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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column 8.19.13: Issue #270 – Yet Another Mini-Review Edition

August 19, 2013 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #270: Yet Another Mini-Review Edition

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never thought about starting up its own designer sweater line, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number two hundred and seventy, I once again engage in the “mini-review” format with quickish looks at three major summer 2013 movie releases World War Z, Man of Steel, and Pacific Rim.

Beware: there are spoilers ahead.

World War Z

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The idea of someone making a $200 million zombie movie is simply ludicrous. Why would anyone put that kind of money into a goddamn zombie movie, especially when the best zombie movies are relatively low budget affairs (George A. Romero’s biggest zombie movie budget was like $15 million for Land of the Dead, and the Dawn of the Dead remake was made for, what, $30 million or so?)? Even with Brad Pitt, a major A-list actor leading the show (star and producer), why spend that kind of money? I mean, you could make two hundred good zombie movies for that kind of money. After watching World War Z, I’m still not sure why anyone had to spend $200 million to make it, but I liked it anyway.

The beginning of the zombie plague is well done and exciting. It isn’t anything new, as we’ve seen mass panic and destruction at the beginning of countless zombie movies, but the scale of it was something we haven’t seen before. I liked how the camera moved up and we got to see just how big and massive the panic is in downtown Philadelphia. And the way the initial zombies attack is very exciting, especially the car attack scene. The trek to New York is also excellent, where we see Pitt’s family in the stolen RV look for asthma medication. The apartment complex attack is the scariest scene in the entire movie (also the most heartbreaking. You just knew that kid’s father was going to become a zombie at some point, but I figured we had at least twenty minutes, maybe even a half hour before that happened). When the movie switches to the aircraft carrier and the beginning of Pitt’s United Nations investigation the movie, at least to me, starts to get weird.

First off, who exactly are the men on the aircraft carrier? U.S. military people? If they are U.S. military, why do any of them give a flying hooey what any U.N. official thinks about anything? Does the general in charge of the aircraft carrier have orders directly from the missing President of the United States to, in the event that he does go missing, to start listening to the U.N.? I’m also curious as to how the U.N. official, brilliantly played by Fana Mokoena, came to the conclusion to put Pitt’s Gerry Lane in charge of the investigation into what, exactly, is happening. Yes, I know that Lane led numerous investigations into war crimes and whatnot, but how does that experience make Lane the best option? I have a feeling that, in the big scheme of things, Lane was picked because he was the only one who was both still alive and available. There were probably others, but they were probably all dead or without satellite phone/cell phone.

The Israel section is also a little weird, mostly because it opens the movie up to ridiculous charges of anti-Semitism. Why not just have a fake walled off city in Northern Africa instead of Jerusalem? The attack on the city is exciting, very reminiscent of the bug swarm attack on Planet P in Starship Troopers. If you saw a swarm of pissed off zombies building a wall of themselves what the hell would you do? There isn’t a flamethrower or machine gun big enough to deal with that kind of onslaught. I suppose you could drop several massive bombs on the pile. But where the hell are you going to get bombs that big to deal with that crowd?

I thought it was interesting how the movie, instead of escalating in terms of spectacle as it progressed, actually gets smaller as it goes on. It took me a few minutes after the movie ended to realize what director Forster was doing with the “new” ending (will we get to see the “old” ending on DVD?). The movie goes from mass areas of endless zombies to an enclosed lab structure that, yes, is filled with zombies, but not so many zombies that Pitt and company can’t avoid them. And instead of being unable to see what the hell the zombies look like (they’re just a mass of running creatures that want to kill and eat) we get to see one of them up close and personal. That clucking noise is goddamn bizarre.

Now, the way Pitt’s Lane figures out how to avoid being attacked isn’t as big of a revelation as the movie would like us to believe (well, at least I don’t think it is). Finding out that the zombies don’t want to attack and infect “sick” people is a cool idea, but it comes too much out of nowhere for it to matter. It makes sense, yes, but it should be more mind blowing than it is. Lane walking down the hallway and past the zombies is a great scene, though.

The attack on the airplane is a showstopper and one of the movie’s best set pieces. Even after seeing parts of that scene in every trailer and TV commercial I still wasn’t prepared for how insane that scene would be. I didn’t expect to see that many zombies on the plane. The sequence with the Special Forces team in the dark and rain is easily the movie’s lamest sequence. That sequence needed more suspense.

If and when a sequel does happen, I think Pitt’s Lane character is going to have to be more proactive, more of an action hero and less of an investigator. That’s just a feeling I have. I mean, what else is there for him to investigate? He already figured out how to stop people from being attacked. Again, what else is there to investigate? Oh, wait a second, maybe Lane will get to investigate where the zombie virus/plague started? I guess that would be the next step in the U.N.’s ongoing investigation.

Will things be back to “normal” by the time part 2 comes around? Will things be worse? Will there be a one world government, or will we still have the various countries of the world?

Good job, Brad and Marc. You did a good job. Not a great job, but a damn good one… for a PG-13, $200 million zombie movie. Just don’t let the PG-13 thing become a habit. Zombie movies need gore. They just do.

Rating: 7.8/10.0

Man of Steel

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I didn’t have much hope for Man of Steel, the latest Superman reboot. With the overrated Zack Snyder directing, Christopher Nolan producing, and David “Blade: Trinity” Goyer writing the screenplay, I wasn’t expecting a great movie, or even a good movie. I was expecting a pretentious bore filled with all sorts of “realism,” the one thing that allegedly made Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy so damn compelling. Thankfully, Man of Steel is a good movie. It isn’t great, but it’s very watchable, and in the end that’s all you really need.

I’m not a fan of extended origin stories, but the mini-movie on Krypton that starts the movie off is well done and interesting. Russell Crowe is excellent as Jor-el. His ability to project integrity is on full display. The design of Krypton isn’t all that inspiring but it works (the only thing Krypton seems to be missing are lizard like beings that we’ve seen in damn near every science fiction movie since science fiction movies started). General Zod’s introduction is kind of lame, mostly because Michael Shannon is just too intense. Even when he’s supposed to be relatively calm he’s just oozing intensity and practically on fire. Shannon’s intensity works later on in the movie, when he invades Earth with his army to pick up Superman, but, dude, dial it back a bit before then. Maybe he should have worn a mask like Darth Vader before the invasion, just to cut back on the intensity?

Once the movie switches from the end of Krypton to Earth and Clark Kent’s struggle to fit in, the movie becomes choppy and flashback laden. Shockingly that approach works and never feels weird. And Kent’s origin story on Earth isn’t a chore to sit through, unlike Bruce Wayne’s origin story in Batman Begins, so that’s a plus. I do wish, though, that Snyder figured out how to make that section of the movie go faster. It’s all interesting, but there are moments where it feels like Snyder is using five words to say something that really only needs two words to express. However, I do wish there was more stuff involving the President of the United States (and other world leaders) debating on what to do with Superman once Zod makes his announcement that he’ll destroy Earth if Superman isn’t handed over. How long did it take for them to make the sensible decision to hand over one guy to save billions?

Henry Cavill does a good job as Clark Kent/Superman. He doesn’t look ridiculous in the suit, and much like Christopher Reeve before him Cavill just oozes integrity, something you have to have in order to play Superman. He looks a little too much like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in the scenes where he’s working various jobs and trying to hide from the world, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re jacked and very hairy. Amy Adams also does a nice job as Lois Lane. She’s a little too laid back at times (I think Lois Lane, intrepid investigative reporter, needs to be a little spunkier) but she works. She’s no Margot Kidder but she’ll do.

The flick’s best performances, though, belong to Kevin Costner, who plays Clark’s adopted Earth father Jonathan Kent, and Chris Meloni, who plays Colonel Nathan Hardy. Costner is so damn humble as Pa Kent. The way he handles Clark’s alien issues is remarkable, and the way he sacrifices himself for the greater good in that tornado is enough to make you want to cry. As for Meloni, he makes his somewhat standard military man role seem more than it is. His little scenes with Zod’s henchperson played by Antje Traue are hilarious. Diane Lane also does a good job as Clark’s Earth mother Martha.

And who got the short end of the stick? Larry Fishburne, as Daily Planet front man Perry White, just seems to be there because the movie needed another name actor and he wasn’t busy, and Richard Schiff just seems out of place (Schiff is a good actor but he needs an actual character to play. His Dr. Emil Hamilton could have been played by, well, anyone. Where is his personality?).

And then there’s Harry Lennix as General Swanwick. Am I the only who thinks that he needed more scenes? Swanwick is a major character, but at times it seems as though parts of his overall performance are missing. Will he be a big part of the deleted scenes section on the eventual DVD?

The special effects are amazing but a little overdone at times. Much has been made of the overall destruction created by Superman and General Zod’s army, which is, for the lack of a better word, considerable, but the movie doesn’t allow you to think about it in any meaningful way. You’d think, after Superman kills Zod and destroys his army, that there would be at least one scene where we get to see Superman helping government authorities pick up the pieces and rebuild. Perhaps we’ll see something like that in the Superman vs. Batman sequel that’s coming?

And who will be the villain in the next movie? Will we see Superman deal with his arch nemesis Lex Luthor, or will we see him, with Batman by his side, take on someone else? Perhaps one of Batman’s big villains will make an appearance?

I liked Man of Steel more than I thought I would. It has problems, sure, but it’s watchable and kind of fun, and it’s a good start to whatever DC and Warner Bros have planned for the future. But it’s just a start. At least to me, the relative success of Man of Steel is not a reason to go hog wild with a potential Justice League movie. Let’s just take one step at a time, guys, okay? Okay?

Rating: 7.2/10.0

Pacific Rim

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Pacific Rim, directed and co-written by Guillermo Del Toro, is the best movie of the summer and one of the best movies of 2013. It’s the kind of big budget sci-fi action flick that everyone claims they want Hollywood to make more of (an original idea that isn’t part of some other existing franchise or property) but no one goes to see. I guess we are going to get a sequel or some sort, as the movie has done big international business, especially in China, but we shouldn’t have had to wait for the international grosses to come in for a sequel announcement. We should have had that after the movie’s first weekend.

Pacific Rim is a movie that takes place in a fully realized world that, even when you start to think about it, makes a kind of sense that other movies just don’t bother with. Sure, it skips over how plausible the neural bridge that allows “the drift” work really is (it sounds like, even in a theoretical sense, total bullshit), but since everyone in the movie believes in it, uses it, and never questions it, you believe in it. And the ability of the world to create gigantic fighting robots is never really called into question. I’m pretty sure that, if real gigantic monsters started popping up out of the sea in real life, the world wouldn’t come to any kind of consensus on what to do about it until it was too late. And where the hell did everyone get the metal and electronics and, well, resources, to build these robots? The DARPA reason is actually good enough for this movie.

Charlie Hunnam is excellent as Raleigh Becket, the badass Jaeger pilot with a sad past. The way he’s brought back into the Jaeger fold is cliché, sure, but Hunnam makes it work. He’s got enough swagger and charisma to make you forget that his day job is playing a piece of shit biker gang leader on cable (in other words, he makes a good “good guy”). And he has damn good chemistry with Rinko Kikuchi, who plays his eventual new Jaeger co-pilot Mako. She was kind of annoying at first, but once she stepped into the stick combat ring and brought the fight to Raleigh she became much more interesting.

The great Max Martini, good old Dirt Diver hisself, is fucking awesome as the Australian Herc Hansen. The accent thing threw me off at first (I thought “Is Dirt Diver really doing an accent here?”), but once I got past that and accepted it I loved every minute he was on screen. His relationship with his asshole son, brilliantly played by Robert Kazinsky, is one of the movie’s many bright spots.

Charlie Day and Burn Gorman make a great comedy team as the scientific duo Dr. Geiszler and Gottlieb. It was hilarious watching them argue, and the whole “Kaiju groupie” thing is so ridiculous it works (it’s like being a Kardashian fan in a way). And the immortal B-movie legend Ron Perlman’s performance as the black market dead Kaiju body part dealer Hannibal Chau is yet another example of what he can do with a great part. The shoes, the arrogance, the whole package is a thing of beauty. And the way he manages to survive being eaten is the highlight of the summer (“Where is my goddamn shoe?”). I can’t wait to see what Del Toro has in store for him in the sequel.

And then there’s Idris Elba as the Jaeger program leader Stacker Pentecost. Holy shit is he awesome. If there was any justice in this world Elba would get a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance; it really is that good. It’s a damn shame, though, that Elba won’t be able to come back in any major way in a sequel since his character died. Maybe we’ll get a good extended flashback with him kicking Kaiju ass or something. Great stuff.

The movie’s only real downside, or the only issue I have with it, is the constant rain that every locale seems to experience. I’m going to assume that Del Toro is using it to help establish mood and whatnot, but the overabundance of it almost seems like a way for Del Toro to hide his special effects (sort of a “hide the matte lines” kind of thing). And some of the monsters look a little too standard alien lizard. It’s a minor quibble, really, but I wish some of the monsters were a little more menacing. Just a little more.

The movie also has the year’s best soundtrack. The movie actually has a theme song, which is something you don’t see all that much anymore. And it’s a real theme, too, not some lame, half-assed theme that the studio paid some composer to create. It has a drive to it, something you can get into. If only more movies did the same thing.

Pacific Rim is a classic through and through. I loved just about every minute of it and can’t wait to see it again when it hits DVD. Hopefully more of you will check it out when it hits home video because it really is a must see.

Pacific Rim! Fuck yeah!

Rating: 9.8/10.0

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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: The Facebook Page!

PacificRimJaeger

Please check out The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page, which can be seen here. There’s not much there at the moment, but, as time goes by, expect to see daily questions and musings and other B-movie hooey. And it would be cool if you “liked” it, too.

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page! Yeah!

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Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 1

NoOneLivesDVD

No One Lives: I missed this WWE Studios horror flick when it was briefly in theatres, which is a damn shame because I love it when low budget horror movies like No One Lives get an actual theatrical release. The movie didn’t get great reviews, but I thought it looked pretty cool based solely on the trailer. I’ll definitely attempt to review this movie at some point this year.

NCISDVDSeason10

NCIS: Season 10: NCIS, TV’s most watched show, is about to enter its eleventh season with a major cast change looming. Season 10 ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, with Gibbs ready to sniper shoot his FBI buddy Fornell for some reason. Get this set, get caught up, and then get ready for season 11. Will the eleventh season finally get this show a token Emmy nomination for best drama? I mean, it doesn’t have to win or anything, but shouldn’t it get at least a token nomination once?

DeathHunt

Death Hunt: It’s Chuck Bronson and Lee Marvin in the same movie. That’s all you really need to know, and the only reason you need to get this movie into your collection. And since the fine folks at the Shout! Factory are behind this release, you know you’ll get a worthwhile package.

ScaryMovie5

Scary Movie 5: The Scary Movie franchise has been, at best, a hit or miss deal. This fifth entry didn’t generate much in the way of box office and the reviews were horrendous, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from at least renting it to see what all the fuss was about. I’m a fan of parody/spoof movies, so I’ll be checking it out at some point.

ThePitandThePendulum

The Pit and the Pendulum: The Lance Henriksen stars in this Stuart Gordon directed Full Moon Entertainment movie that kicks ass from start to finish. It may even scare the crap out of you. I know it made me a little queasy back in the early 1990’s when I saw it on The Movie Channel. Easily one of Full Moon’s best efforts. I’m shocked that Chuck Band hasn’t tried to do a sequel to it in some form.

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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Theme of the Week

Enjoy.

And this theme is pretty cool, too.

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The Big Question: Am I the only person not all that excited about the upcoming DC movie universe crossover thing?

JusticeLeague

With the amount of money and pop culture buzz that Marvel Entertainment has garnered with its movie universe it would be insane for Warner Bros and DC Comics not to try to do the same thing with its own potential movie universe that just kicked off with the very successful Superman flick Man of Steel. A Batman/Superman crossover movie is next on the slate, and I suspect after that more DC characters will start to show up, either in their own movies or as part of some team movie similar to Marvel’s The Avengers. As an internets movie nerd I know I should be excited by this prospect. More big budget comic book superhero movies! But I’m not, at least not at the moment. While Man of Steel was good, I’m not quite sure if I’m ready for another huge, superhero filled movie universe.

First off, eventhough, as I said, it would be insane for Warner Bros and DC not to try to do it, doing a big hooha movie universe thing is just a naked grab for potential cash and nothing else. It doesn’t come off as something potentially interesting, something potentially cool, something potentially worth doing just to see if it works. It’s just a scheme to make loads of money because it worked for the other guys. It’s almost like it doesn’t even have to be good. It’s just something that has to be done because there’s so much money to be made.

Second, it seems awfully presumptuous to move head on into a mega movie universe without first testing to see if people want to see and if people can even make movies out of DC characters other than Batman and Superman. Up until now, those two characters are the only ones that have had any real success in movie form. Green Lantern was a massive flop, and it seems as though every time someone wants to make a Wonder Woman movie the whole thing just falls apart. So, again, can anyone make a movie that doesn’t feature either Batman or Superman that also works?

Finally, what happens if the movie going public tires of the whole “comic book superhero movie” thing by the time a Justice League movie is actually made? Is it a good idea to spend so much money and time on something that no one gives a shit about?

So what do you guys think? Am I the only one who thinks Warner Bros and DC need to slow down and maybe rethink this whole team up/mega movie universe thing?

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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Babe of the Week: Amy Adam

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Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 2

AlyceKills

Alyce Kills: After the watching the trailer for this low budget horror flick a few times I still have no idea what it’s about. But it does look creepy, and sometimes that’s all you need to make a difference. Easily worth a rental.

RapturePalooza

Rapture-palooza: This sort of religious themed comedy did get a small theatrical release not that long ago, and it was compared to This is the End in terms of its comedy and subject matter. I guess it would be kind of cool to watch both movies and then compare and contrast. Craig Robinson is in both movies, too, so you could wonder about that after watching both.

TheUnseen

The Unseen: I have never seen this horror flick directed by the legendary Danny Steinmann under a pseudonym, at least I don’t think I have. It looks kind of scary, and apparently Kent Dorfman hisself Stephen Furst is in it in some fashion, so right there it’s worth seeing at some point. How often do you see Flounder in a horror movie?

EvidenceDVD

Evidence: This slick looking low budget horror flick, at least based on the trailer, seems kind of gimmicky with all of the “found footage” stuff. It’ll be interesting to see how much of the movie that hooha actually takes up.

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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week

Douchebag

This week, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week goes to Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican Party, for banning NBC News and CNN from future RNC sponsored Republican debates because both outfits are making “extended campaign commercials” for former Secretary of State and “future Presidential candidate” Hillary Rodham Clinton. Despite what Priebus and his ultra right wing loon buddies think, both NBC News and CNN are not unofficial arms of the Democratic Party, nor are they in the tank for anyone on either side. They are only interested in making money (they’re both owned by mega corporations). A Hillary Clinton movie, either as some sort of dramatic mini-series or documentary, must seem like a sure-fire way to make money.

And it’s a little disingenuous to not also announce you plan on banning Fox News from any Republican debates, as Fox’s TV entertainment operation may help produce NBC’s movie. So what if Fox News really is an unofficial arm of the Republican Party; what the hell happened to consistency?

Up next is Manohla Dargis, chief film critic for the New York Times, for attempting to imply that Kick-Ass 2, and violent movies in general, are responsible for real life violence. In her review for the recently released comic book sequel, Dargis wants you to believe that Hit Girl, the character played by Chloe Grace Moretz, is a “heroic stand-in for every teenager who picks up a gun and starts shooting.” Now, I haven’t seen Kick-Ass 2 yet, but I know that that description is pure bullshit. But then Dargis attempted to imply that Iron Man 3 was somehow responsible for continued terrorist bombings all around the world, so this “Hollywood is just awash in violence and needs to be condemned so people will stop going to see violent movies and instead go see important, socially redeeming movies about socially redeeming things” thing isn’t new for her, or for the so called “liberal cultural elite” that just can’t stand the fact that people like to watch violent movies. These movies are dangerous and misogynistic and evil and despicable and horrendous and probably responsible for all violence against women (unless it’s a movie made by Martin Scorsese or someone important like that. That’s different). Why can’t everyone just watch Woody Allen comedies?

And then there’s Katie Couric, for apologizing to Kim Kardashian because Kardashian was offended by an answer Couric gave to a reporter when asked why Kim Kardashian is so popular (or something like that). How could Katie make fun of Kim Kardashian after sending Kim and Kanye a present for their baby? How terrible! What a backstabber!

Give me a break. Couric should have told Kim and the rest of the Kardashian clan to go fuck themselves and to stop being so thin skinned. And when the monstrous backlash commenced featuring the Kardashian clan’s army of zombie worshippers, Couric could have told them all to go fuck themselves again, done a sort of entertainment media victory lap for standing up to the inexplicable Kardashian machine, and continued on with her own show with the knowledge that there are more people out there tired of the Kardashian machine than enamored by it. But that didn’t happen. Couric publicly apologized to Kim and, in essence, begged her to come on her show. Because Kim Kardashian is just so fucking interesting.

Fuck that shit. Stop being so afraid.

And finally there’s Chip Ganassi, for not keeping Juan Pablo Montoya in the Target #42 in 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Montoya’s NASCAR career with Ganassi hasn’t been great, but then Ganassi’s NASCAR operation has never been great or even all that good. At best, it’s been a hit-and-miss operation that has had flashes of brilliance (2003 with Sterling Marlin, 2009 with Montoya, and 2010 with Jamie McMurray). Montoya should have left Ganassi years ago, but he stayed out of loyalty and a sense of reality (who else but long time friend Ganassi would hire him to race in NASCAR? No one). And I doubt putting Kyle Larson or Kurt Busch or Ryan Newman will “fix” what is broken in Ganassi’s NASCAR operation (Chip’s heart is in Indycar and sports car racing. NASCAR is just something to do on “off” weekends). Hopefully, Montoya stays in NASCAR and finds success with another team, although it sounds like he’s going back to maybe Indycar or going sports car racing. That sucks. Montoya makes NASCAR more interesting.

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NASCAR and Indycar thoughts

I didn’t get to see much of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Michigan, but the parts of it I did see were quite good. The new Gen 6 car seems to work well on the wide and fast 2-mile oval, and the 200 mph speeds aren’t as insane as they should be (why the hell are they going 200 mph?). Joey Logano won the race, holding off Kevin Harvick at the end (Logano’s team was worried that he would run out of fuel with about a lap to go, but that didn’t happen). It looked like Mark Martin had the race well in hand, but then he ran out of gas with three laps to go so that ended his chances at a win.

Jimmie Johnson didn’t have a good weekend at all. He was fast all weekend, sure, but he wrecked his primary car in final practice on Saturday, had to start at the rear of the field in a back up car on Sunday, and then, after getting towards the front, blew an engine and finished 40th. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who is usually very fast at Michigan, made it to the front but then blew a tire and hit the wall, ending his chances at a good finish. That was probably his last chance at a race win in 2013, too, as Michigan seems to be the only place he ever has a chance anymore.

Kurt Busch had a good day, running up front the entire race and finishing third. I believe he is now in the top 10 in points, but with three races to go before the Chase of the Championship begins anything could happen to him. Busch really needs to win a race to get in. And soon-to-be departing Juan Pablo Montoya, who seemed to be close to the front all day, ended up finishing 11th, which seems to be the Ganassi way. Marcos Ambrose had another good day at Michigan, finishing in the top 10. He needed that, especially after the way Watkins Glen played out.

What the heck was the deal with all of the cautions, especially early in the race? What the heck happened to Clint Bowyer at the very beginning? Is NASCAR going to have to mess around with the aero package for this track so there aren’t as many early spinouts? It seemed like the tires weren’t sticky enough for the track conditions.

I did get to see the entire Nationwide race from Mid-Ohio on Saturday. AJ Allmendinger won, his second Nationwide victory of the year. I really thought there would be more close action and more bumping and banging throughout the field, as Mid-Ohio tends to be narrower than other road courses, but that didn’t play out. The restarts were insane, but once people started going into the turns just about everyone backed off. Those that didn’t back off either became incredibly loose and lost ground on the track or ended up flying into one of the run off areas. If the series goes back in 2014 the racing will probably be closer as everyone will know what to expect.

Bristol is up next for the Camping World Truck, Nationwide, and Sprint Cup Series. The Trucks and, I believe, the modifieds are racing on Wednesday night (Fox Sports 1 for the Trucks, and Fox Sports 2 for the Modifieds, which is just bullshit). The Nationwide Series is racing Friday night on one of the ESPN channels, and the Sprint Cup race is on Saturday night on ABC. I know I’ll be able to at least watch most of the race on Saturday night. I’m not sure about the others.

The Izod Indycar Series will finally be back in action this Sunday at Sonoma. Alex Tagliani won’t be in the Barracuda Racing #98 as he has either left the team or been fired. JR Hildebrand, who was fired from Panther Racing after the Indy 500, will be in the #98 at Sonoma and California, and Luca Filippi will be in the car at Baltimore and Houston. I’m going to assume that they’re both in line for the ride for 2014. I have no idea who is the better pick.

The Sonoma race will be on NBC Sports on Sunday afternoon at 4pm EST. Will Scott Dixon continue his charge to the front, or will Helio Castroneves hold him off?

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Well, I think that’ll be about it for this issue. B-movies rule, always remember that.

If there’s anything you want to see reviewed here in this column, feel free to offer a comment below or send me an e-mail. I’m always on the lookout for new stuff to watch.

And don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

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