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Archive | 10:53 pm

American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior: Big Guns

2 May

May 3, 2011

This week the big tease was that Paul Senior had reconciled with one of his sons. Was it Paul Jr.? Was it Mikey? Was it Dan, the own who runs the steelworks and we never see on the show?

Who do you think? It was Dan.

Senior told “Free Rick” Petko that he had New Year’s dinner with Dan and met his grandchildren, whom he had never met before. He seemed genuinely happy about it, and made it sound like he made the first move. But what about his other kids? He said that Mikey is easily influenced (true) and that once he saw that Sr. had reconciled with one of his sons, then Mikey would eventually come around. The Nazi’s used that same tactic in Europe. First one country would fall, then another, etc. Things went well for them in the short-term but in the end Hitler lost. And the less said about the bunker the better. Now I am not saying that Senior will end up marrying Eva Braun, but how long do you expect him and his son to get along?

As far as his favorite son goes, we saw Jason Pohl in the pre-credits sequence so that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the show.

There was no talk of the lawsuits and everything on the OCC side was pretty straight-forward. They were hired by Allen Brownfeld, a guy with too much money who makes the Rich Texan from The Simpsons (“and his daughter, Paris Texan.”) seem simple and unpretentious. When we first saw him he was wearing, to borrow a quote from Seinfeld, “a man-fur.” He looked like Dr. Zaius. I am not sure what kind of primate that coat was made of but my guess would be that it took three or four gorillas to make that huge thing.

Brownfeld had already bought two bikes from OCC and they really wanted to go all out for this one. Actually, I should say that Monkey Boy wanted to go all out. Jason Pohl never missed an opportunity to tell the camera that “I want to really impress him,” “I am going to…,” “I want to…,” “I I I” SHUT UP ALREADY! He spent the whole episode sticking his face with his Miz ripoff hair in the camera sucking up to the rich guy. And I bet he wonders why people online hate him. No joke- you should see how many times the search term “Jason Pohl sucks” turns up in the stats for my blog.

And just when you thought he couldn’t be more annoying, during the build he started jumping and making whooping sounds for no reason.

The bike itself was fit for Snoop Dogg. Gold, neon lights, bling, and a gas tank covered in hundred-dollar bills. I am not sure but in the process of making the bike they may have broken federal law because it is illegal to make duplicates of money. Who’s to say that in the process they didn’t run off a few extra bills? Arrest that Pohl!

The bike was gaudy and pretentious and of course the rich guy loved it.

Paulie was still in the process of building the charity military-themed bike from last week. When it was done, it was possibly my favorite military themed bike American Chopper has ever had. It managed to look modern and World War II vintage at the same time. It was simple but elegant and just very cool. However, as I always say, much of the credit goes to the paint job, which is all Nub, not PJD. But still, the design was great.

During the build, Paulie got a phone call from a gun manufacturer, Red Jacket Firearms, who ostensibly wanted Paulie’s advice on a gun design but seemed to really want to try out for their own reality show. The guy offered to host Paulie if he ever went down South, and Paulie, his wife, and Mikey all went down to A- help solve the guy’s gun problem, but more to B- get away from the winter up North.

So Paulie spent five minutes looking at the guy’s gun and helping with the design and spent the rest of the time having fun. What’s next? Consulting on fountain pen design for a trip to California?

While there, they went to a crawfish farm which was like a microscopic version of Deadliest Catch. They then cooked the critters and got a lesson on how to eat crawfish.

STEP ONE: Rip it apart.
STEP TWO: Suck out the innards.
STEP THREE: Suck out the head. (Get your mind of the gutter. This is a family blog.)

They also went bow fishing, which seems a bit unfair. It is catching a fish by shooting it with an arrow with a rope tied to the end. You shoot the fish and reel the arrow back in. It adds the element of violence that regular fishing lacks. All it was missing was the dynamite. At any rate, I’m sure Paulie was seeing his father’s face on every fish he shot. (That’s a good visual. Think about it.)

They then went to a gun range where they shot a variety of automatic and hard-core weapons, including something mounted on a truck that looked like it was used to shoot down Zeroes in World War II. Mikey really took to the rifles, but Top Shot material he is not.

While they were there, Paulie had the gun nuts build a custom shotgun for Mikey, which they gave him for his birthday. Giving Mikey a shotgun is like giving a monkey a shotgun. Not a good idea, and he hurt himself in the first five minutes.

Paulie also had a brief heart to heart with the NRA guy about his relationship with his father and told him “I think it’s going to change soon.” Right after that he referred to the gun crew as his “extended family” and the irony just leaps to mind.

And to wrap up Mikey, remember last week? At his art opening, he wore a nice suit and looked almost human. This week at the unveil, he wore shorts, a t-shirt, and a sport coat.. That’s our Mikey.

The show ended with Jeff “you might be redneck if you find me funny” Foxworthy, who told the camera that, in effect, American Chopper fans are rednecks. That may or may not offend you depending on how you feel about rednecks. Me? I see how much money he made in his career and how he owes it all to that stupid routine, so who am I to argue?

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Late Night Movie House of Crap: Superhero Serials

2 May

May 2, 2011

Let me first say that I don’t consider any of this crap. However they are old and in black and white and that’s enough for a lot of people. The special effects may not match today’s cgi magic but a lot of it stands up very well.

End of disclaimer.

This is going to be a big superhero movie summer. Thor, Captain America, and Green Lantern are all hitting the big screen. Comic book movies do well at the box office so it is no surprise that there are more installments of Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, and Iron Man movies in the works, as well as Justice League and Avengers films in the wings.

A lot of people don’t realize how far back these films really go. for many people they go all the way back to the long-gone era of 1978 and Superman the Movie. They should go back quite a bit farther.

Serials were weekly installments of a story that usually ran from 12 to 16 weeks. If you went to the movies from the late 1930’s to early 1950’s for the Saturday matinée you’d likely see one or two serials, a newsreel, some cartoons, a B-movie, and the main feature. A few cents for a ticket kept you entertained most of the day.  Serials also tended to have great lobby cards and I have a few (reproductions, alas) in my collection. But on to the superheroes!

From 1948, here’s Kirk Alyn as Superman:

This isn’t Captain America’s first time on-screen either. From 1944, here’s Dick Purcell:

Think Batman begins with Adam West? Both Superman and Batman had two serials apiece. From 1949 here’s Batman and Robin:

Superman is the world’s most popular hero? Not always. Captain Marvel regularly outsold him and in fact Captain Marvel still holds the record for sales in the millions.

Cool as all of that is, here is the icing on the cake. This is a fan made trailer for what they call a “premake,” a “what if the Avengers film was made decades ago?” You can find a lot of these “premakes,” like Star Wars and Ghostbusters on Youtube. In the spirit of the superhero serials, here is the premake of the Avengers.

Take some time and watch the old stuff. There is some magic there. Some cheese too, but that is part of the magic.

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