Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hulk Smash! Pt. 2

Photo copyright Universal Studios 2008

Okay, so I finally got to see "The Incredible Hulk" and my head is still buzzing. The movie is, indeed, incredible. From the opening credits telegraphing the Hulk's back-story, to Edward Norton's Bruce Banner struggling to do research to cure himself in a Brazilian favela, to the beautiful CGI rendering of the Hulk and seamless integration into the live action, this was totally worth seeing on the big screen. It's obvious the writers, Zak Penn and an uncredited Edward Norton, have a love for the source material and there are many references to other parts of the Marvel Universe that kept a fan-boy like me interested.

And the action! Holy Moly! These are some of the best choreographed action sequences I've seen in awhile. Louis Leterrier's direction is controlled chaos. He's taken the over-the-top ballet of human acrobatics and things blowing up that made his "Transporter" films so enjoyable and amped them up a notch or two without making a confusing "who's fighting who" mess (like big chunks of "Transformers" was). The Hulk vs. the Army, the Hulk vs. super soldier Blonsky, and the Hulk vs. the Abomination are jaw-dropping. Kudos to the production designers for the Hulk more realistic coloring and physical look. This Hulk is the closest to the comic book version without being too "comic book". And, finally, he talks! The one thing that bugged me about my other fave Hulk, the Bill Bixby version, was that, unlike the comic books, the Hulk never uttered a word. Oh, how I yearned for for Lou Ferrigno to say "Puny humans!" just once. In this film I was pleased with the Hulk's limited vocabulary and his uttering of my favorite Hulk-ism: "HULK SMASH!".

As for references to other parts of the Marvel Universe, which are many, I'll have to save those for a later blog after the DVD release, maybe, so as not to throw any more spoilers into the blog-o-sphere...

Today's vinyl on the wheels of steel:
Mother's Finest - Another Mother Further

Dr John - Gris-Gris
Blondie - Plastic Letters
The Plastics - Welcome Back
Thievery Corporation - The Mirror Conspiracy
Matisyahu - King Without A Crown (Mike D remixes) 12"

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Thursday, June 19, 2008


I have one of these luncheon plates that was given to me by my friend Lauren (GreenBean) many years ago. I use it everyday for my breakfast. Unfortunately it has very little of the toaster image left on it as it has worn away. I would very much like to have more of these but they were discontinued by the maker. They were made in 1994 by Sakura and called "Kitsch-In-Appliances". Anybody know where I can get these now?

Listening to Verlette Simon's ReverbNation widget (at the right).
Reading "Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk again.

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The StudioMONDO Board of Directors circa 1964.
Guy Mondo second from right.

Yesterday, while I was driving on University Boulevard towards "Four Corners", some goof in the next lane over keeps drifting into the lane I'm in like they want to change lanes. I slow to let them over and they drift back to the left. I speed up to pass and they drift back into my lane. I toot my horn and they drive along the lane divide, taking up two lanes now. When I get to my turn onto Colesville Rd. they pull around into the lane to my right so their van is right next to me. I figure here's an opportunity to give this dumb ass "the Look".

I knew it! It was some idiot yapping away on a cellphone! What made this funny, though, was he had a bumper sticker on the rear drivers side window that said "SHUT UP AND DRIVE!" and it had a picture of a cell phone with a circle-and-slash over it. It was advertising the "Car Talk" radio show. Unfortunately, the light changed before I could bring his stupidity to his attention.
Just had to get that out...

In the StudioMONDO CD player right now:
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
TLC - CrazySexyCool
Queen Latifah - Black Reign
Jan Garbarek - I Took Up The Runes
The Cult - Sonic Temple

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What's Hot? (re-posted)

Last year my Mom sent me an article from her local paper about a hot pepper from northern India called the Bhut Jolokia. It is in the Guinness Book as the hottest pepper in the world. Mom scribbled a note across the top of the article, "PLEASE DON'T TRY THESE!" So, of course, I've been on a mission to acquire some. I found that I can get seeds from the Chili Pepper Institute at the University of New Mexico but I haven't gotten it together to order them so now my goal is to find fresh ones somewhere locally.

Also, a few of weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Uncle Brutha, owner of Uncle Brutha's Gourmet Foods and Hot Sauce Emporium, here in DC. He has, what looks like, almost every hot sauce and chili-based condiment known to man lining the walls of his tiny shop on Capitol Hill in Eastern Market.

The cool thing about his shop is that he'll let you taste samples of a lot of what he sells. I decided, after chatting the Uncle up a minute, to try one of his hottest products. First, let me tell you, it's always been my claim to fame since I was a toddler, that, if its hot, I will eat it. I have won many a bar bet because of this. So I thought I would be prepared for whatever Uncle Brutha could hit me with. I was very wrong!

He gave me a tortilla chip with a drop of a substance (this could not be called a "sauce") called 357 Magnum on it. I touched my tongue to it and it was hot but didn't seem too much hotter than the Habaneros I keep in various forms in my home. So I pop the whole chip in my mouth just as the delayed burn of the first taste made itself evident. First, I got that weird chili-head's sensation of the top of my head feeling like it popped off and I could feel cool air on my brain. Then a sensation of my tongue being, literally, on fire as my vision blurred for a second or two and then my tongue went numb and, though I was trying to be cool and not panic because my heart started to race, Brutha handed me a little cup of whipped cream in the hope of cutting the burn a little. The only thing wrong with 357 is that it has almost no actual flavor, it's just the capsicum resin, the chemical that makes peppers hot. For hours afterwards I my heart like the Sacred Heart in Catholic iconography but it was a more a comfortable glow by then.
So, back to the Jolokia...

I got an email newsletter from Uncle Brutha today and he linked this video of Wal Street Journal writer Stan Sesser actually trying one of these peppers for the first time. His reation is similar to mine except he got some flavor with the burning numbness.

NOTE: The City Paper reported last week that Uncle Brutha's was closing due to a drop in business after the closing of Eastern Market due to a damaging fire.

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Obama-Wan Kenobi?

Thanks to my old friend Baba-C for sending this to me. As funny as it is, it is also interesting to note how anyone can manipulate the public perception of anyone else, especially those under media scrutiny, with creative editing whether audio, video, or in print. I may go into this further one day but, for now, enjoy this:

Note: This is one of those entries from my other blogs originally published in May. I am unapologetically lazy. So there!

Picked at random and in rotation in the CD player right now:
Cee-Lo Green - ...Is the Soul Machine
The Time - Ice Cream Castle
Book of Love - Book of Love
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Michael Brook - Night Song
Funkadelic - Funkadelic

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Seconds of Pleasure

This came to my attention while browsing Laughing Squid. It's an amazing app for use in, according to the developer's web site, advertising and marketing. I think it's pretty damned cool. Other people I've shown this to just think it's creepy.

Currently in the StudioMONDO CD player:
Dolapdere Big Gang - Just Feel
The Swimming Pool Q's - The Deep End
Verlette Simon - Proof of Life
Patsy Cline - 12 Greatest Hits
Basement Jaxx - Remedy

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sundance Here I Come!

A couple of years ago I bought a digital camera from Target for $88.00. It was a Vivitar Vivicam 3705. It was a nifty little gadget that allowed me to photograph a lot of the stuff I was selling on eBay, nothing fancy but it got the job done wthout much hassle. One of the features of it was that it could record short movies of varying quality and no sound.

Now, I have ideas for movies all the time but the camera is long dead.

Here's one of the movies I shot from my apartment window that I edited and added a soundtrack to.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Hulk Smash!

Captain America #110. Copyright 1968, Marvel Comics. Artist: Jim Steranko

I love comic books.

They are one of my favorite sources of entertainment. I really like it when one of my fave titles get made into a movie and is done well. Nowadays super heroics make great movies because they get enough money and talent behind them to make them a worthwhile venture. Back in the day, this wasn't so. Even with the popularity of the superhero on film they were rarely seen as viable product on the big screen and were relegated to TV where advertisers mostly regulated content to the detriment of the source material often turning our heroes into shtick (i.e.: the Batman of the 60's, Captain Nice and Mr. Terrific).

Today, superheroes are big business because baby boomers were raised in the Silver Age of comics when the writing and artwork took a giant step away from the previous age of one-dimensional characters and the clear divisions of right and wrong. Comics edge themselves into the real world in the hands of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby who double-handedly revolutionised the medium.

(Author's NOTE: Uh-oh! I'm getting long winded here when all I really wanted to do was show this CLIP to you.)

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Ramble, Ramble, Ramble, Rant.

Capitol columns at the National Arboretum, Wash., DC. Photo by Guy Mondo

Ah, well this is my blog. I have other blogs on MySpace and BlackPlanet but they both have the same content which really doesn't matter because only 2 people read them (in total). I figure that no one goes to either of those sites to read anything anyway. Of course, the web being as vast as it is, there is enough intelligent discourse on all manner of subjects to make having internet access worthwhile once you get past the most popular dimwits on YouTube showing video of their latest attempts at emulating "Jackass".
I hope, in my own small way, to contribute to the betterment of my little corner of the web by alerting my readers (I'm being ambitious here) to my opinion on what I find interesting. Also, there will be a considerable amount of random ramblings some of which, I hope someone will find entertaining. There will, possibly, be quite a bit of sleep-deprived and/or drunken ranting, too.

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