Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: The Impossible

There are few things as absolutely mind-blowing as seeing nature at full fury against what mankind has establish-

You know what?  That sentence is completely wrong.

There are few things as absolutely mind-blowing as the fact that nature doesn't care about what mankind builds, and will simply steamroll right over us at times because it needs to shift a tectonic plate slightly or release some pressure under a mountain.  Much like how you don't notice that small cluster of ants you tread over while jogging or think about all the bacteria, both beneficial and harmful, that you might wash off of a dish, we're barely a speck in nature's grand vision.

And when a natural disaster occurs, it's one of the few things that lets you think about both how precious life is as well as the fact that in the grand scheme of how the universe works, the universe really doesn't seem to care about us.

Over the weekend I watched The Impossible, probably one of the more powerful movies I've seen in recent years, and it simply reaffirmed in my mind the fact that when a disaster occurs, all you can really try to do is be one of the lucky few to emerge from it.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ask Erik: Episode Sixty-Nine

To Erik: Do you think we're creating an issue when we make movies regarding something originally child-focused (like a teddy bear, X-Men, Transformers) and make it a movie for adults?

This is in response to my previous post about children seeing movies rated "M" for "Mature."  And it's actually something I've thought about, but never really managed to ask myself the right way.  So kudos to the asker for prompting this.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Battle of the Gregs Part 3: The Showdown

On our left, a prolific comic book artist who can manage to draw extremely engaging interiors to comics, but seems forever hindered in how the fans perceive him due to a reliance on tracing, duplicating images, and in some instances just photoshopping the same picture multiple times, sometimes in the same frame.

On our right, an artist who can draw and paint some of the most gorgeous artwork I've ever seen on a comic book cover, but seems to have a strict mindset to make things as close to pornography as he can.  And he has some really strange ideas about horses.  

Yes, that was the actual cover to an actual comic book.  Picture "MARVILLE" plastered across the top.

So, whose artistic integrity is lower?  Who should only be brought onto a book when it's either absolutely desperate or is simply trying to pander to the lowest common denominator when it comes to books?  Who has the most potential to rise above his reputation?

We settle it here, in BATTLE OF THE GREGS: GREG LAND vs. GREG HORN.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Battle of the Gregs Part 2: Greg Horn

So last time we discussed Greg Land, an artist who can put out some really quality work but tends to simply decide to trace dubious material for most of the women he draws.

Today, we're going to look at another artist who can do some absolutely amazing artwork when he tries it, but whose taste in subject matter leaves me scratching my head sometimes.

We're talking about Greg Horn.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Battle Of The Gregs Part One: Greg Land

Greg Land is a rather infamous figure in comic books these days.  An artist for various companies for over a decade, he's become either a figure whose art people love or people hate.  Often if you bring him up at a convention or just in a message board, someone will soon decry his popularity, pointing out that he "uses photo sources" to work his art in the most liberal use of the phrase.

In other words, he traces.

And not only does he trace, but he recycles his source material.

You might be able to understand why it's divisive.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Let's Talk: Rated "M" For Mature

I'm going to preface this article by stating that I believe the current movie rating system in America is rather broken.  In fact, the way movies are currently rated might be one of the most broken systems we have, considering that the MPAA is run by the heads of major film industries, so any independent film that wants a chance to be in the theaters and be rated has to let the "big boys" determine their fate.

Ever wonder why any small, independent movie that involves kids being bullied, young people discovering their sexual orientation, or dealing with family issues usually comes out rated "R" thus killing their target demographic?  That's why.

However, I think the MPAA also has a responsibility to hold films to certain standards.  That's the whole point of having a rating system.  If they let the masses determine what was okay for people to see, you'd have a lot more swearing in PG movies based on how young people act on the Internet and in online games.

So, what prompted my consideration of this issue?

This shirt.

Let me explain.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ask Erik: Episode Sixty-Eight

I didn't dare save this one for episode sixty-nine.

To Erik: What's the one post you just haven't been able to bring yourself to post?

At one point I typed up a twenty question quiz:  "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic character or porn star?"

I dunno, it would just feel wrong to post it.

Post it.

Nah, I c-

Do it.  Do it now.

Man!  Fine!  Sheesh!  You'll find it after the cut.

(For the record, I wouldn't be surprised if there's actually some overlap in this list.  There's a LOT of porn stars out there.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Let's Talk: Apartment Hunting

I've had to do things in my life that left me wondering if I've been living my life correctly or if I've managed to screw something up horribly.  Job hunts, for instance, manage to strip people of every sense of self-worth, leaving them wondering why the entire job market around them apparently views them as little more than waste and refuse so that they can't get a job.

However, more frustrating than my last job hunt, I must say, is the search for an apartment I'm doing.  There are so many things that I'd think would be common sense to do that the businesses in this area don't do that they just boggle my mind.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Tribute To Casey Kasem

When I was young, I didn't listen to much "modern" music.  The music that regularly played around my house were "oldies" (which is ironic, since the music from when I was young is now older than the "oldies" were at the time).  I know most, if not all the words to many of the biggest hits of the 50's and 60's, as well as a bunch of the 70's, but I never really got into 80's and 90's music until the late 90's.

However, there was one exception.  During the mornings on the weekends, after my parents managed to unglue me from a television set (usually between ten and eleven), the radio would be turned on and we'd listen to Casey Kasem count down the hits.

He passed away on Father's Day over the weekend, and I thought it was only right to spend a bit of time writing about a guy who was a fixture in my life for many years.

Friday, June 13, 2014

River City Rumble: Part Two

When we left our two hapless high school students, they had fought their way across a good chunk of River City beating up some gangs with the worst names ever conceived by man.  The two had the knowledge of where Ryan's girlfriend was being held, but instead of going there to get their butts beaten down by the two guys who took out Ryan without any effort at the beginning, they decide to continue fighting their way up the ladder because...  well, because of reasons, I guess.

So with the two now split up, how well will they fare by themselves?

Not well.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

River City Rumble: Part One

I was a pretty big fan of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World in all its forms.  Personally, I think the comics were superior to the movie, but then it had more time to flesh out characters, dig deeper into backgrounds and histories, and I think it also did a better job portraying just how self-focused Scott Pilgrim is for most of the story.  In the movie, Michael Cera would give weak explanations without any real strength to back up his lies, where in the comic we only saw things through Scott's eyes through most of the story, so his (unreliable) narration was all we had.

I also felt disappointed that Ramona just became a "damsel in distress" in the movie, when she's a stronger, more independent woman in the books.

But, when I heard about River City Rumble, a fan movie made by the guys at X-Strike Studios (which, sadly, it appears will be closing its doors in 2015), I knew I had to see it.  So, I did the only logical thing.

I pre-ordered a DVD to a movie I had never seen, and it just recently arrived.

So let's give this a shot and see where it goes, okay?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Response To Bill Green's Comment In The June 10th The Notes

To Bill Green,

I'm not one to really get involved in public debates.  I was pretty shy growing up, and I never was a big fan of direct confrontation.  I preferred instead to pick my battles, bending when the matter wasn't big enough to push against, and going through the proper channels when it was.

(In layman's terms, I was that kid easily picked on in high school who would notify a teacher when things got too bad.)

However, your most recent article in The Notes from June 10th, 2014 has inspired me to write this.  I don't expect you to ever read this, but to not voice how upset and disappointed I am in you as a representative of the state of Maine would be a disservice to me, to people I know, and to the state itself.

Monday, June 9, 2014

How To Recognize Your Teen Is Involved With Drugs And/Or Corporate Espionage

Recently, while randomly browsing through the Internet, I stumbled upon the following site.

Needless to say, my brain immediately found every ounce of possible humor in the page, and I am now completely unable to take it at all seriously.

So let's take a look at a teenager's room.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Deadpool Made Me A Hipster

For many, many years I've tried to avoid the smug condensation that comes with telling people "oh, I've been a fan of that a lot longer than you have" or "I remember when it was fresh and new" or "it was better back then."

But there's one topic, one character from comics who, whenever I hear people talk about how great he is and how original he is, it's extremely hard to not speak up about the old days and how much fun the character was then.

Of course, I'm talking about Deadpool.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ask Erik: Episode Sixty-Seven

To Erik: Who are your comedic influences?

Despite the fact that I tend to not be able to stand any of the newer "comedies" that come out in movie theaters, comedy has always been a pretty big part of my life.  Watching stand-up performances, classic humor movies, and even older cartoons all set me down the path of trying to be "funny" (or if not that, at least mildly entertaining) from a young age.

There are some pretty obvious influences, but some that might not be as well known.  I've even included a few modern influences, since my sense of humor is constantly shifting and adapting as I find just the right tone of humor to be "me."

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

If I Was In Charge Of...The Defenders! (Part Two)

Okay, everybody, time to board the HMS Buh-whaaaa? and head off to the distant shores of Weirdland.

Those of you, like me, who are big fans of the Defenders know that the team has had its share of wacky characters.  This is just a partial list of some of the more "out there" members.

Howard the Duck

Dracula (yes, that Dracula)

Charlie-27 and the rest of the future Guardians of the Galaxy

Cloud, a sentient nebula able to take human form who eventually fell in love with another member, Moondragon, and assumed a male form to be with her despite Moondragon later coming out as a lesbian cause comics are weird

So, how do we top that?

Pay attention, kids, and if anybody you know starts complaining that this isn't their Defenders, do what I do, and tell them to get their own blog.

This is gonna be great.
And significantly less whiny.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

If I Was In Charge...of the Defenders!

I don't know why, but for today's inspiration for an article to write, I find myself looking back through my archives for ideas I don't think I fleshed out well enough or feel need follow-up on.  Maybe something has changed since then, or I've learned something additional about the subject.

 Let's see here, what article would be good for follow-up...

My review of Iron Sky was viewed a lot, but sadly there's not much follow-up for a movie about Nazis hiding out on the moon.

I'm not really prepared to dig into another season of My Little Pony...

I haven't finished Venetica yet because, well, it's really, really not a good game once you get deeper into it...

Here we go, my countdown of who I'd put in the Avengers.  Huh.  I think I could do more with this idea.

So why don't we take a look at who I'd put on Marvel's definitive "non-team" team, The Defenders!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Doc Martin: Season One

Not too long ago, my family stumbled (not literally) upon a program that's apparently pretty huge in England called Doc Martin.  Going through its sixth season on BBC America, the program seemed designed from the start to give me things I enjoy:

1)  British humor.
2)  House M.D. with an (more noticeable) accent.
3)  Big city character stuck in a rural town humor.
4)  Snark.

Did it deliver?  In many ways.  Is it my new favoritest show to ever show?  Nnnnnot quite.