Hinting At My Halloween Costume

Here’s a hint of what my Halloween costume will be this year. Miss Sexy Armpit took this photo of me when we went to the IMAX theater at Tropicana in Atlantic City to see Dark Shadows. This was one of the coolest standees I’ve seen. It was designed specifically for dorks like me who love cheesy photo ops like this. And no, I’m not going dressed as a dude in sunglasses sitting on a Dark Shadows standee.

The Dirty Pearls Reign Over NYC’s Rock Scene


Bret Michael’s Rock of Love Bus Tour truly made a “‘pit stop” as they pulled into Montclair NJ’s Wellmont Theatre on 3-22-09. Kicking off the show was New York City’s own The Dirty Pearls, who I was lucky enough to see open for Twisted Sister back in December. The Pearls’ “dirty” yet gleaming aura recalled bands from an earlier, more carefree era of rock. Although electric and unruly, The Dirty Pearls aren’t flamboyant like early Poison, but just as raucous. With Bret Michaels more concerned about his expensive European wigs, and reality shows geared toward middle aged women, The Dirty Pearls have swooped in to fill the gaping void of loud, rambunctious, party band.

Rock bands who have grabbed the opening slot on a tour are frequently more entertaining than the band you’re actually there to see. It’s a challenge to even catch a new band live unless they’re opening for an established act who phones in their performance every night. Just based on sheer desire and enthusiasm, the fairly unknown opening band is more apt to blow you straight through the back wall of venue. That said, The Dirty Pearls have been added to my list of “must see” bands, the ones who let their appetite for stardom erupt onstage.

The touring scheme has changed drastically. Not only are many tours evolving into mini festivals to boost ticket sales, but there just seems to be a total lack of bands that make you KILL to be at their concerts. There are several reasons for this epidemic. First, the headlining bands tend to lose their “eye of the tiger,” while the middle card bands’ ego inflates because they aren’t in the bottom slot anymore. It’s a lot like high school. This “rockarchy” seems solidified for good unless more bands like The Dirty Pearls stand up and usurp the rock reigns.

The Dirty Pearls merit sole billing. Out of what seems like millions of concerts I’ve been to, The Pearls deliver that one-two punch of old school rock and roll that I crave. I’ve always likened a rock show to a quickie. Wham-bam thank you ma’am. Rock bands should tear shit up, rock the f–k out, and disappear to the next town. Rock music should arouse feelings and by observing The Pearls performance, it’s clear they’re prime objective is satisfying the crowd. Here you can watch them perform “Sucker for a Sequel”

The Dirty Pearls have joined a new corps of bands who know what rock is all about. Instead of Hinder, Nickelback, or Theory of a Deadman, my dream festival would include bands like Endeverafter, The Binges, the Last Vegas, and of course The Dirty Pearls. These are not the types of bands who will spiral into their fat, bloated, Elvis stage where their minimal effort is flung like poo at your face in a 3-D imax movie. Of course, all that could change when they hit the big time and Paris Hilton totally uses The Dirty Pearls lead singer Tommy London to make a sex video just to keep herself relevant. During that time, drum annihilator Marty E. is in talks with Dreamworks to voice a character in their next installment of Monsters vs. Aliens. What happens to the music? Does it fall by the wayside? The bigger bands half ass it, and the hungry ones get the opening shaft, er…shift. Those are the scenarios that tend to worry me, but for some reason, newer bands like The Dirty Pearls are a smarter, bolder breed and I doubt they’d let such greatness slip away after all the hard work they’ve put in.

Drummer Marty E. introduces the band “Whether you like it or not… we are the Dirty Pearls from New York City!” They aren’t boasting like another sorta-famous band from NYC did. Even when they were rookies KISS first introduced themselves as “The hottest band in the world.” The Pearls aren’t making promises but they’re telling us they don’t give a crap and they’ll do whatever they want. From takeoff and throughout the entire set, The Dirty Pearls exemplified the classic rep of an up and coming New York City rock band with attitude.

The Dirty Pearls realize that grunge ended 10 years ago and now it’s time bring rock and roll back to it’s prominence. It’s about hard rocking music, big personalites, and hairstyles, all of which are reasons to see them play live. With his eyes cloaked with aviators, frontman Tommy London worked the crowd (and the ladies) like a rock version of Dean Martin, or even Dirk Diggler. Marty E.’s spun and/or chomped on his sticks like Animal from the Muppets. Doug plucked away on bass, while afroed guitarists Johnny and Richie stood at each side of the stage rocking out like two of those adorable troll dolls. If you’re unsure about seeing them live, you don’t have to worry, The Dirty Pearls are not somber or reflective, they don’t feel the need to enact bondage scenes on stage, and they’re definitely not storming off the stage in a giant temper tantrum.

As for the tunes, The Dirty Pearls lyrics were like gunpowder as London shot them out. They play a blend of rock and punk while injecting beautiful melodic undertones. In other words, you’ll remember the songs, hum them later, all while pumping your fist in the air. Already proving to be one of my favorite songs ever is “You’re Not My Lady, But You Can Stay If You Want To.” It was so rock, yet so pop at the same time. If the song existed in the ’60s, I could almost hear a British invasion band singing it. If early Beatles were more amped up and a little more crude, that song has John Lennon all over it.

When reading the various reviews from music mags and websites, the amount of bands that the Pearls are compared to musically is infinite. I’d rather stay away from pigeonholing them. How cliché is it to state that a band sounds like “a sleazier version of AC/DC?” That would be a disservice. The influences are loud and clear and easily identified if you take a listen to the tunes posted on their Myspace page. There you can also purchase their first two demos. I will tell you that there’s definite hints of Ramones, NY Dolls, and Thin Lizzy among many others. Check out their tunes: www.myspace.com/thedirtypearls

Have you seen Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist? If I was traversing New York City all night long on a scavenger hunt to find a secret concert, I would certainly hope the band we’re going to see is the The Dirty Pearls. Right now they epitomize the New York rock music scene and all other NYC bands need to take a lesson from them.

You can catch The Dirty Pearls headlining The Bowery Ballroom in NYC on 4/25.

Anthony Michael Hall Should Play The Creeper

I went to see The Dark Knight for a second time last night. It was every bit as engrossing as the first time I saw it, although it couldn’t hold a candle to the Imax Experience! As I walked out of the theater I thought that with all the fervor surrounding The Dark Knight there’s not as much speculation on the internet as I thought about who will be the next Batman villains.

I’m pulling for Ra’s Al Ghul to use Talia to lead Batman back to him for revenge. Hopefully this time around he’ll have discovered the Lazarus Pit and he’ll be more demonic. Aside from the source material, Ra’s was never portrayed better than in the animated series. If that doesn’t pan out I went through all of the Batman rogues gallery and have come up with a few characters to add to my want list. The most probable would be Dr. Hugo Strange, Anarky, and coming out of left field is the hot piece of pale ass, Nocturna.

Who would I like to see make an appearance the most? The Creeper! Jack Ryder WAS a talk show host much like Mike Engel from The Dark Knight. The name Mike Engel definitely doesn’t sound like Jack Ryder. It’s not spelled like Jack Ryder either, but perhaps Engel goes into hiding because he’s so scared of the Joker and goes so far as to change his name to keep the Joker from finding him. Stranger things have happened in comic books. All I know is, The Creeper would be an outstanding choice for a Batman film as well as a perfect role for Anthony Michael Hall. It’s an understatement to say that The Creeper has a huge cult following. I doubt it will happen, but a guy could dream right?

Even though the appearance of Robin seems to be pretty much squashed, Devon Lohan has some great speculation on a possible future Robin. Who do you want to see in the villain role in the next Bat-Film? Any other characters you would like to see appear in the future Bat-film?

Review: The Dark Knight in IMAX

I get a lot of crap from friends when I tell them that I take off of work for movie openings like Hulk and of course, The Dark Knight. For The Dark Knight premiere, I drove 1 hr. and 45 minutes down the Garden State Parkway to Atlantic City and got a comped hotel room so I can make a big event of it. And why not? I don’t really make a big deal about anything so THIS is a HUGE deal for me. Some people took off work to go see the NY Giants Victory parade in the city, but I think seeing The Dark Knight is quite possibly the biggest event in my life since the 1989 Batman film came out! So to all of those people who think I’m crazy for doing these things, let me just say that I doubt I’m the only one. If you’re going to make a big deal about something, let it be this film.

Now, it would be a colossal task for me to fully express all of the thoughts going through my head after seeing The Dark Knight in Imax yesterday. It’s very possible that I would wind up writing a 35 page dissertation on the film. Brevity has never been a strong point in my writing. I’ll try my best to summarize my main thoughts about the film.

We arrived at the Imax theater in the Tropicana in Atlantic City at 10:30 am and people had already started waiting on line at 10:00 am! Luckily, I purchased advance tickets so we had nothing to worry except waiting to get let into the theater. I looked around at the line and saw a young guy dressed as Ledger’s version of the Joker face paint and all! I also spotted many Batman shirts and I noticed other people checking mine out. (it’s pictured above) There was an enormous standee that featured Batman riding the Batpod out of the standee in a 3-D effect. Large hanging posters of the Dark Knight adorned the theater. I scanned across the concession stand to see typical theater fare although they did offer ICEE’s. I’m not talking about Slurpees, or slush puppies…this was the real deal! ICEE’s have always been my favorite but they are very hard to find in my area for some reason. So I got myself a nice large cherry ICEE and a large popcorn. (The large was the smallest they had since various jumbo sizes took over for large) Those two items came out to 13 bucks! Thieves! Okay, okay…enough of the build up! Get to the good stuff!

Quite a few short scenes kick this film off to a fast paced start. We’re reintroduced into Gotham City in what feels like moments. And was it me, or was it exciting to see Scarecrow again? I wouldn’t complain if he showed up in the next film! Within the opening of the film I had the feeling that I was finally watching a comic book movie that was ripped out of the pages. It was not just some Hollywood movie trying to masquerade as a comic movie. The phrase “they finally got it right,” is a total understatement.

Heath Ledger as the Joker
Simply the work of legend. If the Joker was REAL, he would be Heath Ledger. It’s not possible that he acted in this role…he actually became the Joker. Ledger and Bale face off with each other throughout the film and we’re able to see the struggle between chaos and order unfold before our eyes. The reason why Joker is Batman’s most famous villain is because it creates a metaphor. We aren’t just witnessing two tormented souls opposing one another, it’s two powerful forces, disorder and harmony, clashing. Ledger was humorous, sarcastic, and psychotic. The Joker’s trademark laugh wasn’t overused. You’ll notice his laughter at the most effective moments. The story he tells about his father where the “Why So Serious” tag line shows up is some unsettling stuff. Ledger seemed as if he knew he was going to basically create a whole new character. Even though he was playing such an over the top maniacal character, he displayed so many subtleties. While being occasionally low key he still comes off as a psycho. We even see Ledger disguised in a nurses uniform and wig, bringing to mind classic Joker pranks. In reality, Ledger’s Joker wasn’t “So Serious,” because he provided plenty of one liners and comic relief. He’s genuinely humorous while being psychologically disturbing and mentally sadistic.
Minor Origin Tweaks
The film changes the Joker’s origin as well as Two-Face’s. Even though the changes are minor, TDK, and its predecessor Batman Begins, still stand overall as pretty faithful to the comic book. Does anyone have a problem with these changes? Did it bother you that Harvey Dent wasn’t hit with chemicals in a courtroom? Personally I’m a purist and I still like the origin of the Joker/Red Hood falling into the vat of chemicals. Though, to make it seem more realistic they went in a different direction. Even though they went a bit more horrific than I imagined, I really love how Two-Face’s “bad side” looked. It reminded me of an alien from They Live, very frightening. I didn’t agree with Two-Face’s fate but hey, anything can happen in Gotham, right?

Defining a Hero
What a hero is. A Hero isn’t infallible. Those in the public eye that Gotham looks to such as Harvey Dent and Batman are always under public scrutiny. Even in attempting to do good for the overall well being of Gotham, they’re under a microscope. The way the film ended leaves a feeling of a very clean slate as if anything is possible in the Batman universe. Instead of the film ending with a “tip off” as to who the next villain will be, (as in Batman Begins w/Joker card) The Dark Knight ends by bringing Batman back into focus. The reason why he exists is always being questioned and justified. Bruce Wayne even questions at times if his battle against crime causes more problems than it does help the city. At the end of the film we witness “The Batman” as a character whom we’ve seen for almost 70 years, a vigilante. A person whose own demons were enough to spark his life’s crusade against crime but someone who evolves into a hero who cares deeply about the welfare of a city that seems to be overrun with over the top criminal masterminds.

What a treat it is to see a film in an Imax theater. The Imax scenes were downright amazing an immersed me right into the film. The action sequences were masterfully executed and I felt like I was actually in the SWAT team van with Harvey Dent during the chase scene. After having seen Batman Begins and Superman Returns both in Imax this film took the technology to the next level.

Cast and Appearances
It was a refreshing moment when I heard that Anthony Michael Hall was going to have a role in The Dark Knight. He’s been one of my favorite actors since I was a kid and I hope he continues to be in genre roles now since Dead Zone was cancelled. Eric Roberts was a perfect fit for Sal Maroni. It was also great to see William Fichtner play the bank manager, or as I call him, the GUY WHO’S IN EVERYTHING! The entire cast are more comfortable with their parts this time. Oldman’s Gordon becomes a stronger character while Freeman’s Lucious Fox grows weary of the lengths Wayne will go for his cause. In ’95 I thought Tommy Lee Jones was a great choice for Two-Face. Fast forward 13 years and after watching Aaron Eckhart hit the nail on the head that’s pictured on the double sided coin of his… Tommy Lee Jones was an abortion. He had no business even playing the character.

Maggie Gyllenhaal
I had a felling that Gyllenhaal would play a better Rachel Dawes than Holmes did and I was right. Holmes played Dawes very stiff and bitter but I never understood why. No matter her motivation being career success or the prosperity of Gotham City, Gyllenhaal showed more signs of life in her scenes than Holmes did. Gyllenhaal actually flirts with Dent in the film which made me feel like she was more human. Holmes was too dull and boring. Dawes spiced things up a little bit. She played her part less morose and she didn’t show signs of some sort of internal struggle with herself like Holmes did. I appreciated that Gyllenhaal smiled frequently and she just evoked more positive emotions and normal vibes. I don’t agree with the casting of Holmes or Gyllenhaal since I picture Bruce Wayne falling for a hot piece of ass like Talia Al Ghul not a run of the mill average Maggie or Katie. The scene after Batman saves Rachel after a scary fall, she tells him “let’s never do this again.” The humor that followed up such an intense moment reminded me of when Batman (Keaton) said to Vicki Vale (Basinger) “you weigh a little more than 108.” It’s that humor that tickles your stomach after you just got out of a hairy situation.

The drama was simply gripping at times. There are a number of truly intense moments where I was on the edge of my seat and genuinely didn’t know what was going to happen. I think the triumph of the film lies with the details. The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer builds, takes cover, and then slowly creeps up again. The strategic points of silence during aftermaths of destruction and the subtle low repetitions of notes sunk my mind deeper into the drama. The cinematography is the best in any super hero film so far and probably any film I’ve seen this year. All of these fine nuances elevated The Dark Knight into a category of a “fine film.”
Along with all of the revolutionary aspects of this installment of Batman, it’s now made superhero films possible to exist as a quality film without a critic painfully admitting “good for a superhero film.” For the rest of your life you’ll never have to hear someone snicker when you tell them that The Dark Knight is your favorite film. Although they WILL still snicker if you tell them it’s Batman and Robin. I didn’t want the film to end. If Nolan had made a never ending batman film I would’ve sat in the theater for the rest of my life watching the many exploits of the Dark Knight unfold before my eyes.

**Getting to see the Watchmen trailer was enthralling. It only leads me to believe that DC IS actually on the right track with their superhero franchise. The DC universe, if utilized correctly, could stand up against Marvel any day. All WB needs is about 2 or 3 more directors as capable and inspired as Christopher Nolan and casts who work as harmoniously as the cast of the Batman franchise.

Holy Batman Links, The Dark Knight is Upon Us!

You still have a couple of days to enter The Sexy Armpit’s Batman on Blu-Ray giveaway! Click here for more info!

Rob at Myspace TV has one of the best versions of Power Records “Batman: Stacked Cards” story book and record. It’s basically like reading a comic book but with an audio track and sound effects. I still have my original copy of this that my parents bought me when I was 3 years old. It’s ingrained in my memory. The art, by Neal Adams, is drawn exactly the way Batman and the cast should look. Keep in mind that it was made in 1975 so you may not enjoy the audio track, but I think it’s awesome. Interesting fact according to Wikipedia: Power Records was owned by Peter Pan Records of NEWARK, New Jersey from the 70’s to 2000 and is now owned by Inspired Studios in Roseland, New Jersey! Imagine that! All those great superhero book and record sets you had all came from Dirty Jersey baby!

Batman-ish Ceiling fan.

This is a Wiki compiling info on all of The Dark Knight viral campaigns and websites.

Bat-Blog – the best batman site out there!

Here’s one of the best Batman films ever: The Amazing Adventures of Little Batman!

Batman vs. Batman vs. Batman! A trailer for a movie I never thought I’d see: A face off between Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney, and Bale!

Here’s one of the worst, WORST, worst, home-made Bat-films that exists on You-Tube. I don’t care how young the kid who made it is. At that age I would’ve blown this film out of the water. People need to stop uploading shit onto You Tube!

Great White Snark has a post about a guy who got a HUGE Dark Knight logo tattooed on his back

Todd’s Blog has a great multi part feature on Batman comic book cover LOGOS throughout the years. Click on his “logo” link at the bottom of the post to see logos ranging from Green Lantern to Iron Man.

Batman The Dark Knight Milk advertisement and sweepstakes

Did you know that there was a city called Batman in southeast Turkey?

Again with the Comics has a post featuring Batman in Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment!”

THE KNIGHT IS UPON US! Tomorrow, the last day of the countdown, I’ll have a summary of my thoughts on the film in IMAX!

Here’s my list of Thank you’s and credits for helping me out during the Dark Knight Countdown!
Thanks to Steve D. for helping me research the links!

Dennis Quaid’s Deep Dark Shark Secret

Sharks are ALWAYS cool. (duh, everyone knows that!) That may sound like a statement uttered by the mouth of a five-year old, but that’s expected when dealing with me. I never claimed to be eloquent, but Sharks ARE cool, and so are coincidences. I’m always trying to discover various correlations between things. It’s fun. Just like some people enjoy baseball and others enjoy throwing a dirty ball that fell on the floor into a cup of piss warm beer and then gulping it down, I like to partake in the art of correlation discovery.

Due to my A.D.D let us abruptly switch gears…to Dennis Quaid. He’s a fine successful actor who hasn’t yet reached his true potential, but his upcoming film, In Good Company, is looking good. But, let’s be real here – what movies come to mind when you think of Dennis Quaid? Innerspace, or his turn as Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls of Fire? Unfortunately he’s more well known for his 10 year marriage to Meg Ryan. She bounced on the poor guy, that plastic surgery bitch. Let’s take a quick look at some of his resume: The Big Easy, Frequency, The Rookie, Any Given Sunday, Dragonheart, DOA, The Alamo, you get the point. He’s done plenty of crap, but he makes me wonder, why isn’t this guy a higher caliber Hollywood gun?

My theory is that Quaid has never been forgiven for starring in Jaws 3-D. To all producers and casting directors: Let the guy move on, please! It’s not like he’s got leprecy. He’s a great actor. Come to think of it, maybe he’s the one who is still holding on to the “harpoon.” In the triumphant Jaws 3-D, nothing can eclipse Quaid’s portrayal of Michael Brody. Especially because he’s the hero, and it’s 3-D! Even seeing a 3-D, high tech scif-fi bonanza on an IMAX screen wouldn’t really do much to change the fact that this movie sucked armadillo shit. The film is insanely cheesy. It also stars a hot young bikini clad Lea Thompson (Back to the Future) who Quaid coincidentally met on set and was engaged to for 3 years. Thompson plays Kelly Ann Bukowski, which sounds eerily like Bukake let’s call her Kelly Ann Bukake, shall we?

Jaws 3-D has been unlawfully labeled “garbage” and “really really bad.” It’s almost impossible to not embrace something so bad. It’s apparent the filmmakers didn’t take it seriously and that’s why it’s classic. The reason why the Nightmare on Elm Street films have always been so popular is because they didn’t take it too seriously, especially after it became cliché. Adam West’s version of Batman was camp, but it was completely classic and DAMN YOU if you don’t have a warm place in your heart for camp. Jaws 3-D was supposed to be a serious disaster movie but it obviously was the furthest thing from terrifying.

This third Jaws installment was a desperate attempt to make the series interesting. They opted for the 3-D feature which lacks in effectiveness while watching on basic cable. Quaid doesn’t even like to talk about Jaws 3-D in interviews, almost as if it was a bastard child of his. You never heard about that? Quaid had a kid with a 16 year old semi-retarded albino in North Dakota years ago while still married to Meg Ryan. (No wonder why she dumped him, that skunk!) They named the child…Jaws 3-D!

What Quaid does like to talk about in interviews is his band. It isn’t a coincidence that the band is named Dennis Quaid and THE SHARKS! Now we can plainly see who holds this silly-ass Jaws movie close to his heart. He won’t let on about his true feelings for this movie but it’s all there. Until he shakes his sick obsession with this film, the curse of mediocrity will remain with D.Q. And I didn’t even get started on his brother Randy!