Monday, December 31, 2007

Head Space

But if someone like Steven Seagal were to slap me, I would slap him back twice as hard. Life is full of violence.
- Jean Claude Van Damme

Dick's Quick Kick: A Bittersweet Life

With the new year approaching, Dick Lightning has brought in another addition to the Mixed Bag fold as comic artist James Coats gives us a quick hit of a flick you really should see.

James writes:
Released in it’s native South Korea in 2005, this violent and stylish gangster movie gives us a look into the grimy Korean underworld. To start things off, this flick looks amazing. Great cinematography. Very slick and definitely gives the movie an individual feel. Can’t say enough about the look of the film, I actually thought wow, the dirty criminal underworld has never looked so good! Story wise, Bittersweet Life is simple and straight forward. No crazy plot twists or elaborate back stories in this one. An ice cold mob enforcer gets thrown into the meat grinder, two times. He fails to follow his bosses exact orders and is also being targeted by a vengeful rival gang lord.

There’s definitely a replay value to the movie and it hits like a gust of fresh air. Casting is a big part of any movie and the actors in Bittersweet Life are fantastic. Lee Byung Hun (spellings differ depending on what site or review you’re reading) does the business as the brutal hit-man/enforcer. He’s smart and ruthless, follows orders while having conscience in his own motives. It’s no surprise he’s going to play Storm Shadow in the upcoming live action G.I. Joe film. If you get the chance to see this flick, do it. If you can handle it that is. But if you like great acting, dazzling cinematography and lots, lots and lots of violence, check it out.
James rates A Bittersweet Life as:
X Best of the Best - The Classic
Best of the Best II - Still Pretty Sweet
Best of the Best III: No Turning Back - Not so sweet, kinda crappy
Best of the Best IV: Without Warning - Getting close to craptacular


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lightning Move: Dumbbell Pullover

1) Sit perpendicular on a flat bench.
2) Grasp a dumbbell, resting it on your leg. You can also have someone hand it to you when in position.
3) Lower body off the bench until the upper back rests on the bench.
4) Hold dumbbell with both hands with the inner plate resting against your palms.
5) Extend arms, pushing dumbbell directly over your chest.
6) Legs are bent for support and hips are lower than your chest.

7) Lower the dumbbell away from your feet, arcing above your head towards the floor.
8) Keeping arms in their natural alignment, pull the dumbbell back towards your feet, stopping when directly above the chest and back in starting position.

Dumbbell pullovers are a great exercise for your chest, back, abs and triceps. Some trainers do the exercise lying on a flat bench, but that takes away the stretch and added ab benefit. A classic exercise utilized by such fitness icons Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane and Jean-Claude Van Damme, the pullover seemed to go by the weight room wayside along with the Arm Blaster and donkey calf raises. Oh well, their loss is your awesomeness.
Pick up some Frank Zane literature from his official site:
Grab a hold of the greatest book known to man:
Check out Van Damme's darkest film:

Get pumped with Jean-Claude Van Damme in this training montage taken from In Hell. He does pullovers at about the halfway point.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Dick's Time Out: Toby Keith and family awarded $2.8 million?

December, 2007. Country music star Toby Keith and family are awarded $2.8 million in the wrongful death suit of his father, H.K. Covel. Early reports hypothesized Covel had a stroke or other ailment while driving that caused HIM TO CROSS THE CENTER MEDIAN and collide with a bus. Upon further investigation, it's stated that Covel was sideswiped or bumped by another vehicle, causing him to strike the bus head on. Ok, so they caught the sideswiping/rear bumping, hit and run driver right? NO! The family sued the bus driver and company! Apparently the bus needed new brakes, and the prosecution believed the death could have been avoided if said advisement was followed and the bus was equipped with new air-brakes. Now Keith and the Covel family feel the father's name has been cleared of any wrong doing. Wow.
What a country. What a family. You're driving down the road, somebody going the opposite direction crosses the median, on a major highway mind you, hits you, and it's YOUR fault. In an interview, Keith said Covel was only going 35 miles an hour...he was too good a driver. It isn't clear what section of Oklahoma's I-35 Covel was driving on, but the highway itself is a major north-south route stretching from Texas to Minnesota. And driving in the lane closest to the median would put you in the far left, the passing lane. Why would somebody be driving 35 miles per hour in the passing lane on a major freeway? Aren't highway speed limits usually between 55 and 70 miles per hour?
Congratulations to Toby Keith and family for clearing the name of H.K. Covel, pointing fingers at whoever they could and taking them for millions. I too, hope someday to be able to profit from such a ridiculous, self-important quest devoid of any real closure or sense of justice. At the end of the day, the celebrity and family can tell themselves they're right while counting their millions. No leads on the hit and run vehicle huh?

Keith's initial thoughts:
The Payout:
Overview of Interstate 35

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Head Space

Oh what? So you a big fan of the Fett?
- Kevin Smith as Warlock, Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dick's Michael Biehn Flick of the Day: Timebomb

Mild mannered watch maker Eddy Kay leads a quiet life. He rides his bike to work, has a closet full of the same outfit and orders a glass of milk with dinner. One night, Eddy inexplicably enters a burning building to rescue a trapped mother and child. Face flashed across the news, Eddy is identified by creepy government honcho Mr. Phillips. Turns out Eddy Kay is a presumed dead subject of super soldier experiment Project Bluebird. Now with the remaining stone cold killers of Project Bluebird on his tail, Eddy and psychoanalyst Dr. Anna Nolmar set out to uncover the truth while evading assassination.

Michael Biehn Flick Vital Stats

Character: Eddy Kay, amnesiac killing machine of Project Bluebird.

Range: Starts at nice/polite to confused/nervous to violent/paranoid to relieved/confident.

The Looks: Preppy: Coiffed, V-neck sweater, shirt and tie. Victim of the period: Pseudo mullet, denim jacket, bright red shirt and green cargo pants. Classic badass: Slicked back, black t-shirt, leather jacket and jeans.

Allies: Dr. Anna Nolmar/Patsy Kensit. Det. Sanchez/Raymond St. Jacques.

Opposition: Mr. Phillips/Robert Culp. Ms. Blue/Tracy Scoggins. Mr. Brown/Billy Blanks.

Beatdowns: By fist, by feet, with machine guns, shotguns, chains and a bed sheet.

Scores: Yes. For real in a hotel room and in his mind, kind of.

Eats a dirt sandwich: No way, he just found out who he really is!

Anchored by Biehn's near schizophrenic performance and peppered with crisp and varied action scenes, the flick makes a foundation strong addition to any VHS collection (yep, no Region 1 DVD for this baby). With an ambitious plot and equal doses of violence and sexuality, Timebomb is a change of pace from the usual 90's low budget action thriller. Inspired by writer/director Avi Nesher's real life experience and view of the military, Timebomb is a variation of man playing Supreme Being. This time, the man is the military, vying to create a skilled, dedicated and conscience free organism of war. But trying to control Michael Biehn is like grabbing the bull by the horns, you're gonna get shanked. Far from a one man show, lovely Patsy Kensit is fine (in two ways if you know what I'm talking about and I think you do) as Biehn's companion and love interest. Robert Culp plays a creepy old government man extra creepy. Mr. Tae-Bo himself Billy Blanks fights, shoots and screams as Biehn's chief adversary from Project Bluebird. And Ms. Tracy Scoggins, the genre regular cements her iconic status having now appeared opposite such action luminaries as Adrian Paul, Chuck Norris, Dean Cain and of course, Michael Biehn.

For more technical information please visit:
IMDB Movie Page:
Media Articles and all around comprehensive Michael Biehn site:

Lightning Across the Pond: FARGO

Here at Dick Lightning's Mixed Bag, we are dedicated to bringing you, the reader, a diverse and eclectic perspective on popular culture past and present. Today, we proudly present a new addition to the Dick Lightning Team, all the way from the United Kingdom, as Tom Jolliffe takes us back to 1996 for the first installment of his personal favorite twenty films. Let's get it started, with FARGO.

Tom writes:
As a movie lover I’ve often had long deliberation about my favorite movies, and also about what I consider the best movies. My enjoyment, for example, of Dolph Lundgren films is something I’ve grown up with, but I’ll readily admit, in the overall scope of cinema, they’re not what you’d consider important works. Masters Of The Universe one of my childhood favourites, is in the cold light of day; a bit crap. I still love it despite it’s craptitude, but it was a failure for a reason. Over the coming weeks I’ll be delivering a review for my top 20 films. This is my most current top 20, which no doubt will change by the time I’ve listed them out. So for your viewing pleasure we shall begin.

To start my top 20, I’ve got a bit of Coen brothers magic. It really was a difficult toss up between this and The Big Lebowski. Heck, Millers Crossing began poking it’s oar in the waters too. However Fargo ended up winning the day with a swift kick in the junk from Frances McDormand.

Fargo’s a great film. It’s dark, funny, intelligent and just downright brilliant. The Coen brothers have crafted a film that’s got both a brilliant script and brilliant directing. It’s got a bit of the caper about it and is helped along by unique and engaging characters.
The film is about Jerry Lundegaard, mild mannered, downtrodden family man who decides one day to have a go at scamming. Not a good move. Lundegaard arranges for his wife to be kidnapped so he can get some ransom money from his tight fisted father in law. Unfortunately Jerry has no aptitude for being a criminal and gets involved with the wrong people. Pretty soon things start going wrong and escalate. Adding to his problems is Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) a small town and heavily pregnant sherrif who’s persistent investigation might be Jerry’s undoing. The plot twists and turns nicely and just on the whole, it’s a brilliantly written piece of work.

The cast is superb. It’s always been a Coen’s trademark to pull together excellent casts, and not always necessarily the star names of the time. Fargo is a great collection of characters actors, pulled together and given parts fitting their strengths perfectly. As Jerry, William H Macy is superb. A great delivery of a great character. Despite having his own wife kidnapped we feel Jerry is a character of immense desperation and naivety. Because of the writing and Macy’s own nuances, Jerry remains a sympathetic character right to the end. You just get the feeling he didn’t think things through enough. Then we have Frances McDormand, a fantastic actress, and dang if she isn’t just strangely hot, in that unconventionally hot kind of way. Deservedly she won the Oscar for her portrayal as Marge. Again it’s a character which has been written with such depth and consideration that is brought to life by one of the most interesting actresses working today. It of course really helps to have a character actress playing such a role. In support we have a couple of legendary Coen secondary characters, Carl and Gaear, played by Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare.

As per usual The Coen’s have crafted a visual delight. The film looks great, from the perfect settings to of course the stylish direction. Aided by a superb DP (Roger Deakins) the bro’s manage to really catch the eye here. The cohesion between the material and it’s delivery is note perfect. It’s just magnificent stuff. You always get the feeling that in a Coen film they have the whole movie laid out in their heads by the time the script is finished, and it’s shot to an almost perfect match. These boys know what they’re doing and have an immense attention to detail that guys like Ridley Scott, Kubrick, Cameron have always had. Elsewhere the film is superbly edited, and the score from Carter Burwell is simple and effective.

Overall it must be said, that Fargo is a unique crime thriller, with it’s very own inimitable Coen style. I’m looking forward very much to seeing No Country For Old Men which promises to be one of the brothers finest, and a return to form following a couple of restrained “Hollywood” efforts before it.

Join me for number 19 in my top 20, pretty soon. Later peeps.

For Movie Information:

For Movie Images:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stat Lightning: Dublin Davis Irish report

And it is all over! Yet it has barely just begun. In another impressive showcase of conditioning, offense and darn fine coaching, the Dublin Davis Irish 8th Grade Girls Basketball Team moves to an impressive 6-0 season as we move into the Holiday rush. Already a successful seasoned veteran coach in cross country, track and basketball, Daren Obrynba continues to push himself and his team to the limit. When asked his expectations at the start of the season, the hard nosed Obrynba claimed he wanted to win a game by shut out. That lofty expectation is quickly becoming a feasible reality as the Dublin Davis Irish 8th Grade Girls Basketball Team has kept half of their opponents' scores in the single digits and won games by margins of up to and over 30 points. A renaissance sportsman, Coach Obrynba wouldn't single out any individual player's performance, preferring to define the squad as one solid functioning machine, poised and determined to continue their dominating trek.

11/27/07 VS. Marysville Monarchs
Victory! 31-9
11/29/07 VS. Olentangy Liberty Warriors
Victory! 41-10

12/4/07 VS. Finland Vikings
Victory! 49-9

12/6/07 VS. Brookpark Trojans
Victory! 33-26

12/11/07 VS. Kilbourne Wolves
Victory! 26-15

12/13/07 VS. Pleasent View Panthers
Victory! 30-8

Dick's Track: Cast No Shadow - OASIS

Cast No Shadow - OASIS
Written by Noel Gallagher. Lead vocals by Liam Gallagher. Released on 1995's What's the Story Morning Glory? A softer cut from Oasis' massive second album, Cast No Shadow mixes Noel Gallagher's heady lyrics with big orchestra sound similar to the band's mega hit Wonderwall. Famously dedicated to but not inspired by The Verve front man Richard Ashcroft, Cast No Shadow resonates at a near philosophical level versus Gallagher's usual use if it fits into the established rhythm style.

Here's a thought for every man

Who tries to understand what is in his hands
He walks along the open road of Love & Life surviving if he can

Bound with all the weight of all the words he tried to say
Chained to all the places that he never wished to stay
Bound with all the weight of all the words he tried to say
and as faced the sun he cast no shadow

As they took his soul they stole his pride

As observed, themes akin to hitting bottom and feeling invisible are a far cry from Oasis' usual upbeat and optimistic world view a la Live Forever and Acquiesce. But unlike many of Oasis' well known tunes, the song seems to tell a story through its lyrics that is enhanced by the eerily soothing accompanying orchestra.
During the band's popularity hey day, Cast No Shadow would be played and sung by Noel during a short acoustic set mid concert to give brother/front man Liam a chance to rest (or grab a pint). A re-mixed version of the tune with vocals by Noel was released on the soundtrack to Soccer movie trilogy GOAL! in 2005. Noel and band guitarist/songwriter Gem Archer embarked on a small promotional tour in late 2006 where Cast No Shadow was a set list regular along B-side Talk Tonight and a cover of The Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever.

Below is a clip from a 1996 concert at Maine Road, where Oasis broke the attendance record for an indoor venue in England.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lightning Spread: Mr. K-1 Andy Hug


December, 2007. Holland's Semmy Schilt captures the K-1 World Grand Prix Championship for a third time, beating out a field of veteran fighters including Jerome Le Banner, Peter Aerts, Glaube Feitosa and Remy Bonjasky. Established in 1993, K-1 fused traditional martial arts like Karate, Kung-Fu, Kick-Boxing and Tae Kwon Do (they all have a K in the name, get it?) with elaborate production values to deliver a product fans around the world could cheer.
May, 1996. A driven and aggressive fighter with a Kyokushin Karate background wins the World GP. Crowds ate up his never give up attitude, impressive physicality and exciting fighting style. Nicknames like Iron Man, The Typhoon, Blue Eyed Samurai and Mr. K-1 were bestowed upon him as he embodied the traits of a champion. As composed and respectful as he was skilled and eager to win, Andy Hug was a crucial example and reason of K-1's popularity across the globe.
Before entering the realm of Kick-Boxing, Hug was the most successful non-Japanese fighter in the sport of Kyokushin's history. When he segued into Kick-Boxing, Andy became a noted generalist fighter, never relying solely on his hands or feet in a bout. As one of K-1's smaller fighters, Andy constantly gave up inches and pounds to much larger fighters like Mike Bernardo, Ernesto Hoost and Mirko Filipovic. Andy's ability to weather storms of punches and kicks then retaliate quickly and unexpectedly made him a favorite among crowds. His rapid-fire punch combinations, wicked low kicks and impressive ax kicks were more than enough to excite the fans.
Coming into his own as a fighter and in the middle of his career, Andy entered the 1996 World GP, defeating Bart Vale by Knock Out, Duane Van Der Merwe by Knock Out and Ernesto Hoost by Decision to face Mike Bernardo in the finals. Hug had lost two hard fought matches against the formidable Bernardo before but was ready for their third meeting. Utilizing his quickness to strike and move in and out of range, Hug landed low kick after low kick until Bernardo hit the canvas in pain. Bernardo managed to get back to his feet, trying to use his lead leg to keep Hug at bay. But Andy saw the opening and unleashed a highlight reel low spinning hook kick that buckled Bernardo's knee.

In 1997, Hug defeated Pierre Guenette by Technical Knock Out, Masaaki Satake by Knock Out and Peter Aerts by Decision to face Ernesto Hoost in the finals. Andy would fall by Decision in the third of four matches with Hoost throughout their careers.
In 1998, Andy battled his way to the finals again, defeating Mark Russell by Knock Out, Ray Sefo by Technical Knock Out and Sam Greco by Decision to face The Dutch Lumberjack, Peter Aerts in the finals. In their fourth and final match against one another, Aerts emerged victorious via Knock Out by head kick.
Outside the ring, Andy Hug's life philosophy can best be summed up in his own words. "Know yourself, keep yourself under control, understand yourself, steel yourself, cleanse your mind and keep your body fit." Reserved and respectful, Hug worked hard in the gym and expected much from himself. Known for training while sick and fighting with broken toes, fingers, even a hand, Hug was a true warrior. His popularity among fans prompted the K-1 organization to hold a Fight Night event in Hug's homeland of Switzerland for six consecutive years where Hug went undefeated.
Looking to retire from Kick-Boxing and begin acting, Andy Hug died suddenly from complications arisen from treatment for acute myeloid leukemia and bone marrow disease in 2000. He was 35.

As a former martial artist, body building enthusiast and Mixed Martial Arts fan, I appreciate and admire what Mr. K-1 brought and represented inside the ring and out. I only wish to have been familiar with his exploits sooner but will continue spreading the word.

For more information, check out:
Andy Hug Official Web site

Fighting & Entertainment Group
K-1 Fans
K-1 Source

Words and still images don't do Andy Hug near enough justice. These videos available on YouTube as Andy Hug the Story are a fantastic introduction to the Blue Eyed Samurai and also serve as great motivators when you just don't feel like training or the day has been a drain.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Head Space

Who says he's a legend? He's a legend in his own f*cking mind. See this dude (holds up clenched fist) ? This is the mind eraser.
- Phil Baroni