Archive for December, 2004

Best of 2004 this n’ that

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

Scott Tipton’s comic book year-end review has many choices I agree with, including “Best Recovery” being Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey. Also, I need to check out this Common Grounds series by Top Cow; it sounds terrific. (Of course, it would to me since I’m working in the same genre right now with Metro Med.)

As for movies, DVD Talk has their top 20 of the year.

Where do we download Justice League now?

Monday, December 27th, 2004

Suprnova has folded.

Torrent Reactor still works. For now.

Did they learn nothing from Sister Act 2?

Sunday, December 26th, 2004

Beware the totally unneeded sequel. I know all you smarties are now saying “all sequels are redundant” but what I really hate is sequels that have to undo all of their character development from the first movie just to make the story work. Like in Miss Congeniality 2‘s trailer, where the snorting, mousy, unfeminine tomboy Sandra Bullock is back, just so they can put her through all the developments they put her through the first time. Gag me.

I liked the first one. I liked the first Sister Act. I liked the first Short Circuit. I liked the first…well, how many of these do you want to do?

There are plenty of movies which, upon their conclusion, leave themselves open for the continuing adventures of the same characters. There are other directions they can go, other areas to explore. But if, at the end of a movie, a person has reached the endpoint of a journey, it’s insulting to see movie companies wasting so much money and talent essentially remaking the first movie with some different jokes (and lots of hearkening back to the same jokes).

HO. LY. COW. Sin City trailer kicks patoot

Sunday, December 26th, 2004

Folks, I’ve never read a page of “Sin City”, I don’t know what the book’s about, but I have to say that the trailer for Sin City…well…folks, I never use this expression, but this calls for it:

It kicks ass.

Seriously, this trailer has me agonizing that I can only see it on this small preview screen. WHY doesn’t Miramax put this out in small-medium-large-SUPERSIZE like most other movie trailers worth a darn? Actually, this needs to be seen in the theater to truly appreciate it.

The imagery is amazing. The use of color (and lack of it) is stunning. Some of the effects (like the police cars flying over the hill) have to be animated, because they look so realistic in an unrealistic way.

I am actually anxious to see this one. Wow. If the book is anything like this, I may have to read it. So long as it isn’t anything like his DK2, that is.

Lord of the Rings is over. Make way for Narnia!

Sunday, December 26th, 2004

The Chronicles of Narnia is on the way, beginning with The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

Eerie how similar this trailer is to the Lord of the Rings Preview which debuted a year before that trilogy began. Of course, there are more Narnia books than Lord of the Rings installments, so if this takes flight Disney will have a money-making machine for the next decade!

Pink Panther trailer

Sunday, December 26th, 2004

The Pink Panther looks funny, but Steve Martin looks like he is trying too hard to be funny. Peter Sellers’ Clouseau was a full-fledged character; he simply played the role and read the lines as Clouseau would speak them.

Still… Jean Reno as Kato? That’s just weird.

New Christmas story from Neundorf

Sunday, December 26th, 2004

Philipp Neundorf, illustrator of the “Gone To Texas” story in Job Wanted, has published a new Christmas story online. It’s in both English and German.

It was up before Christmas, but I didn’t read the e-mail announcing it until I returned from vacation, so my apologies for getting this link posted so late.

Remember, you can buy Job Wanted online for $5 (including shipping) via Paypal!

2-legged dog to star in Harry Potter?

Sunday, December 26th, 2004

This is a video download, so don’t click it if you’re on dial-up.

A dog that walks on its hind legs may feature in a Harry Potter movie, since it is so comical to watch.

From ebaumsworld. They also have a video of dogs talking.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23rd, 2004

I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas!

B-ware of Spy-Ware

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

CNET informs us of the new list at Webroot of the 10 Worst Spyware Programs.

One of them is Gator. Years ago, I had Gator installed because I really loved the handy wallet feature which remembered all of my passwords and credit card info. (And yeah, it’s a bit nervy to put that info in a program that openly admits that it’s also spying on your web surfing.) Obviously, I long since got rid of that utility since I didn’t want spyware on my computer. I wish Gator would just make an honest buck and sell that Wallet software; I’d easily pay $20 for it. It’s been years and I still haven’t found a suitable replacement for it.

New trailers: Hitchhiker’s Guide, Bewitched

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

Apple’s trailers site finally has the teaser trailer for Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, slightly modified from the version that I’ve shown you before. This one has a release date and a book outline around the hitchhiker logo. It’s also smaller! Could it be that this trailer doesn’t conform to my studio bandwidth rule? I’ve waited for this movie forever and I don’t want it to suck.

Bewitched also has a small teaser trailer. I don’t know about this one. I always liked the show, but Will Ferrell as Darrin?

Oh crap!

Tuesday, December 21st, 2004

I forgot to tell everyone that Day By Day by Chris Muir returned on December 1st! Everyone go over there and jump back into the archives…there’s a month of reading to do!

DVD Director Cuts

Tuesday, December 21st, 2004

DVD Talk has a good, short discussion about “Director’s Cuts” and how they are used and abused. What’s the point of calling a DVD a director’s cut if the ending the director liked better isn’t used as the ending?

The monster on the Venture Brothers Christmas

Tuesday, December 21st, 2004

Turns out that the Krampus, the archenemy of Santa Claus, really exists.

I mean, he doesn’t REALLY exist. Just that they didn’t just make the whole thing up for the Venture Brothers Christmas special.

[NOTE: Some offensive language and commentary in that link, which goes to Rotten.com. You have been warned.]

Hat tip to TVTome.

Liberals, take comfort in 1987’s Dog Boy #8

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

One great thing about comic books is the way they allow us to see the way people thought at a certain time. Unlike reading opinion commentary, which is usually reserved and edited, comics can be a window into the gut reaction of a fraction of the public. For instance, in the aftermath of 9-11, much of the left-wing waved flags and talked about being unified, but most of the 9-11 memorial comics were already criticizing the Bush administration and portraying vengeful lowbrow Americans beating up any immigrant in a turban.

My wife bought me a stack of alternative comics circa 1987-1993 on eBay because it had a couple comics by Chuck Dixon (and as it averaged out to 37 cents an issue, I can make a profit reselling these on my comics-for-sale site). One of the comics in this pile is a Fantagraphics book: Dog Boy #8 from 1987. I was adding it to my database and opened it to get the indicia, then flipped through it to find out what genre of comic it is. I already had it pegged for the genre I customized as “Bizarre Alternative Stuff”, but I wanted to check.

I was right.

(more…)

More trailers

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

The Amityville Horror gets a remake. And so does Assault on Precinct 13.

Meanwhile, The Wedding Date not only looks thoroughly unfunny but it’s yet another romantic comedy that tells you the movie from beginning to end in the trailer. So you don’t need to see it even if you liked it.

Disney’s new computer-animated (NOT PIXAR) feature, Chicken Little, could be good. I like the Signs parody. BUT, remember Michael’s Rule of Online Movie Trailers: if the studio won’t spring for anything but a small download, they’re telling you their confidence level, and thus it’s probably going to suck. (I don’t think this rule has failed me yet.)

Let’s see, any other trailers? Oh, yeah…this one for the new Hellblazer movie, Constantine.

XXX: State of the Union trailer

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

XXX: State of the Union could have been a great sequel to a good movie (yeah, that’s right, I didn’t hate “XXX“)…except that Vin Diesel isn’t in it!

What the hell? I thought this was Vin’s star vehicle. I don’t get why he’d leave it. Aside from Ice Cube replacing Vin, this movie looks terrific, with an awesome plot.

Very Venture Brothers Christmas

Saturday, December 18th, 2004

The Venture Brothers Christmas Special will air on Sunday night at 10:45PM Central Time on Cartoon Network. Although Adult Swim doesn’t have a clip from the show due to the last-minute production, you can see a slideshow of images from it.

For those of you who haven’t seen The Venture Brothers yet, I pity your withered souls. It is an absolute riot, with top-notch animation (none of that cheap Flash manipulation here) and tons of those cultural references we Gen X-ers like.

The official web site is still under construction, but you can download Brock’s 1980s workout music from the episode Mid-Life Chrysalis.

I’m torn as to which episode is my favorite.

I think “Are you there God, It’s me Dean” is the tops. That’s the one where Dean gets his testicles twisted and needs to be operated on. (I had a friend in college whose brother also suffered from testicular torsion, and it IS super-painful.) The Venture Brothers even put out a helpful site on the Interweb about Scrotal Safety. I think my favorite suggestion from their list of helpful tips is:

Enlist one of your friends as a “Crotch-Buddy”. Have him concern himself with the safety of your scrotum. Remind him publicly that he is your “Crotch-Buddy”. Remind him in front of girls.

The Monarch’s sad birthday present from Brock is thrilling to watch (to spice up the dull birthday, he begins murdering henchman so that The Monarch has someone to fight). Also, the nerd henchmen debating about whether Smurfs lay eggs or not cannot be missed. That episode is uber-perfect.

Tag Sale – You’re It” is certainly hilarious. I think it has one of my favorite exchanges, as Mr. White and Master Billy Quizboy, Boy Genius, try to pursuade Dr. Girlfriend to be their arch-enemy:
Mr. White: “I’m an albino!”
Master Billy: “Yeah! You can kill him with light!”
Come to think of it…that one ALSO has a nerdy debate between the Monarch’s henchmen as to who would win in a fantasy fight between Lizzie Borden and Helen Keller. The same henchman buys a light saber at the yard sale and begins acting like the infamous Star Wars Kid.

Ghosts of the Sargasso” is also funny from beginning to end. And “The Trial of the Monarch.”

Oh, heck. The show’s just damn perfect. Can’t wait for the box set. If you’re missing it, you’re being ridiculous.

HEY! There’s a Venture Brothers Video Game! I am so there.

New Popeye on Fox tonight

Friday, December 17th, 2004

Popeye’s Voyage, The Quest for Pappy is on Fox tonight at 7:30 central.

Unfortunately, Popeye’s theme gets redone as a rap. Ugh. Also, it’s CGI and there’s something rather raw about the quality; it looks like one of those online adventures of Superman that came out a number of years ago.

Still, it looks much more faithful to the source material than any Popeye fare of the last 30 years, save the live action movie (which was bad for other reasons). I like that it’s a seafaring search for Poopdeck Pappy, which is an adventure right out of the old comic strips.

As I post this, the airtime is only an hour away. If you missed it and still want to see it, it’s already on DVD:

Seinfeld DVD set

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

The new Seinfeld DVD set gets reviewed in “Master of Its Domain”.

And just in case you’re going to want one for Christmas: