Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Massive Post

Lots and lots of stuff to get to, so let's do it.

First, some links!

Birthday wishes to buddies Roger and Gord-o! Really, really late Birthday Wishes to best bud, hero, and all around swell guy Alan David Doane. I got you a present man, and as soon as I can get out of my house before 5 in the afternoon I'm actually going to mail it to you, I swear! I just hope you don't already have it.

While we're talking about the Doane, check out his take on Speakeasy's demise. I'm also happy to report that one of my fav books Helios will not be affected by the demise, going back to their self publishing (I think) route, Dakuwaka Productions. Good for them, cuz I love that book!

Also, since I have failed to link to these until now, CBG reviews of mine: Tales Designed to Thrizzle #2, Cut Flowers, Demo, Happy Birthday Anyway. That pretty much brings it up to speed.

(Not the Will Ferrel movie) Kicking & Screaming coming to a Criterion DVD? Maybe, definitely getting Dazed & Confused though. At least it'll be worth having been bought twice!

Haven't linked to him in a while, so go read Permanent Damage!

Neil Gaiman and Roger Avery are gonna adapt Burns' Black Hole comic. Haven't read it, but I've seen it in the bookstore, always looks tempting, I should really buy it. If the studio doesn't interfere too much this might be a good adaption of the material.

DVD News: My Name is Earl (best new show on TV, funniest now that Arrested MAY be gone...), Brisco County Jr (vote now!), Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (YAY!!!!), That's My Bush (Bout Damn Time!), X-Men Evolution (We might never see season 4, which would suck), Coach (Hell yeah!), and finally The 4400.

Check this out.

And, Arrested Development may only have a slight case of the Deads, Showtime might have picked the show up (Scrolling required). Now I have to get the channel dammit.

Now, how about some movie talk?

The only movie I've seen in theatres lately has been Match Point. How did this not get a best picture nod? Seriously. Easily Woody allen's best film, possibly ever. Definitely the most daring. Stepping away from NYC may have come a bit late in his career, but hopefully he'll stay away for at least awhile. Just an absolutely brilliant film. Unlike the movie that won for best picture...

Crash. Good acting, mostly. I could do without EVER seeing Sandra Bullock again, and I wish her character had died, but otherwise all around fantastic performances. The script though, it's like watching a Lifetime Original Movie. And it just beats you blatantly over the head with the message. Yes, we're all racist, we get it! And then to wrap it up that way? Ooooh, look, we're overlapping moments of extreme violence with sincerity...aren't we clever!!!! Bah, it was probably the most undeserving film I've ever seen.

Also watched Ultimate Avengers. It was better than Crash, which is saying something because it wasn't really a great movie. Solid animation and a decent translation of the story (the original story, sorry, never read The Ultimates), but man was it short. The extras suck though, just check this out.

Also in the comics section of the DVDs: Sin City Recut Extended Unrated. Not many scenes got added back in, and you can mostly see why they were taken out. Cool extras, what I watched of them. Can't wait for the next one. Also, Tarantino was on Jimmy Kimmel after the Oscars and said this was hands down his favorite film of the year. Then there was Teen Titans Season 1. Sux that this didn't get renewed. Easily it's one of the best interpretations of comics to screen EVER. It takes all the things that worked with the series, ditched a few that didn't and a few that were too "adult", blended in some top notch animation and wound up with a perfect show. After that was The Batman Season 1. I don't really care for the animation here, and as I've said the first few episodes are a bit off. But it picks up steam by the seasons end and we get a pretty good two parter with a new origin for Clayface. Could've done without the Mr. Freeze origin tho, too silly. And Bane's episode was terrible.

What else?

Finally finished Vol. 1 of Universal's Abbott & Costello series. It includedOne Night in the Tropics, Buck Privates, In the Navy, Hold that Ghost, Keep Em Flying, Ride Em Cowbow, Pardon My Sarong and Who Done It? Who Done It? is easily the best of the set, but they're all great. Especially loved Hold that Ghost and Buck Privates. Great music in Ride Em Cowboy too.

The I watched a truly EXCELLENT film called Around the Bend starring Michael Caine, Josh Lucas and Chris Walken. It's about the death of a man that brings his estranged family back together as they fulfill his last requests. Funny and emotional, easily one of the best films I've seen all year, if not the best. Add to that The Wool Cap, a TV movie (I think) starring William H Macy as a man who can't speak. When he's forced to take care of a little girl he comes face to face with the ghosts of his past. Macy is one of my all time favorite actors and this just solidifies it. Like Tom Hanks in Castaway, Macy carries most of the movie by himself and all of it without ever saying anything. Just an amazing movie.

Finally: The L Word Season 2. Just finished this up actually, and it's some damn powerful television. That's pretty much all I can say about it.

Oh so many comics to discuss....

Batman: Year 100 #1

Picked this up as a curiosity more than anything else. I've had little exposure to Pope's work but what I've seen I liked. Him doing Batman seemed odd enough for me to bite, much like Kochalka's Hulk story, just a weird combo. I enjoyed it, the art took some time to get used to, but overall I thought it was a good beginning. I might pick up the other issue, or I may wait to see if it gets collected, haven't decided.

Fury: Peacemaker #1

Eh, Ennis has done better, but he's also done worse (Ghost Rider anyone?). An origin story for a character that really doesn't need one, but at least we've got Robertson on art chores. I'd rather have seen a sequel/prequel to their MAX book instead of this watered down tale. Doubt I'll get the rest, may get the collection.

Jonah Hex #5

Finally! We get a non-Eastwood looking Hex. Unfortunately the story is a rehashed Rio Bravo, only at Christmas...which was a few months ago if I remember correctly... Still, decent story with pretty good art by DeZuniga, sometimes a bit rushed. Awesome cover by Tim Bradstreet though!

Supermarket #1

Loved Kristian's art, the colors blew me away, as lame as that sounds, but I just couldn't get interested in the story at all, at least after the murder of the parents. It all felt forced. I might pick up the second issue, just to see where it goes from here and because the art just kicked my ass.

Tales of the TMNT #20

Another Splinter tale that tries to be emotional and a story featuring some sea-creature girl from way back in the series. Both very forgettable.

TMNT #26

Dammit I missed #25!!!! Can't read this yet. Anyone got an extra copy?

Testament #3

I'm done buying this series. Nothing much has happened to further the plot and the Biblical stuff makes my head hurt.

Ultimate Hulk vs Wolverine #2

I love this. It's dumb, but what the hell would you expect from a book like this? Yu is just killer on art and I love the Hulk visiting a buddhist temple. I know, I'm killing comics by buying this, but dammit it's just fun!

War of the Worlds: The Second Wave #1

Didn't really care for the recent film, but this looks pretty promising. Picking up where the stories left offm this basically recaps everything and sets up the rest of the series, but it's still a good read. Looking forward to seeing what the rest of the issues bring.

X-Factor #4

A few plot points get wrapped up and a few more get introduced. Is it me or is this behind schedule? Still loving David's writing and Sooks art is good, but he'll be off the book soon. Not really sure if I'm missing anything by not reading all the other X-tie in book to Decimation, but I really don't care.

Y, the Last Man #43

Finally a new story arc. Yorick and company are on the trail of the missing monkey, Ampersand. They decide to split up, leading the Doc to her old stomping grounds, which are on fire, and Yorick and 355 into a trap. Nice to have something finally moving on the series. Still one of the few books I look forward to getting monthly, hope things pick up even more.

And finally (really finally) a book!

Yes, an actual book. It's been a long, long time since I read a piece of fiction that didn't have accompanying art, I need to do it more often. The book that got me back into books?

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor.

Not available stateside just yet, I got a copy sent to me by the author himself, signed and everything. Not trying to brag, just one of the few times in my life where I've been giddy as hell due to the generosity of others. Yeah, his sending me a copy also helps get word out about his book if I review it, but considering my numbers here at the blog that's not a huge bonus for him. Clearly I come out ahead here. Really ahead because DAMN I LOVE THIS BOOK. Beddor takes the Alice in Wonderland story and drops it on its head. I've talked about the comic book tie-in Hatter M at the blog before, and I enjoyed the hell out of it, but the book had me riveted. The only problem I had was that it wasn't a series of books, I'd have loved to read about this vision of Wonderland at length, specifically about the underground battle after Alice is forced to leave. But that's not really a bad thing, Beddor tells his story fully, nothing feels rushed and all the characters developed. I'm glad the Hatter M series came about though, because if there was any character I'd want to see more of it's Hatter Madigan. If you can find a copy of this right now, pick it up. The official US release is this fall in hardcover, which I plan on buying, it's definitely something I'll read again and again. I'm curious to see how much will be changed to "Americanize" it as well. I'll re-read it then, hopefully it won't be altered at all.

To thank all of you who made it this far:

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Too bad we don't get the Polish movie posters instead of the american ones. Of course, this makes Howard the Duck look like the most bad ass movie EVER. Check out more here.



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