Monthly Archives: June 2012
One day, under the watchful eyes of good men like Christopher Nolan and Joss Whedon, there won’t be any such thing as a bad comic book movie. Movie studios will remember that there are lots of comic book writers out there that would probably enjoy writing a film script or two, everything will translate perfectly to the big screen, and the Internet will go out of business due to a shortage of nerd-on-nerd flame wars. But there will be those of us who still remember the dark times, when studio execs dumped our favorite characters unceremoniously into a meat grinder and we dutifully choked down whatever came out the other end, pausing only occasionally to sob uncontrollably into our oversized foam Hulk Hands. For those who will grow up never knowing, I commit this list to the Internet to commemorate the suffering of those who came before. For the record: this list consists of only movies that I have seen. Even I won’t sit through everything. Yes, I have seen Spider-Man: The Deadly Dust, the 60′s Captain America movie, the made-for-TV Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD starring David Hasselhoff, and Superman IV. None of those are on this list, these movies are all worse. Also not on the list, The Incredible Hulk Returns, which is where the Thor picture up top comes from. I loved that movie.
The first annual Arcade Armageddon was a video game tournament and concert party extravaganza that happened this past weekend. For $15, you could enjoy an all day party, starting at noon, with eight hours of preliminary tournament rounds of three games: Soul Calibur V for the X-Box 360, Mario Kart 64, and Smash Brothers Brawl for the Wii. Tournament entry was $15 per game. Prizes included money from the pool of entry fees, some anime gift bags, and something you’ll read about later. To entice a larger crowd, the event organizers wisely chose to bring in some related music acts. That said, I really only wanted to see the Minibosses live, but I decided to go with an open mind to check out the rest of the games and the bands. Since I went with my brother, at the very least we could hang out and laugh at some of the stupidity. Fortunately, there was much more in store.
What follows is an analysis I wrote tonight for my American Cinema class regarding Terminator 2 as it relates to science fiction genre conventions. Participation in this class could generously be referred to as “woeful”, and rather than launch my work pointlessly into the ether, I thought it might be fun to share it with readers here. This is by no means a complete synopsis of the film, I could talk for days about this one. Rather it focuses on two or three genre conventions, and approaches the story from that standpoint. My cap for this assignment was also three double-spaced pages, or about 800 words. I came in just under the line. Imagine, struggling to edit DOWN to a cap for a college paper rather than arbitrarily ballooning out sentences to meet some ridiculous minimum requirement. It was a pleasure to write. Quoted and page-referenced lines are taken from the textbook American Cinema, American Culture, by John Belton. It’s a good read, I recommend picking it up if you get a chance.
Isn’t it kind of late for movie figures from The Avengers, or are they just early for the DVD release? Whatever the case, there are 6″ The Avengers movie figures now available exclusively at Walmart for your purchasing enjoyment. The lineup includes Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, and Loki. What, no Black Widow? I know they say female figures don’t sell, but I’m sure a lot of people would like to have a little Scarlett Johansson to put on their desks.
I’m not sure if you know this, but I love to design, and from time to time I get the itch to design a new wallpaper. If you check out my deviantART profile you’ll notice that I don’t release new designs often and that most of my designs are very minimal in nature. Don’t get me wrong, I love the use of a subtle gradient or drop shadow as much as the next bloke; but, more often than not I really love simplicity. A few days ago, I was playing around with a two shades of gray (inspired by OS X Lion) and thought to myself, “I wonder what it would look like if I made a really minimal wallpaper featuring superhero logos?” Read the rest of this entry
Designed by MOTUC brand manager Scott “Toyguru” Neitlich, the 3rd figure in the 30th anniversary subline is The Mighty Spector. This one didn’t seem to go over well when it was revealed, but after Draego-Man any new character would look unimpressive. After Scott explained that this was the design he submitted to the 80s MOTU Create-A-Character contest as a child, it started to grow on me.
There have been some big steps into the Sci-fi world lately; a world I really love and enjoy pretty much no matter what. This has got me thinking (dangerous I know) about some of my favorite sci-fi universes from the past. Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Star Trek, Masters of Orion, Firefly, and countless others have haunted my imagination for decades; constantly popping up with another wistful daydream of warp drive and the possibilities it might entail. There is one sci-fi property that was a more recent addition to my mental dreamscape; I’m talking about Mass Effect. I was late to this party (didn’t get an X-Box for a while so I was out of the loop for the first one and just didn’t bother with the second when it hit PS3) but have completely enjoyed everything about it I’ve come across (yeah I even liked the ending to 3 so there). While I still wait for the promised DLC to “finish” the story I’ve been musing about what it is exactly that I enjoyed so much.
Ridley Scott’s Prometheus opened in US theaters this past weekend, launching another salvo in 2012′s remarkably substantial summer onslaught. As a massive fan of the Alien franchise (especially the first two but even the second two), I’ve been eagerly awaiting this movie ever since Scott let slip that it was to be a pseudo-prequel to that series. Was it worth the wait? Does Prometheus walk in the mighty footsteps of Alien, or does it stomp aimlessly around in the ill-fitting clown shoes of Alien 3? I’ll get to that, but before the review proper I’d like to take a brief moment to welcome R-rated sci-fi back to the American box office. I can barely remember the last time I didn’t have to grit my teeth through a terrible CGI sidekick’s slapstick routine, or the last time I got out of a film in this genre without going to Target and seeing an aisle filled with already clearance-priced toys that were somehow an essential part of the marketing strategy. It’s been so long since I could tell what was going on in a sci-fi action scene without having to decipher the nauseatingly quick cuts necessitated when a director has to show the monster decapitating a few soldiers without accidentally getting any blood in the frame. So for that, Prometheus, thank you and welcome back. Ridley Scott and especially 20th Century Fox deserve a round of applause for this move, and lets all hope it pays off so it won’t be the last time this happens.
I think I can be forgiven for letting a movie like Men in Black 3 slip through my otherwise tight nerd screening net; I mean hey we all saw the second one right? Regardless my lack in diligence about keeping up with the secret government organizations that patrol and monitor alien activity on Earth I did manage to make it to a theater and see it. I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised. I suppose this little bit of sci-fi comic nerdery will have to hold me over until I get to slide my eyeballs all up and down Promethus’ sexy self later. In the interim, let us sit down and have a bit of a chat about MIB3 and what made it not terrible.
In my endeavors to find the nerdy corners of Sin City it became clear I would need some help; a guide of sorts to direct me to the local flavors a humble tourist might overlook. This led me to contact a local expert; in the year or so I’ve been writing and telling you about all occurrences of nerdiness I have been lucky to run across some of the best events and people I’ve ever known. When I tracked down a local expert I wasn’t fully aware of what I was getting into; it has been more than an honor to sit down and chat with one of the most truly righteous people I’ve ever met. She is a mom, an entrepeneur, a nerd, a writer, a costume maker, and a very nice lady. I’m talking about Natalie Midkiff; keep that name in your head this woman is going places.