Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday's With Blinky: Anything You Say Mr. J

  The follow up to Call Me Mr. J with the same main characters in Chris .R. Notarile as Joker and Johanna Telander as Harley Quinn.

  This time we pick up after the last session with Joker in the the chaos of murder that follows during his escape.  We open with a doctor tied to a chair, Joker covered in blood and Harley Quinn looking a little worse for wear.  The short follows Harley's letting the last of herself go before truly embracing the Harley Quinn persona.

  There really isn't much more to say about this one.  It's a good little character piece.  Chris seems more comfortable as Joker and Johanna does a good job making the transition from 'normie' to psycho.  The setting is dark and disturbing, this little out of the way, perhaps under construction or possibly forgotten area of Arkham with a doctor that Joker blames for his recent trouble.  It's a good portrayal of the Heath Ledger style Joker as more of a homage than direct impression which, I think, makes it better.  So many people now, especially on YouTube, try to directly ape the Ledger style Joker thinking that the closer you get to a direct impression the better.  But the thing is only one person could do that Joker and he (meaning Heath Ledger) did it.  It's an interesting take on Joker and there's no reason to not add elements of it to a portrayal of the Joker but Chris' performance isn't just him doing a Heath Ledger impression.  He takes that base and builds on it.  The awkwardness in the acting in the first one may come from trying to do a more direct impression but this time around you don't get that feeling, it's similar but different, which makes it infinitely more watchable than something like "The Joker Blogs".

  Kim Santiago does a good job in the director seat again.  We get a good atmospheric soundtrack with the occasional rock exclamation points and a good ending theme.  The camera angles are a bit more run of the mill but we see a lot more of the Joker next to Harley with the same low angle shots to establish them as more on the same level.  Well done all around.

  It's a good ramp up for what's coming up next so I recommend checking it out.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cosplay Wednesdays

This week we have a theme of steampunk.  I love steampunk and I love steampunk takes on established characters.  First up is a Slave Leia I can get behind and following her is steampunk Flash who looks cool as hell.  Creative, classy, effort.  Those are the 3 things I look for in cosplay and these both have it.

Finally a decent Slave Leia

I looked, that's the only pose this guy does.  It's just this over and over again.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Batman Forever (1995) DVD

Rating:  3 out 5 faces that you find, and another, and another until revenge becomes your whole life.

Plot Synopsis:  Riddler teams with Two Face in a plot to brainwash Gotham.  A lot of green is involved.  There’s a crappy subplot with a super hot Nicole Kidman and we get Robin.  And Bat-nipples.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday's with Blinky: Call Me Mr. J

  This week, to go with the Endless Knight theme that this blog will have for the indeterminate future, we take a look at Call Me Mr. J, the first in a series of four short films starring Chris .R. Notarile as the Joker and Johanna Telander as Harley Quinn.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thoughts on this months poll: Hoff vs Jackson Nick Fury


The Hoff- 1 vote (20%)

Sam Jackson- 4 votes (80%)

  I actually didn't expect this many votes.  5 people voted and one of them was me so really only 4 people voted and I'm actually incredibly happy about that because I thought for sure I'd be the only vote.  But what pleases me more is that some one voted for the Hoff.  I would like to know why.  I remember watching the Nick Fury movie on TV when it came out but I don't remember anything about it.  I recently picked it up on Amazon and I intend to watch it again at which point I'll let you know but if whoever voted for Hoff would like to leave a comment explaining why you prefer him over Jackson I would love to hear it.  I would also like to thank David Hasslehoff personally for visiting my site and voting for himself.  Thank you sir.

Batman Returns (1992) DVD

Rating:  4 out of 5 abandoned freak babies

Plot Synopsis:  Danny DeVito get’s justifiably abandoned for being a hideous, penguin looking monstrosity.  Oddly enough this happens in the film as well (BA-zing).  He eventually returns around the same time Michelle Pfeiffer is resurrected by cats after falling no fewer than 1500 stories.  There’s also something about Christopher Walken being creepy as...well... as Christopher Walken.  Anyway Penguin makes a run for mayor because Gotham is the only city that would elect such a thing but is taken down by Batman (who makes a cameo).  He responds in a totally normal and understandable manner, he puts missiles on penguins and marches them into the city to blow it up. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday's with Blinky: some Choice pictures

Some pictures kindly provided by Chris' Facebook.

An actress and her Choice
Poster for Choice

More after the jump.  Also after the jump?  Choice puns.  Enjoy!

Friday's with Blinky: Choice (in Chris' own words)


  This film drew its inspiration from a thought I had back in 2008 upon hearing about the deaths of Brad Renfro and Heath Ledger, who died less than a week a part from each other. I was on IMDB at the time and noticed that Mr. Renfro, immediately upon the news of his demise, had shot to the number one spot on the IMDB Star meter. It was mentioned that he was depressed though his death was ruled accidental. Then not but a day or two later, several of his movies were on TV and there were memorial articles being written about him. Now as usual when a celebrity dies, the Hollywood machine capitalizes on the fallen and milks their names for all it's worth.

  But the kicker, happened literally seven days later when Heath Ledger died. His death shocked the world and completely overshadowed Mr. Renfro's death ten fold. He was yesterday's news before he was even allowed to be mourned. This is where the concept of "Choice" began. Hollywood's superficiality of mourning the dead, was exposed, to me at least. Suddenly all of the complaints about Ledger's Joker performance or look, took an immediate backseat to the epic larger than life icon he was becoming. He was the new Brandon Lee. And Brad Renfro's memorial was left in the hands of only his core fans, friends and family.

  I am indifferent to Brad Renfro's career. I have no preference either way about him, but I was very shocked at how quickly he was forgotten in the wake of Heath Ledger's death. I felt it was rude.

  Then I began wondering about how the "idea of suicide". We all get depressed, but at what point does suicide actually seem like a good option, especially to someone who might be a celebrity. I do not care how depressed anyone is, if you are financially well to do, there are plenty of ways to make your life more fulfilling. Drugs and alcohol are never an answer.

  As I began thinking about what happened to Mr. Renfro, I read up on Jonathan Brandis who hung himself back in 2003, sighting how he didn't think he would ever "make it" as an adult actor. It was on this concept that "Choice" was born. I began researching fallen actors and noted how their deaths affected their careers. I began to see a pattern in behavior, both by the victims and by the public. Critics really never had anything bad to say about the dead. It truly is in poor taste. And I thought to myself, "its a friggin' loophole." And more so, what if the fallen had this option presented to them? What if the thought of suicide was a glorious choice? Where they will forever be honored and remembered as icons, legends etc? To a weak minded person, this could seem incredibly appealing. Within moments of this realization, I began scripting a story about a suicidal actor who is presented with that very option. I called it "Choice".

  The script originally was set to feature a male actor and a male Choice. Since I was inspired by the demise of male actors, I felt it befitting. But due to scheduling conflicts, I was forced to put the project on hold and literally could not properly cast it for three years. I tried everything from holding auditions for replacement actors, to even casting twins. No one could handle the part. It wasn't until 2011, while knee deep in filming "Stand Off" that I said, "holy shit, I should cast Mandy as Choice and Kerri as the actress".

  Long story short, after rigorous rehearsing, scene blocking and just hours upon hours of character discussion, Mandy, Kerri and I finally made "Choice". And I have never been more proud of a project as I am with this one. These women brought their "A" game and did not quit. They went all out for their parts. Well beyond their individual comfort zones and it shows.

Friday's with Blinky: Choice (the whole shebangabang)

  Choice opens on an unnamed actress (Kerri Miller) clearly at the end of her rope.  As she get's more and more desperate it's revealed that she's trying to break away from her previous "hot babe" roles and get some more serious roles.  Phone call after phone call she get's rejected or, seemingly, out right ignored.  She drinks and she cries and she gets more and more upset until finally she's confronted with embodiment of Choice (Mandy Evans).  Her and Choice begin an exchange where it is revealed that she must choose between being dead and famous or living and poor.

Check out Blinky Productions for more awesome films

Choice IMDB

The rest of the review, a Word from Chris and PICTURES!?! Are you freaking kidding me!  That's like a whole fancy feature and shit!  And it's all after the jump?  Well get out of my way!

Choice Feature: Chris R. Notarile interview

  I was somehow able to con Chris R. Notarile into answering some questions about his excellent short Choice.  What you are about to read is the result of a 10 hour stand off and the exchange of multiple hostages, so YOU BETTER APPRECIATE THE LENGTHS I GO TO FOR YOU!

  Fancy Deadpool:  First off introduce yourself to the people and give a little bit of background, who you are and what you do.

  Chris. R. Notarile: My name is Chris .R. Notarile of Blinky Productions Inc. I am a filmmaker. I make movies for a living and have been doing so for almost a decade.

  FDP:  The environment on the shoot seemed very emotional and intense. Did this change how you directed? I would have been afraid to break the mood with a cut or a retake or to offer suggestions. Did you direct as you normally would or did you rely more on your actresses and let it happen?

  CRN:  I directed as I always do. We shoot until someone screws up. Then we take it back and do it again. The takes are actually pretty long in some parts of the film. I just let Mandy and Kerri go at it and give them notes accordingly. Then I shoot them from alternate angles until I had enough coverage. They were off book which is wonderful when shooting a film like this. You need to treat it like a play. You need to be rehearsed..... and they were. It was great.

  FDP:  Do you think using actresses instead of actors changes the tone or the message of the film?

  CRN:  Yes. 100%. The script was originally meant for two men, but I realized that the film would be more broad in its message if I had women doing the parts. It would also give it a better sense of reality. It's unfortunately common for actresses to be typecast in "hot babe" roles and that can really burden many women when they are trying to get taken seriously. As for Choice being female, well that was elementary. If the actress was female, Choice had to be as well to balance it out. Though, I feel that the look of Choice as a female was waaaay more eye catching than what I originally had for the male version. So I guess it all worked out.

  FDP:  Due to Hollywood's obsession with death, untimely death in particular, do you think the choice presented in this film is one that a lot of young actors and actresses struggle with?

  CRN:  Absolutely. I think a lot of saddened people view death as an easy way out. The trick is to keep going no matter how bad things may seem. And that's what the film is about too, seeing through the black and white into a shade of gray. The gray being the unknown where anything is possible.

  FDP:  You said you had trouble casting the actresses for this film. What stood out about Mandy Evans and Kerri Miller? Was it instant or was it after working with them on other projects?

  CRN:  Well I wrote the script back in 2008 long before I started working with either of them. When I decided to change the genders of the characters, I had an idea to cast twins. Unfortunately I could not find a set of female twins that could act. Then when I began working with Mandy, I cast her initially as the actress, but then felt her better as Choice. It was Mandy who subsequently recommended Kerri and I thought to myself "DUH! Of course!"

  FDP:  Do people care about talent anymore?

  CRN:  Choice was rejected from the Tribeca Film Festival while another movie entitled Ticked Off Trannies With Knives got accepted. So you tell me.

(on a side note I could write a whole article about this but I'll shorten it by simply saying "I blame Grindhouse.")

  FDP:  The final message is rather positive, does this reflect your personal viewpoint? Is it important to remain sort of the eternal optimist when working in the film industry?

  CRN:  Yes that is definitely my personal outlook not only on the film industry, but on life. What's the point in being pessimistic? It gets you no where and just makes you more depressed. Some hide behind the phrase "realist" which I think is utter bullshit. If you have a negative outlook or think that you are not going to achieve your dreams if you try, then you're a pessimist. People need to keep trying despite the odds. Even if you fail miserably, at least you can say you tried. And I'd rather die a poor unknown, struggling filmmaker than live a long mundane life working a 9-5 job that I never wanted. You only get one shot at living, you might as well make the most of it.

  FDP:  Do you have anything upcoming that you'd like to promote? I noticed on your site that you have an upcoming feature called Stand Off that looks pretty promising (and reunites you with the 2 actresses of Choice). Beyond that it looks like you have a feature titled Perfect. Any comments on either of these projects? I've linked to your website many times, is there anywhere else people can go to keep updated on what you're working on? Feel free to shill whatever you want as hard as you want, you won't embarrass me. That's impossible after the Central Park incident.

  CRN:  Well Stand Off was actually filmed before we did Choice. Choice WAS the reuniting. But yes, Stand Off will be coming to DVD later this year or next year. I cannot say for sure as I am still working on a distribution deal. As for Perfect, that is my third feature, that will star Mandy Evans, Roberto Lombardi and a lot of my usual suspects. You can learn more about them via my website-

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Feature! Fridays with Blinky

  Well I've been talking with Chris. R. Notarile and somehow he's agreed to let me feature his short films right here.  So Fridays will now be spent with Blinky.  It's like Tuesday's With Morrie but cooler and with way more awesome.  Mostly I'll start posting his superhero stuff with a vengeance now but once a month I'm going to try and go all out and feature just one of his films.  Any one, regardless of what theme I may be working through at that given time.  I'm going to sit down and do a super serial analysis and review, which may be interesting (mostly due to my ability to analyze and review anything seriously) .  I'll try to get interviews, insight, behind the scenes stuff, whatever I can threaten, cajole, con or swindle from THE MAN himself.  Stay tuned, if for no other reason than to see this blow up in my face!

p.s. I don't think this will blow up in my face.

What's coming up.

  So I got, like, enough Batman content to fill at least 6 weeks but more realistically like 8 weeks.  I've got reviews of the Burton/Schumacher era Batman films and I figure I might as well keep it going and do the Nolan era Batman films, maybe the Arkham Asylum games and what not.  If I'm going to do that I might as well feature Chris R. Notarile's Mr. J shorts as well as his Joker short.  What could it hurt why not?  After that I may move on to Superman or something else entirely.  After doing the (mostly?) spoiler free review of The Avengers I think I'll do that for the upcoming Spider-Man and Batman movies and then do full reviews after they come out on home video.

  That's what's going on.  I hope you like Batman and The Joker and Bat Villains cause that's probably what's going to dominate the blog for the next little bit.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cosplay Wednesdays

This week we have a double 2 fer.  A very good distaff Joker and spear Harley Quinn.  An interesting take on comics most dys-FUN-ctional couple.  I love the crack in the huge mallet.

I hammer now?

Yes, you hammer now.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Batman (1989) DVD

Rating: 3 out 5 cyclical origins

Plot Synopsis:  Joker creates Batman and Batman creates Joker in this tale of gadgets, where you get them, romance and crime fighting performed by a cavalcade of the most popular stars of the late 80’s.  Some how this was most appropriately sound tracked by Prince.

Friday, June 8, 2012

This needs to be made right damn now!

superheroes batman superman - Dresden Codak's New X-Men
see more Superheroes

The whole thing HERE!

Don't say that about Indiana Jones!

superheroes batman superman - It's True, He Is
see more Superheroes

Klepto the Super Dog

superheroes batman superman - Superman Is Having a Melt Down.
see more Superheroes

Blinky500 feature: Punisher '82

  Punisher '79 was the first.  It doesn't matter if the it's the strongest or the weakest.  It just needs to be good enough to get your interest, which it does, so as the first it gets a category to itself.  '80 is the weakest (but only by comparison) and '81 is the strongest.  So where does that leave '82?  Well, '82 is the most fun and going by Chris'comments on his You Tube (which I've been stealing all along and you should have been reading the whole time.  Jeez, I go to the trouble of stealing and you don't even benefit from it...) it sounds like he had the most fun filming it.

  What we have is as simple as Punisher whoopin' some ass.  It's a long list of cameo's, some of which are inappropriate (such as Elite who was not a villian, I say, as nerdily as possible) but the whole thing is just so god damn (Batman) fun that I just don't care.  I can put my inner nerd aside and enjoy it for what it is: 7 minutes and 16 seconds of awesome done to the tune of AC/DC's Thunderstruck, which, oddly enough, is exactly the same thing that could be said about my love making.  Highlights are the dialog, which is all improvised, the fight with Typhoid Mary (played by Kim Santiago), the choreography (also improvised) and The Russian, who I thought was the best cameo.  Also it features a much improved Bullseye, who I could have stood to see more of.  If you haven't been reading Chris' comments after the jump until now, and shame on you if you haven't been, I highly recommend this one.  Mostly because it explains everything you may have a complaint about, that mostly being about the cameo's and how they were handled and why they were handled that way.  Take a look.

Punisher '79-'82 IMDB

Blinky Productions

A word from Chris (stolen from his You Tube page) after the jump (read it this time)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cosplay Wednesdays

This week we have another Star Wars version of a favorite character, in this case Riddler and yet another one of the distaff Robin's from my Robin collage.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fantastic Four (1994) DVD

Rating: 0 out of 5 stereotype replacements of established characters

Plot Synopsis:  Reed and Victor try to harness the power of COLE-OS-US which ends up disfiguring Doom.  Ten years later Reed leads a crew of untrained kids into space where they become horribly mutilated and given special powers.  We have a B-plot involving a stereotype and the quickest damn love story ever.  Then Doom shoots a laser that is powered by all the FF’s powers (?) and the laser, a beam of light traveling at the speed of light, is vulnerable to crappy CGI fire (WTF?).

Friday, June 1, 2012

Blinky500 feature: Punisher '81

  We open with an off screen explanation of Franks breakout of Rykers as well as a fun confrontation between Frank and Daredevil where reveals he's the God Damn (Batman) Punisher.  After their exchange Frank goes and wraps up the loose end from the previous short.

  You can always count on Chris for two things, and so far this has been true of every short I've seen from him (granted I haven't seen them all... yet...) and those are soundtrack and cinematography.  And editing.  So three things.  But typically the strongest of the three are the first two.  This is no exception.

  Strong performances by Parr and Nick Grock (our favorite Daredevil) in the interaction between the two.  We have a short that is pretty light on action, in fact if there's any action it's all implied in the conversation the two have.  What we have is really just a great character moment, for both characters really.  The dialog seems very true to both characters and the back and forth is great.  I crack up every time Punisher calls Daredevil's costume 'gay ass', because that yellow costume, while classic, is totally gay ass.  Then the final note in the War Journal of 'avoiding spandex' is awesome.  This is the strongest of the four, in my opinion.  It doesn't have action, it doesn't even really have conflict, you just have two well written characters working off each other.  You get a better feel for Punisher and Daredevil in these 6 minutes than what you get from entire movies based around the characters.  Great showing and it could of ended right there.

  We get a brief climax of Frank fixing the mistake of leaving skeezy Santa alive but honestly that was a plot thread I didn't need tied up and it adds a weak spot that this short wouldn't have had otherwise (the director disagrees and you can read what he as to say after the jump, which I suggest you do, I'm not posting it for my health).  It's good that the effort was made, it's more effort to tie up a loose end than we get from a lot of other creative works (take your pick, movies, books, video games, whatever) but I personally could have done without it.  It's made better by Shawn Parr's facial expression toward skeezy Santa when he reveals the huge knife.

Punisher '79-'82 IMDB

Blinky Productions

A word from Chris (stolen from his You Tube) after the jump