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Archive for October, 2006

Review: Cocaine Cowboys

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Griselda Blanco, a.k.a. The Godmother, a suspect in hundreds of drug-related murders in Miami during the ’80s.

Cocaine Cowboys is this year’s other Miami Vice. However, the Cocaine Cowboys is a serious documentary, which takes an unromanticized look at the cocaine trade in Miami during the 1970(s) and 80(s). This is a must see film. Read on:

This year has seen not one but two movies about Miami vice. The first was Michael Mann’s big-screen version of the 1980s TV series. The second is the documentary Cocaine Cowboys, a dizzying look back at the cocaine trade of the 1970s and ’80s and how it affected the city of Miami, Florida.

Directed by Billy Corben (Raw Deal: A Question Of Consent), Cocaine Cowboys explores Miami’s cocaine trade from the inside, including recent interviews with the criminals, cops and citizens who were there when the one-time retirement community metamorphosized into the glamorous yet blood-soaked epicenter of the Medellin cartel’s stateside operations.

The turning point for the city, the film suggests, was the Dadeland Mall shootings of July 11, 1979, when Colombian males involved in the coke business were gunned down at a liquor store in broad daylight. The level of violence displayed in the machine gun slayings was unheard of in Miami before that day but from then on it became commonplace. Miami, in effect, became a war zone for years after that.

A number of factors came into play that led to Miami becoming the murder capital of the U.S. during the 1980s due to the cocaine trade. Cocaine Cowboys focuses on two white Americans who made a fortune in the coke business, and illuminates how the trade literally made Miami the city it is today. The primary subjects are coke traffickers Jon Roberts and Mickey Munday. Jon, a brash New Yorker with Mafia ties, came south to avoid the “heat” from police only to find that he could make a fortune beyond his wildest dreams in the then “wide open” sleepy city of Miami. Jon was the business manager; transportation was handled by his foil, native Floridian Mickey (no Disney jokes, please).

These guys brought in obscene amounts of cocaine into the U.S. through Miami during the ’70s and ’80s. But they were just part of a larger narco-trafficking network originating in Colombia, which used Cubans as its distributors. Panama, then under the control of strongman dictator Manuel Noriega, served as the cartels’ bank. The Miami police department was besieged by corruption and lawyers got in on the act, too.

Cocaine Cowboys recounts the fast, glamorous life enjoyed by the likes of Roberts, a man so filthy rich he buried millions of dollars in cash in his backyard. But as in any gangland rise-and-fall story, the good times come to an end. After the Dadeland Mall slayings – the Lexington & Concord moment of the “cocaine wars” – the Miami’s murder rate tripled during the ’80s to over 600 homicides a year. This drug-driven bloodshed prompted Time to brand Miami a “Paradise Lost.” And the person suspected behind hundreds of these murders – including Dadeland – was an unlikely figure.

The drug trade in Miami, we learn, was not lorded over by a man but rather a woman: Griselda Blanco, a.k.a. The Godmother/The Queen of Cocaine/The Black Widow. And, as recounted by her former henchman, convicted killer Jorge “Rivi” Ayala, she was a terrifying master who ruled through fear and unspeakable violence. She would think nothing of having anyone – literally, anyone or anything near a target, including their wives, children and pets – butchered along with whomever had wronged her. The film’s most gruesome and shocking moments recall the numerous murders and attempted hits that Rivi and the various law enforcement personnel interviewed here connect Blanco with. Rivi speaks with chillingly calm candor about how he went from car thief to hitman, and his role in dozens of drug-related slayings. But Blanco remains the true monster of the piece.

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

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Miami Vice Movie Posters

Scarface Limited Edition Film Cells

New: Saw 3 Rare Original Movie Poster

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Super Glossy Ultra Rare Movie Poster – Ink mixed with Tobin Bell’s Blood

We’ve recently added the extremely rare Saw 3 poster. This poster actually contains ink mixed with Tobin Bell’s! How outrageous is that! You’d better get yours fast, because these posters are sure to sell-out quickly. Just click on the link below for more details:

Super Glossy Ultra Rare SAW 3 One Sheet Movie Poster -Ink Mixed With Tobin Bell’s Blood

New: Santa Jack Skellington

Monday, October 30th, 2006


We’ve recently added the Santa Jack Skellington Stop Motion Puppet by Medicom Toy to our catalogue:

Santa Jack Skellington – Medicom Toy

Product Information:

  • Internal brass armature allowing for full articulation
  • Identical size as the filming prop
  • Fabric costume covers plush body and injected PVC plastic hands, neck and head
  • Displayed in a haunted coffin against a silk background
  • Comes with a clear display stand
  • Comes with “scary teddy” in a cloth sack
  • Numbered edition of 1224
  • From Medicom Toy’s Miracle Action Figure TM DX collection

Prop Story:

In 1993’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington – bored with the monotony of year after year of Halloween – accidentally finds himself in a strange world known as Christmas Town. The discovery of this foreign and exciting new holiday – including Christmas Trees, snow, presents…and a jolly fat man called Santa Claus – inspires Jack to introduce the concept to the ghoulish citizens of Halloween Town.

At Jack’s urging, the Halloween Town monsters decide to give Santa Claus (or, as they mistakenly call him “Sandy Claws”) the year off…with Jack filling in, and spreading holiday joy! But of course, things go terribly wrong and chaos ensues…leading Jack to see the error of his ways and to realize what he is good at – scaring people! He decides to begin immediately making plans for next Halloween – after, naturally, he saves Christmas and sets things right.

Master Replicas is proud to present an authentic 1/1 scale replica of Santa Jack Skellington, created by Medicom Toy, known in the comic and replica world for detailed, high-quality figures.

Item Size: 18”

Expected to Begin Shipping Holiday 2006

Santa Jack Skellington – Medicom Toy

Review: Babel

Saturday, October 28th, 2006


Among the much hyped movies that came out this season, Babel has entered theaters quietly and without fanfare. Don’t let this fool you. This is one of the best movies that you will see in quite some time, and that’s saying a lot. Read on:

The only appropriate metaphor for watching a film by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” While other directors create imaginative, complex, even harrowing situations and then unspool the tension to provide the audience with a reprieve or release, Inarritu escalates the action — both physical and emotional — until the tension is virtually unbearable. In his latest film, Babel, the director intertwines four stories that are overripe with nail-biting potential and then unleashes them on the audience without mercy. And while this may actually rank as the most challenging, difficult, and yes, harrowing film of his still-young career, seldom has the prospect of being terrorized by a filmmaker seemed so positively invigorating.

Much like the timeline of Amores Perros and 21 Grams, Inarritu’s previous films, Babel takes what seems like a split second of action and elongates it to encompass the individual experiences of all involved. While on vacation in Morocco, husband and wife Richard (Brad Pitt) and Susan (Cate Blanchett) are waylaid by an unprompted gunshot wound and forced to acquiesce to local medical standards. The shot, as it turns out, was fired by two young boys who toyed with the new rifle their father gave them to protect their sheep.

In the meantime, the American tourists’ children have themselves been shepherded into Mexico by their nanny Amelia (Adriana Barraza), who finds herself in deep trouble when her nephew runs afoul of the border patrol. And on the other side of the globe, a young deaf girl named Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi) reaches out desperately to connect with her peers, but finds that her handicap is social as well as physical.

Each of these individual stories could have formed a full film unto itself, but Inarritu’s mastery of storytelling manages to lay this bag of snakes out straight. While he juxtaposes major leaps forward and back in the actual chronology of events, each shift feels like a natural stair step between one moment and the next — elevating the emotional rather than intellectual intensity of the narrative. Whereas many directors choose to employ shifting time frames and overlapping narratives simply to demonstrate their dexterity as storytellers, Inarritu deliberately uses this structure to heighten the action, creating the simultaneous feeling that either leaving one story or returning to another will exacerbate the characters’ relative plights.

Despite his natural visual panache, Inarritu is remarkably understated in his shot choices; rather than punctuating each new development — such as the introduction of a gun at Amelia’s son’s wedding — he simply observes the moment, and then leaves it to the audience to bring his or her associations and reactions. What’s even more exciting is the discovery (after the film is over, of course) that some of these are just plain wrong. Precisely because audiences have been weaned on filmmaking formulas that insist certain developments occur because of specific visual cues or narrative rhythms, there is a sensation both of relief and terror that our conventional expectations have been subverted and transformed into new ones.

Ultimately, however, the humanity of the characters is what binds us to them. Though Inarritu makes a pointed deconstruction of the difference between language (the technical tool) and communication (the sentiment that conveys the tool’s message), he never fails to make us see what each character is feeling, or is believing, and empathize with it regardless of how dissimilar it is to our perspective. Just as American-white-male Richard’s increasing frustration is palpable from the point of view of being a first-time outsider, Chieko’s inability to connect, and her desperation for intimacy — of any kind — is also strikingly immediate. Much like the biblical tower whose name inspired the film, the disparate languages of the characters serve both as a barrier and conduit for the more important information being communicated: who we are, what we want and ultimately how we can connect and help one another.

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

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Babel Movie Posters

New: Home Theater Seating

Saturday, October 28th, 2006


We’ve recently added these fantastic home theater seats to our catalogue. Click on the links below for more details

  • Tribeca & Soho Multimedia Seating – Home Theater Decor
  • Avanti Sofa Multimedia Seating – Home Theater Decor
  • Barcelona Home Theater LoungerHome Theater Decor

New: Quantum Mechanix Products

Saturday, October 28th, 2006


New to our catalogue, and just in time for Christmas shopping are the Quantum Mechanix limited edition prop replicas. Click on the links below to get yours today. Dont delay, because these items are selling quickly.

  • The Ring of Dracula Replica – Quantum Mechanix
  • The Devonian Fossil Hand Replica – Quantum Mechanix
  • Serenity Alliance Currency Money Pack – Quantum Mechanix
  • Capt. Mal Reynolds’ Pistol Prop Replica – Quantum Mechanix
  • Battlestar Galactica Brass Character Dog Tags – Quantum Mechanix

Review: Catch a Fire

Saturday, October 28th, 2006


Cath A Fire is an excellent film on all levels. Read on:

To be human is to eventually have to choose — choose friends, choose lovers, choose a job, choose sides. Inaction, too, is a choice, every bit as much as any proactive selection. When faced with injustice or aggrievance, one can cling to submission and let the water of wrongness wash over them, or one can stand.

In America, of course — with a hotly divided series of mid-term elections looming — that choice can be a vote. In other places and times, though, to choose means something else entirely, something much more difficult. Shot on location in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Mozambique, director Philip Noyce’s Catch a Fire tells the story of one such demanding choice.

Continuing some of the themes touched upon in his somber 2002 two-fer of the Vietnam-set The Quiet American and the Australian-set Rabbit-Proof Fence (the latter of which rang up $10 million overseas and another $6 million Stateside) Noyce delivers in Catch a Fire a powerful, involving drama about the slippery slope of absolute authority and the warped decisions that it leads those in control to make in an effort to retain said power.

To call Catch a Fire a “political thriller” is an exercise in exaggeration. It’s very much a movie rich with the potential for allegory, but it generally keeps politics at quite a polite arms’ length; similarly, it’s not chock full of action scenes, but it does cultivate a certain amount of tension and dread as its protagonist first suffers undue humiliation and then becomes the very thing that he’s been falsely accused of being — a political revolutionary.

Based on the real-life story of Patrick Chamusso, Catch a Fire takes place chiefly in apartheid-era South Africa. Patrick (Antwone Fisher’s Derek Luke) is an apolitical refinery foreman, soccer coach and family man until an explosion at his plant places he and his friends under a cloud of suspicion.

Tasked with rounding up the responsible members of the African National Congress, or ANC — an expatriate rebel group that operates out of neighboring Mozambique — anti-terror unit chief Nic Vos (Tim Robbins) arrests and questions Patrick, in a fashion at first cajoling but then one that certainly borders on torture. While Patrick is innocent, there’s a mitigating circumstance. He’s faithful to his wife, Precious (Bonnie Henna), and adores his two daughters, ages 8 and 6, but Patrick also has an older, illegitimate son out of wedlock, and still keeps in touch with the boy’s mother. It’s them he was visiting on the night in question, though when he finally tells the truth, Nic sees it as a ploy, and has Precious picked up and beaten by a government-sanctioned anti-terror squad.

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

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Catch A Fire Movie Posters

Review: Saw III Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Saturday, October 28th, 2006


Metal fans will love the new Saw III soundtrack. Read on:

Being the guy who is responsible for putting together a movie soundtrack album has the potential to be the best and the worst job ever. If a soundtrack does not fit with the movie’s plot and takes away from the storyline, the music is worthless. If the soundtrack does find a way to connect with the movie’s central theme and enhances the moviegoer’s experience, it help make the movie that much more memorable. Such is the power of music.

Count the guy who assembled the soundtrack to Saw III among those who gets to keep his job. The cuts on this album are a perfect fit for what has become one of the most successful horror movie franchises in the past decade.

The tricky part with using heavy metal as the soundtrack genre is that in the past decade, metal has become so sub-categorized and segmented that it would be very easy to get lost among the sub-genres and lose the audience. Metalcore or grindcore? Prog metal or speed metal? Black metal or Death metal? All are different and cater to different audiences.

Despite the fact that the Saw III soundtrack does cross musical sub-genres, it does so in such a way that the songs actually seem to fit together – not so much like a band creating a new album, but more like a record label taking a band’s songs and creating a greatest hits record. Featured on the album are bands like Slayer, Helmet, Lamb of God, Mastodon, Avenged Sevenfold and Ministry.

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

Read more…

Talking Life-Size Saw Puppet – Medicom Toy

Saw III movie posters

New: Rittenhouse Trading Cards

Friday, October 27th, 2006


We’ve recently added the Battlestar Galactica trading cards by Rittenhouse to our catalogue. Keep checking back as we’ll be adding more great items from Rittenhouse Archives Ltd. Click on the link below to purchase your Battlestar Galactica trading cards now:

Battlestar Galactica: Season 2 Trading Cards – Rittenhouse Archives

New: Inkworks Trading Cards

Friday, October 27th, 2006


We’ve recently added the Inkworks trading cards to our catalogue, just in time for your christmas holiday shopping.

Inkworks is an award-winning Raleigh, North Carolina-based trading card and collectibles company specializing in non-sport and entertainment properties.

Just click on the links below to purchase your entertainment trading cards now:

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