Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Legend of G.I. Joe

I'm not entirely certain why I decided to do this, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Follow this link to my Olshevsky-esque index to the G.I. Joe comic book series. Feel free to let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Go Team Venture!

Tonight, I finally picked up Season 1 of The Venture Bros. It's been a while since I've watched the show, but I had forgotten just how great this show was. Right now, the episode is "Eeny, Meeny, Miney... Magic!" featuring the first appearance of Dr. Orpheus.


"I dare you to make less sense!"

Monday, January 28, 2008

B-I-N-G-O

The man, the legend that is Chris Karath has put together State of the Union Bingo cards. Looking forward to a bit of political nuttiness tonight unless I suddenly receive a phone call to go out to dinner ;-)

Saving Time in a Bottle

Over the past couple of weeks, Siskoid has been writing essays about superhero continuity. Today's entry builds on past concepts to create a rather ambitious model, which is difficult to argue because it's so spot-on.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Juno

I caught Juno again last night and loved it as much the second time as I did the first. Is it worthy of the Oscar nods it received? I'm not sure, but then again, the Oscars are a pretty lame barometer as far as film quality goes in the first place.

The majority of reviewers, according to Rotten Tomatoes, seem to like the film with the others being the typical "I hate everything that shows on more than 50 screens" hipster-snob crowd with a few jabs from folks who believe abortion is the only sane option with an unplanned pregnancy.

The film, despite it's Clerks/Gilmore Girls-style dialogue, has an underlying humanity throughout. And although I'm a bit of an android where sentimental stuff is concerned, I appreciated the examination of love in many of its myriad forms. Add in an awesome cast and you have a really great film.

I have no idea when the DVD will be released, but it looks like it will be after the Academy Awards Show (which will hopefully not happen—Viva WGA!). So, in lieu of watching it at home, catch this as it's playing in theaters now or add it to the Netflix queue. In any case, Juno is good stuff.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fan-Tastic

James Cawley, the producer and star of the Star Trek: New Voyages series of fan films has landed a role in the upcoming Star Trek movie. Congratulations James!

One station did all this


A fire at the Clarendon station has effectively killed my commute this morning. I'll be lucky to get to work by noon.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hawk-Aaaaaaa!!!!


I thought you guys might be interested in a few stills from Justice League: The New Frontier. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Weekend Recap: Jumbo Edition

This past weekend was spent in fabulous Williamsburg, Virginia, where I attended MarsCon as a guest along with my fellow cast members of Luna-C. Despite not being totally "on," we had decent performances on Friday and Saturday nights. The audience seemed to like our new sketches, so it looks like we'll be folding them into the Farpoint show next month.

I was rather surprised that I didn't purchase very much during the course of the weekend that didn't involve alcohol or food. The only things bought in the dealer room were copies of Neil Gaiman's Books of Magic (which eerily predated Harry Potter by nearly a decade) and Superman: Red Son (a "what if" story of baby Superman landing in Cold War Russia instead of Kansas) from the very friendly folks of Creatures 'n Crooks Bookshoppe.

Over the course of the weekend, I met a couple of guys named Will and Josh only to learn later that both of them had been contestants on Beauty and the Geek. I didn't get a chance to talk to them about their experiences on the show and why they thought they'd fare better than their previous counterparts but hopefully I'll run into them some other time.

The rest of the weekend was spent goofing around, drinking, and watching stuff. Boy oh boy did I watch stuff...

Star Trek Trailer

In front of just about every copy of Cloverfield playing in theaters now is the teaser trailer for the new Star Trek movie (trailer available at the link). Teaser is definitely the keyword here. There are no spoilers unless you count guys welding the U.S.S. Enterprise together as a spoiler. This is all done to voiceovers of JFK, Scott Carpenter, Neil Armstrong, and Leonard Nimoy. It's a really nice attempt to evoke the sense of wonder of NASA's Golden Age, which was running parallel to the original Star Trek's television run.

Unfortunately, the rabid Trekkies began frothing at the mouth nearly immediately because "the engines are too big" and the ship is being built on Earth and other assorted nonsense. I truly hope this film does well if only to shut these people the hell up. I'll be there opening weekend.

Justice League: The New Frontier

I haven't a clue how anyone got ahold of this with still a month to go before it hits store shelves, but have it this mystery gentleman did. I've already pre-ordered this but I just couldn't wait. Adapted from Darwyn Cooke's terrific miniseries, this is nothing short of awesome. Some elements of the story were omitted for the sake of time but it's a very faithful transition from page to screen. I was awestruck watching it. It genuinely captured the spirit and voices of these characters as Cooke managed to do in his miniseries.

This was the first comic-based direct-to-video project I was even remotely excited about. It's good to see that my enthusiasm wasn't wasted. Now I really want to watch it again.

Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, Part 1

Billed as the fan film produced by professional actors, the first part isn't too bad. The basic premise is that an old foe of Captain Kirk is still pissed off 40 years later. So pissed off is he that he travels back in time to prevent Kirk's birth, which results in a markedly different, not to mention brutal, universe taking shape.

The acting is reasonably sound but the direction on this could have really used some work. I know it's a totally different story when you pony up your own dough to produce something, but I can't help but think that a little more rehearsal time might have helped. Don't get me wrong, it's not terrible. The production just felt a bit wooden to me. Hopefully, this is just a peculiarity of the first part. I haven't looked around to see the reactions of other fans, but if the dickotry surrounding the trailer is any indication, it's probably best that I didn't.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Spider-Man: Threat or Menace?

The comic shipped a couple of weeks ago but the Associated Press, as timely as ever, decides it's a slow enough news day to report about the recent Spider-Man storyline "One More Day". Sure, my fellow bloggers have already talked about it, but it's my turn now.

Storywise, the premise is that Aunt May is shot by an assassin's bullet meant for Peter Parker. Conveniently, none of the superhero community can help him (we'll come back to this later). After exhausting every means available, Mephisto (Marvel's on-again-off-again personification of Satan) suddenly appears and offers to save Aunt May if both Peter and Mary Jane allow the demon to erase their marriage and all memory of it.

Editorially, the whole thing can be summed up in a single sentence: End Spidey's marriage quickly (sorry for linking to Wizard magazine).

Playing devil's advocate for a moment (crap, sorry about the pun), I can see what Marvel Editorial Joe Quesada was going for here. 30-plus years ago, readers were drawn to Peter Parker as the love-lorn loser who struggled to pay his bills, do right by Aunt May, and attempt to shrug off J. Jonah Jameson's scathing Daily Bugle editorials about his costumed identity, all while righting wrongs as Spider-Man. Well, the love-lorn part went away when Peter and Mary Jane were married in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 (1987). Somewhat recent events in Marvel's shared comic book universe (the "Civil War" storyline) removed both the financial problems and polished the hero's image. Spider-Man had, for the most part, evolved beyond the trappings that plagued him throughout much of his career. Getting the character back to "his roots" isn't so much a bad thing, but the execution of "One More Day" leaves a lot to be desired:
  1. As my friend Chris Karath pointed out, Marvel already rebooted Spider-Man to his original situation when it released Ultimate Spider-Man back in 2000. Sure there are some tweaks here and there, but the basic premise of starting over was accomplished and accomplished quite well. The only sticking point (and barely one at that) is that Ultimate Spider-Man takes place in a parallel universe.
  2. In the Wizard article I linked to above (don't make me link a second time, I felt dirty linking to it in the first place), Quesada claims that "90 percent of writers and editors at Marvel think the marriage was a mistake." Is this a recent assessment or has this been the case for the past 20 years? If it was such a bad scenario, why did it remain the status quo for so long?
  3. In the story, Peter Parker visits none other than Tony Stark (Iron Man), Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, and Dr. Strange, all in hopes of saving Aunt May. All of them say there's nothing they can do. Umm... hello? This is the Marvel friggin' Universe, where miracles are pulled out of people's butts all the time. Dr. Strange was a surgeon once upon a time plus he's a sorcerer now and he can't save an elderly woman from a gunshot wound? Reed Richards doesn't have any super high-tech surgical devices just lying around the Baxter Building next to his time machines? Then again, this is the same universe full of miracles where 9/11 happened (a ginormous can of worms unto itself in the Inexplicable Department).
  4. Pretty much everyone else has mentioned the WTF that is the reappearance of Harry Osborne, who died back in Spectacular Spider-Man #200 (1993). Yes, that story occurred within the last 20 years but I don't recall Peter's being married to Mary Jane as having very much to do with his death.
  5. The writer of the story, J. Michael Straczynski (Mr. Babylon 5 himself), has publicly aired his protest at how things were handled with this storyline. Nothing specific about what he's protesting, but dagnabbit he's not happy about... something. Mr. Straczynski is a decent writer and has always made himself accessible to fans but his statement contributes almost nothing to the discussion about what's good or ill about the story.
This attempt at retroactive continuity is the worst kind imaginable—the kind that's ham-fisted into existence without much forethought. A two-panel "explanation" of the new status quo appeared at Marvel.com concluding with this piece of brilliance (sarcasm mine):

Any questions? Don't ask us—we're new here ourselves! Anyway, the past is the past, so don't look back—look forward, to the next great epoch in the ongoing saga of Spider-Man: Brand New Day!

Marvel Comics: Building on the past when it's convenient and forgetting it when it's not.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes

After learning of the foreseeable end to my current job, I came in to work today with a big case of the Mondays. I definitely did not want to be there.

After finishing up the breakfast of champions that is black coffee and a granola bar, I received a telephone call from a recruiter. After finishing that call, I received another call from another recruiter. After that call, I received another call, but this time it was from a hiring manager who hoped to interview me today.

Seeing as how it was going to be a lackluster day anyway, I went to the interview. Without going into detail (I don't want to jinx it), I hope to hear something soon.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Competition Was Tough

This morning, I was greeted by my fellow co-workers not with "hello" or "good morning" but "we lost." The company I'm currently working for lost the re-compete for the contract. There's a 45-day transition period, which gives me a little time to find another position somewhere but this is damn annoying.

You see, we were constantly teased about the state of the re-compete throughout the month of December. About once a week we'd be told that a decision would be coming on a particular day only to have the agency pull a Lucy Van Pelt with a proverbial football. While I appreciate not receiving the news the week before Christmas, I feel that the constant teasing was just as bad if not worse.

Anyway, my perfect start to the weekend begins with job hunting.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Down on the Farm

With last night running a tad late, the family decided to stop at Bob Evans for dinner. Normally, I adore Bob Evans with its sausage-laden goodness but last night really tested our greasy, forbidden love.

For those not in the know, I'm trying to lose 40 pounds by the end of the year. I managed to lose 30 last year after changing my eating habits but shedding the 40 will require diet and exercise. I'm slowly working toward it with an 1,800-calorie diet (which I fall short of most days) and taking the stairs at work. I hope to be able to knock out a couple of miles on a treadmill before too long.

Anyhoo, I was trying to figure out what I could order that wasn't totally saturated in fat (believe it or not, the salads are covered in ranch dressing or their hot bacon dressing bacon grease) and settled on the Border Scramble Omelette, substituting wheat toast for the biscuits. The portion size was huge but I ate it anyway because I'm a moron.

Normally, the atmosphere is pretty quiet as we tend to go during the week, leaving the weekends for the cast of thousands populating the City Where Nobody Works. However, we happened to be seated next to three tables where everyone seemed to know each other. This did not become apparent until halfway through our meal. I don't mind people talking, but it does get annoying when the talking stops and the shouting begins. Use your indoor voices, people!

Oh, and it didn't help that our waiter disappeared for half an hour to make a birthday sundae for a little girl at one of the nearby tables. Kids love ice cream, especially on their birthday, but does it truly take a half hour to put ice cream in a cup? Needless to say, we hightailed it as soon as humanly possible.

Arriving home, Em walked the dogs, Bug went to bed, and I spent a couple of hours with The Dog Whisperer before I gave up and surrendered to another bad night's worth of sleep.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I've been branded


Found this stuck to my cubicle today. Thanks nutty co-workers!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Short Review of Spider-Man 3

Over the weekend, I watched the Spider-Man 3 DVD I bought back in November. The movie isn't too bad but the goofy dance sequences and the news station exposition were pretty lame. I liked the character of the Sandman quite a bit and was hoping he'd get a bit of happiness before the end of the film.

And yes, my fellow comic book nerds, the origins and such weren't exactly like they were in the comic. I don't mind a bit of deviation so long as the basic established gist of the characters are there. To all of you comparing this film to X-Men 3 in terms of "teh suck," you can bite me.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Something Mangled, Something Blue

Adding to Friday's discussion of the Blu-Ray format, here's a demonstration of the disc's durable coating. The disc manages to withstand a green scrubby, a ballpoint pen, and a pizza cutter.

Bite My Shiny Metal...

A lad in New Zealand built his own life-size Bender robot that contains beer brewing apparatus! This guy also built a MAME cabinet in the shape of the TARDIS. Some days I wish I were a bigger nerd.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Blue Wind


Warner Home Video announced today that they will be Blu-Ray only as of May. This decision will bring the count of exclusive-to-Blu-Ray content to 70%. It wouldn't surprise me if the other 30% (i.e., Paramount, Universal, and a few others) followed suit by the end of September. Looks like I'll be buying a Blu-Ray player and waiting on Star Trek to be released in that format.

Something Fun - Random Album Cover

I snagged this meme from a few folks over at the LiveJournal...

Instructions:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

2. http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

3. http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Add the text to the pic and then post it for all to enjoy.

Here's what I ended up with:

Open Letter to My Fellow Commuters

Dear fellow Metro riders,

I know there were a number of interior seats on the train this morning but at 6-feet, 3-inches tall, I don't fit into them. I could lose all the weight humanly possible and still not fit because the seats are placed entirely too close together and my legs are too long. If you could please not look at me like a moron because I'm not sitting, I'd really appreciate it.

Oh, and for the guy the other day who made a point of blocking the platform so I couldn't get around and therefore, almost get hit by a train: You're a douchewaffle.

Thanks,

De

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Voyage of the Damned

I know I'm a week behind everyone else that managed to get their reviews of this finished hours after broadcast, but what's another opinion in the grand scheme of the Internet, eh?

For those of you who (pardon the pun) have not seen the newest Doctor Who installment, "Voyage of the Damned" (aka Christmas Special 2007), please enjoy this picture of the Doctor at the ATM and go no further lest ye be spoiled:

Okay, it's Bullet Time...
  1. A spaceship Titanic was a clever way to tease viewers. I know I couldn't have the only one who thought along the lines of "yet another Titanic story," especially since James Cameron's film drove that concept into the ground. It wouldn't surprise me if the concept was a gentle nod to the Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic.
  2. Hated the stereotyping of Morvin and Foon, but I loved how the Doctor made a point to join them. Because we all know that when you're with the Doctor, cool stuff happens :)
  3. Astrid (as played by pop singer Kylie Minogue) was sweet and adorable, just the sort of woman the Doctor would cavort with. However, we knew that her desire to join him in the TARDIS would ring hollow since Kylie has other things to deal with in her life.
  4. Mr. Copper was awesome. Loved his misinformed history lessons about the Christmas holiday. Now that he's on Earth, I hope the Doctor or the Torchwood folks run into him again.
  5. Bannakaffalatta is one of the coolest cyborgs ever.
  6. While I didn't mind the whole "Poseidon Adventure in space" motif, the cliches were becoming a bit tired after a bit.
  7. Despite already knowing the outcome, I couldn't help but feel bad for the Doctor when his plan to save Astrid failed.
  8. The less said about Max Capricorn the better.

Overall, I liked the episode despite the unevenness of it. The Doctor's interactions with people, both new and familiar, are always a delight to watch. Now we have to wait until March before Series Four begins. In the meantime, we'll have Torchwood Series Two which begins at the end of the month.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tabula Rasa

Here we are: a new year. 2008. The chronal odometer has rolled over, so we now start a new chapter of our lives. Blabitty-blabbitty- blah.

I'm tired, folks. Truly tired. It feels like I've been treading water for the past six months with every single day containing something that Must Be Done be it working, family obligations, errands, shopping, chores, etc. Hell, even the holidays felt like work this time around instead of the relatively relaxing respites they're supposed to be. I want to take a vacation in the worst kind of way, but there's still so much that has to be done.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Eve 2007

After the general suckery I managed to encounter in the single day that was today, I could be kicked in the balls tomorrow and still begin 2008 better than I ended 2007.

Hanging out at home for the rest of the night with Hollywood After Dark featuring hilarious commentary by the Film Crew and more Rue McLanahan skin than is allowed by the Geneva Convention.

EDIT: I'm not sure I could watch this again without self-inflicting permanent blindness. This was one of the most vile things ever produced on this planet. Eww. Just eww. I need some ice cream.

Oh, and Happy New Year to you all.

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