Sunday, December 31, 2006
Erica and I got back yesterday around midday. We had a long time getting home, with troubles both mechanically, and with the dreaded border patrol. US customs is for chumps. I mean seriously look at the Canadian customs versus US customs. The guys who work at Canadian customs are young, friendly kids, often times its a summer job away from college. They are happy that you're coming to the great white north and treat you with the civility and courtesy of a guest. Oh they are still professional, but they don't carry guns, and they manage to do their job while still maintaining a positive image of Canada. Compare that to the US guards and its a whole other issue. Granted the people that work at the airports are slightly better than the ones at overland border crossings, but generally speaking US border patrol scares the heck out of me.They're gruff, armed, and seem pissed off just being there. It's a career of dealing with crap and they hate every minute of it. Did you known that because of forced quotas the most common people pulled aside at the airport checkout line are people of mid-eastern decent? well maybe that's not so surprising, but the second most pulled aside group is young white women. Why exactly? do they look dangerous? No, actually they are pulled aside second most because the border patrol has to meet their quota of (random) searches and knows that young white women will generally not give them any trouble. Very disturbing...
Ok, sorry for the rant. I've just woken up and am a little distracted / asleep still. Thanks to all the people who bought my stuff on eBay, it seemed to be for the most part a success :) I sold over half of the lots I put up and made, after all the shipping, and ebay/paypal fees (I think), around $240. That would've been more but I accidentally screwed up on the listed shipping costs, so some people literally got away with a steal. D'Oh! my fault though, good for them for noticing the mistake I guess. I'll probably re-list 2 or 3 of the lots that didn't sell, or maybe rearrange them to make a more attractive collection. I suppose my final resort is trying to sell them at work too. Which would probably work, only I would definitely lose money on it. As of now my plans for the money go about as far as picking up the Robotech Protoculture Collection, and a few more trades.
I'd better go get myself together for the day, its New Years Eve tonight. Hooray! We've got plans to go over to our friend Miriam and Florian's house for a small gathering, should be fun. I'm sure I'll be back with more later, I had a really good time in Toronto, got to hang with Erica's family, even had a bonding moment or two with her father. Seriously! and I got to catch up with my buddys Bernard, and Lisa. Good times all around. Ok, I'm off to shower lates.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
So I'm in Toronto now. Well, not exactly Toronto, but Caledon area, and as expected it's very nice. Unfortunately though, they lost our luggage in Chicago with all the Christmas hullabaloo at the airport, so we have no presents and are stuck wearing the same clothes until we get them back :( Thankfully that should be either tonight or tomorrow, and they're even going to deliver it to the house.
Friday, December 22, 2006
So with that said, I probably wont be doing any serious updating here until I get back on the 30th. Usually the pop culture news is pretty slow this upcoming week anyhow, but I sure do wish I could see that Fantastic Four trailer clearly... Ah well, it'll be here when I get back.
So I hope you all have some fun plans for next week, and that all your holiday wishes come true. If you're looking for something fun, and festive to do online, check out this page for links to 101 Christmas videos. It's all there, from It's a Wonderful Life, to The Grinch, Frosty, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and the Star Wars Holiday Special. Enjoy 'em while there here. Ok, I better go now, gotta finish packing. Lotsa love people. Peace out.
ps - yes Bernard, it's a personal post. deal.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
We should see even more tomorrow once the new trailer for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer hits theaters with Night at the Museum. It's made using the same techniques as they did on Gollum for Lord of the Rings, with as we should all know by now, Doug Jones, playing the silver man in question. What you might not know is that the Silver Surfer is one of the coolest superhero characters ever invented. He's the thinking man's hero; a tortured soul, constantly searching for his lost humanity. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this film goes.
UPDATE - I'm still trying to look around and find the trailer online. I did see a really blurry video of it this morning on youtube from someone who had snuck a camera into the theater, but the autofocus kept losing the picture. From what I did see though it was amazing looking. I can't seem to even find that anymore though. I'm sure it'll launch online officially soon but unfortunately I'm not going to be in a position to bring it to you right away. For more on that see the post above this.
Check out the new Official Site for Jon Favreau's Iron Man movie starring Robert Downey Jr. opening May 2nd 2008.
Nothing there yet, but you can register for updates if you are so inclined. If not; no worries, I've signed up, and I will keep you apprised of any important information ;)
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I'm really impressed with the trailer, it actually shows more than I thought it would, but still never gives you a really good full reveal of really any of the Transformers. I really like how grainy and dark the film looks too, it makes everything seem more chaotic. And did you notice that nice little Michael Bay moment in the middle with the tender goodbye? I also love the alieness of it all. The music is totally creepy, and the robots movements are so visually interesting. I think this is great, I mean it puts everything in a much more real world context. If I saw a 40 freakin foot tall robot, I would probably completely lose it.
Excellent trailer, for what looks to be an excellent film.
UPDATE - I just noticed this comment on Michael Bay's Blog, where he says about the new trailer:
"I think some of my films have had good teasers but this one is just makes a statement. It's hard edged to show we are not a silly "toy" movie. We show just hints of robots - and almost none of our epic shots are in this teaser, but the movie just looks big. "
UPDATE UPDATE - I just saw that along with the new trailer the Transformers Official Movie Site has been revamped. They've got some new content too, a new really cool site interface that has you navigating around Cybertron to find your information, and more importantly, when you watch the new trailer on their site at the very end you'll hear Peter Cullen, as Optimus say the winning line from the "Make Prime Speak" contest they ran a few weeks ago "freedom is the right of all sentient beings". Pretty cool.
UPDATE FINAL - I only put this here because I said I would earlier. In case you're too lazy to click a link to see the trailer you can now check it out right here. Hooray for YouTube!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
- Tom and Jerry (1941)
- Ruff and Reddy (1957)
- Huckleberry Hound (1958)
- Quick Draw McGraw (1959)
- The Flintstones (1960)
- Yogi Bear (1961)
- Top Cat (1961)
- The Jetsons (1962)
- Magilla Gorilla (1964)
- Jonny Quest (1964)
- Secret Squirrel and Atom Ant (1965)
- Space Ghost (1966)
- Birdman and the Galaxy Trio (1967)
- The Banana Splits (live action/animated, 1968)
- Scooby-Doo (1969)
- Josie and the Pussycats (1970)
- Super Friends (1973)
- The Smurfs (1981)
There are so many cartoons there that meant so much to me throughout my formative years. Even the ones that grated on me like Tom and Jerry are really important cartoons, and I know that there are people out there who feel that that was the one that spoke to them most. But I grew up loving Yogi Bear, and The Flinstones for their simple and funny stories. The Jetsons was probably honestly my first continual exposure to sci-fi, and yes I know its comic and cheesy but I loved the 50s sensibilities to the future. And if it weren't for The Jetsons I would never have even wanted to see Metropolis, or The Day the Earth Stood Still. And although I'm a bit of a sci-fi nut now, I hit youth at an odd time (early 80s) where sci-fi had largely been supplanted by action shows. So toons like Jonny Quest, were instrumental in fostering a sense of fun and adventure while I waited for the next Indiana Jones film to come out. And who out there can say they didn't watch and love Scooby Doo from time to time. I invented at least ten uniquely crazy, and huge sandwiches after seeing how much fun Shaggy and Scooby had at it. And what about the Superfriends. Man... Me and my sister Catherine would watch that religiously. I loved Apache Chief, who could grow to be a giant when he shouted the word Inuk-chuk, most of all. And even though I watch them now and want to kill them, the Wonder Twins were always so fun. Me and Cat would always try to activate super powers, when playing as Superfriends. Finally though we come to The Smurfs... ahh Les Schtroumpfs, I loved those crazy little blue guys. I wanted to live in a mushroom house. I wanted to kick Brainy for being such a smart ass. I wanted to trick Gargamel and his cat Azrael and to learn from the wisdom of Papa Smurf. And honestly, I did. These cartoons were important to me, if only for being able to make me laugh, and to engage me, and to keep me dreaming.
Thanks Joseph Barbara, you will be missed.
Next time I go, I'm going to use the weights and exercise equipment first though, swimming is tiring, but I think more focused exercise might be even better.
Monday, December 18, 2006
May favorite is definitely Admiral Akbar.
The show followed cop Brett Hopper (Taye Diggs), as he keeps reliving the same day over and over again. Problem is the day is pretty much the worst day of his life. He is being framed for the murder of a district attorney, his family is in jeopardy, and he has no clue why. So everyday he tries to find out more of the puzzle. Solve the crime and then maybe figure out why he is reliving the same day again and again. Is that a high concept show? Is it too sci-fi? Cause it made sense to me. Yes the plot was complex, but not any worse than 24. I thought Diggs brought a great charisma to the screen and the action was top notch. I guess it just didn't cut it according to ABC. The really annoying thing to me though is that, like with Smith, Day Break was cancelled just before it was about to do something interesting. With Smith, 'the big score' was about to go down, and with Day Break he was finally, finally starting to get some real answers. Also there was apparently only a few more episodes left too. They had something like 10 more shows that they needed to tell the entire story. That's just lame. Boo ABC, boo...
Thankfully they will be showing the unaired episodes, on ABC.com. Hopefully they'll have the whole rest of the series, but we'll have to wait and see.
The bad, frustrating, terribly awful , and annoying thing was that I went for a charity run, The Christmas Classic through Golden Gate park, and I actually couldn't finish. I think I mentioned that I'd been having knee troubles. Well its getting worse. I went to the doctor a few weeks ago, and she gave me a recommendation for a specialist. When I went to the specialist he said that my right knee predominantly, and somewhat on my left, is 'tracking' wrong, especially when fatigued. Basically that means the plate on the knee, the patella, isn't following the set alignment that it should when bending. You know that it floats right? ok, sorry; everyone knows that. So thankfully though, he said it actually isn't a physiological problem, nothing is physically wrong, and I should be able to retrain my knee to bend properly. He suggested a few sessions of physiotherapy and that after i build some strength in different parts of the knee I should be good as new. This is a very good thing. I know way too many people who have knee problems, and none of it sounds even remotely good. Of course the problem now is that I haven't had time to go to the physiotherapist yet, and won't until the new year. Running is becoming a problem though, and its extremely frustrating. I know the thing to do is not push it, but man.... I can't even finish a 5km run! After about 2 miles my knee just blew. Ok, it didn't blow out really, but it just started killing. Like sharp crippling pain with every bend. So i had to stop. it was depressing, and I know I shouldn't beat myself up over it, I just was pretty upset about the whole situation. So I stopped and rested the knee for 15 minutes or so, and was then able to walk around. Nothing permanent done at least. Erica and I had a good plan though. Because I have a gym membership with my work, I'm going to stop by one of their facilities that has a pool tonight. I think maybe I can handle swimming laps, and that at least will be some exercise. And zero impact too. It won't fix the problem, but it can't hurt.
The really good thing this past weekend was that because Erica and I are going to spend Christmas with her family outside of Toronto, we had Christmas with my family yesterday! Hooray for Christmas! Although we actually see my parents like once every week or so this was a very good visit. I should actually get some more pictures of the kitties. Loki and Freya are sooo cute now, and they've grown so much. We had a good meal too, of some yummy salmon. But of course most importantly, we all got presents. Erica didn't get me anything now, because she got me the Wii a month or so ago, which is totally amazing and I love, so that is really my best present this year. Other than that though, my mom bought me a ton of clothes for Xmas that I badly needed. I actually went with her to pick them out last week, then she took them home and wrapped them up. Its nice to finally have something new to wear again. And then my dad got me a great gift too. He's going to pay for my airfare and entrance fee at this years San Diego Comic-Con!!! Yup that's right kids. I'm going to the SD comic-con! And I'm very excited about it. Sure its not til the end of July, but it's going to be sweet. Erica might actually have to be there for work, but that's not going to be for sure until a bit closer to the date. So for now at least I'm going to plan on going with my buddy Joey. Yes I know this is super geeky, but man it'll be fun. I went two years ago and really loved it. This time, I think I'll have to save up some money beforehand though, and really plan out a proper schedule for the panels I want to see. oh, so exciting...
The main present Erica and I got my parents was tickets to the symphony. We also got tickets for us too; so that should be a fun night, especially since I've never been to a symphony before. And the main present I got Erica was some kitchen knives. I know, I know... it's not super romantic, but she's a practical girl... and really these are very good knives ;)
I also went to a kinda lame holiday party. But that's ok. You can't have all good parties. Oh but I did get a ton of stuff set for sale up on Ebay. I have 13 lots of comic books set to go on auction on Dec 23rd at 8am. And actually 6 more lots to add to the mix still. So please check out my sellers page and buy some comics if you're interested. oh wait, actually you can't see anything there cause nothing has gone up for auction yet. But after the 23rd I'll post that link again. ok, I'm going to sign off for now, there's more I'm sure, so I'll talk to you all laters.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Check out this trailer for an upcoming episode of Smallville that features a rough semblance of the Justice League. I assume this is from season... 6 (i think). Pretty badass if you ask me. :)
Thanks to ComicBookMovie.com for pointing me towards this one.
That said, it was far far better than most video game adaptations of late. Did anyone here see Doom? or Bloodrayne??? Now those were real travesties. I think I was mostly just pissed that the first Resident Evil film ended on such a good note, with Alice escaping capture to find a deserted, Raccoon City in ruin, overrun with the living dead, and then grabbing that shotgun from the cop car ready to kick some zombie ass. It was one of those Matrix style endings that make you just say 'fuck yea, I can't wait to see the sequel to this'.
So today I discovered that Anderson and co. are hard at work on the third (and final) installment in the franchise Resident Evil: Extinction. ok, well, I suppose I knew that this thing existed somewhere in my brain, but I had forgotten about it until today. The film is set to take place in the Nevada desert, and has the now biogenetically enhanced Alice hiding out and hunting the undead with a few other folks, including Ali Larter (Niki on Heroes!) as Claire Redfield, and these wicked looking curved machete weapons. I'm sure we'll get a cool Old West feel with this one, just like in the extremely successful Resident Evil 4 game, and everyone knows that Old West zombie slaying is pretty darn fun.
I can't say a part of me isn't excited to see this. I know I felt kind of burned by Apocalypse, but I always seem to come back to the fold when it comes to Mila. Pretty much anything seems worth it to see Mila kicking ass.... just check out these photo from the set.
Of course before any of this comes together del Toro is set to direct Hellboy 2: The Goldon Army, which will be ultra-awesome in it's own right. But this Tarzan thing could be a very good.... have to see how it develops.
The first eight Tarzan books including the very first, Tarzan of the Apes, can all be read online for free over at Project Gutenberg. Hooray for public domain! I've never read em, but I like Burroughs and plan to go check em out soon.
Thanks to Comingsoon.net I've learned so very very much. Honestly they are a great site.
Much more exciting to me though is the news that the new Transformers trailer is set to debut online next Wednesday! That is very good news indeed.
Golden Globe 2007 Nominations
Picture, Drama: Babel, Bobby, The Departed, Little Children, The Queen
Actress, Drama: Penelope Cruz, Volver ; Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal ; Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sherrybaby ; Helen Mirren, The Queen ; Kate Winslet, Little Children
Actor, Drama: Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond ; Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed ; Peter O'Toole, Venus ; Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness ; Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
Picture, Musical or Comedy: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, The Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls, Little Miss Sunshine, Thank You for Smoking
Actress, Musical or Comedy: Annette Bening, Running With Scissors ; Toni Collette, Little Miss Sunshine ; Beyonce Knowles, Dreamgirls ; Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada ; Renee Zellweger, Miss Potter
Actor, Musical or Comedy: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan ; Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ; Aaron Eckhart, Thank You for Smoking ; Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kinky Boots ; Will Ferrell, Stranger than Fiction
Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza, Babel ; Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal ; Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada ; Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls ; Rinko Kikuchi, Babel
Supporting Actor: Ben Affleck, Hollywoodland ; Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls ; Jack Nicholson, The Departed ; Brad Pitt, Babel ; Mark Wahlberg, The Departed
Director: Clint Eastwood, Flags of Our Fathers ; Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima ; Steven Frears, The Queen ; Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Babel ; Martin Scorsese, The Departed
Screenplay: Guillermo Arriaga, Babel ; Todd Field and Tom Perrotta, Little Children ; Patrick Marber, Notes on a Scandal ; William Monahan, The Departed ; Peter Morgan, The Queen
Foreign Language: Apocalypto, USA; Letters from Iwo Jima, USA/Japan; The Lives of Others, Germany; Pan's Labyrinth, Mexico; Volver Spain
Animated Film: Cars, Happy Feet, Monster House
Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, The Painted Veil ; Clint Mansell, The Fountain ; Gustavo Santaolalla, Babel ; Carlo Siliotto, Nomad ; Hans Zimmer, The Da Vinci Code
Original Song: A Father's Way from The Pursuit of Happyness ; Listen from Dreamgirls ; Never Gonna Break My Faith from Bobby ; The Song of the Heart from Happy Feet ; Try Not to Remember from Home of the Brave
Series, Drama: 24, Fox; Big Love, HBO; Grey's Anatomy, ABC; Heroes, NBC; Lost, ABC
Actress, Drama: Patricia Arquette, Medium ; Edie Falco, The Sopranos ; Evangeline Lilly, Lost ; Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy ; Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Actor, Drama: Patrick Dempsey, Grey's Anatomy ; Michael C. Hall, Dexter ; Hugh Laurie, House ; Bill Paxton, Big Love ; Kiefer Sutherland, 24
Series, Musical or Comedy: Desperate Housewives, ABC; Entourage, HBO; The Office, NBC; Ugly Betty, ABC; Weeds, Showtime
Actress, Musical or Comedy: Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives ; America Ferrera, Ugly Betty ; Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives ; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine ; Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
Actor, Musical or Comedy: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock ; Zach Braff, Scrubs ; Steve Carrell, The Office ; Jason Lee, My Name is Earl ; Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Miniseries or movie: Bleak House, PBS; Broken Trail, AMC; Elizabeth I, HBO; Mrs. Harris, HBO; Prime Suspect: The Final Act, PBS
Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Gillian Anderson, Bleak House ; Annette Bening, Mrs. Harris ; Helen Mirren, Elizabeth I ; Helen Mirren, Prime Suspect: The Final Act ; Sophie Okonedo, Tsunami, The Aftermath
Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Andre Braugher, Thief ; Robert Duvall, Broken Trail ; Michael Ealy, Sleeper Cell: American Terror ; Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tsunami, The Aftermath ; Ben Kingsley, Mrs. Harris ; Bill Nighy, Gideon's Daughter ; Matthew Perry, The Ron Clark Story
Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Emily Blunt, Gideon's Daughter ; Toni Collette, Tsunami, The Aftermath ; Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy ; Sarah Paulson, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip ; Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Thomas Haden Church, Broken Trail ; Jeremy Irons, Elizabeth I ; Justin Kirk, Weeds ; Masi Oka, Heroes ; Jeremy Piven, Entourage
One last thing to remember, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association who vote on the Golden Globes is not a body with proper metrics for accountability. There are real concerns, as to their ultimate bias in deciding who wins or not. They are not in my estimation, even as reliable a voting group as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (which obviously has it's own problems, but are at least made up of industry peers), these guys are critics; arguably critics for hire. That said, they're decisions are probably no worse than that of you and your drinking buddies, and it's all in good fun. Just know what it is, before you put all your faith in them.
The Golden Globes will air on NBC on Jan 15th at 8pm EST.
Yesterday I actually had a plan to write something here, but what should I discover when I tried to log onto the Blogger Beta site? Apparently the sign in page was deemed inappropriate by my work's firewall and blocked. The reason "adult content", and the word "sex". Whaaa??? Exactly.
As I was also dealing with a problem getting the old skool Blogger to publish for my podcast web page I was hunting through the Google Groups Forum, and found that low and behold I was in fact not the only one experiencing problems logging in. Someone had posted complaining that they couldn't blog from the public library in Nashville, for the same 'sex' reason. And apparently he wasn't alone. Well, it seems that there's this online security program called Wordwise (i think) that tracks keywords. Its been malfunctioning, and various firewall programs that use it are getting barred from sites like Amazon, and Yahoo. funny, eh?
Well, I'm glad they've fixed the bug. cause if I couldn't blog from work I think I might go crazy. Better go now though. You know, work and all ;)
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
BTW - the one on the bottom is the "real" Daniel Craig". Just an FYI.
As always click on the images for a larger version of them. Wish me luck in the contest.
I've finally got Erica's big present sorted out. Of course I still have to wrap everything. Its good, but just a bit crazed I guess. On Thursday I've got another one of those snazzy "informational interviews" with a guy from work, to see if maybe, just maybe I have some sort of prospects for a future... Still, I shouldn't get down, this is good, at least they'll get to know who I am and that I want to actually do something with my life... meh, w/e, on with the show.
Here's what our little tree looks like now that it's all decorated. too bad with the flash you can't really see the lights; its very charming. Ok, I'd better go wrap before it gets too late. Bye.
Monday, December 11, 2006
If like me you watch Heroes, this is probably the point where you're saying Whaa?!?
Of course he's gay!
Well, apparently my gaydar is completely off because NBC has announced that Zach is actually straight. Despite the fact that on the show he absolutely seems gay. And in a very positive way I think too. He is not a stereotype, not a cliched homosexual. He is a teenager trying to deal with being different, quite aptly paralleling Claire's struggle to accept her special powers.
I can only assume that this was a decision of NBC. As the article points out Dekker has played gay characters before, on the show Grosse Pointe. My question is this: Why on earth would they do this?! I mean Zach was actually a positive gay character, a good guy who was dealing with his challenges honestly, and talking with friends about his troubles. Unfortunately NBCs only explanation up to this point is that he has always been straight and it was some kind of mass mis-communication. That said, the NBC marketing team actually said he was gay on their site, although this has siunce been removed. And they have his orientation listed on the characters MySpace page as "not sure". Of course that's all on top of Tim Kring, series creator, stating that the character is gay. Honestly this just pisses me off.
I know that since the announcement that Dekker will be playing John Connor his will probably be leaving the show soon enough, but I still think its a really weak move by NBC. These guys seriously need to grow up, and do the right thing.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
I was just scanning through his guy's rap sheet on IMDB and it's kind of ridiculous, he's 19 years old and has been on an absurd amount of television shows. The picture he's got posted there makes him look super lame. He definitely has shades of a Jonathan Brandis look (hopefully that's all obviously). And while I'll say I would've loved to see Nick Stahl go and do this role, I understand why that doesn't make sense, and I think this is pretty good casting overall. I really like his character on Heroes, and think he could pull off something even more. And at least we know the guys a professional.
Here, let me find a good pic of him... ooh here's his MySpace. I didn't know he was a musician too. hmm, can't get his songs to play... oh well. Anyhow, here's what he looks like
I say cool, what do you guys think?
Friday, December 08, 2006
Looks like some great action. Thanks to SHH! for pointing the way
UPDATE: someone's finally posted it on YouTube. So here ya go kids :)
I've had a rough one here. I think maybe I pinched a nerve in my back this morning, its been killing all day. Looong silly meeting at work today. I need an asprin, and a drink. Preferably together.
Holiday party tonight, at Erica's work. My work party is tonight too but gonna have to skip out.
Blogger's giving me troubles for On Hold... and I'm worried that I'm not doing a good job on the cast lately. People keep calling me out on stuff...
I think I'll post the wii stuff seperate than this.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Check out these three pics of the new lenticular Ghost Rider poster. I have to say I'm not overly excited about this flick, I really think it could be awful. I sure hope not, but we'll see...
Check out this and more over at the official Ghost Rider blog. Later gators.
Ok so obviously I don't have my head together too much right now. Last night I went down to San Jose to see Panic! At The Disco. It was an interesting show. Solid, but a bit too scripted for my tastes. They had this extremely 'produced' stage show to accompany their performance; a whole circus theme, and it left them almost zero time to do anything other than follow the script. Granted the production quality was very good. They had a great circus set on stage with risers, secret entrances and other mechanical effects built in. They had a really great lighting rig suspended in a big top tent. They had two extremely large monitors on either side of the stage showing what was happening as filmed by no less than a 3 camera set up, with transitions inlaid and everything. And all of that is aside from the 6 circus performers running around on stage in a semi-choreographed manner doing back handsprings, contortionisms, stilt walking, ribbon and veil dancing, and other circus sideshows. So, like I said, very high production value, but it was also a bit cold, a bit too staged.
Production values aside, or actually maybe partly because of them Panic! actually managed to almost FILL the HP pavillion. That's a hockey arena! How the hell did these guys get so big? Have you seen their big single? wait... here
I mean its generally speaking totally fine in a kinda mainstream engineered alt-poppy way, but I just don't get what made them such a huge draw. The crowd skewed young last night, like 16 year old young, but that was ok, cause they still had alcohol and I could see over heads at least. Maybe I don't understand. I definitely felt like yeah, this is a band I like, but not a band I really would normally go out of my way to see. I was actually a bit surprised to hear how good they really were underneath everything though. If these guys were to drop some of the gloss, get a bit more down and dirty they could really make some interesting music. They really have a lot of skills, and I 'get' that they might want to be popular. But the music was a bit light on the things that I want.
Its like they sat down decided to become like the modern day Green Day, only without the leg work of being a real, and honest band first. Hopefully they'll shake things up as their career goes on.
I didn't know this until I got to the pavilion last night, but apparently they were supposed to be playing with Bloc Party. Yes for reals! Bloc Party is a band I would definitely go and see. In my head I thought Bloc Party was somehow bigger than Panic! but really I think I must've just assumed that because they are such a better band. Even though, as far as I know, they haven't had any big singles. All that is moot though, because Bloc Party didn't show. I don't know if they left the tour, (not to spread rumors - but...) someone said that maybe they heard they had actually broken up. Don't take that from me though, cause I can't find anything about that online.
Overall the show was decent, if a bit static. I mean it was interesting visually, an not offensive to the ears, but there wasn't really that spark that I was hoping for. Good but not great.
I need some food...
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
That said, I don't know... there might be some truth to this analysis of my personality.... hmm The Libertine. nah, probably not.
Monday, December 04, 2006
The game is made by Activision and is built on the X-Men Legends engine, which to my surprise, I didn't really like very much. But then again, I think that might've had something more to do with the super slow paced gameplay than any mechanics issue. Well, that and the fact that I was never one of those crazed X-fans; I was always more into Spidey, and the Silver Surfer. Ultimate Alliance plays as an overhead adventure co-op, with 4 heroic teammates on screen at a time (you control only one, but can switch to another at anytime, and a fairly decent AI takes the others). Every character has their specific special powers and abilities, and you help your team progress through the semi-labyrinthine levels fighting thugs along the way and solving simple puzzles. It's a pretty straightforward adventure really; but the coolest key feature is being able to select your band of heroes from the entire Marvel catalog (a good selection of about 15 are available from the start) , and then you can level them up through continual gameplay.
last night, when I finally cracked the box and started playing I was struck by a few things right off. Firstly, wow great cinematics, and then the fantastic voice work. The dialogue is spot on, and after playing for a few hours I'll say I really think they nailed the characters down extremely well. The opening cinematic is also so good, I watched it twice. Anyhow, then I started learning how to play. The learning curve is a bit of a slog, sure I got it alright, but I was not only seriously disappointed that my hand movements do not match what my character does onscreen, but that the fine gestures called for by the game are just too subtle for the Wii to pick up all the time. When the difference between a horizontal shake of the Wiimote, and a single draw left produce totally different action, in the thick of battle, I simply don't have room for controller errors.
That said, the game itself is pretty solid. The story seems decent, and there are lots and lots of characters. I wonder if maybe the movement issue really comes down to just one of those cases where the developers haven't yet figured out how much or how little to do with the motion sensitive controller. This is the kind of thing I could see getting better by the next iteration of the game. The game also looks prety good, but if you go over to gametrailers.com, and check out the video comparison between the XBOX 360, the PS3, and the Wii version of this game you'll see how good it should look.
However if anyone out there does have a Wii, I'd say definitely go for it on this game, especially as a rental. I'm kind of itching to get back to it now actually. Too bad I have a whole afternoon of work in the way. I'm enjoying the game on the whole, and think it would probably be even better in co-op mode with two or more players. Despite any concerns I might have, getting a chance to be Spider-Man, or The Human Torch or Captain America in any capacity is fun. If you've got a next gen system I definitely think you won't regret checking this one out. Its a fun story, and an interesting if not wholly successful use of the Wii control scheme.
I give Marvel UA a partway through (3.5 hrs) score of 8/10
UPDATE - well there we go, its all back now. That was weird... ahh, the joys of technology...
Sunday, December 03, 2006
I paid $42 for it this morning in the Castro, and it's a good thing I got it now. The guy at the lot said that probably by the end of the day today all the 4-5 foot trees will be sold out. This one is just over 5 feet tall, but really pretty full. It was a bit of a bitch carrying it on the streetcar home, but at least its all set now.
Here are some pictures, click to make them bigger. I put the lights on but I'll obviously wait for Erica to get home before we decorate :)
Ok, I'm off to play the Wii for a while. Later all.
Friday, December 01, 2006
The Nine joins Six Degrees in the off air limbo of the 'probably canceled'. The problem is that both of these shows required a lot of dedicated investment from the viewer right off the bat. And while I watched them both, I found it kind of tiring for the most part. I didn't know the characters well enough to get emotionally involved with them, so I found that for the most part I, like most people I would assume, just didn't care. It's a shame in a way, but neither of these shows had enough cache to grab the audience they needed to succeed right away. And while The Nine was definitely the stronger of the two shows, I'm sorry to see both of them go.
In some semi-related good news, the recently canceled CBS series Smith starring the enigmatic Ray Liotta, is now available for free over at CBS Innertube. All seven produced episodes (4 of them unaired) along with a note from the producers explaining where they hoped the series to go can been seen online. Enjoy.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I didn't start reading comics again until 2000 or so, and the books that brought me back into it then was the start of Marvel's Ultimate line, that and the early Spider-Man movie buzz. After getting a taste of what I was missing and realizing that comics had really grown up a lot since I'd been gone it was an easy jump then to really have a look at the books I'd missed. Underground comic books were really starting to come into their own too, and in a way they never could've back in the 60s and 70s. The first book I turned to was Preacher.
A passing friend during my transient years had loaned me one of the Preacher trades back in the day, and I'd loved it. Never followed up on it then but it stuck with me. Preacher is the story of Jesse Custer, a Texas preacher who has lost his way. He drinks, smokes, and fights. He also posses a power called The Word. When he decides, Jesse can say anything and make people obey. So now, along with his rough and ready girlfriend Tulip and his best drinking buddy, an Irish vampire named Cassidy they travel America looking literally for God. On the way they are pursued by the government, crazed cannibals, and cultists, as well as quite literally both the hordes of Hell, and Angelic warriors. The book is smart, dark, violent, unnerving, and very very good.
I never finished reading the series, I only read the first 30 issues or so, but I do plan on it eventually. It's all been traded now and you can actually pick up the first volume for a very reasonable $9.74 over at In Stock Trades. At the time I had gotten really caught up in The Authority which was Warren Ellis' (Preacher creator) more recent endeavor, and I felt like my money was best spent there. Even still, Preacher is a special book to me. The writing is great and some of the stories that I read really stuck with me. At least I'll never look at John Wayne the same way again.
So with the success of Preacher it's no surprise that there has been a plan to bring it to screen for some time now. Its been long in development as a feature, even to the point of casting James Marsden (aka Cyclops from X-Men) in the role as Jesse. (pretty good choice if you ask me). But all thats behind us now, because as reported here, HBO has greenlit development of a Preacher tv series. This my friends is very good news. Mark Steven Johnson (of Daredevil infamy) is set to write the pilot which while not terrible news, is not the absolute best. At least we know the guy likes comics. Anyhow, overall this is fantastic news and I'm stocked about it. Especially to know that this will be on HBO is a really great sign. Imagine if Blade was on HBO, or maybe better, imagine if Spawn the animated series was live action. Now that should be a cool sight to see.
I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this series as it develops.
There were seven of us on the trip, myself, Erica, Jan, Cecile, Olivia, and Erica's brother John and his girlfriend Jacqueline who flew in from Toronto. All of us San Francisco people had a condo right on the beach in Kihei on the South Western side of Maui. A good place with thankfully a washer dryer, a kitchen, and a balcony. I have to say even the beach right by our place was really just beautiful. Crystal blue water, golden sand, and good waves. But we did so much more than just hang out on the beach.
Obviously I'd definitely recommend Maui as a great place to go. I also would really recommend the Maui Revealed guidebook. It was absolutely fantastic. We literally would look up the same listings for activities, or beaches, or whatever in the Fodors, and the Lonely Planet; and Maui Revealed was consistently the best.
So I guess that's about all on Maui for now. I'm sure I'll mention it a bit more in depth on my podcast tonight, if anyone's interested. For now I'd better go catch up on all the fun and excitement in the world of internet that I missed. later all.