Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Boy's Club, Videodrome, And A Shoddy Retelling of Luke Cage's Origin

The Boys Are Back--Boy's Club #3 and #4

Matt Furie is a great artist. He has a style that is cartoonish and fun. His series, "Boy's Club," was great in its first two issues, and I was recently able to track down the third and fourth. It's basically just a series about friends that aren't quite human but don't seem to exactly be animals who smoke cannabis and do various crazy shenanigans. The thing is, it is so fun in its, "chill" nature you can't help but enjoy it and just sort of cruise along with the mellow. This series is a good time and you ought to pick up this or any other work by Matt Furie, really.
Seriously, check it!
Boys Club #3 & #4--4 out of 5 Stars.

I Guess T.V. Really Is Bad For You--Videodrome

I recently saw this movie from the 1980s starring none other than James Woods and directed by the always-provides-crazy-imagery David Cronenberg. It is about a sleazy cable T.V. producer who stumbles upon something being broadcast called, "Videodrome," that is pure violence, torture, and murder--and he wants to get in touch with the producers to get this show produced. I'm going to spoil things, but clearly Videodrome is not just a fictional show and people really are being hurt, and the messages the movie imparts about the way television exists in a way where our virtual selves are more real than our flesh selves are even more true today about the internet. It's creepy how much some of the things this movie has to say resonate today.
James Woods looking so young is itself scary.
Speaking of creepy, this movie is also just plain bizarre and twisted. It's at time gruesome, visceral, and a bit unpleasant, but intentionally so. It does drag a bit at points, but overall its a solid film. I've discussed the movie, "Network," before and this is almost sort of a parallel to it, discussing the impact of television on our lives, albeit this movie does it much more darkly and in a way that makes you feel freaked out.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Well, That Was More Annoying Than Taking Viagria And Trying To Sleep On Your Stomach--Avengers Origins: Luke Cage

You know what I would like? A modern re-telling of the Luke Cage origin story that doesn't have him talking stereotypically, or threatening to kill someone. When did Luke Cage ever plan to kill the guard that caused him to gain his powers? Luke Cage is not bloodthirsty, that's just...ugh. Plus, did I mention how it has him speaking? "This brutha don't need no savin'," sounds like something out of a bad minstrel show. Seriously, Marvel, you build up all this goodwill about Luke Cage--seeing as how he is protrayed pretty well in your comics--and then this comes out and just acts like that drunken loud couple at the party who argue too loudly. At least the art was nice to look at, so I'll give it...
 1 out of 5 stars.

As We Proceed, To Give You What You Need....
I think the moral of this post is people should read more indie comics, Videodrome was a weird movie, and when white guys write black guys you really should make sure they aren't doing it in a way that is annoyingly cliche and stereotypical. I'm just saying, is all.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving has passed.

That was a fun Thanksgiving I would say--even though the holiday is based on a lie considering there was no dinner between Pilgrims and Native Americans, just genocide. Anyways, I swear I will be trying my hardest to get some posts up as I have some pretty good ideas gestating.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Marvel Killing Off Titles--Hrm

Marvel is majorly killing stuff off. Ghost Rider, X-23, Black Panther, and one of my favorites, Daken: Dark Wolverine. This is kind of sad as I enjoyed the last two I listed, hated the first one (Ghost Rider) and was kind of indifferent to X-23. Sigh. Look for more posts about stuff during the week later on hopefully.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Duel of The Two Big New X-Men Comics

Uncanny X-Men #1 VS Wolverine And The X-Men #1

I've read the two big X-men comics that are the main ones of the all-new direction for the line (ignoring the fact that X-Factor will always be doing its own awesome thing). They are quite different in art-style, tone--hell, even coloring (Uncanny X-Men has a bit of a darker hue). Are they both good though, is just one, or is it perhaps the nightmare scenario that neither is particularly impressive? Read on and see what I, a random yokel on the web thinks.

Uncanny X-Men #1
Wolverine And The X-Men came out a week earlier, but I'm going to review this one first, because dammit, it's my blog and I'll do what I want! Why? Because at least here I have control as opposed to at that stupid coffee store where they seem unable to understand I'm lactose-intolerant and when I say I want a soy latte it really has to be soy or there will be stomach trouble...but I digress. This was a cool comic, not as good as the one I'm about to discuss next, but intriguing.

You see, Scott Summers, i.e. Cyclops has become pretty unlike-able, and borderline super-villain. The comic points this out though. Mr. Summers realizes that if these mutants want to be left alone they have to save humankind until people realize they just need the mutants around to keep their little behinds safe. In the meantime, the mutant island of Utopia has to show off that it has weapons of mass destruction in the form of its walking, talking, residents. Essentially, this is a comic of political allegory with Cyclops being a separatist who realizes, "Hell, people hate us, so they might as well fear us so they don't at least wipe us out."

Writer Kieron Gillen has hit upon some neat concepts here and I look forward to seeing where things go. A comic like this is an interesting one for sure and with this political and social angle I'm on board. Oh, and there were some fun moments of levity too, so things were fun now and then.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Wolverine And The X-Men #1
Wolverine is opening his own school to teach mutants. He wants to be accepted by humankind so much New York State has some school board people coming to evaluate the school. He is sooooo no longer cool. Oh, and the art in this is FREAKING AMAZING! Bachalo just kills it with his crazy designs and perspectives, yeah this is just one gorgeous comic that is a feast for the eyes. Also, Jason Aaron isn't too bad either with the writing, giving everything a nice fun tone to match the art. It's just really quite fun.
We're in a new era of X-Men here, symbolized by how Professor X wishes Wolverine well, and I'm quite excited for sure. This was just a masterful comic that was a pure delight to read.
5 out of 5 stars.

In Closing
A 4.5 out of 5 and a 5 out of 5, wow! I quit reading much of the X-Men comics awhile ago, but clearly I'm going to be coming back for some of them now that things are looking so promising in terms of quality story possibilities. Here's hoping for a new grand era of X-Men comics!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Horror Movies, Battlefield 3, And The Quirkiest Comic I've Read

Let Us Begin
It's been a bit since I posted, so sorry if you've been patiently waiting. I hope to actually get a few posts up sooner than later however, so if that works out everyone should be happy.

Anyways, today I'm going to talk about some horror movies I watched and re-watched for Halloween (I always watch scary flicks on that holiday) and how one was bad and one continues to be pretty good. After that I'm going to discuss a game I've been enjoying playing called Battlefield 3 (I've been playing the console version, PS3 to be exact). Lastly, I'm going to discuss one of the quirkier comics lately that I've read, Spaceman #1 by the superstar team of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso.

Horror and just Horrible
I watched two horror films for Halloween. I viewed for the first time the ninth movie in the Friday The 13th series which is inexplicably named, "Jason Goes to Hell," and, "A New Nightmare." I'd seen the latter a few times and like it quite a bit for reasons that will be discussed, but, "Jason Goes To Hell," was just an utter mess/train-wreck/abomination of a movie.
The movie starts in a way that is actually kind of promising. The idea is that people have wised up to the fact that maybe it would make sense to quit letting this guy with a huge machete keep killing kids and instead just obliterate him. This leads to an opening where Jason is tricked into being utterly shot up by an FBI task force and then blown into pieces. It's pretty cool actually. Sadly, it all goes horribly downhill from there.

You see, apparently Jason can possess people now and after his heart hypnotizes someone into eating it (you read that right) the new Jason sets off to....well, here's where things get quite strange. You see, Jason apparently had a sister we NEVER, EVER heard of in all the other movies, and this one bounty hunter guy knows all this and how to kill Jason for reasons that are NEVER EVER explained because, hey, movies!
For some reason this guy knows everything to advance the plot of the movie. Why? Who knows?
So Jason has to possess this sibling, her daughter, or the daughter's baby. Because the blood of a relative can something-something. The plot makes zero sense, and almost none of the characters are people worth caring about. The movie also tries to be funny at the worst times when this series has not been one for humor...ugh.

How's the violence and gore though for people who like that? Well, there is some violence and such so you get slashing and whatnot. Plus, there is the required T&A with barely-legal teens having sex before Jason of course butchers them (teens never should have sex in horror movies, ever). There isn't anything that clever in terms of how Jason kills people though, like in one of the Friday's where he makes an RV crash. Now that was boss.
Jason--Doesn't Approve of Premarital Sex.
This was a disappointing movie and I wouldn't recommend watching it at all. Now, A New Nightmare is a whole 'nother story. Why? Well, it's sort of the 7th movie but different too as it takes place in the, "real world," as it were. You see, in this movie Wes Craven appears as himself and The Nightmare on Elm Street movies are just that, movies. The man who played Freddy, Robert Englund, is around too just being a nice guy like he is in actual life. The thing is, they are making a new Nightmare on Elm Street movie and weird things have been happening.
Long story short, Freddy is trying to get into the real world and Heather (who played Nancy in the original movie) is pretty much screwed. Then, cool meta-fiction shenanigans ensue and despite a slightly weak ending a good movie is had even with acting that is a bit over-the-top as is standard in horror flicks. This is a bit more mature and grown-up than other horror films though, having talk of concepts of stories that can think instead of showing lots of boobies. It's a good film.
Jason Goes To Hell: 1 out of 5 stars.
A New Nightmare: 4 out of 5 stars.

Good Fun, Just Ditch The Single-Player Mode--Battlefield 3
Gather round young un's and hear the tale of the Battlefield games. They started out on the PC and were good fun. You played in huge areas against a lot of people shooting and running, flying and driving, it was quite a gas. Well, then to compete with the "Modern Warfare" games that everyone loved they made a version of Battlefield that tacked on a single-player mode.

Boy, was that single-player mode God-awful. I mean, I barely made it through much of it even if the story everyone else made fun of looked a little neat to me. The way the enemies just seemed to always know where you were and shoot expertly was unbelievably annoying, and it was no fun at all. Don't worry though, my little ones, there was still multiplayer, and it was a hoot--even with a caveat.

You see, they put the Battlefield 3 on consoles too, and even though PCs with their fancy equipment could run the best graphics and have up to 64 or such players on a map, the consoles could only have 24--I believe. It was okay though, as the developers were smart and adjusted things for this. Now, before it sounds like this era of Battlefield 3 was all peachy-keen, I have to tell you children of something sad. Something dark and evil, a play-pass.

You see, with a Playstation 3 the idea is you can play online for free, but EA in their infinite wisdom didn't want people who bought Battlefield 3 used or rented it to get to play the multiplayer without coughing up some money, so they created an online pass for 9-ish dollars. Yes, it was a twisted, evil thing that stood in the way of getting to the sweet, sweet multiplayer for those of us who didn't want to spend 60 bucks on the game and just wanted to rent it, but life's a bitch and then you die. Don't tell your mother I swore.

Anyways, as you all can see Battlefield 3 was a genuinely fun time to be had, and the time it was out before the new Modern Warfare was an interesting number of weeks. Perhaps sometime I'll tell you kids about what it was like when Modern Warfare came out and the games ended up facing off in the marketplace--as it were. Sometime, but not tonight, get to bed.
4 out of 5 stars.

A Grounded Astronaut--Spaceman #1
From the team that brought you 100 bullets we get a new nine-issue mini-series with a debut issue that just costs one dollar. It's easily worth a dollar, heck, it'll be worth the 3 when its a full series I'd say. Why? Because this is just one interestingly quirky comic. It's not really funny or silly, but its not quite dark and depressing. It's about an interesting future with a man who was made in lab to go to mars and now collects salvage. His name is Orson and he's a nice fellow.

There's also some other interesting plot stuff going on that should make for a cool story and Risso turns in killer art as always while Azzarello does a good job writing with a unique future-slang that seems to be something like today's web-gibberish if people spoke it aloud. It's all really good stuff and I'll be back for a second helping, no doubt.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Shut It Down
To end this post, Horror movies can be awful in a good way or just awful, but they can also be pretty good in general too. Battlefield 3 has some multiplayer fun awaiting those who buy it or are willing to cough up the extra scratch, but avoid the single-player for it unless you just want to more disappointed than a Republican trying to find a Presidential candidate they like who is also actually electable (zing!). Lastly, buy and read Spaceman #1 because it's just a dollar and quite delightful.