Sunday, February 24, 2013

Richard Branson: Losing My Virginity

I finished this last night. Great bloody bio.

Growing up in Britain, Branson's mug was familiar to many. He always seemed to be in the news trying some daredevil stunt and he always seemed to So, years later I was interested to find out how one man managed to juggle being an adventurer and being a billionaire entrepreneur. How'd it all happen?

Virgin Group is so freakin diversified, it's crazy. Virgin does everything from air-travel, rail, spaceships, cola, banks, clothes, to music. It's all over the map. I think Virgin literally has hundreds of businesses under the brand umbrella.

I'm not gonna tell you about Branson's story. It's a 600 page book. It's a wild ass ride. See for yourself. All I can say is that I went in knowing very little but somehow having respect for the dude. As rich as he is, he always seemed like an underdog. I read the book and now have a much deeper appreciation for the man, how he made his riches, and how he chooses to spend his time and profits. The world needs more Richard Bransons. Seriously. He's a self-made billionaire who leaves and breathes philanthropy.

The book dives into his childhood and you can clearly see that the way his parents raised him profoundly affected his trajectory in life. He was constantly challenged as a child and that really sculpted his fearless personality. He didn't come from riches whatsoever. But his parents gifted him with self-perseverance, self-esteem and no fear of failure; the ingredients for success. I think he did pretty well for himself. The dude has a private space-tourism company!

Branson was a hustler. It's great to see how everything started (with a student-oriented magazine) and to see how one business begat another and another and another...He just hustled and took advantage of opportunities when they arose. Fearless and innovative, no matter the odds. And things always work out in his favor. Branson doesn't bend.

Finally, after he's bought private islands, started tons of wildly-successful international companies, risked his life doing crazy record-breaking adventures, and made literally billions of dollars, he decides to focus almost all his time and energy on philanthropy. The dude sets up schools, hospitals, you name it. He's investing in people, saving animals, saving human lives, and making a difference on a global scale. The man is inspirational.

Read the book. It's some exciting shit.

His daughter is a doctor. And evidently pretty damn hot!!! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

the Peacekillers

The Flying Skülls watched this last night. Holy shit, this was GNARLY for 1971.

We've seen millions of 60's/70s biker flicks and this was by far the most graphic. You're watching it, thinking it's all par for the course and then you're hit with a sketchy gang-rape scene. Then someone might get tortured or shot in the face. There's more than one "fuck" or "motherfucker" dropped in this flick. A militaristic black chick with an righteous afro even calls the bikers "faggots." Most shocking of all, is how the bikers psychologically taunt an ex-momma by describing the impending gang-rape. For 1971, this is pretty hardcore. 

Not that any of the shit mentioned above makes the Peacekillers any good or anything, but it's worth noting.

Graphic nature aside, it's right in line with all the other genre flicks. Quarreling biker gangs, small town America, scorned lover, acid, weed, cheap beer, orgies, mommas, old ladies, choppers, a hippie commune, the man, crap music, questionable acting, you know the recipe. 

There's a hippie commune where they just sit around naked and get high / fuck / tend the community garden all day. Biker gang follows a hot momma to the commune so they can gang-rape her as revenge for leaving the biker gag. enter a rival minority biker gang (black chick, two black dudes, asian chick, and a token white guy). She's caught, escapes, caught, escapes, they fight, there's a pitchfork, there's a gun, shit happens. There's lots of bike riding.

The blood is awesome. Evidently back in the 70's people used to bleed Sherwin Williams paint. 

Best thing about this flick is Black Widow and her gang, the Branded Banshees (aforementioned minority gang). She's straight out of a Tarantino flick. Crazy ass chick. 

You can stream this on Netflix or watch the whole thing on YouTube (linked above). 

Oh, almost forgot to mention the cans. Finally, we see some great cans in a biker flick! I doff my cap. Thank you, Peacekillers. 

Lesser movies would have used a mannequin. Today it would be CGI. The Peacekillers is hardcore.

That guy is smooooov. He sits around preaching shit like Jesus, but he's got a harem of naked 70's nymphos ready to bang right after the sermon.

Not the first time we've seen a pitchfork used in a biker flick. Probably not the last.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Oscar Nominated Shorts

Every year Marie and I go to the DFT to see the 5 Oscar-nominated live-action shorts and 5 Oscar-nominated animated shorts.

As always, it was a sold out theatre. We sat in front of some bitch with a loud ass laugh. It was un-fucking-real. She cackled in my ear. It physically hurt. I prayed to Satan that the next 9 films would be about abortions and the holocaust so that bitch wouldn't have anything to laugh about. My prayers were answered in a roundabout way because the the bulk of the evening was spent watching dramas that were mostly depressing. Each film had a silver lining, but not enough comedic relief to unleash that hideous laugh. No abortions and holocaust, but there was suicide, murder and genocide, so that shut her up and enabled us to enjoy our evening.

It was as solid line-up. One of the best in years, actually. I think any of the live-action shorts deserved to win. I'd give the nod to the steam-punk influenced Death of a Shadow. It was very freakin unique. Marie liked Curfew so much she bought it on iTunes.

I have an awful memory. As for the animated shorts...I'd give it to Paperman. Definitely.

If you've never been I highly recommend you go next year. Make sure to buy your tix in advance from the website because it always sells-out.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Miss Bala

One of the things that I find the most interesting to read about in contemporary society are the narco wars. Yes, it's a disturbing subject, but I find it fascinating that there is such a cruel and violent clash between the Mexican authorities and the drug cartels that's going on right across our border. I love the constant one-upmanship employed by both sides to get the upper hand.

For years the cartels have been liquifying bodies in steel drums and leaving mutilated remains strewn across Mexico as a warning, 'don't fuck with us'. Recently, they have upped the ante by creating DIY drug submarines and Mad Max style tanks. The US in turn are now using gun boats and aerial drones to patrol our border. Viscous stuff indeed.

Because of this I was pretty stoked to see Miss Bala, which I had read was one of the better movies released last year. The film is about a woman who was witness to the massacre of Mexican DEA agents by a drug cartel. Because of this, she is unwillingly forced to be a mule for this cartel. Now, I wouldn't say I didn't enjoy it, but it certainly wasn't one of the best movies of last year. And while the idea behind the story was 'riveting', and the directing was good, the movie failed on the most fundamental level; character development. I felt no connection with the main character, so consequently, it didn't really matter to me what happened to her. Because of this, I never really felt any sort of tension which would have made the movie much more enjoyable.

Like I said, while not a bad movie and certainly watchable, I would highly recommend another somewhat similar movie, Sin Nombre, which is successful on every level.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Here's my playlist for a snowy day in Michigan. Doesn't have anything to do with winter or the stupid snow, if anything, it's quite the opposite. A mix from my favorite dj, Mylo.


The Flying Skülls watched this last night. I had first checked it out last year and knew I had to see it again. Here's my original post if you want some details...

I stand by my initial assessment. Great doc for bikers and non-bikers alike. You should be streaming this right now. What are you waiting for?

R.I.P Marco Simoncelli.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


The best thing about watching Dredd today was the coffee I got from the bagel shop.

Why can't anyone do any justice to Judge Dredd? (see what I just did?) This flick was not faithful to the comics. The Lawgiver, Lawmaster and even the Judge's uniforms weren't true to spec. Sure, they were reminiscent of the real deal, but even in Stallone's abortion of a movie they had more authentic looking costume etc.

I can't really say anything good about this movie at all. The music was uninspired. The plot didn't really bring in any characters you wanted to see other than Judge Anderson. And even then, Anderson should have been hotter and a bit stronger as a person. The acting wasn't anything to write home about. MegaCity One didn't feel as futuristic as it should have. It just looked like a third world slum. Where were the mutants and bizarre fashion? No fatties? No nods to other 2000AD characters or fanboy shit? It was shallow.

The visual treatment they created for the "slow-mo" drug was kinda cool, and there was violence aplenty. That's about it.

I started watching the DVD extras and so far THAT'S way better than the film.

So there you have it. I love Judge Dredd, but this movie isn't worth your time. I'd like to suggest a new law: if your name isn't Robert Rodriguez and you're not collaborating with the content creators then you're not allowed to do a comic book movie. The end.