Movies for a Rainy Day

The Good, the Bad, and the So-Bad-They're-Good.

Archive for the category “Lists”

Iron Fist

Okay, there is a long, complicated backstory here. It involves Danny Rand’s (he’s Iron Fist) father and a mystical city of martial artists. Danny eventually grows up in K’un-Lun (that mystical city I mentioned before) where he is now an orphan (his dad was murdered by his business partner and his mom was eaten by wolves). Young Danny learns the ways of the martial arts masters of K’un-Lun (he is trained by Lei Kung on the order of Yu-Ti). Being an adult, now, he wants to return to the civilized world and get his family business back from his dad’s old business partner (he killed Danny’s dad, remember?).

Danny makes it to New York, NY and soon finds that he was followed by a very angry guy from K’un-Lun (after all, this outsider white kid gets special training on the order of the city’s ruler…somebody is bound to get jealous). Danny gets very close to killing Meachum (his dad’s old business partner/murderer) but he is so ashamed of his feelings of vengeance that he walks away. A mysterious ninja kills Meachum (this would be Davos, the son of Lei Kung and really jealous guy). Danny is pinned for Meachum’s death and he now has to clear his name. He meets Misty Knight (no, not a stripper). Misty was an NYPD until a terrorist attack left her with one arm. Tony Stark supplied a bionic arm (with super strength) to Misty and she became a private investigator. She helps Danny clear his name and they fall in love…

…Did I miss anything? Oh! Davos!

He’s the guy in the air.

He becomes the Steel Serpent and wants to kill Danny. He is jealous of this outsider boy gaining the coveted power of the Iron Fist. That is where this movie could bring back some really good martial arts fights (but PLEASE no wire work). I’m talking old school martial arts training scenes a la “Legend of Kung Fu” mixed with gritty modern urban martial arts fights like in “Unleashed” or really any other Jet Li movie (I think his Kung Fu is strongest in recent movies).

Dream Cast:

Iron Fist/Danny Rand: Scott Adkins (“The Expendables 2”)

Davos/Steel Serpent: Donnie Yen (“Ip Man”)

Yu-Ti: Gordon Liu (“Kill Bill”)

Lei Kung: Bolo Yeung (“Bloodsport”)

Misty Knight: Rosario Dawson (“Death Proof”)

Meachum: Danny Huston (“John Adams” T.V.)

Luke Cage

Alright…been gone for about a month, but I’m back and ready to jump into the next set of “They need to make this movie” posts. Let’s start with Luke Cage.

Luke Cage had it rough as a kid growing up in Harlem and got mixed up with the wrong crowd. So he went to prison for a murder he didn’t commit. In exchange for his release, he underwent some experiments based on a version of the well known super-soldier project. These experiments were supposed to make him immune to illnesses, instead, they made his muscle super humanly dense and strong and made his skin invulnerable. Seeing this, the people who subjected him to these experiments decided to keep him and study him, but with his new found power he broke out and went out to clear his name.

Once free, Luke makes a name for himself as a “Hero for Hire” in his old community. Quickly realizing that his powers are too important to be used only for those who can pay for it, he becomes the vigilante known as “Power Man” (a name I think should be avoided in the movie…unless used as a joke). Luke also eventually meets Jessica Jones, a woman who has seen some super-powered times herself but is now content to just live a normal life. I think no real mention of her various heroic identities needs to be made in the movie, but the occasional “Hey, weren’t you…” lines from random people might be a good head nod to the people who really know the character. Jones eventually marries Cage and they have a baby, but that might be too much for one movie.

On to the villains!

The Wrecking Crew is a group of four not-so-bright coworkers that (now follow me on this) became mystically empowered by holding on to Wrecker’s (the leader) enchanted crowbar while being struck by lightening…

…Okay, so the origin would need some tweaking for a movie audience, but we have seen Thor and Loki and magic and the Hulk and his gamma-powered change, so it might not need too much tweaking, right? These guys are funny, tough characters that are a team, so you can’t just say “Oh I’ll just use Bulldozer for the movie” and move on. They have a way of relating to each other that would make this movie that much better.

The fights would be epic and what makes them cool is that there would be this element we haven’t really seen in superhero movies yet, Luke has no secret identity, no mask. Everyone in his city knows him and has been helped by him in some way before. When the Wrecking Crew starts their “Boss Battle” at the end of this movie, you won’t see a bunch of bystanders in awe and speechless. They will be cheering for Luke like he was in some schoolyard bully beatdown!

Dream Cast:

Luke Cage: Jamie Foxx (“Collateral”)

Jessica Jones:Kristen Bell (“You Again”)

Wrecker: Ron Pearlman (“Hellboy”)

Bulldozer: Randy Couture (“The Expendables”)

Piledriver: Liam Hemsworth (“The Expendables 2”)

Thunderball: Quinton Jackson (“The A-Team”)

Green Arrow

I hate the CW version of anything.

Okay, this will wrap up my “Top 5 DC Characters That Need Their Own Movies” list. Green Arrow is the coolest quasi-anarchist character in DC. Oliver Queen was a billionaire playboy who got most of his fortune from his late family and corrupt means. One day, while partying too hard on his private cruise liner, he falls off and finds himself on a desert island. After he sobers up, he realizes that he needs to survive, so he begins to fashion crude hunting weapons that he’s no good at. Until he perfects a bow and some arrows. He gets better and better at using his new found weapon and before long, he is discovered by a passing ship. Now, Ollie has had a long time (years) to think about himself and he comes to the conclusion that he doesn’t like himself or how rich he is or how he got all that money. When he gets back to the U.S., he decides that he will take the name Green Arrow and fight for the people. He is a very left-wing progressive politics kind of guy now, so he’s going to go after corrupt politics, big business, and anyone who is trying to oppress or otherwise take advantage of the people.

Deathstroke is a hired assassin. He is damn good. He just got hired to take out Green Arrow by a corrupt police chief who is in the pocket of various corrupt politicians. Deathstroke is fast, strong and a master of almost any weapon. The police chief is this fat, weaselly guy named Brian Nudocerdo. He’s greedy and gets paid a lot for paving the way for the big business friends of crooked politicians. Ollie also has a girlfriend which could or could not be used in this movie. The trouble is that she is also a superhero, but she has super powers. Her name is Black Canary (aka Dinah Lance). Dinah is an expert martial artist and rides a motorcycle. She also has something called her “Canary Cry” which is basically a sonic scream that can be used to deafen people or as an actual concussive force to push people or things. Her addition to this movie might complicate things.

This would be a great movie right now with the whole 99% vs. 1% thing going on. Green Arrow against Deathstroke would be very cool because they can go hand-to-hand or quiver-to-magazine. If the movie is set in Seattle or the fictional Star City, these fights could be held on tall buildings, in alleys or even inside tenement buildings. There are so many possibilities for fights that have never been done in movies before with this character. I want this one to happen pretty bad.

Dream Cast:

Oliver Queen/Green Arrow: Chris Pine (“Star Trek”)

Deathstroke: Stephen Lang (“Avatar”)

Brian Nudocerdo: James Gandolfini (“The Mexican”)

Dinah Lance/Black Canary: Emma Watson (“Harry Potter”)

Deadman

He’s dead, man!

One of the lesser known DC characters, again, but he shouldn’t be. Boston Brand used to be a great stuntman/acrobat who performed under the name “Deadman”. He took the name so far that he would perform all of his stunts in a white “death’s head” make-up to freak the audience out. Everything was going fine until his circus started being used as a drug trafficking ring. Once Boston found out about it, he planned on going to the cops. The problem is, he found out about it during a show and he wanted to finish performing first. That was a bad idea.

Hook is the one in green…with the hook hand.

Whoever was running the drug ring found out about Boston’s plans and called in a hit man to take him out. Enter: Hook. Hook was the guy brought in for the job of killing Boston and he succeeded. Boston fell from his aerial stunt with a bullet hole in his chest and died. But his spirit was caught by this blue Goddess lady named Rama Kushna. Rama gave him the ability to walk on Earth and in the spirit world and to possess anyone’s body for a limited time. But he is a ghost, so nobody can see or hear him, which makes for a really lonely existence. The good news is, when he finds out the truth about who killed him and why he had to die, he can be free and move on to the other side. Think that would be easy, huh? Nope.

This would have a lot of great twists and turns mixed with some “Crow” style avenging spirit and “Ghost” style…well, ghost-y moments. I think Deadman would make a great movie for anyone looking to get away from the “eight blocks get taken out in a huge fight between two super powered beings” type of superhero movies that are out now. It would be a very personal and private fight for Deadman that the masses would never really find out about. Think about it. You know this would be cool.

Dream Cast:

Boston Brand/Deadman: Ryan Gosling (“Driver”)

Hook: Michael C. Hall (“Dexter” TV)

Rama Kushna: Catherine Zeta Jones (“Ocean’s Twelve”)

Arise the Demon, Etrigan!

There’s Hell to pay.

Doesn’t sound familiar? Well, he’s been used in a few Batman animated shows before, but he’s mainly from the books. His time has come! But who is he? The son of the demon Belial (one of the four crowned princes of Hell), Etrigan is a demon that was summoned by the powerful wizard Merlin. Merlin wants the secrets of Etrigan’s power, but is unable to discover them. As this is going on, she-sorcerer Morgan Le Fay finds out that Etrigan is in the human world and wants to use him as her demonic slave. To avoid this, Merlin bonds Etrigan to the soul of one of Camelot’s knights named Jason Blood. This hides Etrigan from Le Fay and allows Jason to not only become immortal, but he can also call on the demon whenever he needs his help. The only catch is that he has to be able to speak this invocation: “Change! Change, O form of man! Release the might from fleshy mire! Boil the blood in heart of fire! Gone! Gone! — the form of man — Rise, the Demon Etrigan!!” Sounds really dark and Shakespearean, right, but if his mouth is taped shut, he can’t say it.

So Jason Blood is now really old (but still looks like he’s in his late 20s-early 30s) and hanging out in modern day Gotham (but for a film, New York could be used). He finds work as a freelance demonologist, exorcist and consultant for the police whenever anything super weird comes up. But who does he have to deal with? Who is his villain? A little boy.

This kid needs a time-out.

Klarion (the “Witch Boy”) is a little kid who lives in a secretive society made up of the descendants of the lost Roanoke colony. As a member of this hidden society, Klarion becomes very adept in the “Dark Arts”.  After almost being burned at the stake by his community, he decides that it’s time he head out into the general public. So, out in our world, he uses his magical abilities to wreak havoc. Now, here’s where I would take this for a movie: Klarion finds a way to contact Morgan Le Fay after he witnesses the demon Etrigan at work. He teams with her and makes a deal: She gets Etrigan and he gets to be her adopted son, thereby getting to rule the world with her.

This movie would be like a cross between “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “The Incredible Hulk”.  Magic would be a huge factor in the action of the film, but any groans about that can be washed away by thinking about “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, “Willow”, or “Lord of the Rings”. Magic in action films has been done very well, lately, and this movie would certainly keep to that. Along with magic, knock-down drag-out fights can be used. Think “Hellboy”. This could be a huge movie with some serious sequel possibilities.

By the way, don’t think for a second that this is “Hellboy”. Etrigan is not funny or nice. He’s a mean badass demon.

Dream Cast:

Etrigan: Industrial Light and Magic (“The Avengers”)

Jason Blood: Jude Law (“Sherlock Holmes”)

Klarion: Gulliver McGrath (“Dark Shadows”)

Morgan Le Fay: Eva Green (“Dark Shadows”)

Merlin: Christopher Lee (“Lord of the Rings”)

Belial: Jeremy Irons (“Die Hard: With a Vengeance”)

Wonder Woman

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Wonder Woman (also known as Diana Prince) was “born” in Themyscira and is an ambassador of the Amazons. She was created by her mother, the Queen of Themyscira, Hippolyta, when formed from the beach sands and prayed over. Her mother asked the gods to bestow her with great attributes: “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes and stronger than Hercules.” She also can speak any language and, in some stories, talk to animals.

She met this guy, Steve Trevor, when he crashed his military jet onto the island home of the Amazons. She nursed him back to health and he fell for her. But, being an Amazon, Diana was slow to form relationships with men. So, sorry Steve.

Craaaazy Witch!

Her coolest (and most likely to be in a movie) villain is the evil witch Circe. If the name is familiar, it’s because this was the witch from “The Odyssey” that trapped Odysseus and his men, turning most of them into pigs. Circe is a bad, bad chick. Basically, Circe has the soul of Hecate (an evil witch/moon goddess) inside her, but since Diana is also a moon goddess name, she thinks that Wonder Woman wants Hecate’s soul, too. If that happened, Circe would lose all her powers. So, Circe spends all her time trying to kill Wonder Woman even though Wonder Woman doesn’t want the soul of Hecate inside her. If it sounds complicated, it kinda is.

Anyway, this would be a film close in feel to “Thor”, but with a little more “Girl Power”. And I’m not talking about “Columbiana” or “Electra” girl power, I’m talking about “Kill Bill” or “Haywire” girl power. Wonder Woman is an expert in dozens of hand-to-hand fighting styles, adept in weaponry (especially her enchanted sword and shield), good with magic and is equipped with her indestructible bracelets and her Lasso of Truth…which is also indestructible. There would be some magic play, but with Circe’s ability to turn almost anyone to her will, this movie could have some gritty, hardcore fights.

Besides, do I really need to make an argument for this movie? “Batman Begins”, “Superman: Man of Steel”, and even “Green Lantern” have all been done, it’s obviously time for Wonder Woman.

Dream Cast:

Wonder Woman/Diana Prince: Gina Carano (“Haywire”)

Circe:Angelina Jolie (“Gone in 60 Seconds”)

Steve Trevor: Channing Tatum (“G.I. Joe”)

Queen Hippolyta:Lynda Carter (“Wonder Woman” TV)

Captain Marvel (A.K.A. The Big Red Cheese)

Big Red Cheese

Captain Marvel is really a little orphan boy named Billy Batson who was transported to the mystical mountain-top home of the powerful wizard Shazam. The wizard saw good in the boy and told him that whenever he needed to, he could speak the wizard’s name and be transformed into the “World’s Mightiest Mortal”. The name Shazam is actually an acronym for Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. When Billy became Captain Marvel, he would be granted traits of these mythical heroes (wisdom, strength, stamina, power, courage and speed, respectively).

Scary Bad Guy

One of his worst arch enemies was Black Adam. He was a former recipient of the power of Shazam and he went bad. Equal in power to Captain Marvel, but he was given this power as an adult, which Shazam had decided was the reason he went bad. Billy Batson, being a little boy, still had the right heart for the job. He wasn’t power hungry or cynical.

This would be an epic movie that would essentially be two “Superman” types duking it out. The difference, though, is that even as Captain Marvel, he still has the mind of young Billy. So he doesn’t cuss. He blushes when a lady gives him the eye. He’s one big muscular kid. This would have a lot of humor in the same vein as Brandon Frazier’s character in “Blast From the Past”, but the big superhero action that “Thor” or “Iron Man” has. Captain Marvel is the man-child with the heart of gold. Pitting that against the more “grown up” mentality of Black Adam would add a great element to what would otherwise be a typical big-guy-hitting-big-guy superhero film.

Dream Cast:

Captain Marvel:Brandon Frazier (“Blast From the Past”)

Billy Batson:Joel Courtney (“Super 8”)

Shazam:Ian McKellen (“Lord of the Rings”)

Black Adam:Dwayne Johnson (“Faster”)

Complaints of a Comic Book Enthusiast.

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Okay, so we have the first believable Batman ever on film. A fantastic group of Marvel single character movies and “The Avengers”. We even had a great Superman movie a few years back (yeah, it didn’t do well in the box office numbers, but it was very honest to the character).

But we need more. Marvel and DC both have a slew of other great characters that can make great movies, but where are they? I’m going to break down my top 5 comics-to-movies that should happen for both companies. This will take a while, but it’s gonna be fun.

First, I’ll go DC with a post for each movie. Then Marvel. I’ll do remakes that should happen and characters that have never been used before. If you have an opinion on who you think should have a flick in their honor, tell me. I’d love to hear it.

Forgotten Martial Arts Flicks

Remember all those Seagal, Van Damme, Chan martial arts movies? Well, this has nothing to do with those. This post is about three lesser-known films that if you do remember, you will agree that they were very cool…at least at the time.

First up, “Only the Strong”.

Ala Cuisine!

Starring Marc Dacascos (otherwise known as the Chairman of Iron Chef: America), this 93 flick follows the basic storyline of troubled high school kids who get their lives turned around by a new teacher. Not the most original story, but whatever works, right? So who is the inspirational teacher? A capoeira (a little known Brazilian dance fighting style) practitioner. Seems like smooth sailing, but wait! The local gang also knows capoeira! Wow, what are the chances? Wooden acting, recycled story, but the fights are something you don’t get to se very often. This one is worth a look back.

Next we have “The Perfect Weapon”.

Where did this guy go?

Jeff was a high school delinquent whose father sent him to a traditional kenpo karate school for some self discipline. When the adult Jeff comes back to the old neighborhood, he finds the Korean mafia are pushing his old teacher around. Jeff doesn’t like this. Starring the superstar Jeff Speakman, thi- What? You’ve never heard of him? Oh, I’m sorry. I guess he’s not a superstar. Anyway…a fun movie with some truly cool fights, one of which is the total defeat of about 6 guys in seconds, this 1991 flick is a lazy afternoon time-killer.

Finally, a movie that actually has a good underground following…”The Last Dragon”. SHO’NUFF!

He really did catch that arrow.

Motwon creator, Berry Gordy brings us one of the best black martial arts movies ever. Leroy Green is growing up in a tough city, but he’s trying to better himself through martial arts. But he doesn’t fight. He focuses on the spiritual oneness offered by practicing martial arts, hence his nickname “Bruce Leroy”. Leroy’s life gets turned upside-down when he saves the local TV star Laura Charles (played by Prince girl Vanity). Events lead Leroy to the final showdown with Sho’Nuff, the Shogun of Harlem. But can Leroy find the glow within himself and defeat his foes?

Tribute to Taz. 1995-2012

Taz

We'll miss you, Tazzie.

Our family had to let one of our dogs go to the Other Side today. Her name was Taz and she was a basenji. From the beginning, she was trouble. Always managing to get into trouble by dumping a trash can everywhere or eating the occasional hat that was left too low. After chewing through a couple of (plugged in) power cords and more than a few tree sprigs, Christmas soon became marked with the tradition of putting up the white lattice fence around the tree and not putting the gifts under it until the night before, all so they would last through the holidays. Tazzie was a “bad dog” in the very best of ways and she will be missed terribly.

As a small tribute to her, here is a list of just a few of the best dog films made.

“Marley and Me”. I don’t think I can ever watch this movie a second time, but it is a beautiful and honest story about best friends.

“Lady and the Tramp”. No movie, ever, will get the personalities of our four-legged friends so perfectly.

“Marmaduke”. A funny, sweet film that everyone in the family can enjoy.

“Homeward Bound”. Two dogs and a cat on an adventure that will get everyone crying tears of joy.

These are just a few films among the many that have been made about our tail-wagging, kibble crunching, sometimes slobbering best friends. If you are reading this, pick that one dog movie you love and watch it.

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