On Friday, February 9, Jim Staples, head of Cartoon Network, resigned. And I quote:
I deeply regret the negative publicity and expense caused to our company as a result of this campaign. As general manager of Cartoon Network, I feel compelled to step down, effective immediately, in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under my watch.
I don’t think Staples is obligated to resign. It is really admirable that he’s taking responsibility for the actions of his employees and even though I think this is all bullshit, it’s also impressive he’s taking this so seriously. Integrity like that these days is most rare. Clearly, this is a man worth working for.
This should shut people up for a while. Boston authorities should be well and satisfied now. $2 million and a resignation. Doesn’t get much better than that.
For the return of the Jam Scale reviews, I thought I’d dig up this moldy oldy. Before he was the chairman of America’s Kitchen Stadium, Jimmy Lee in Double Dragon, or Mani in Le Pacte des Loups, Mark Dacascos was Louis Stevens in Only the Strong. Released to rather poor reviews in 1993, Only the Strong served as many Americans’, me included, introduction to the Brazilian martial art capoeira. The clip is from the opening scene and I remember starring wide-eyed as the capoeiristas ginga and flipped in the roda. The music, the movement, everything about it captivated me.
The film serves more as a vehicle to introduce capoeira than anything else. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but upon watching it once again now that I’ll all growd up, there’s a lot to be desired. Were it not for the capoeira, this movie is hardly worth a mention even though it scores amazingly well on the Jam Scale.
This movie has been done time and time again as Dangerous Minds, Dead Poets Society, Take the Lead. A maverick teacher takes a group of disruptive and degenerate students and using unorthodox methods, teaches them to expect more from life. Only the Strong is the same thing. Louis uses capoeira to teach loser high school kids to trust one another and strive for excellence. There are quite a lot of unintentional funny moments throughout and you’ll find yourself laughing at things that are meant to be sentimental. This is a very young Dacascos and his lack of experience shows.
The only derivation from the formula comes in the form of a villain by the name of Silverio played by Paco Christian Prieto. Silverio runs the crime syndicate of the neighborhood and his younger cousin, Orlando, is one of Louis’s students. Silverio has some of the best lines in the whole movie and for the next few weeks, Audrey will be subjected to most of them. Eventually, Silverio and Louis face off the win the hearts of the kids and the neighborhood.
As rough around the edges as the movie is, it’s extremely diverse. I suppose if I were hyper sensitive to ethnicity, I could make a case that this movie reinforces stereotypes. Orlando works for his cousin by stripping cars. The Black kid works for his brother selling drugs. Yeah, okay, so they’re stereotypes. But the performances are genuine so it doesn’t feel forced. It gets a solid 5 on the Jam Scale, the highest rating it can possible get!
You’ve seen this movie before and possibly done much better, but it’s very entertaining. The capoeira is wonderful and you leave with a smile on your face which is what these movies are supposed to do. It’s one of my favorites and I think if you like the same kinda shit that I do, you’ll enjoy it.
As a side note, ever since seeing this thing, I’ve wanted to do capoeira. I’ve bought books and videos to try to learn some, but it’s just not the same. Books and videos are good supplements to formal instruction, but they sure don’t replace it. So I’ve been trying to find a place in the DC Metro area that offers capoeira classes. If anyone out there knows of a place that takes beginners, please PLEASE let me know. I live in Rockville, but I’m not averse to traveling somewhat to get to classes.
In a conference call with investors, Activision CEO Mike Griffith announced Wednesday that the company plans to release Guitar Hero for the Wii in fiscal year 2008. I no longer have an excuse NOT to purchase a Wii right the fuck now! Or at least camp out at a friend’s house when it’s released (*stares at Pocky*). This gives new meaning to air guitar!
The only possible good that can come out of a Toy Story 3 is that Michael Arndt, the screen-writer who penned Little Miss Sunshine, is writing the script. Little Miss Sunshine was a true joy and it breaks me up every time I see it.
However, what’s the point. I lurv Pixar, but at this point, I’m not interested in Woody or Buzz any more. I didn’t really like Toy Story 2 all that much and the news of a third one doesn’t excite me all that much. Well, I suppose if they run into some urban vinyl toys or some foreign toys that transform together into a giant robot, well yeah, I’d see that. So I don’t know. If it’s just the further adventures of Woody and Buzz, count this one a rental at best.
Rumored for a while now, it looks like Sony is ready to move forward with the live-action Metal Gear Solid movie. Maybe this will be the video game movie that doesn’t suck! I would really love to see giant mechs on the screen because there just aren’t enough of them in movies these days. However, there’s a real danger that this film becomes some CG studio’s high-priced demo reel. You know it’s going to be full of some truly awesome effects, but there’s got to be a good story to hold my interest.
And the only person who can play Solid Snake is the man who played the character that Snake is based off in the first place. Kurt “Snake Plissken” Russel!