Hottie of the Day: Tsugihara Kana


TSUGIHARA KANA

Our latest Hottie of the Day is very lovely Tsugihara Kana.

Ms. Tsugihara Kana is one of the rising star in Japan’s gravure modeling scene. While she stands little more than 5’2″ her quite curvaceaous figure has made her quite popular in Japan. She has mostly done bikini and lingerie modeling she has started to become one of the regular pin-ups in Sabra Magazine which is Japan’s answer to Maxim and FHM. Ms. Tsugihara has also had stints as spokesmodel for both the Xbox 360 and the Sony PSP (both black and white editions) during their launch release days. This fact alone is why her popularity is on the rise within the gaming community.

Kana certainly fits the profile to a double “T” of who is a hottie of the day.

Guillermo Del Toro Leaves The Hobbit


Sad news for Tolkien fans worldwide as Guillermo Del Toro has announced that he will be leaving the planned two-part film project to adapt J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel, The Hobbit. As his announcement on TheOneRing.Net explains the many delays to the start of the project has made his role as director to the two films untenable. He had signed up to spend three years in New Zealand to do the films and has even moved his family to have them closer to him during the process, but the constant delays to getting an official start date would mean he would need to spend double the time he had originally signed up for.

These delays have made him put on the backburner his own film projects which seem very close and dear to him. He still has to finish off his Spanish Civil War Trilogy (The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth being the first two). There’s also his wish to do a third Hellboy film (the second film setting up what could be an epic closing to the franchise). Then there’s his dream project to bring to the big-screen a film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s novella, At the Mountains of Madness.

With Del Toro now gone as headliner for the two Hobbit films there’s surely going to be new rumors about who shall replace him. There was major scuttlebutt that Sam Raimi was in the running in the beginning before Del Toro signed on. I wouldn’t be surprised if Raimi’s name came up once again. He definitely has free time now that he’s off the Spider-Man franchise. Will Jackson do another “out of left field” decision and tap Blomkamp to take over for Del Toro. I think that’s a brave move if it happens, but also one that could backfire and stunt Blomkamp’s career. He’s already been part of plans to adapt a major franchise only to have it taken away from him.

In the end, it looks like The Hobbit may just end up not being made or, at the very least, not make a 2012 release date many insiders have set it two-part film for.

Source: TheOneRing.Net

[REC]2 Red Band Trailer


While the sequel to the so-called “one of the scariest horror films ever made” has already been out in Spain since 2009 and seen in other countries it still has to make its way over to the North American territories of the US and Canada. I know that many think this Spanish-made horror film is the scariest thing to be seen since ever I’m in the minority who just thought it was good horror that got lots of hype and praise due to its first-person camera narrative style.

The US remake of this film, Quarantine, only made people think the first [REC] truly was great due to the remake’s level of awful. This sequel follows the first film just minutes after it ended and looks to add more action to the mix. When I say action it looks like a live-action version of Doom 3 but minus the demons and sci-fi trappings. Instead we get SWAT team members and a secretive government official going in to handle the escalating crisis.

Some of those who have seen this sequel make an apt comparison to the Alien franchise. This sequel is this franchise’s Aliens.

Whether it make a theatrical release here in the US or just straight to video I will most likely end up watching it, but with a tempered sense of expectation. It takes a lot for a film to make my greatest horror list and this franchise just doesn’t cut it.

Song of the Day: Colors (by Ice-T)


In honor of the recent passing of Dennis Hopper the Song of the Day shall be from his 1988 film about the world of the Bloods and Crips gangs in LA and the gang unit in the LAPD who try to control the violence between the gangs from spilling onto the streets. The song is “Colors” by rapper Ice-T.

There’s not much else to say other than even 22 years after it’s release this particular classic rap track still resonates and sounds better than most rap albums released in the last couple years.

Review: My Best Fiend (dir. by Werner Herzog)


How do I explain my fascination with Klaus Kinski, an actor who died long before I even saw my first movie?  Certainly, it’s not due to his charming screen presence.  Kinski never made any secret of the fact that he loathed most of his films and that loathing is usually painfully apparent on-screen.  Nor can my fascination be linked to the quality of the films he made.  With the exception of a few Italian spaghetti westerns and a set of films he made with Werner Herzog, the majority of Kinski’s films are of little interest beyond his performance in them.  Kinski’s film career was largely made up of playing countless murderers, rapists, and psychopaths.  By most (but certainly not all) accounts, he committed even worse behavior offscreen.

Yet somehow, Klaus Kinski has captured not only my imagination but the imagination of film buffs around the world.  A very good friend of mine has confessed to me that she finds watching Kinski in a bad film to be an almost erotic experience and I have to admit that I do as well.  Kinski had one of those faces that was so ugly that it was almost beautiful and, watching him onscreen, it’s hard not to feel as if the you are literally watching cinematic exorcism.  It’s as if the fictional characters that Kinski creates are little more than his real-life demons being captured on-screen.  A lot of actors specialize in playing insane but Kinski seemed to actually be insane.  Even today, watching his performance in Augirre, The Wrath of God on DVD, it’s hard not to feel as if Kinski is going to jump out of the TV at any minute and proceed to destroy your living room while screaming insults in German.  Even nearly 20 years after his death, Klaus Kinski remains mad, bad, and dangerous to know. 

I have to admit, I’ve always had a weakness for the whole fantasy of the bad boy with the wounded poet’s soul and, even middle-aged and ugly, Klaus Kinski was the ultimate bad boy.  Whether or not Kinski had the soul of a poet is another question and a difficult one to answer.  However, if you’re going to solve to riddle of who Klaus Kinski really was, that’s the question that must be answered.  And probably the best place to start your investigation is with Werner Herzog’s 1999 documentary/tribute, My Best Fiend.

Herzog directed Kinski in five films, beginning with the classic Aguirre, the Wrath of God in 1972 and ending with the unfortunate Cobra Verde in 1987.  The spirit of their collaboration can be seen in the fact that Herzog was rumored to have directed Kinski at gunpoint in Aguirre (though Herzog denies this) and that Kinski eventually physically assaulted Herzog during the filming of Cobra Verde.  In both the contemporary press and his own controversial autobiography (entitled Kinski: All I Need Is Love) Kinski regularly declared Herzog to be “an idiot.”  Herzog, for his part, regularly declared that he would never make another movie with Kinski just before signing him to another role.  Despite all this however, Kinski’s best performances were given in his movies with Herzog and no other actor has ever proven to be as perfectly suited to translate Herzog’s worldview as Klaus Kinski (though Nicolas Cage came close in last year’s Bad Lieutenant).  My Best Fiend is Herzog’s attempt to understand his late muse.

The film opens with a classic Kinski image.  We see a young, long-haired Kinski, standing on stage.  He’s in the middle of one of his infamous one-man shows and has decided that the audience is not paying proper attention to him.  He responds to this by literally attacking the audience. 

We soon learn that shortly after this footage was filmed, Kinski agreed to star in Aguirre, the Wrath of God.  Over archival footage of Kinski scowling and screaming in the Amazon, Herzog talks about both working with Kinski as an actor and about filming Aguirre in general.   (Even if you’re not interested in the twisted life of Klaus Kinski, My Best Fiend is fascinating as a behind-the-scenes look at filmmaking.)  Herzog talks about how Kinski regularly threatened to leave the production and how he responded by threatening to murder Kinski if he did.  Members of the film crew are interviewed.  They create a portrait of a monstrous man who, at one point during filming, shot off a cameraman’s thumb for no discernible reason.  And yet, as all of this is presented to us, Herzog also shows us clips of Kinski’s amazing performance in the movie.  Much like Herzog, we are forced to wonder how such a loathsome human being could also be such a gifted (and, in his admittedly warped way, sensitive) artist.

Though most of the film is devoted to Aguirre, Herzog does offer up anecdotes about his other collaborations with Kinski.  He tells how Kinski would regularly threaten to have him killed and he admits to often fantasizing about killing Klaus Kinski himself.  He goes as far as to mention that, during several film shoots, members of the crew would frequently (and seriously) offer to kill Kinski for him.  He also tells of the hurt of continually reading the latest Kinski interview in which Kinski would, without fail, refer to his director as being an untalented hack.

And yet, the portrait of Klaus Kinski that emerges here is not exactly negative.  Even as Herzog tells us that he often wanted to murder Kinski, he finds the time to visit the apartment where an undiscovered, penniless Kinski once lived.  He talks to people who knew Kinski when he was younger and they offer up stories of a young man who, while undeniably arrogant, was also refreshingly honest in his refusal to compromise his own unique vision of the world.  Herzog interviews two of Kinski’s costars, Eva Mattes and Claudia Cardinale.  Both Mattes and Cardinale describe Kinski as being gentle, calm, and supportive while dealing with them.  Mattes is especially touching as the amount of affection she felt for this supposed madman is obvious in every word she says.  Kinski, himself, is seen assuring Herzog that all the insults and extreme negativity in All I Need Is Love is simply a ruse to convince people to buy the book.  In short, Kinski is simply giving the people what they want. 

As much as I loved My Best Friend, there were still some things that I wish the movie had spent more time on.  Beyond a few tantalizing hints, we learn little of Kinski’s life before he first met Herzog (though we do learn that Kinski had spent time in a mental hospital where he was diagnosed as being schizophrenic) and even less time is spent on the hundreds of films that Kinski made without Herzog.  While this makes sense as the film is about Herzog’s relationship with Kinski, it also creates the impression that Kinski was an unknown before Herzog cast him.  This simply is not true as Kinski was already had something of a cult following as the result of appearing in several Italian spaghetti westerns.  As well, Herzog doesn’t go into near enough detail about the Cobra Verde shoot that eventually led to the end of his collaboration with Kinski.  Perhaps its understandable that Herzog would prefer to concentrate on obvious triumphs like Aguirre and Nosferatu but it’s still hard not to feel that he’s allowing his own ego to get in the way of telling the full story of his relationship with Klaus Kinski.

However, any and all flaws are rendered moot by the film’s final scenes.  We first see Kinski, during the shooting of Fitzcarraldo, angrily screaming and shouting at a crew member.  This is Kinski at his worst (though Herzog insists this is actually a rather mild example of Kinski’s anger), a raving madman who seems to intent of inspiring his audience to rise up and destroy him.

This is followed by a scene in that same Peruvian jungle where Kinski, smiling almost beatifically, gently plays with a butterfly. 

After seeing that scene, it leaves me convinced (as it did Herzog) that there truly was the soul of poet lurking underneath the monstrous facade of Klaus Kinski.

Hottie of the Day: Hoshino Aki


HOSHINO AKI

After an extended hiatus (a couple weeks with no new hottie I call a hiatus) Hottie of the Day returns with a legend in the Japanese gravure scene. I am talking about the one and only Hoshino Aki.

Ms. Hoshino was born in Tokyo in the year of 1977. She began her career as a gravure and bikini idol over a decade ago which makes her a rarity in the industry. An industry where even the most popular idols barely extend their career into their 30’s. Her photobooks and modeling videos remain some of the most popular in Japan today with her used by the industry as the current standard by which new models and idols are compared to. While records show that Aki appeared in a Japanese adult video it was as a walk-on and never went nude or participated.

She has started to move into starting up a singing career and rumor has it that she is in talks with a Japanese production company to become part of the cast of a Japanese tv show. No matter how things turn out Hoshino Aki will always have her legacy as being one of the few legends in the gravure and idol industry and still continuing on strong.

9 Favorite Revenge Films


Having recently seen Michael Caine’s revenge film Harry Brown I got to thinking about other revenge-themed films I’ve watched through the years and I realized that there were quite a bit of them. There’s something just primal and Old Testament about revenge flicks. It doesn’t matter whether they’re high-brow art-house films or the cheapest grindhouse flicks in the end it all boils down to one individual raining down their own version of Divine Wrath on those who wronged them.

Who hasn’t fantasized or thought about going all medieval on someone who just screwed them over. Maybe it was an infraction that was minor that one didn’t need to get overly upset over or something so heinous that only violence at its most basest was the only response. Going through with such thoughts usually stayed there: in one’s thoughts and imaginings. Revenge films seems to be quite popular because they allow even the meekest and most pacifist to secretly live vicariously through the revenge-minded leads in the film.

The list below is not the best revenge films out there but they definitely are my favorites…

Oldboy – This revenge film by South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook wasn’t just a blast to watch but also happens to be one of the best films of the past decade. It takes a simple plot of a man imprisoned against his will for 15 years with no explanation whatsoever that he literally goes insane and back to sane during his captivity. Revenge being the one thing which keeps him going and revenge he gets to inflict on all those he discovers were responsible. The mind-twisting last act in the film takes the revenge-theme right on it’s head as we find out that the main lead wasn’t the only one on a revenge train of thought.

I Spit On Your Grave aka Day of the Woman – This grindhouse classic from Meir Zarchi is the epitome of the rape victim turned revenge valkyrie. The film is not very easy to sit through since there’s nothing subtle about how filmmaker Meir Zarchi filmed every exploitative scene. From the prolonged gang rape sequence to each subsequent revenge act by Camille Keaton’s Jennifer character. Some critics have blasted the film as pandering to the lowest common denominator while others have hailed it as a post-modern feminist film. I like to think that both sides are correct and that the film lies somewhere in the middle. It definitely will put a scare on any group of men who are having thoughts of shenanigans.

Death Wish – When people hear revenge flick they almost always say this iconic film by Charles Bronson from the 70’s. The film was adapted from Brian Garfield’s 1072 novel of the same name and directed by Michael Winner. While critics had mixed reactions to the film with some calling it irresponsible filmmaking, the nation as a whole embraced the film. Here was a film which screamed to the nation that the rising crime-rate in the U.S. during the 1970’s wasn’t going to go unanswered. While some people may have seen the film as a blank check to actually commit vigilantism in the end it just helped a country sick and tired of the crime they see day in and day out. Again here was art becoming a driving force in changing a nation’s collective malaise into something more positive. It didn’t hurt that Bronson was badass as Paul Kersey.

Kill Bill: Volume 1-2 – Who else but the video clerk made good would make what I would consider the greatest genre mash-up film ever made. Quentin Tarantino’s ode to kung fu, spaghetti westerns and revenge flicks became so massive that he had to split the film into two volumes. I am talking about Kill Bill. Not his greatest film ever but I definitely consider it his most geek-friendly and most entertaining. Uma Thurman as The Bride tearing a bloody and witty path of revenge on those who failed to kill her created some of the most iconic fight sequences of the generation this film came out in. Every scene almost seemed to be inspired by other films of a similar theme and genre that film geeks everywhere must’ve exploded in their pants from all the awesomeness they were witnessing. Each volume had two great action sequences that were both fantastical and brutal.

Straw Dogs – One of the most controversial films in Sam Peckinpah’s controversy-filled directing career. Released in 1971 it told the story of how even the meekest person could be pushed into dealing out extreme violent justice on those who have wrong them and those they love. Seen by critics as quite misogynistic due to the nature of the rape scene of Susan George’s Amy character the film was banned for two decades in the UK for it’s unflinching look at violence. Being a huge fan of Sam Peckinpah I had to see it and when I did it automatically became one of my favorite films ever and not just a favorite revenge film. If there was ever a modern retelling of a Biblical-level fable it is this classic from Sam Peckinpah. Every revenge-fueled act by Dustin Hoffman literally oozes Old Testament justice. Just the way I like my revenge. 🙂

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – Speaking of Biblical this first sequel in the Star Trek film franchise still considered by fans and non-fans alike as the best in the series. Hard to argue with them since it’s also an opinion I share. The sequel takes a popular episode from the original series and follows it up with all the cast of characters older and more seasoned. In the case of Ricardo Montalban’s Khan Noonian Singh quite seasoned and classy as smooth Corinthian leather. It’s a film with Shatner’s Kirk and Montalban’s Khan in an everending cycle of revenge which would culminate in what would be one of film’s most heartbreaking scenes. One could taste the revenge emanating from the two characters as age-won wisdom and genetically-engineered intellect fell by the wayside to feed the vengeance sought by Kirk and Khan. This revenge flick also has one of the most awesome death speeches by a character on film.

Carrie – Brian De Palma’s film adaptation of one of Stephen King’s better horror novels still seen by many as the best film adapt of a King novel. It combines the existential horror of being a girl and her body maturing in the dog-eat-dog world of high school and the horror said girl can inflict on those tormenting her. It’s high school bullying and revenge with a healthy dose of Stephen King shenanigans mixed in. Sissy Spacek was great as the titular character. One doesn’t have to be a high school girl to feel for Carrie and what she goes through. Her snapping in the last act and inflicting her psychokinetic-brand of revenge on her tormentors must’ve gotten more than a few “Hell yeah!” from some of the teens and adults who went through high school hell. It also has a classic line uttered by Carrie’s mother played by Piper Laurie: “I can see your dirty pillows. Everyone will.”

Orca – This film was to be producer Dino De Laurentiis’ attempt to capitalize on the success of Steven Spielberg’s classic man-versus-nature thriller, Jaws. Starring Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling and Bo Derek the film wasn’t a success when it first came out. While Spielberg’s film was a modern retelling of Moby Dick this killer whale version by director Michael Anderson was Death Wish on water with Paul Kersey as the killer whale. This was one of the first films where I realized none of the people on the screen were worth rooting for to survive. I was all for the killer whale who was on a warpath to avenge his mate and unborn wee killer whale who were killed by Harris and his crew. Shamu this killer whale was not and it always brought a smile to my face whenever the killer whale outsmarted the humans and killed each and everyone in inventive ways. I’m wondering if all the killer whales in all the aquatic parks are just biding their time before they too go all Orca on their handlers and the audience. I’d pay to see that!

Treevenge – Last but not least the greatest film ever made!

6 Exploitation Film Trailers That I Love


The only thing I love more than a good exploitation film is a good exploitation film trailer.  I’ve been known to buy Anchor Bay DVDs of films that I hate just to see what trailers will be included in the extras.  Often times, when I find myself suffering from writer’s block, I cure it by watching 42nd Street Forever.

Below are 6 exploitation film trailers.  They are six of my personal favorites though I could easily list 666. 

Enjoy!

1) Teenage Mother (1967)This trailer (if not the actual film, which is pretty dull) is pure exploitation perfection.

2) They Call Her One Eye (1974)They Call Her One Eye is the American title for a Sweedish film called Thriller, A Cruel Picture.  It’s an appropriate title but its also one of the best movies ever made in the history of cinema.

3) Ms. 45 (1981)I love this movie.  Whenever I break up with a boyfriend or just find myself annoyed with men in general, this is the movie that I end up popping into my DVD player.  Consider yourself warned. 🙂

4) The House With The Laughing Windows (1976) This giallo, directed by Pupi Avati, is probably one of the best films ever to come out of Italy period.  The trailer only begins to hint just how girm, dark, depressing, disturbing, and downright odd this little gem really is.

5) Starcrash (1979) — Starcrash was Luigi Cozzi’s attempt to cash in on Star Wars.  For what its worth, Starcrash is actually a lot more fun and, as played by Caroline Munro, intergalactic priate Stella Starr is actually one of the few truly strong women to appear in Italian exploitation cinema.  (The next Halloween party I’m invited to, I’m going to go as Caroline Munro in Starcrash.)  The special effects pretty much define the whole concept of “That’s a great movie when you’re stoned.”

6) Spasmo (1974) Our final trailer is for that rarest of things, a good movie directed by Umberto Lenzi. 

Song of the Day: Call of Ktulu (by Metallica)


Whatever one may think of Metallica now it will be hard for even their recent detractors to say that they didn’t have an impact in the realm of heavy metal. My latest song of the day comes directly from Metallica’s second album, Ride the Lightning, and it’s one of their epic instrumental pieces. I am talking about the Lovecraftian-inspired tune aptly titled Call of Ktulu.

Call of Ktulu is one of my favorite pre-Black songs from the group. It’s just not the fact that it’s based on one of Cliff Burton’s interests (seems he was quite dug on the Lovecraft bit) but it was also one of the arrangements where he was the lead composer. It was also the band’s first foray into the instrumental realm and I would say that they succeeded with their first effort. The song also happens to be one of the pieces which still had input and work from their fired lead guitarist Dave Mustaine.

The song actually starts off pretty subdued for a thrash metal song but as it progresses deeper the pace and distortion increases as if the listener is slowly going mad. This is very Lovecraftian since Cthulhu was suppose to drive men mad with it’s psychic and metal intrusions. By the time the song reaches it’s climactic end the song crescendos then quickly returns back to its subdued beginning before finally capping things off with some sturm und drang.