Monday, October 15, 2018

Lipstick Dojo Production

Production for Lipstick Dojo begins this weekend.

Filming in Boston, New York, and Tokyo, Lipstick Dojo is an all new film set in the Perro Worldwide Universe.


Monday, October 8, 2018

Style

Good movies are a result of good circumstance. The right story, the right director, the right actors. It doesn't always happen (obviously) but it is always the goal.

Great movies, the ones that people remember forever, they add something more. Style...

But what is style?

It's more than a look. It's more than fancy lighting and edgy music. It's atmosphere. Something that turns each scene into a visual work of art. 

Style involves taking risks. It's far easier to make a good movie, following the basic rules of cinema, to produce a technically competent, but ultimately generic picture. Most movies, even the good ones, are generic. A series of creative choices lifted from other films. The same shots, the same ideas.

When style is attempted, something new is attempted. And it might not work. But if the goal is to produce something original, it's worth the risk.

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Karate Kid Movies Ranked

As I begin production on Lipstick Dojo, an all new brand in the Perro Worldwide Comics universe, I thought I'd look back at my favorite martial arts series: The Karate Kid.

Below, all Karate Kid movies and series ranked from best to worst:

1. The Karate Kid

The movie that started it all remains the best of the franchise.

I think what makes it so good is the combination of genres. It's a martial arts film, a high school drama, and a buddy picture all rolled into one.

Because it mixes so many genres, this movie isn't often compared to other high school films of the decade, but it's better than nearly everything John Hughes ever did.

An absolute classic, there isn't anything that can be said about this movie that hasn't already been said. If you haven't seen it, you should.

2. Cobra Kai

I have to be honest. I seriously considered ranking this number one. Yes, it really is that good.

It comes in at number two for (coincidentally) two reasons. First, as a series, it relies heavily on the source material established in the original film. Without The Karate Kid, Cobra Kai doesn't exist. Second, and more importantly, this series is almost a perfect continuation of the original film, extending the story in a powerful and poignant way that was never expected.

Before this series premiered, I was intrigued, but early buzz made it sound like Cobra Kai would be more of a half hour parody, heavily influenced by Patton Oswalt's hilarious Sweep the Leg and Wake The Gimp, and Barney Stinson's take on Johnny in How I Met Your Mother. As parodies, they're funny. As a continuation of The Karate Kid... Let's just say that wasn't the story I was interested in seeing.

When Cobra Kai premiered, I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. The series is complex, with three-dimensional characters all doing what they believe to be right. Daniel isn't the villain. And Johnny isn't the villain, either. This is a show about past victories, past mistakes, and what happens next.

I honestly can't say enough good things about the series, and as I write this, I'm eagerly awaiting season two!

3. The Karate Kid Part II

As a follow up to The Karate Kid, this isn't a bad movie. No, it's not as good as the original, but it attempts something new by taking us to a new location.

If The Karate Kid is Daniel's story, then The Karate Kid II is Miyagi's story. Yes, Daniel still has some growing up to do, and he's still that same kid that manages to find trouble wherever he goes, but the major arcs of the film revolve around Miyagi.

My favorite part of this movie is the opening scene, which takes place immediately after the events of the first film.

The first three Karate Kid movies end with a freeze-frame. And the endings are abrupt, with credits rolling almost immediately after Daniel's finishing blow in the tournaments. I like that the Karate Kid II picks up almost directly after the freeze-frame. It really does feel like there is more story to be told.

And even though this film isn't as good as the original, it's a solid follow-up.

4. The Next Karate Kid

People often rank this movie last because it breaks formula, replacing Daniel with Julie. But if you can look past that, and I think that you should, this movie attempts to re-launch a franchise that was pretty much over.

I think, with a tighter edit, and some tweaks to the script, this movie could have been far stronger. The change of location from LA to Boston is fresh, and with a new lead character, it helps to push the story in a different direction.

If it was better, this movie could have been the first in a second trilogy, but it wasn't, so it goes down as a unique outlier, and the fourth and final film in the Karate Kid series.

5. The Karate Kid Part III

Despite coming in dead last, The Karate Kid III is not a terrible movie. It's fast, fun, and tries to bring Daniel's story to a close.

This movie suffers because it essentially duplicates the formula of the first film, and it just isn't as good. Daniel is bullied, Miyagi trains him, Daniel wins the All-Valley tournament.

Daniel seems to take a few steps backwards in this movie, before moving forwards, and his feud with Miyagi was a poor story decision. Also, without a love interest (No Ali or Kumiko) this movie lacks the romantic plot-lines that were essential in both parts one and two.

All that being said, positives include the return of Martin Cove as Kreese, backed up by new villains Terry Silver and Mike Barnes. It's good to see Cobra Kai back for one more fight.

Special Notes

The Karate Kid Animated Series

This isn't cannon, so I'm not including it in my ranking. It's an adventure cartoon. It only lasted for thirteen episodes, and the premise of the series deviates radically from the films. Beyond that, there isn't anything else to say.

The Karate Kid (2010)

I really wish this movie was titled The Kung Fu Kid.

The Karate Kid features Japanese martial arts, while, this pale remake features Chinese martial arts. It seems silly to call it The Karate Kid.

Also, if it was titled The Kung Fu Kid, it could have existed in the world of the Karate Kid, but also stand on it's own as a new martial arts saga, with a whole new set of characters.

Titling it The Karate Kid makes it nothing more than a weak remake, and forces it to be compared to the original. It just doesn't compare.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Black Label DC

I was at my local comic book shop this past weekend...  That's Entertainment!

It's a great store.  The biggest comic book & collectibles store in the area.  A fantastic collection of comics new and old, trading cards, action figures, movies, video games...  And I'm really only scratching the surface.

Anyway...   I was there looking for Batman Damned, which is the first comic released under DC's new Black Label imprint.  

It's a mature comic, designed for mature readers.  That's the whole point of the Black Label imprint.  To capture 18-and-over DC fans who want more sex, violence, and language in their comics.

It's an interesting idea, but I can't help wondering if this is something that will ultimately be bad for the comic book industry.

Don't get me wrong, stories aimed at adults, with complex characters, plots, and themes, are needed and welcomed.  Comic books, as a medium, can certainly appeal to kids, teens, and adults.

But in the case of Batman Damned, the biggest talking-point is a single panel appearance of Batman's batarang.

And that's the problem right there.  

DC isn't upping their storytelling with the Black Label imprint.  It's the same old stuff with a little schlock thrown in to force stores to slap an 18-and-over warning by the price-tag.

And I think, if we're being honest, the only people who will really be drawn in are the kids under 18 who want to find out what they're missing.  Them, and the collectors...  Because getting a copy of the first comic featuring the Naked-Bat has to be worth something on eBay.

I suppose, in the end, I just don't see why Black Label DC is any better than regular DC.  If the only way they plan to make a story more mature is by adding gratuitous sex and violence, they have bigger problems on the horizon.

Monday, September 17, 2018

September is here!

September is here, and with it the start of the new year!

Wait, that isn't right!?! Well, yes and no.

September isn't January, but it's still a new beginning. And for me, it's always felt like more of the start of the year than January ever did.  

Here's why...  

September marks the beginning of fall, and with it comes the start of the new school year, the start of the holiday season, and the return of all new entertainment after the long summer hiatus. At Perro Worldwide, we're launching new shows that are sure to thrill and entertain!

September is also the time to check out new fall fashions. Beachwear is great, but the best styles have always been fall and winter styles! At Perro Worldwide, we've got the ultimate True-Hero looks for the holiday season.

With the start of school, the holidays, new entertainment, and new fashions, we think it's an amazing time!

Monday, September 10, 2018

A Word About Personal Style

Many artists talk about their personal style. The "look" of their art. And often, in the beginning, artists ask how to develop a personal style.

But I don't think it works that way.

One of my favorite artists with a clear and identifiable style is Bruce Timm. But what exactly is the Bruce Timm style?

Some people would say it’s minimalist and angular. Others might go for the term “art deco” as a more appropriate description. Bruce Timm, a self taught artist, with no formal art schooling, lists two of his influences as Jack Kirby and Harvey Kurtzman.

It’s not surprising. There’s definite Kurtzman in Timm’s work.

No matter how one would like to describe Timm’s style, he takes his cues from artists before his time, as they took cues from artists before their time. Then he makes his art his own. Timm isn't Kirby or Kurtzman. He's something else. Something new.

***

I used Bruce Timm as an example because he's one of three artists who inspired me.  The other two, being Dan Jurgens and Darwyn Cooke.

My style isn't Timm, nor is it Jurgens, or Cooke.  It's something else.

I like that.

Good artists steal from the past and make it their own.  They never quite become the artists they admired, instead they build upon style, until their version becomes something unique.  Their...  For lack of a better word...  Personal style.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Paper Cups

Here's the challenge...

Take a small paper cup, and cut it in half. Now what you should have is an even smaller paper cup.  Fill it with water.  Now do the same thing with another paper cup.

After that, have someone place one cup on the palm of each hand. Hold the cups out.  It's not too hard to keep them steady when you're standing still.

But try banging out some snappy kicks, and you'll find that not spilling any of the water starts to become a little difficult.

The Teaser-Trailer for Lipstick Dojo is going to feature some fantastic martial arts control.  And if you attempt the paper cup challenge, you'll understand why.