Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Microsoft to Buy Actvision-Blizzard for a Bucket of Money

Remember last week when I talked about how Take-Two acquiring Zynga was a big deal in terms of video-game acquisitions? Well, now that pales to how Microsoft is going to buy Activision-Blizzard for $68.7 billion. That's a bucketful of money. Activision-Blizzard had been going through a ton of made-public struggles and apparently the fact it is a bit weakened prompted Microsoft to want to swoop in, buy it, and most likely kick beleaguered CEO Bobby Kotick to the curb. Sony takes a hit here, with Microsoft's buying spree really giving it more power in its effort to create a, "Netflix/Metaverse/whatever," of games. 

With this acquisition, the largest gaming company is still China-based Tencent, then Sony, and now Microsoft in third. All these mergers and acquisitions make me think the big dogs are going to keep gobbling-up smaller properties and I do wonder what Sony may do in response. Looking at all this I just simply think, "Trouble brewing," and how much trouble will remain to be seen.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Television Tuesday: The Clayton Echard Season of, "The Bachelor," Has Me Wondering What We Did to Deserve Such Punishment

"The Bachelor," and, "The Bachelorette," have good seasons and bad seasons. Oftentimes a season rises and falls based on who the actual bachelor/bachelorette is. Sometimes we get a fantastic personality who we root for to actually find love and other times it is a total slog of a season. We are two episodes into the Clayton Echard season of, "The Bachelor," and all I can do is hope things improve.

Clayton finished eighth in the most recent season where Michelle sent him home before a whole chunk of other men. Do you know who would've been a better bachelor than Clayton? Basically any of her top 4 (besides who she picked, Nayte, as they're still happily together). We have Rodney just sitting here being sweet, amazing, caring, and actually sporting a personality and now we just have to hope he's on Bachelor in Paradise this Summer. Seriously, look at who we could've had:

Why couldn't we get Rodney?

Now know that we got Clayton, someone whose entire personality seems to be that new host Jesse Palmer refers to him as, "Genuine." Oh, and he played football in the past and wants kids. He's bland, like if you sat down to a meal and started chewing cardboard. Thank God the ladies are interesting, with the usual mix of sweet and vicious (that should be a hot sauce flavor). I wish Clayton were more interesting as his hometown of Eureka is just 20 minutes from where I live, so I should support someone local, but he's just kind of...there. He listlessly wanders around the room like an abandoned spaceship floating through nothingness and all the women in this metaphor are space bandits swarming him as if he were holding a big treasure. Anything at all intriguing on this show comes from the contestants and I kind of get what one who got sent home the first night for talking smack about Clayton was getting at, he's just a bit boring.

Again, Clayton is a perfectly nice guy and he is extremely...genuine. He just is kind of boring for, "The Bachelor," and it hasn't been this drab a season since Colton was on, and Colton's season only became retroactively more interesting when he came out as gay (and it gave us Demi, one of my favorite participants on the franchise ever). Maybe these two episodes have not set the tone for the season and it will, in fact, be the most dramatic season ever as we are always promised with every new lead. I have concerns right now, however. We'll see next week (this week there wasn't a show due to football) if things can turn around.

2 out of 5 stars (for the first two episodes).

Monday, January 17, 2022

Television Tuesday a Day in Advance: That Moon Knight Trailer Was Cool

Just a bit ago today the full trailer for the upcoming Disney+ show, "Moon Knight," dropped. I have been very excited about this show as Moon Knight is my favorite character. Having watched the trailer, it looks promising! They seem to be keeping the elements of his personality disorder but are bringing in issues with sleep as well. There is a bit of humor but it is a little serious and mysterious too--not super quippy like some Marvel stuff. The outfit has a nice look as a bit of a twist on the classic getup (no Mr. Knight style for now). Here's the trailer so you can watch it:

See what I mean? Oscar Issac is a great actor so I know he'll do a fantastic job, and I'm a fan of Ethan Hawke so his presence is definitely appreciated too. I look forward to when the first episode comes out on March 30th!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

MLK's dream of equality isn't dead, but it has been through a lot these past years, especially. Our nation is horrifically divided, a bigot former President continues to be awful, the GOP acts like trying to pass voting rights bills is a terrible idea (which it is for them as if more people can legally vote then they'll lose). America is struggling a lot, and things can look quite awful at times, but there are those who continue to work to improve things against all the obstacles faced. We only can strive to make the World a better place and work our hardest to fight injustice.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Happy 74th Birthday, John Carpenter!

When you're making a list of the best directors of films one name that should always be on that list is John Carpenter. "Halloween," "The Thing," "Escape From New York," "They Live," and I'm even a fan of his, "Vampires," too. He has so many great movies he has made and he's skilled at producing music too. John Carpenter turns 74 years old today and I wanted to wish him a happy birthday! He's somewhat retired from making movies but has been playing video-games since the 1990s and still enjoys them--so that and still releasing music has been a focus of his lately it seems. Happy birthday, John!

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Oh Bleeding Cool, Bless Your Heart

Bleeding Cool is a comic news site that has at times broken major stories and some articles there are quite good, I will admit that. That said, the site has some of the most annoying ads you'll ever see on the internet and they at times go with the most insanely clickbait articles that you can only just sigh. Hence, I am proud to announce Bleeding Cool just made the hard-hitting expose of a piece titled "Did Harley Quinn #4 Feature First Appearance Of Poison Ivy's… Bush?" I've linked to the article if you really want to know, but the answer is obviously, "No." Also, they forget a, "The," in the headline. 

Clearly, there is some shading in the comic, it's not anything related to pubic hair (it is a shadow or some underwear). I enjoy cheesecake or erotic comics, I also enjoy comics that want to be taken seriously as deep and introspective works of art. However, when a comic has some innocent shading, it is just dumb to assume it is anything else. I'd tell Bleeding Cool, "Come on, you're better than this," but they actually aren't. They're little scamps for better or worse.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Kendrick Lamar's Next Project is a Comedy Movie

Kendrick Lamar is an amazing rapper with verses that offer political, social, and personal insights that astound while also being infinitely listenable. Matt Stone and Trey Parker are the duo behind, "South Park," and can be quite funny if often lacking in much subtly. They are all going to be working together with writer Vernon Chatman to craft a comedic movie. It sounds random, but why not? I'm not sure of the title this movie will have but the plot is summarized as such, "Past and present come to a head when a young Black man who is interning as a slave re-enactor at a living history museum discovers that his white girlfriend’s ancestors once owned his."

Okay, so that sounds incredibly weird and will probably be extremely over-the-top. I could see Lamar's razor wit mixed with the, "Give no F's," attitude of Stone and Parker possibly resulting in something solid. As they all work with the skilled Chatman to craft this flick it hopefully won't just be offensive for the sake of offense but make us think too. I could see this being a hot mess if Stone and Parker don't check their privilege, but the involvement of Lamar gives me a healthy dose of optimism this could work out into something thoughtful as well as funny.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Juni Ba's New Comic, "Monkey Meat," is a Surreal Trip

Creator Juni Ba gives us something very weird with, "Monkey Meat." A new comic being published by Image about an island owned by a company up to all kinds of nefarious activities, it is a bit of a satire of heartless corporations, a smidgen of an adventure comic, full of wild artwork, and a good time. The mysterious Monkey Meat Company with its redacted owner does more than sell cans of monkey meat, it seems interested in destroying anything that stands in its way of making a buck on anything from the aforementioned meats to human souls. 

Ba's artwork is amazing, with his loose and cartoony style giving a bit of pep to the admittedly depressing story of a big business doing what they do best--being evil. Apparently, every issue will be standalone to a degree, as this is a bit of a one-person anthology where every tale focuses on a different aspect of this Monkey Meat Company. The whole thing is bizarre. I quite liked it.

5 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Check Out the Classic Comic Collector on YouTube!

I've written about awesome YouTubers before such as my friend Alex the Comic Hoarder, and now I have another cool person to discuss. Scott AKA The Classic Comic Collector. He does all kinds of neat comic videos and I have been especially interested in his quest to go from a bunch of dollar bin books to an, "All-Star Comics," #8 via solely doing trades. He recently posted a video about his 4th/5th rounds of trading-up to hopefully eventually get his grail. It's neat to think he'll go from some dollar bins titles to something so big, and he's been doing pretty well so far. I actually just did a trade with him that he'll talk about in a future video when he discusses later rounds! I'd recommend giving Scott's videos a view and subscribing!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Television Tuesday: The New, "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer," is a Hot Mess and I'm Here for It

Ya'll remember, "Joe Millionaire," back in 2003 (if you were born then)? It had all these ladies vying for the love of a millionaire but the twist was that he lacked anywhere near that many digits in his bank account? It had a sequel season nobody cared about and then was put in the franchise graveyard. Well, you can't keep a (good?) idea dead, so now we have, "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer." This time things are different, however. There are two men and the ladies competing for their love are informed one is worth more than 10 million while the other is not. We viewers know the guy with the cattle ranch is rich and the other guy who has a construction company just is financially stable (so it's not like one is flat-broke), but the ladies have to keep guessing and determine if they're after love, money, or maybe a bit of both. It's disgusting. I love it.

Let's start with the biggest flaw this season, the actual contestants. When you watch, "The Bachelor," or other shows there was always standout personalities who grab your attention from the beginning. The women on, "Joe Millionaire," are basically not young enough for, "Love Island," or interesting enough for, "The Bachelor." Some hint they might just be after money in a sly way, others seem genuinely sweet, but we lack any big, "Oh, I love her/oh she's a villain," participants. Frankly, the two guys are actually more interesting, and just watching them interact and be friendly bros is a highlight. Steven (the rich rancher) and Kurt (the less wealthy construction guy) are both quite funny, laid-back, pleasant, and handsome (Kurt may not be rich but I am comfortable enough with my sexuality to admit he is fine). The lack of much of a pulse from the females at first was concerning and I didn't know if I'd be into this show. Then the dates happened.

Kurt and Steven.

Oh man, the dates in the final third of the 2-hour premiere are what sealed the deal for me with liking this show. I wasn't sure if this version of, "Joe Millionaire," was trying to be a serious meditation on love versus money or a hilarious mess. It was failing at being the former but then it did a lovely job being the latter when the ladies were split into two groups--one that went hokny-tonk dancing at a bar and another assortment who attended a cotillion of sorts. Steven did the honky-tonk date and everyone had a fantastic time dancing, drinking, and then swimming in the pool back at the mansion. Meanwhile, Kurt headed the cotillion which dissolved into crying, screaming, and name-calling as the ladies seemed to be seeing who could get more sloppy drunk than the other. 

I realized what, "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer," wanted to be when it did a split-screen between one date being full of laughter and fun and the other having tears and screaming--it wants to be a hot mess, and God bless it for that. The basically-simultaneous exclamations of, "Best date ever!" and, "I hate it here!" were just a hoot and the melodramatic televised junk food my brain needs after a long day. It's on Thursdays on Fox. I'd recommend it based on how delightfully trashy it was when the first episode finally got into gear.

4 out of 5 stars for the first episode.