Friday, January 23, 2009
Just Nick here tonight, Justin having devoted his blogging time to adding in picture-captions for his big ol' Lost post from last night. Yeah, if you haven't noticed, little captions pop up now when you put your pointer on most of the pictures here. This is a neat gimmick I totally nicked off
Chris's Invincible Super-Blog, which is easily one of the funniest places you can visit on the web, so check it out. Anyway, I figure after the aforementioned Lost post you guys can do without a big in-depth review tonight, which is good, because I don't have one. Instead, I'm just gonna throw some random stuff that's been floating around in my head at you, see what sticks. 'K?
Lakeview Terrace was pretty good. It's cool to see Samuel L. Jackson do a movie about how racism works both ways, considering he used to be a Black Panther and all. I like Sam Jackson a lot. He's easy to make fun of, and he often makes fun of himself these days, but the man can be really convincing when he wants to be. It's a damn shame he might not be coming back as Nick Fury in the upcoming Avengers movies. Anyway, he's perfect for this film, since a pissed off, whitey-hating Samuel L. Jackson who's mean to your friends, strips in your backyard, and happens to be a freaking cop is, indeed, the ultimate neighborly nightmare. Patrick Wilson's character gets some good lines in to, and there's good chemistry between him and his wife, played by Kerry Washington. At least, there is before the tension starts tearing them apart, which is kind of the point, I suppose. Anyway, the flick is worth a rental.
This blog's been pretty darned movie-centric so far, and there's a couple of reasons for that. One is that movies are generally one big story, easy to form an opinion on and write it out. The other is that the majority of our readership right now is made up of personal friends, most of whom are just gonna zone out or stop reading entirely if we start writing about the Justice Society or something. We're trying to look ahead, however, and in addition to pimping this blog everywhere we can to drum up readership, we're going to trust in 1. our own abilities to make each post worth reading regardless of topic and 2. the intelligence and open-mindedness of you, our friends, so that we can start branching out and discussing a wider range of things.
Our posts each night largely depend on what we've read or watched and are excited about right at that moment, but a few things we're planning on covering soon include the X-Men crossover Messiah Complex, The two collections of Madman I've been able to find, Abe Sapien : The Drowning, and the Japanese novel Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. We'll also get around to reviewing some movies we watched recently but before creating this blog, like Dario Argento's Phenomenon and Guy Ritchie's Rock'nRolla (which is out next Tuesday, and brrrrROTHER, you better buy two copies...one for watching and one for having sex with. It's that good). Oh, and if all goes well we will get to watch the Hulk vs Wolverine/Thor dvd tomorrow night, which features Deadpool, which is awesome. Speaking of comic book movies, I'm really hoping the downhill slide hasn't happened already. The last couple of years have been really great for geek oriented cinema. As a matter of fact, the only really disappointing recent comic/cartoon/videogame movie I can think of off the top of my head was Spiderman 3. The new Incredible Hulk was pretty good (which is all anyone expected, I think), Hellboy 2, V For Vendetta and Speed Racer were all underrated, in my opinion. Then, of course, you had the big ones like The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and 300 (which I thought was just ok, but I can't say it wasn't successful).
However, The Spirit totally flopped. G.I.Joe, Street Fighter : Legend of Chun Lee and especially Dragonball all sure seem to be shaping up into huge piles of crap. Sorry, I know most of them aren't even close to coming out yet, but man, they look awful. I know Wolverine will do well, and it looks entertaining enough ( ironically, Logan's solo movie seems to be giving as much or more of the spot light to other mutants than any of the X-Men films did).
The big one to look out for is Watchmen, of course, and I'm (very) cautiously (very, very) optimistic about it. If done right, it could really break away whatever doubts the general public still has about 'funnybooks' (it's amazing how many people scoff at comic books while counting so many of the movies listed above as favorites. Also, infuriating) and it could be the one that finally brings about an influx of new readers to the medium.
Let's face it, most people read little if at all these days. Movies like Iron Man and 300 can be great and fun, but they're also eye-candy, which always draws in the idiots. No matter how many times Joe Blow Douchebag high-fives his bro-hams because a dude's arm just totally flew across the screen, he's never going to go buy the graphic novel. He's an unrealistic demographic to shoot for. But who we can get are the semi-nerds, and that means proving not only that comics can be fun and accessible, but also intelligent. We need the kids who got turned on to reading by the Harry Potter series to feel like trying comics is a logical next step from that, instead of a step backward. We need the girls who obsess over Buffy and Lost to feel like they can pick up a comic and find that same thrill and attachment that comes from following a TV series in those pages. And the great thing is that they CAN, most of them just don't know it yet.
My concern isn't that watchmen will be really awful or painful to watch. The trailers alone are little mini visual spectacles. My concern is that it'll go the V For Vendetta route. Now, I liked V quite a bit, but there's something very weird about it...it's far from action packed, there's little in the way of comic relief, and yet it's still very, very dumbed down from the comic. Why? If you're not gonna give the general public a rip-roaring superhero popcorn movie anyway, why not give us geeks the smart, story-driven V film we wanted to see?
I don't even have a problem with the action being ratcheted up, really. I don't remember in the Watchmen book if we actually saw Nite-Owl and Silk Spectre beating on baddies inside the prison, but they were certainly there during the riot. Sure, let's watch The Comedian fight his way through some Viet Cong, let's see Rorschach rough up some informants. Just give us The Watchmen in between all that, ok? Definitely click on these pics to see them full size, btw, they're pretty cool.
Well, this was supposed to be a list of random thoughts, and it's turned into one small review and a bigass rant. A really dry, serious rant, right after I promised to keep things entertaining. Okay, okay, here's your random thoughts, get off my damn back.
*Videogames are certainly the most technologically advanced form of entertainment there is, right? Well, I keep up with several blogs, and scan the interwebs daily for info on upcoming movies, books and comics, but I just realized...I get almost ALL of my video game news from Game Informer. Yeah, one of those paper things that come in the mail. Magerines or whatever. Weird.
*The cool thing about having a brother that lives with you, is that anything he owns, you own. And the cool thing about your live-in brother getting a girlfriend is that she's always giving him awesome (and sometimes hard to find) things like Battle Royale, Final Fantasy games, and a special edition of Pulp Fiction. Keep this up, Mia, and maybe I will agree to meet your children in the future. Once.
* On the subject of video games, one of my favorite things to do is create my own characters in one. You can do this in a lot of games, but the best I've found by far is Soul Caliber 4. I strongly recommend it if you happen to be a creative type with a bounty of characters in your head just waiting to get out. If they're attempting to get out with an assortment of bladed weapons, even better, because armed close-up combat is Soul Caliber's whole thing. On youtube you can see a lot of great pre-existing characters that people have made in the game, but for me, Soul Caliber 4 will always be The Alexander Academy the game : Welcome to BattleSchool.
Well, that's about all I got in me for today, folks. Enjoy a couple more (gorgeous) paintings from Jason Shawn Alexander, artist of Abe Sapien : The Drowning, which I am very much looking forward to reading.