Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jonah Hex Podcast

Last year I was toying around with the idea of a Jonah Hex podcast, especially after listening to Tom vs. the Flash. But I have a hard enough time running through the issues the way that I do without venturing out into uncharted waters of sound and podcasts and stuff.

Well, turns out that Scott Gardner of Two True Freaks just started a Jonah Hex podcast and has three weeks under his belt. Not sure if he plans on covering every single appearance of Jonah, but he has started a body count (and we'll see just how far we differ in our criteria of what constitutes a "kill") and it is fun to listen to.

Head on over, leave a comment or two and enjoy the audio retelling of Jonah Hex's adventures.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Winner of the Jonah Hex movie Review!!!

I know I'm late, but here goes nothing. We had 4 wonderful entries in the Jonah Hex Movie Review contest/sweepstakes. The contestants are:

Susan, of Weird Western Quarterly. (#1)

Jim-in-Seattle, of, uh, I guess Seattle.(#2)

Tinseltine, of (#3)

And everyone's favorite stalker of Haley Miles, Sleestak, of Lady, That's My Skull. (#4)

So rather than going totally old-school geek and rolling my d4, I loaded up and the winning number is ..... 4!!!!

Sleestak is the winner of two Jonah Hex temporary tattoos, a copy of either Jonah Hex #44 (Showdown of the Century!) or Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such #1 (of 5), and a wonderful sketch of Jonah Hex done by Yours Truly!

Slees, shoot me an email with your address and I'll have these in the mail by Saturday. Also, let me know if you would like me to autograph the comic, thus further driving it's price downward.

Now we can get on with the HEX reviews!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kevin Williamson revisited and his reply.

As you may remember, I had a few points of contention with Keith Williamson's review of Jonah Hex and I sent him an email. He was kind enough to respond and granted permission to post our exchange:

Mr. Williamson wrote:
Thanks for your remarks, but my comments weren't erroneous, as you suggest. But we do have a difference in perspective.

While you cite the three mini-series in the 1990s, the fact is, Hex hadn't carried an ongoing title of his own for a period of almost 20 years. And the fact the character has varied, sometimes wildly, between genres suggests neither he nor his central story have ever really connected with comic fans en masse. That can't be said of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man or Wolverine, to name a few.

Does that make Hex a failure? Well, it doesn't make him a big success. It makes him what he is: a cult figure with a faithful following. And so I was questioning the logic of making a big-budget film based on a hero who, in the eyes of even most comics readers, is more a cool image than a fully-dimensional character. What Hex storyline was dying for the big-screen treatment? What about Hex cried out for a film? Unlike, say, Swamp Thing, there's no one run that elevated the genre or redefined the medium. Kick-Ass, like its source material, feels fresh. What new would a Jonah Hex movie have to say?

That doesn't mean I think all Hex comics suck or Hex is a crappy character. I certainly remember him from my childhood in the 1980s. And, as I pointed out, he is a long-running creation. But after four decades, he has never truly caught fire as a solo act. So couldn't Hollywood have better spent its money elsewhere? Just because it's a comic doesn't mean it should automatically be a movie. But that shouldn't negate your enjoyment of the title either.


I replied:
Mr. Williamson,

Thanks for your response. I agree that we have a difference in perspective and we may have to agree to disagree.

  What jumped to my eyes in your review was the phrase "oft-canceled" which conjures a picture of a character being canceled more than twice (Jonah Hex & Hex). I don't consider the mini-series as cancellations because mini-series, by their very nature, are limited runs. The fact that DC went back to the Vertigo version of Jonah Hex twice more shows that the sales were there to warrant the effort (the success of that effort is probably a whole other slew of emails. :) )

Granted, Jonah Hex didn't carry an ongoing book from approx 1987 until 2006, but does that indicate the character is "failed"? I can name a lot of other literary characters that have longer gaps in publishing than 19 years that aren't considered failed.

But again, I think we may be disagreeing on definitions.

Did a Jonah Hex movie NEED to be made? No, not really, and certainly not the one they made. I'm sure there are a lot of other characters that could have used and carried a better film. Nobody was more surprised than I that the film was being made and I think the major failure was trying to rewrite the character and bring in elements of the mini-series, rather than dipping in to the current series or the original run. As far as a run that changed the genre, I would probably point to Jonah's marriage to Mei Ling, his drunkeness, and the arc where Jonah went to China to rescue Mei Ling. These were stand-out stories for a western comic in the 80's. (But contain far too much story for a two hour film)

Since I did make mention of your review on my blog as well as posting the email I sent, I would like to receive your permission to post your previous response as well as any response you send to this email. If you rather that I don't post either response, I'll respect that and not post this email as well.

Again, thanks for your time.

Dwayne Hendrickson

Mr. Williamson replied:
Feel free to post my response to your e-mail.

What is unusual is that we're not debating the movie itself. It's too bad how it turned out because Josh Brolin is perfect casting and the ensemble cast - Michael Shannon, Michael Fassbender, John Malkovich - is exceptional.

Turns out that Neil over at The Bleeding Tree also took time to write to Mr. Williamson. We didn't plan that, honestly we didn't.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Susan speaks out on Jonah Hex

Susan Hillwig, she of Weird Western Quarterly and sometimes alias of Jonah Hex, wrote her review of Jonah Hex, tossed it into an email for me to read and I knew I HAD to share it with everyone else. Here, for your reading pleasure, Susan Hillwig:

Been hearin’ the rumors for months now, crazy talk ‘bout how he’d changed so drastically, how he wasn’t the same person.  But me and him, we go back a ways, and I figured the only way to get the truth was to go seek out the man himself.  So I met up with him in a darkened theatre, and we had good long talk for about 80-odd minutes.

And let me reassure you, friends, that Jonah Hex (in the guise of Josh Brolin) may look and act a bit different than what we’re used to, but on the inside, he’s the same man we’ve known for over 38 years.

It was kind of a shock, in a way.  Everything I’ve been hearing had lowered my expectations to near-zero, so I thought I’d be groaning under my breath for most of the film.  I will concede that those who don’t know the character at all might not like it because, as those that do know him are aware, Hex is not an easy character to love: he’s dirty, he’s surly, he’d sooner spit in your eye than offer a kind word...and I’d say that Brolin nails every bit of that attitude.  Unfortunately, movie franchises are not usually based around guys like that, so I reckon the critics are a little taken aback by what they saw, but as a Hex-nut, I was pleased.  He does show a soft edge here and there, but only when appropriate, and that’s not out-of-character for him either...Hell, I was damn-near moved at one point because, once again, Brolin nailed it.  Either he or the writers studied Hex real close, because I can’t think of one line coming out of his mouth that rang false.

Hex’s backstory took a few bad lumps, though, which is understandable: in this knee-jerk, politically-correct age, no studio would likely let ritual scarring by angry Apaches hit the big screen.  So instead, the honor of administering it goes to Quentin Turnbull (Malkovich), but don’t worry, kids, they still manage to work in a red-hot tomahawk to the face later on, much to my surprise.  There’s also the garbling of the Turnbull/Hex feud, taking away the element of Hex’s accidental betrayal of his unit and making it deliberate, but with good reason, as Turnbull was steering them towards wholesale slaughter as opposed to simple battlefield tactics.  The full details behind the betrayal are never made clear, but they do say that Hex shot Turnbull’s son Jeb, so on that count at least, Hex is guilty, and this leads directly to Turnbull’s eye-for-an-eye vengeance.  Another alteration on that, as Hex is given an Indian wife and son (and going by the kid’s age, I’d say this marriage predates the War).  Sadly, their only reason for existence seems to be as sacrificial lambs and possibly a tenuous link to Hex’s brief Indian upbringing (if we miraculously get a sequel, I’d like to see that explored).  Luckily, those Indians are also the ones who pull Hex back from the brink of death after Turnbull shatters his life.

And that brings us to a major change in Hex’s character: he talks to dead people.  Before going into the movie, I psyched myself out by saying that Brolin’s Hex was nutters and he imagined this ability, but nope, he’s really doing it...and Lord help me, Brolin makes it believable.  In his hands, talking to the dead becomes simply another tool in Hex’s arsenal, and he treats it as such.  For the record, we only see him use it three times: the first establishes the parameters of how it works, the second provides us with a scene that lays out a remarkable depth of feeling for Hex that I really don’t want to spoil, and the third is over with lickety-split but it’s so creative and mad-dog mean that you know the comic-book Hex would do it too if he could.  I still think they shouldn’t have saddled an all-too-human character with a supernatural trait, but they made me accept it within the confines of this flick, so I’m okay with it.

As for other oddities...well, some work and some don’t.  The acid-spitting weirdo in the pit-fighting scene seems to have no purpose but to up the crazy factor a bit (though the conversation between Hex and Tom Wopat’s character happening just above the pit-fight works well).  Hex’s specialty weapons look like stuff he might consider using if he could actually get his hands on them (though that horse of his must be very well-trained to tolerate the noise of twin Gatling guns like that!), and Turnbull’s “nation-killer” gun is the ultimate in steampunk, reminding me of the Nazis’ actual “Big Bertha” gun in a way.  I give the writers props for working in Eli Whitney (and accurately mentioning that he’s responsible for modern manufacturing as well as the cotton gin...both of which are inadvertent causes of the Civil War, by the by), but for the life of me, I can’t think of what in blazes those flaming dragonballs the cannon spews out are supposed to be made of!  Oh, and I take points off for giving the thing Capitol building-shaped crosshairs...that’s just plain silly.

I suppose I should take a second to review the other characters in this flick.  John Malkovich does a good job as Turnbull, and though he’s more physically active than his comic-book counterpart, I noticed that, as with Brolin/Hex, the attitude is the same: he spends more time playing mastermind and directing others to do his dirty work than he does getting his own hands dirty.  Even the way he talks, all blustery and spelling everything out, conforms to the original character.  Megan Fox’s character of Lilah doesn’t get as much screen-time as the ads would have you believe, but she does a decent job when she’s there.  The age difference between Brolin and Fox is a mite distracting, but since I remember Hex one time bedded down with a gal half his age, I could excuse it.  What surprised me about Lilah was how well she handled her weapons...but since I knew what her full name was before it was said on film, I shouldn’t have been surprised at all.  The biggest pleasure for me was watching Michael Fassbender as Turnbull’s Irish crony Burke.  This guy was just wicked fun every time he was on screen, and a real threat to Hex.  Plus he made me grin when he kept calling Hex “little flower” as a put-down.

Now to address two problems that keep coming up in other reviews I’ve seen: the length and the editing.  Honestly, I didn’t feel that the movie clocked in too short, though I could’ve sat through at least another hour of it and not complained.  Not once did I look at my watch, which I normally do at least once during a movie, so if they can keep my eyes on the screen and not on the time, then that’s a plus.  As for editing, it doesn’t get choppy for me until the end fight (I swear there’s one split-second scene that they showed twice within maybe five minutes, but that might’ve been my eyes playing tricks), but where I can see what might be off-putting for some folks in the interspersing of the actual fight between Hex and Turnbull alongside a “internal” fight of those same guys on a field of red clay (which also pops up here and there throughout the film).  If I understand from other sources, the red clay sequence was supposed to be the original end fight, but they nixed it in favor of steampunk cannons.  Luckily, somebody found a way to work it back in that’s artsy as Hell, and I loved it.  Personally, I could probably spend a paragraph dissecting the meaning of the red clay sequence, but I’m trying to be brief here.

All in all, I had a good time, and best of all, I don’t think they insulted Jonah Hex one bit.  That was my biggest concern from the moment they announced there would be a movie: the notion that they’d toss any old junk together and call it good because he’s a lower-tier character.  There are a few bumps in the road that I could’ve done without, but I’d go see it again, and I hope the inevitable DVD comes with so much extra stuff that they need 5 disks to pack it all in.

Now I just have to find a way to explain this flick to anybody that isn’t a Hex-nut...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Guest Review at Comics Bulletin

Through various channels, I was requested by Comics Bulletin (a great site that I had never seen) asked if I would compose a review of the Jonah Hex. Having already posted my bullet-points along with my rant against other movie critics, I decided to wade into the deep end of the pool and submit my own review of the movie.

Once you've finished reading it, be sure to browse around the rest of the site, it has a lot to offer.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A rant about reviewers...

I usually skim movie reviews, sometimes listening to them, other time shaking my head in disgust. I have never before read as many reviews about a single film as I have about Jonah Hex. I have learned a few things about movie reviewers in my perusing of the Jonah Hex reviews and I thought I would share them with all of you. Here they are, in no particular order (all emphasis mine):

1) Movie critics quite often do not pay attention to the movie.
  • Michael at states "The eponymous Hex was a soldier in the Confederate army until his regiment was captured and Hex made an unspecified decision that resulted in the death of all his men" It was fairly clear that Hex went against the wishes of Turnbull, his commander, when Turnbull orders the destruction of a Union hospital. The disagreement led to Jonah shooting Jeb Turnbull.
  •  Aaron Mesh of Willamette Week (Portland Oregon) confesses: "The closing credits of Jonah Hex will tell you that Michael Shannon, the terrific sneerer from Revolutionary Road and The Runaways, is the fifth-billed actor in the movie. Having sat through the 80 minutes that precede these credits, I will tell you that Shannon manifests for exactly one three-second shot, barks a line as a circus ringmaster, then disappears. At least I don’t think he shows up again." The film was 80 minutes long and you can't keep the actors straight? Especially ones who are so uniquely attired?
  •  Michael Rechtshaffen of the The Hollywood Reporter was easily confused, stating: "The legend, at least according to the screenplay by Neveldine & Taylor (the "Crank" movies), has Hex left physically and emotionally mutilated at the hands of the crazed Quentin Turnbull (efficiently if predictably played by John Malkovich), who killed Hex's wife and child in retaliation for the death of his brother."  The fact that Jeb was Quentin Turnbull's SON was stated several times in the film.
  •  Steve Persall of pens: "Fox plays the prostitute Lilah, who loves Jonah, uber-acne and all. He's more than just an ugly face, while Fox is nothing more than a pretty one. Somehow she's kidnapped by Turnbull for the climactic showdown, but we don't see it happen, or how she reacts. The excised scenes probably required Fox to emote more than she's capable of doing." Uhhhhhh. I managed to see an entire scene where Burke comes into Lilah's room, slaps her, drags her by the hair and carries her out of the room.
  •   Mal Vincent of sees what wasn't in the film with "In one wonderful scene, the likes of which we haven't seen in a movie for a while, someone is gunned down in a saloon and the body is merely dragged outside while the piano player keeps playing. That's the West we know." The guy Jonah shot in the bar was blown out the window and piano player stopped. While Mr. Vincent gave it a positive review, what film was HE watching?

2) Movie critics can't keep their politics out of their reviews.
  • Roger Moore at the Orlando Sentiel writes "One very good scene — Hex chatting with the corpse of Turnbull’s son (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) about where the crazy old mass murdering gummit-hating Tea Partier dad (an allegory made crystal clear in the film) is hiding out." Really? The Confederacy can be equated to the current Tea Party movement? 
  • Scott Mendelson of the Huffington Post exposes us to his greatest fear: " Whether or not Neveldine and Taylor intended Malkovich's homegrown terrorist as a parable to Timothy McVeigh or our worst fears about the most fringe members of the Tea Party movement (a first-act attack involves domestic suicide bombers), the film's surprising 'what-if?' topicality gives it more weight than it probably deserves." Suicide bombers? Mr. Mendelson is more worried about Tea Party suicide bombers than, oh, let's say, Al-Queda members who have murdered 3,000 innocents in a single day? 

3) Movie critics are incapable of doing accurate research, proving that they turned to reviewing movies because they can't be real reporters. (Yes, I am angry)
  • Kevin Williamson of the Toronto Sun toss out this gem "After all, there's the issue of whether or not Hex, the long-running, oft-cancelled DC Comics western outlaw, should have even received the big-screen treatment. Is Hollywood so starved for ideas it has to turn to failed comics for source material? And yes, I'm asking rhetorically." OFT-CANCELED? FAILED COMICS? Here is the email I sent Mr. Williamson: "Mr. Williamson,

     I read your review of the Jonah Hex film. I respect your opinion (everyone is entitled to one) but I wanted to set the record straight on a few facts you got wrong. You stated:

    "After all, there's the issue of whether or not Hex, the long-running, oft-cancelled DC Comics western outlaw, should have even received the big-screen treatment. Is Hollywood so starved for ideas it has to turn to failed comics for source material?"

    Jonah Hex first appeared in All Star Western 10 which was renamed to Weird Western Tales two issues later. He starred in that book until issue 38. Following month he appeared in his own book, Jonah Hex, and that book ran for 92 issues that covered 8 years. That book was canceled and Jonah was 're-booted' in a book called HEX where Jonah was sent to the year 2050. That book lasted 18 issue.

    In the 1990's Jonah received three miniseries and in 2006 he received his own title once again and it continues today. Calling Jonah Hex "oft-canceled" (canceled twice) is a little over the top and calling the book "failed source material" when it is currently in print with a faithful fan base is erroneous.

    Again, I did enjoy your review but I did want to correct what I viewed as a few mistakes in your reporting.

    Dwayne Hendrikson
    Matching Dragoons"

4) Movie critics like to hear themselves write. Too often they are enamoured with developing a snarky comment or the next catch phrase to use for a film.
  • Peter Rainer of the Christian Science Monitor uses the almost the entire review to prove exactly how witty he is: "Brolin manages to come through with a star turn even though he resembles walking beefsteak tartare(sic). Megan Fox, inevitably, turns up as a whore with a heart of fool’s gold, and Aidan Quinn, in a prime piece of miscasting, is President Ulysses S. Grant. (No cigar-chomping here. Is he wearing a nicotine patch?)" Mr. Rainer will be here all week, be sure to try the veal and remember, if you can't knock your waiter completely over, at least tip him well. Thank you, thank you, you've all been wonderful.

On the other hand, some critics do a fine job, such as NPR, but too often it is clowns, yes, clowns, like those above, who have no damn business whatsoever of delivering a review of any film. Am I pissed because they gave negative reviews to the film? Hell, no! A lot of their complaints are legitimate (bad editing, bad acting, film too short, supernatural powers where none was needed) and they are welcome to their opinions. But if their job is to review a film I expect them to pay attention to film, keep their politics to themselves, get their facts straight, and keep their comedic styling to open-mike night.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Official Jonah Hex film review

Caught the early show with my Lovely Wife and I was gritting my teeth (in fear) as we went in. We sat down, watched a ton of commercials aimed at kids (my wife kept asking "What the Heck? Are we in Toy Story?") and the film finally started. We watched it. I neither screamed at the screen nor threw things in disgust.

Don't forget to link to your own review in the comments or even leave your review in the comments in order to be entered in the Sweepstakes for mediocre Jonah Hex loot.

The short and sweet? Lovely Wife enjoyed it and wants to see it again. Me? I give it a 6 out of 10 and will probably see it twice more. If you want more details and spoilers, you can check below my favorite picture of Jonah Hex below. It will be safe to read again after the second picture.

* The opening of the film had a nice style with the animation. Wife noted that it was the only way they could present the branding of Hex's face in a PG-13 film.

* The scene with the Gatling guns on the horse actually worked for me. That entire scene and the train explosion scene (as seen in the pre-released clips) were a cinematically beautiful. As a matter of fact the bulk of the film looked really really good. The colors were outstanding and we were treated to some nice vistas and mood pieces.

* The character of Burke was an enjoyable one. Wife asked if the actor was actually Irish. Accent FTW!

* The whole speaking to the dead? To me it seemed as if it were thrown in to save time. Being able to talk to the dead who see everything is a lot quicker that doing actual tracking or searching down facts. There was another twist or two thrown in along with it that made it interesting, but not enough to convince me that it had to be in there. Wife enjoyed it and thought it gave the film a nice quirkiness.

* Megan Fox as Lilah? Was she in the film? I didn't notice. (I'm being sarcastic.) Her performance was standard.

* I think the film suffered from the short running time. It had interesting characters that we didn't get to know very well and I wanted to see more of Lt. Grass, more of Burke. During my interview with the cast, there was some interesting aspects to the characters that we were not even allowed to get a hint of and I think the film was less for the exclusion. I wonder if the cuts were to get it down to a PG-13? Jonah Hex is definitely an R rating character.

* There were some rather abrupt cuts. The love scene between Hex and Lilah, Hex leaving the fort with the aid of his horse, Hex recovering with the aid of the Indians to the scene of him riding his horse. All of these left me thinking "Wow, they cut something there."

* The dog, the crows, the horse. All of these were nice touches that I think did add to the film.

* At times it was difficult to understand Brolin but I don't fault him for that. It must have been hell working with that makeup.

* The weird freak in the fighting ring seemed to be something leftover from a prior shoot to the film. It wasn't explained very well and left Wife scratching her head.

* Now some detail stuff, the relationship between Hex and Turnbull was pretty much turned on its head from the comics. I asked Wife to explain it and she got the movie version 99% correct. Now for a little bit of a rant, I have read more than one review where the reviewer got facts of the movie wrong such as saying that Hex killed Turnbull's brother among other things. That makes me wonder if reviewers are actually watching the damn film? I believe that this film is getting a short end of the stick. Way too often, reviewers want to be 'hip' and 'current' and rather than actually talking about the film, they toss in quick insults about the actors or flippant political remarks (I have seen more than one review making negative comments about the Tea Party movement (Jonah Hex and Prince of Persia come to mind)) So rather than giving an actual review, they pile on Megan Fox, the short run time, and on and on.

* "This country could use a sheriff." Someone actually thought that was a good line? Sheesh.

* Having read the original script and knowing the ending (a fistfight on a field of red clay), I recognized it when it was intermingled throughout the film. It made me think that they shot a lot of the original script and went back for a rewrite and a new ending but realized how well staged and photographed the original ending was and decided to keep it. They did weave it into the film and Wife, not knowing of the original script, thought the whole effect was unique and enjoyed it.

* Watching it at a 10:30 am showing there were about a dozen people in the theater and I noticed four folks leave and not come back. Hmmm, that doesn't bode well. You can't even suffer through a 80 minute film?

* There was actually more sex in the trailer than in the film. Again, hmmmmm.

* When will folks realize that when we see a reflection of someone with a scar on their face, the scar should be on the opposite side of their face?

As I said above, I would give it 6 of 10 stars. I would put it in the middle of the pack regarding comic book movies, better than either Hulk or Men in Black and I might even place it above all of the first boot of Batman movies. Just wish it had been longer. The more I think of it, the more likely that I will be talking more about this film. Please bear with me.

Lovely Wife places it slightly above X-Men, way above Daredevil, a whole heck of a lot better than the first Hulk, much better than Batman Returns and Batman and Robin. She actually said if Jonah Hex had been given more time it would have been just below Spider-Man

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some Jonah Hex reviews are in.

I thought I would compile a place for all the Jonah Hex reviews that I can find.

First up, Roger Ebert gives it three stars. Now it's down to two stars. I swear it was three. Musta been a typo on the website.

Comic Book Movies gives it a B-.

Canadian Press doesn't care for it.

Movies Online give it 4 out 10.

Orlando Sentinel graces it with 2 out of 4.

Portland Oregon didn't care for it much.

Metromix in Chicago gives it a thumbs down.

Hollywood Reporter laments that too much of the film ended up on the editing room floor.

St Petersburg Times is thinking about revisiting it on DVD.

NPR is one reviewer who actually gets all the facts straight about Jonah (except one, can you spot it?) before handing out the thumbs down.

Hampton Roads loved the film.

National Post gas it's doubts regarding the final outcome

The Toronto Sun hated it, but then again, they refer to Jonah Hex as an "oft-canceled..western outlaw" and call Jonah Hex as a "failed comic". There is a reporter that doesn't get facts straight.

The Huffington Post, sadly, can't review a movie without making a correlation between the Tea Party movement and suicide bombers.

The Christian Science Monitor keeps it short and sweet, and doesn't like it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jonah Hex Movie Review contest!

Yup, with the movie only a day or two away, I am announcing the Matching Dragoons Jonah Hex Movie Review contest. How do you enter? Easy.

Friday I will be posting my review of the movie. All you have to do to enter is either add your review into the comments or post a link to your review into the comments. Easy as pie.

What can you win?
The randomly chosen winner will receive
  • Two Jonah Hex temporary tattoos.
  • A random comic from my collection that has Jonah Hex in it. It will be one of the duplicates I own.
  • An signed drawing of Jonah Hex done by none other than me. (wow!)
The contest will start once I post my review and will end on June 26th at midnight. The winner will be announced on June 27th. I know the swag ain't as good as some stuff that the high class websites are giving away, but a man's gotta know his limitations.

Josh Brolin on Leno

Josh Brolin on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  He reads from his movie journal and they show a clip that is, again, different from what we've been shown earlier. I'm convinced that the ones from CBM are edited down. This clip looks better and more understandable than the one on CBM.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Jonah Hex clips surface

I thought I would toss up a link to the new Jonah Hex movie clips that have surfaced at Bloody Disgusting and have been posted at ComicBookMovie. I must warn you, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, watch the last clip.


Oddly enough, there is another clip at that appears to be cut very differently than the same one at CBM. This is getting weirder and weirder.

Greetings to the new folks!

Of course, I've been getting a ton of new traffic because of the new Jonah Hex film coming out. Thanks for stopping by. I thought I would make things a little easier for folks looking for what they want by providing some links to the articles that seem to be getting the most traffic.

First up, some background on Jonah Hex:
The story of his scar told in Jonah Hex #7 and Jonah Hex #8.
The story of the Fort Charlotte and Quentin Turnbull.
His start in bounty hunting in Jonah Hex #30 and Jonah Hex #31.

Of course, folks will want to know all about Quentin Turnbull and Cassie.

What about the death of Jonah Hex? It's right here

Folks will also want to know about my trip to the filming, part 1 and part 2.  Interviews with the actors and director can be found at the top of the page.

What about Jonah ending up in the future? Well, we're working on that and haven't completed the 18 issue journey, but we're halfway through and you can catch up here.

Aaaaand what about Jonah Hex fighting zombies and that weird "Doc" Cross Williams? Since I'm going through the books as they were published, we haven't gotten there yet. Hope to be there in about 10 weeks.

Other items that might be of interest? My commentaries on the many phases of Jonah Hex, starting with the Early Hex, the Historical Hex, and the Tragic Hex. Coming soon, the Ongoing Hex, the Displaced Hex, the Bizarre Hex, the Guest Hex, and the Current Hex.

There are other goodies in the side gutter, including an interview with Michael Fleisher, my thoughts on Mei Ling, and the problems with a Jonah Hex timeline.

Again, thanks for coming 'round and sitting by the fire for a bit. Hope we can answer any questions ya might have and at least entertain ya for a spell.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Home, safe, excited and sad

HOME! Spent the weekend in Las Vegas to celebrate my Mother-in-Law's birthday and we come home and just miss the biggest flood in Oklahoma City in 500 years! I'm not just making this crap up. The local news station did the research and the most rain that our region should expect in ANY 6 hour period over 500 years is 8 inches. Between 04:45 and 10:45 we managed to get 9.46 inches dumped on us.

SAFE!!! Our home was safe but the creek running through the neighborhood did leave its banks and cross a road (meaning that a creek normally 6 inches deep was running about 11 feet deep)

EXCITED!! Friday!! I'm all excited about Friday to see Jonah Hex and I am sooo happy I have the day off. I'll be at the first showing and reporting as soon as I can.

SAD!! I'm a big fan of Route 66 and Neon signs and I just read two sad pieces of news. The Riviera Restaurant was destroyed by fire last week. This place was notorious on Route 66 for being an old speakeasy and had the most bizarre underground restaurant with homemade concrete stalactites hanging from the ceiling. I stopped there a few years ago and got some photos. The second piece of bad news is that the Route 66 Bowl in Oklahoma City has been sold to a local grocery store. The 66 Bowl had one of the better neon signs in the area with multiple lights mimicking a bowling ball smashing into a  pile of pins. No word on what will happen to the sign. Hopefully someone will buy it and restore it.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Gonna be quiet for a bit...

I have some thing to take care of this week, but will be back full tilt next week. Until then, check out a blog about The Phantom run by one of my newest readers, The Ghost Who Blogs!!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Jonah Hex: No Way Back - Things I noticed.

Well, there are gonna be some spoilers ahead.


* I enjoyed the page layouts by DeZuniga. He is getting more abstract and creative as time goes by. However, sometimes I had trouble recognizing characters from page to page (unless I looked at their clothes). Tony's stuff is getting grittier as he gets older, probably because he is inking his own pencils.

In the fight scene with Papagayo I actually had trouble following what was going on. The prior two pages were set up to read top row left page/ bottom row left page/ top row right page/ bottom row right page. These pages appeared to be set up to be read top row left page /top row right page/ bottom row left page/ bottom row right page.  There was one panel in Jonah's fight with Papagayo that I actually couldn't figure out exactly what Jonah's arm was doing. Also, the knife in Jonah's arm vaniched in one panel.

* By my calculations, I would have placed Ginny closer to 56 than 46 (as stated by Jonah).  Let's review what we know:
Jonah was born in 1838 and his mom left when he was ten in 1848. We have no idea how old Ginny was when Jonah was born, but this story gives us some clues in that Jonah seems fairly put out when he learns that Joshua married a girl when she was 14. Could this be a clue to how old Ginny was when she married Woodson? If so, then Ginny is 14 or 15 years older than Jonah (being born in 1823).

If Jonah last saw his mom in 1875, she would have been around 52 at that point. ( I would chalk up her not recognizing Jonah in this story to the pain and the drunken state she was in.)

The last time Jonah fought El Papagayo was 1878. This story obviously takes place after that. Let's toss in a year or two for their meeting in the current series and for some time to lapse and let's place this story in 1880.

1880, Jonah would be about 42 and Ginny would be about 56/57

But I cut Jonah some slack, I can't remember how old my mom is without doing the math in my head.

* Were those some subtle references to Jonah's marriage? "Not now, Not ever again." Nice touch.

* Nice surprise attack. I liked it.

* I did like Jonah's relationship with his mother at the very end.

* So Joshua got married to a 14 year old girl? Was that so unusual back then? (Not sure, just asking) However, I took Jonah's disgust of the situation to be one of dredging up memories of what happened to his ma, making me think Ginny was 14 when SHE got married and Jonah viewed it as a form of abuse.

* I hated the name Dazzleby way back when. It sounded so hokey. I'm glad Justin and Jimmy remembered, but I could have also believed the story that Ginny left Dazzleby and married a third man, just in order to have a better last name for the story.

* A full chest tattoo of the crucifixion? Really? You really want me to buy that one? I'm surprised that you didn't make Joshua look like Robert Mitchum from Night of the Hunter (like in The Sin Killer ). The crazy killer Christian or fake Christian angle is an old one and I'm fairly tired of it now. What else ya got? In over 100 stories we have only gotten one story of a confessed Christian actually doing compassionate things. I guess I could have bought the concept of Joshua being led by the conceptof salvation through works instead of grace (it's any easy trap to fall into), but the full chest tattoo? Sheesh.

* Mike Brown from Oklahoma, we hardly knew ya. Mike, wish ya coulda stuck around some more. Nice nod to the saloon scene in the movie. So who is Mike Brown, in real life? (If you guys ever want to toss me into a Hex story, the last name is Hendrickson. Just sayin' is all)

* "How'd ya get that scar?" Again, another nice nod to Albano and the upcoming film.

* I enjoyed Papagayo recounting every one of their prior meetings. Nice.

* An actual origin of Papagayo? Wow, I just have to say that I liked it, it carried water for me, and I enjoyed it. Good job on that part guys.

* I don't know where you guys planned on this one falling in the Hex timeline, but I place it around 1879 - 1880. See my reasoning above;.

* Kicking a man's arm clean off FTW!

* The name of the town, Heaven's Gate, took on a whole new meaning once the population changed gender.

* Was Eli, Joshua's youngest, retarded or have Turouttes or something? That bit never went anywhere and I can't decide if I'm happy that it didn't. Would have been cheesy for it to mean something.

* Dag. Best dog name ever. Takes 1st place from the previous leader, "Doug"


Worth it? Yes. Nice format, nice story, some history, some new stuff, some things get changed, beginnings, endings, old wounds opened up and exposed. All in all, a good story.

Thanks guys. Can we have Jose Luis Garcia Lopez do the next one?

Of course, in the future, I'll be doing a complete review/recap of this, not sure when, but eventually.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A second round of Jonah Hex Heroclix!

Heroclix! The game that has died a thousand deaths (well, actually one), a game that got me pulled over in an airport for secondary inspection, a game that gobbled up a ton of my cash until they started constantly changing the rules and my old brain couldn't remember any of it. Heroclix has announced that they are releasing the Jonah Hex 3 figure battle-pack.

These are pretty lowcost characters and they are all common, so you can use multiples in your army (I think, better check the rules). First up is Jonah Hex:
Jonah costs 65 points, has only 6 clicks of life but his last four clicks have willpower, so you can push him all you want. He also has Blades/Claws/Fangs (tomahawk), Toughness, Running Shot & Ranged Combat Expert. This sculpt is about on par with the first sculpt that was based on the Vertigo series.

Next up is Quentin Turnbull for 40 points.

The wily old coot has 4 clicks of life and comes with Mastermind, Perplex and Outwit.

Finally, we have Megan Fox for 15 points. Boy, is she cheap! 

She has Enhancement and Psychic Blast and only 3 clicks of life.

So, if you're still playing Heroclix, get ready to grab some of these in August when they hit the stores.

A huge bump in traffic

I had a huge jump in site traffic recently, going from about 100 hits a day to over 300. Was it news about the movie, a link from Palmiotti? Nope, it was a stray link from here, a site that reviews action figures doing their finest work on the original Jonah Hex action figure.

I had never heard of this site before, but they know their stuff.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Hex #10 "The Sin Killers"

Hex #10 June 1986
"The Sin Killers"
Michael Fleisher, story - Ron Wagner and Carlos Garzon, art - Mark Texeira and Carlos Garzon, cover

Our story starts some undefined time after last issue with a wonderful bird's eye view of a 'house of ill repute' and we see a car pull up and several people with guns piling out. We here Jonah Hex stuttering and stammering that there has been a misunderstanding, he thought this was a boarding house of some sort. Inside, we see Hex at the front desk still trying to sort things out but in the background there is a man getting a massage and reading the crawl-sheet that has a huge story about Hex defeating the Shooting Gallery.

Suddenly the folks we saw earlier burst into the building shouting "PIGS!! WALLOWING IN SIN!!!" and then open fire with tommy-guns and submachine guns. Jonah grabs a woman and dives behind the front desk with her and then grabs some cover. He whips out his pistol and is about to start leveling the playing field but the massage customer shouts for him to hold his fire. The man doesn't want Hex to hit his daughter, one of the folks shooting up the place.

There is a pause in the gunfire and the shootists smile, stating that Maxwell Grogan will be proud of the souls that have been redeemed here. Oddly enough, the shooters are all dressed in 1930's garb. They leave with the phrase "The wages of sin are death and more death."

Meanwhile, back at the Needle, (remember that?) Reinhold Borsten, whom we thought was dead, appears to only be mostly dead! We find him crawling through the wreckage, hideously disfigured and near death, but still vowing vengeance on Jonah Hex.

Of course, we go back to find that Jonah Hex has accepted a ride and dinner from the man in the "inn", named, uh, well. We never learn his name. Get over that! Anyway, turns out his daughter has gotten mixed up in a anti-sin cult that worships a mass murderer from the 30's The guy hires Hex to bring back his daughter but is at least able to tell Hex that the bunch works out of an abandoned shopping mall north of town.

Jonah heads out to the mall, considering that this is getting him some money but it's not getting him any closer to finding Stiletta. Just then he glances up in the sky and sees a cross-over sales boost! That's right, it's a Legion of Super-Heroes time bubble in a surprise cameo (it's a surprise because they told you that right on the cover! SUPRISE!) with Element Lad, Dawnstar, Superboy, and Shadow Lass. Seems the LSH got thrown of course and ended up in Jonah's book. Superboy grabs the Time Bubble and gets it back on track in the time stream but not before Jonah sees them and figures that he is drunker than he thought he was.

Inside the shopping mall, we find that it is getting closer to GLORY TIME!!! The mall is crowded with the faithful followers of Maxwell Grogan, each of them dressed in the 1930's attire and the head priest is wearing a huge hat similar to that worn by the Grand Dragon of the KKK. Jonah Hex grabs a follower, turns out his lights and grabs the coat and hat and decides to find out what GLORY TIME!!! really is.

Jonah ends up in a balcony of a movie theater where the preacher is showing a film of Max Grogan getting captured by police in 1931. The newsreel continues with Grogan walking the last mile to the chair and the preacher is shouting that they are in the very theater where Grogan was captured and they have that same electric chair and now followers will go to glory in that chair. The first man walks up, gets strapped in and electrocuted to the shock and disgust of Jonah Hex.

Hex decides ha can't wait any longer since the girl he was sent to recover in next in line. He jumps from the balcony to the stage, grabs the girl and takes off. In the lobby, he shoots the chandelier to stop two gangsters that are giving chase and then he tries to shove the girl up a stairway. Jonah is stunned to see that the stairs move, but not too stunned to shoot down more thugs. A couple of thugs decide to take a lift tube to the next floor but Jonah spies them and realizes one thing about the future, always shoot the controls. Of course, the gangsters fall to their death.

Jonah continues to shoot his way through the gangsters all the while the girl is trying to convert him to the teachings of Grogan. Finally Jonah has had enough and grabs the girl and jumps over a railing, landing atop a monorail. They get inside and Jonah starts pushing buttons to get the thing moving. Sadly, Jonah manages to jam the controls and the monorail can't take the first turn at top speed and flies off the rail and right through the side of the theater.

The whole shooting match bursts into flames and the preacher screams for the girl to come to her glory. She jumps from the monorail and rushes for the chair. She straps herself in and the preacher is ready to throw the switch but Jonah comes to, grabs his pistols and finds they are empty. The preacher grabs the switch and just as he starts to throw it, a large knife ends up buried in his chest. Jonah jumps to the stage, slaps the girl unconscious, grabs her and makes tracks.

Some time later, we see the father paying Jonah for the job and stating that he has locked her in her room upstairs. Just then we hear some loud crashing from the house and the father runs inside as Jonah rides off on his cycle. The father tops the stairs and finds his daughter's room empty, the window broken and a sheet hanging to the ground. The father starts shouting that Hex has to help find her but Jonah continues on.

Just then we see three motorcycles dropping from the sky and opening fire on Jonah!!!

Statistics for this issue
Men killed by Jonah - 6
Running Total - 473 (428 past, 45 future)
Jonah's Injuries - None
Timeline - Hmm, this is tough. The Shooting Gallery is still in the news so it can't be too far after that so maybe my estimation of a week passing from two issues ago is probably wrong. Hmm. let's say three days between 8 and 9 and three days between 9 and 10.

I did enjoy this issue, lots of gunfire, lots of death, lots of burning stuff. Add in the weird cult from the 1930's and it just sits correctly on the tongue. It also made me remember this little bit that I thought about two years ago. All except for the SURPRISE CROSSOVER SALES BUMP!!!! I could have really done without that. Now it means that I'll have to track down LSH #23 for one lousy panel of Jonah. grrrrr. I also didn't like the confusion that Jonah had regarding the whorehouse. His old west wasn't THAT lily-white. I think Fleisher overplayed the hick hayseed bit just a tad too much here.

Next Issue: New York City!!!! Stiletta Found!!!! Jonah Hex vs. Batman!!! It's true!! The Damn BATMAN!!!