Sunday, May 31, 2015

Winnebago Man

I'd seen the 'winnebago man' / 'angriest man on the planet' video outtakes years ago. My friend Andrea introduced me to the clips. I thought it was incredibly funny. One of the all time great viral videos.

I wasn't alone.

Winnebago Man is a documentary all about tracking down Jack (the guy from the outtakes), to catch up with him now and see what he was all about. Where was he? What's he been doing? What'd he think about the popularity of the video he unwittingly starred in? All these questions and more.

The doc takes a surprising turn (I won't mention the details) upon meeting Jack. It's pretty interesting stuff. Light viewing. I wouldn't suggest anyone rushes out to watch this on Netflix. But if you're eating dinner and want to plop something could go a lot worse.

If you haven't seen the original video for some it is. Fucking amazing stuff.

Bigger Stronger Faster

This started off really well but didn't quite hold the momentum. It's a pretty low budget, but well-done documentary about steroids, America, and family.

What pushes one brother to use steroids for years, while his other brother shuns the idea? What do their parents think of it all? WHY do steroids? Are they fair? Are they safe? Should they be allowed in pro sports? This doc touches on all of these questions and comes away with some surprising insights into steroid use.

If you're interested in sports or body-building, I definitely recommend you watch this doc. It'll give insight on a topic often discussed in half-truths, rumors, lies, and misconceptions.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Seeing as I just watched Conan and I've been reading Arnie's bio, John Milius has been on my radar. He was the director of said movie and an all round bad ass dude.

Milius was part of the USC directors in the 70's who really changed cinema forever. A book like "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" will go into great detail on that era of cinema if you're interested. But guys like Coppola, Spielberg, Milius, and Lucas were really making waves in the 70's and turning the studio system upside down.

This documentary tracks Milius's career as a script writer, director and producer. Part Hunter S. Thompson, part Teddy Roosevelt, Milius was a visionary artist and bone fide raconteur. He's written more famous screenplays than you realize. Dirty Harry? Apocalypse Now? Yeah.

If you're interested in film history, watch this documentary on Netflix. It's a compelling portrait of a great artist with a singular vision and unwavering drive.

What is good in life? To crush your enemies, seen them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Conan the Barbarian

I put this on at midnight last night. I've been reading Arnold's 2012 bio, "Total Recall," and I'm fascinated. It's a fucking phenomenal read. I'm about halfway through when he's talking about shooting Conan and I just had to watch it. The background info was just too much. I had to see it again.

Last time I watched Conan was probably 25 years ago. I tried watching it a few months ago and turned it off after 10 minutes. I just wasn't in the mood. But for whatever reason, last night I was ready to roll.

Here's the thing, I fucking love all things Conan, and I grew up a Schwarzenegger fan (how can you not when you came of age in the 80's). But at 35...I just wasn't into the campiness of Ahnold's shitty 'acting' in this flick. When you hold a character close to your heart it's almost impossible for the film version to hold up. However, we know it can be done b/c Sin City is quite literally a PERFECT cinematic version of the comic. So that's the bar. It's way high. Like, WAY UP THERE.

So I let my guard down and watched Conan. It was okay. I was surprised by how few speaking parts Arnie actually had. He rarely puts more than two sentences together at any given time. But I liked all his references to Crom.

It was cool to figure out which stories they had cobbled the plot from. It's neat to understand some of the back story re: Milius's directing. It's cool to see William Smith and Franco Columbu. There's a lot of history involved in the flick. But it's not a movie I'm going to keep coming back to. The tension isn't really there. It's a pale shadow of the comics or the original stories. Meh.

It was better than I thought it was gonna be. But it wasn't as good as it could have been by a long shot.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Barlowe's Inferno

Eric let me borrow Barlow's Inferno. It's awesome.

Wayne Barlowe paints a series of images depicting a voyeuristic trip through Hell. It's truly epic in scale. Very immersive. He paints with great sense of scale and imagination. He narrates the canvases through the book, discussing inspiration and content behind the depictions of anguish and torture. Bricks made out of human souls. Stuff like that...

It's the kind of book and voyage you can keep coming back to relive. Cool shit...

Slum Village


Friday, May 8, 2015


I saw this at the local classic used book store for a few bucks. As an avid Hitchcock nerd I was pretty stoked to pick this up.

I read the book in a few days and dug it. The novel is inevitably different from the film, but it's been a few years since my last viewing so I can't comment on the differences in too much detail. However, it did seem to be markedly different if my recollection is accurate. Some of the key scenes and characters are present in the movie, but Hitchcock definitely wove his own distinct yarn from the source material.

Anyway, the book was good. Slow pacing. Relatable characters. Typically English. Publisher's Weekly says it has "a shocker of an ending" and that's the truth, brotha! I found the denouement rather quickly pieced together, but was good.

This is a short novel and worth the read. It's obvious why Hitchcock gravitated to it. "The Wrong Man" is a quintessential Hitchcockian theme that he visited time and time again. It's classic. Dig it.