumba, opening in soon nationwide, in which Roger is the voice of Black Eagle. "Like" the movie on Facebook to get updates or follow on Twitter.
Thanks for visiting the Korner and I promise to keep you in the loop of all the great happenings to follow.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Tonight at the Fillmore, waiting for a quiet moment, "To the people who know only two Bauhaus songs, go home!" I didn't really scream it, but I wanted to. Peter Murphy's show of songs from the Bauhaus catalog (the 35th anniversary of Bauhaus) also gave us moments of him telling us stories in between songs, but the sound engineer was too lazy to remove the reverb on Murphy's mic so his voice was not too clear. Murphy began to tell a story about the song lyric "Now the ultra violet's violent" and how he and David (paraphrasing) didn't agree on that lyric and that David didn't like the words "ultra violet". This woman near me says loudly, "He's playing 'Ziggy Stardust', I told you," to her friend. The song is called "Endless Summer of the Damned," for the record and this girl just didn't get it. Peter Murphy is talking about David J, yeah, that David, if she could just listen to what he's saying and stop shouting ridiculous crap.
I move around to find myself closer to the front, thinking maybe I'll find some true fans up there. The guy in the trucker hat at about the time the band is 30 bars into "Bela Lugosi's Dead" says "I think this is 'Bela Lugosi's Dead'." It was surprising that "Bela" shows up in the middle. There's quite a stark contrast to seeing Murphy in reading glasses as he's knob-twirling during the early part of "Bela" and then he removes them and performs brilliantly without missing a beat.
Murphy mentions the show poster that the Fillmore commissioned for the show. The Fillmore gives out free posters at the end. He says that they gave him bat wings and a bald head. "I've still got hair on my head, for one thing...Someone said that I should be glad that they put a poster with my name on it up on the wall, yeah, okay... anyways, the poster doesn't make the show, it's the people that make the show!"
When a stagehand was setting his mic stand in position, Murphy quickly gestured a swat in his direction with his melodica. Spontaneous moments like this made me nostalgic for the original members of Bauhaus.
Murphy has a real drummer unlike solo shows he's done in smaller venues where it was not so electric. I wondered if the drummer ever imagined playing a goth dance beat every night when he answered the ad "Drummer Wanted". The bassist also plays violin, which I think was during "Severance," the Dead Can Dance cover. The guitarist sounded best during melodic parts, but I found the overall instrument mix with Murphy's vocals to be too muddy. His vocal reverb with the baritone is overdone to the point that it sounds underproduced and amateur mixing-wise.
Visually compelling is Murphy's use of a portable light during "Boys," much like the stripped down live sets back when Bauhaus would perform within darkness and shadows contrasted with bright light effects; lights shown up from the floor or from the side of the stage. Murphy played a gorgeous, rich sounding acoustic guitar on "A Strange Kind of Love" from his solo album Love Hysteria. He did two encores, ending the first with "Ziggy Stardust" and the second with "She's in Parties." The exiting crowd was surprised as probably was the Fillmore lighting engineer because house chandeliers lit for a second and then quickly went dark as he took the stage once more. His set included "King Volcano," "Kingdom's Coming," "Double Dare," "In the Flat Field," "Silent Hedges," "Dark Entries," "Spy in the Cab," "The Passion of Lovers," "Stigmata Martyr," "Hollow Hills," "Spirit," covers "Telegram Sam," "Ziggy Stardust," and, on of my favorites, "Kick in the Eye."
Friday, June 21, 2013
Mécanhumanimal: artist Enki Bilal exhibit in Paris at The Musée des Arts et Métiers until 5 January 2014
Mécanhumanimal: exhibit of five new works and a selection of earlier art pieces by artist
Enki Bilal now at The Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. Details in English. If anyone attends, please report back in this post's comment area to tell us how you loved it! This is the book being sold with the exhibition. More items for sale, but no way to see how to purchase them online.
Mécanhumanimal, Enki Bilal au Musée des arts et... by musee_des_arts_et_metiers
Monday, May 13, 2013
Spoiler Alert: If you are up-to-date on the TV Series, "Hannibal" then you will know what to expect in these recipes on a blog created by food stylist for "Hannibal", Janice Poon. Once you have had your fill, take a look at the blog, "Setting the Table" about various aspects that involve creating the series. Unfortunately, at this writing, there is no information provided if the series will be renewed for a 2nd season, but I certainly hope that it will.
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Wednesday's Korner is a supporter of the Emily the Strange Kickstarter: "FIRST EVER EMILY THE STRANGE ANIMATED ROCK-N-ROLL SINGLE". Fans of animation and of Emily the Strange are being called upon to "Make Emily and the Strangers a REAL BAND, and spread her empowering message, by animating her first hit record!" If you've ever had a lot of struggles with getting to Comic-Con, there's a pledge at the tippy-top tier that includes the Comic-Con pass, flight and hotel plus a co-executive producer credit on animation as well as hanging out with the artist Robert Reger. However some of the middle-to-lower tier pledge levels offer excellent swag including signed and numbered limited edition prints, t-shirts, flash drives, animation and music downloads as well as the advanced screening pass. It ends May 11, so don't hesitate to pledge today!
Thursday, March 28, 2013
The first impression I had of Jack Kerouac was initially provided by my family describing him as a bum, a drunk; someone who did nothing with his life. I come from a working class family and they believed in working hard to pay the bills, putting family first, and going to church every week. Having been raised in Lowell, MA, the town where Kerouac was also raised and also left behind, it wasn't until I moved out to San Francisco, California that I read his novel On the Road.
I arrived and found City Lights Bookstore, founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Discovering that there was more to Kerouac than his drinking and his slacking off the 9 to 5 typical work schedule, I enjoyed his novels because he wrote profoundly from the heart about the human experience, about the post-war culture of big cities and open plains, and excelled at documenting the journey that brought him over pastures, mountains and the bayous of North America. The best parts of Kerouac's stories are his witnessing of the human spirit and writing about what is at the core of living as a free person, living each moment by expressing your desires and regretting nothing. Reading On the Road for the first time was an adrenaline rush. Meeting William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady, under aliases of Old Bull Lee, Carlo Marx and Dean Moriarty, respectively, challenged my views of these writers who were not entirely bums, dope fiends and crooks. Kerouac as Sal Paradise -- his voice as the constant observer -- you feel that you're in the room, in the car, flying around the frenetic, speeding party scenes. Certainly they could have respected their woman much more, but at that time period womens' lib hadn't turned around the views of any men.
When I heard the news about the film adaptation of the book and the three significant figures in the movie business -- Walter Salles, Roman Coppola, and Francis Ford Coppola -- at the helm, I knew that there was going to be an endless amount of speculation on whether the film ever would be able to lift from the page the same experience you get from reading the book. I also had expectations that some areas of Kerouac's life would be better portrayed on film than it could be on the page. One area that was the most refreshing and nearly unexpected is his conversation in the Canadian French dialect between him and his mother, Gabrielle Lévesque, expertly portrayed by Marie-Ginette Guay of Quebec. Her expressions and reactions are hilarious!
Canadian French dialect is seldom, if ever, accurately depicted in fictional films made in the province of Quebec where mostly French is spoken. The films made in Canadian French language are later dubbed with Parisian French for distribution (in my opinion much meaning is lost within the sounds of the original language when dubbed). Hearing the Quebec French in On the Road for the first time in years was so much more of an authentic experience. Kerouac spoke a Joual version of the dialect with his mother, yet in the film, it definitely sounded more elegant like what most Montreal-ers sound like today. As Sal (Sam Riley) spoke French, I recognized several words without needing subtitles in English. My mother and grandmother spoke Canadian French at home, but I've yet to master it to speak it fluently. Hear for yourself how Kerouac spoke in this 1967 interview.
Riley being from Yorkshire, England, he uses an American accent with a light regionalism of a French Canadian living in New England. It isn't quite the accent I heard in my family, but to have studied this accent and drop his native accent, it is no easy feat. He spoke in a similar vocal range and head vocal register that is common among the people with a New England accent. He would only have been more convincing if he put on about 20 pounds for his role as Kerouac.
The challenge for the screenwriter José Rivera is to adapt a prose novel into a film with Kerouac's jazz-influenced writing style. In the film, the literary voice of Sal is demonstrated through use of narration, unobtrusively paired to the visual. Director Walter Salles chose majestic visuals of the west -- traversing the wide open landscape by car or feet. There are no overtly sentimental sequences, though every time Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) leaves Sal, you see through Sal's eyes the void left behind until they're reunited again. The pair enjoy going to live music events and include scenes of them singing along to Slim Gaillard's "Yep Rock Heresy". I would have preferred to see more of the live music in the film, but we do get to hear Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Son House, available on the soundtrack album.
Hedlund's Moriarty radiates on the screen, a kinetic and intensely magnetic man. Each time he turns up, you know there will be all night mayhem. He wasn't clearly a boozehead and perhaps moreso because his father was a drunk, as was Sal's (Kerouac's father smoke, drank, and died of stomach cancer). One of the key driving points is Moriarty's goal to find his old man in Colorado. Hedlund's portrayal as the speed-loving, womanizing Moriarty is genuine and rooted in loving and living. He's selfish and kind all at the same time in the scenes with Kirsten Dunst who plays Camille aka Carolyn Cassady.
Moriarty's empty promises to Mary Lou aka LuAnne Henderson (Kristen Stewart) is one among their relationship's contentious and antagonistic issues resulting from his impulsive choices. There are times when both Sal and MaryLou have to settle for letting Dean be with someone else, but it is MaryLou's emotional turmoil that is most visible in Stewart's performance. Henderson reportedly was 15 when she met Cassady, married him at 16 and the marriage was annulled shortly after so that Cassady could marry Carolyn Robinson who was pregnant with his child. Alluding to this marriage with MaryLou, Moriarty's plan to reconcile with Camille is the elephant in the room throughout the cross-country ride, but only is it apparent that MaryLou feels their relationship is forever doomed upon crossing the bridge into San Francisco. Stewart has the challenge of displaying the widest range of emotions unlike her monotone-style character in the Twilight series. Humorous as it is to hear her talk about the lack of food on the road trip for the first time we meet her, later she again refers to food in saying, "It's been 30 hours since we ate anything." Out of all the women, MaryLou and Camille are the most practical-minded women who end up with Dean, who is one of the most impractical people they know. Maybe in reality LuAnne and Carolyn felt they could fix Cassady, which temporarily kept them from breaking it off. The peak of the film is MaryLou and Dean's dancing to Dizzy Gillespie at the New Year's Eve party welcoming in 1949. Stewart's imploding emotions of MaryLou's full-on despair at Dean's dead silence as they depart in San Francisco is not unlike those times we've all had at having to face the cold, heartless truth of the ending of a relationship.
Scene stealers are Steve Buscemi, Viggo Mortenson, and Amy Adams. For the short amount of time we see the character Jane aka Joan Vollmer, memorably portrayed by Amy Adams in a state of a vacant stare, wild hair, so sadly we are not given the privilege to see her true intellect. She was said to have a severe addiction to Bennies, but mostly what we saw of her in On the Road was a very strange display of character.
The role of Old Bull Lee aka William S. Burroughs by Viggo Mortenson is not entirely mimicry; Mortenson is the eccentric but wise inventor. Sure, he's the junkie with generosity, too. On the one hand the gloomy style of Burroughs' voice is from a source of deep thinking and yet there is a sadness among his home as there's not much love between him and his wife. A brief shooting range scene is a little rough on the foreshadowing of what happens between Burroughs and Vollmer in about two years.
There are comic moments throughout, especially when we meet the group of travelers led by Steve Buscemi, the driving portion of their interaction is possibly scored by a sappy song sung by a group sounding like The Andrew Sisters. It is best not to spoil it for those having not seen the movie, but the key scene with Buscemi after he knocks on the door to Dean and Sal's room is priceless. It lends some insight into the "means to an end" ethic that Dean Moriarty lives by. Sal may be protective of his friend and, yet, is it completely reciprocated after his bad bout with sickness after a trip to Mexico? There's a constant sense that Dean doesn't wait around for anyone if he has to move on.
All the characters are well-read, but you don't know for certain if the reading they're doing is leaving an indelible influence. There are times when Moriarty quotes from Marcel Proust's Swann's Way which ironically is about a man analyzing and longing to relive his past. Eugene O'Neill is another reference to writers who they relate to in that the characters who dominate O'Neill's works are often on the outside of the mainstream society. The letter writing between Moriarty and Sal and Marx and Sal is tribute to the writers friendships and their need to constantly have an audience with each other.
As the movie comes to a close, we finally are rewarded after all the glimpses into the journaling Sal was doing throughout the movie. The impracticality of having to waste time feeding sheets of paper into the typewriter is resolved and the plunge into all night and all day purposeful tapping of the typewriter is juxtaposed with scenes the last emotional encounter between Sal and Dean in NYC. Wait through the initial credits to hear Kerouac's reading from On the Road.
Director Walter Salles did more than an excellent tribute to the book and really found the best actors to bring the characters to life, including using unique places to make us think they were in Denver, Mexico, NYC, and California during the 40s and 50s. Francis Ford Coppola had the rights since 1979. Yes, it may have taken 23 years to get people on board, but he found the right people at the right time to generate a new following for these old souls and their legacies.
Rating - 4 headless dolls
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Fans of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are finally able to see the results of a new take on the gothic soap opera "Dark Shadows" from the '60s and '70s. Together Burton and Depp present a gothic vampire story with 1970s-era pop culture with some class and mainly clash. I question if Burton's fans will a) know the Dan Curtis version of "Dark Shadows" and b) will leave the theatre saying that Burton and Depp deliver a beautifully tragic story they will feel sentimental about in ten years. They have stiff competition in that the soap opera delivered 1225 episodes for the fans to look back on with dedicated love.
We definitely get the iconic Tim Burton themes of his depiction of children as victims, loss of parents, parents misunderstanding children, the mob mentality against or for outsiders, and transcendence of time and old age as a metaphor. We have seen Burton's child versions of main characters suffering at the hands of other adults in nearly all of his films. Here in Dark Shadows, Barnabas Collins as a child is not unlike the innocent boys we've seen in Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands, Batman, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Writers John August and Seth Grahame-Smith do well with the creative language of old centuries and spoken with a nod to the original Barnabas Collins played by Jonathan Frid. However, the jokes about adjusting to the new century don't reach a level of hilarity enough to forgive the obvious cultural adjustment angle. We've seen new world vs. the old world in dozens of movies and it is old in five minutes. The aim is to get teens into the humor, but it fails to be funny enough after several scenes of using the same joke in different ways. We see a young and then a grown up Barnabas before being turned into a vampire, quickly thrust into an eternal suffering at the hands of Angelique Bouchard, the witch, played incredibly well by Eva Green. The story is breezing by the audience too quickly while the cliches about cultural nuances take up way too much screen time.
Depp as Barnabas Collins is not a miscast, in fact, he has his physicality in his walking and in his use of his hands as well as the old world speech style. The make-up and hair is a bit exaggerated, but you cannot take your eyes off of him. Depp's Buster Keaton-like subtle slapstick style occurs when Barnabas is exposed to sunlight, when he finds the secret room, when he meets Willie Loomis for the first time (played by excellent character actor Jackie Earle Haley), and when he looks for a place to sleep.
Green's version of Angelique is the best example of an actor doing their homework in depicting Lara Parker's version of Angelique in the TV soap version and making it her own. She runs Angel Bay Fish Company and has portraits of her "ancestors" in the conference room in quite a hilarious array of time periods. She has the right level of OCD for Barnabas Collins and her super powers are exciting to watch. Her villainy is enhanced by a subtle special effect that depicts a weakness which is fun to see progress throughout her attempt to defeat her enemies. It brings to mind the TV show's storylines.
Equally eccentric is Dr. Julia Hoffman played by Helena Bonham Carter. We get small edges of the original character, whom Grayson Hall played, in the way Bonham Carter talks to Barnabas. The liberties taken with HBC's version are not unwarranted. We see her trying to help Barnabas, but the character was never totally without selfish reasons. There's a lot of liberty taken on the doctor-patient confidentiality in a most comedic way. The original Dr. Hoffman did have an unspoken love for Barnabas.
Some storylines are not fully explained and fans of the TV soap will hear hints about David's mother and will have to make assumptions that the film is hinting at the storyline involving the Phoenix metaphor. It is poorly executed as a side story, in the end, leaving out a crucial piece of history involving David Collins' mother.
For some reason Barnabas decides to throw a ball which takes a joke about an outdated kind of party and makes a reference to body parts -- clearly another attempt at humor that teens could enjoy if they haven't grown bored. At the start of the arrivals to the ball, if you blink you'll miss the cameos of four of the original TV soap stars, Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott, David Selby, and the late Jonathan Frid. Alice Cooper is the headlining performer highlighted at the party and offers no enhancement to the story. His name is joked about by Barnabas, again with the cultural adjustment.
There are important story points involving Victoria Winters/Josette DuPres, both played by the wonderful Bella Heathcote. Victoria and Barnabas could have a richer story, but the film depends on Angelique and Barnabas a little too much so Victoria and Barnabas' story never feels fully-realized. At a climactic scene, Victoria is nearly forgotten until their side story has to be quickly resolved, though there are liberties taken again. As we've seen in all vampire films where there's a romance between the living and the dead, the common tragedy is one dies and one lives forever. It is disappointing to see the cliche arise out of nowhere. Dan Curtis would definitely had opted for a cliffhanger or tragic plot point. The film resolves the situation to help Burton reach closure, but "Dark Shadows" fans are going to find the ending a bit irritating.
My rating is 3 out of 5 headless dolls with 2-1/2 going mainly towards the performances and 1/2 going towards the fake looking production design, which is a definite tribute to the low-budget sets used in the soap opera.