Archive for January, 2008

At Last!

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

A career I can relate to!

And, a typical day in the life of a henchman…

Sir Ian McKellan Comes Out

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

“You shall not pass!”

He is NOT a number, He is a TEDDY BEAR!!!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

This is clever, The Classic show THE PRISONER, done with toys.  Filmed on location no less!

Guy Gardner: Voice Of The People

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

For all the hassles Mike has had to put up with from Moveable Type and other computer programs lately, Guy offers this bit of encouragement from the MD fanbase:

guyfuzz.jpg

Hutch here. The popup isn’t working right…which actually makes it all the funnier, so I’m not going to fix it.

Retconning: Unoriginal, Inexplicable, and Frustrating (usually)

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

http://www.websnark.com/archives/2008/01/retconning_just_1.html

Interesting blog post by Eric Burns about the various types of retconning and their risks.  This is all inspired by the recent Spidey/MJ “divorce” by Mephisto.

Incidentally, I accidentally bought the issue when Mephisto makes the offer to Peter & MJ (the issue before the retcon actually happens).  It was an accident because I was trying to see if my credit card worked and decided to test it out on a small purchase, like, say, a couple comic books, and ended up buying this comic and one of the “Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul” comics, and both left me content in my apathy towards the comic book medium for the time being.

I was going to write a review of the Spider-Man comic, but suffice it to say that the cliffhanger at the end of the issue left me thinking, “Wait…  A demonic god-type person demands the hero’s LOVE because he and his lover’s souls aren’t good enough?  Didn’t this already happen about 9 years ago with Neron, Flash and Linda?”  It’s a retcon that’s been done before, and, if you recall, it left Neron turned into a weenie because their love was too much for him to handle.

Give me a break.

Testing the waters

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

I’ve had some problems posting tonight.  Javascript-related.  Whenever I went to the “New Entry” page, my Firefox would crash. What I did was disable my add-ons…and sure enough, here I am writing and posting without problem.

Next step is to turn them all on one-by-one and see which one it is that is wrecking the javascripts.

Solving this groovy mystery may also help Tom Russell return to the fold.

In other news…a new plugin has been unveiled which may finally help me to fix up our archive system.

Just testing the waters…

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Cloverfield: Shaky disaster of a disaster, or Godzilla-sized important?

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Cloverfield is tanking.  With the excellent trailer and all the hype, it looked to be a boffo blockbuster.  The first weekend pulled in huge numbers. Most critical reaction was positive.  However, negative word of mouth from all who left the theater at the end (or before the end in order to puke from motion sickness) has brought its second weekend’s take plummeting down into single digits.

Despite the poor reaction, one person who liked it is author Jonah Goldberg.  His article on the meaning of Godzilla movies is worth checking out.

Just For Fun…

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

halsin.jpg

There was no impetus for this… I just know not everyone visits my site, and thought I’d share.  (Click for the full-sized glory)

The American Comic Book: A Detroit Perspective

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

Smile For The Camera Pretty Bird

Saturday, January 26th, 2008
Black Canary will be making her Smallville debut Feburary 7 in an episode called “Siren”.  Here are some pics showing her in costume.  The costume itself isn’t bad. The fishnets are there (a must), the “bodysuit” is similar to her current comic book version (although it’s a little modified), and the jacket looks good as do the boots. I don’t like the short hair (I’ve always prefered flowing locks) or the painted on mask (she looks like one of the bad guys from Home Alone 3).  The article also mentions that in her day job Dinah will be a conservative radio talk show host.  Although I realize this is to set up an “opposites attract” relationship with Green Arrow I think it’s also designed so the producers can get their digs in on conservatives.  They haven’t exactly been shy about slamming conservatives via Martha and her state senate seat.  I can’t wait for this fall to roll around and the DVD set of this season to come out.  Between the addition to the cast of both Supergirl and now Black Canary it sounds like this season of Smallville is shaping up to be very interesting and I can’t wait to see it.

24’s President Woman

Friday, January 25th, 2008

CherryJone_Mazur_5162706_400.jpg I was skimming Bob Waters’ blog finding his fevered article begging the universe and God to not let it be true that Jack Bauer has been recast with Keanu Reeves. Apparently he found a practical joker-altered Wikipedia entry that made the claim. Naturally it wasn’t so, but when I was skimming Wikipedia’s 24 article I found that the new President character will be a woman!

As an aside, my first woman POTUS on television was on the X-Men cartoon from the nineties. It seemed rather shallow and the President character only was meaningful later in the series, when it was a name character.

The new President will be played by Cherry Jones. I do not know who she is. One is fit to wonder if “Allison Taylor” will act like a Hillary Clinton (of course the Hillary character on the show has already been and done) or be played as a Margaret Thatcher character.

Time will tell.

A Public Appeal to DC Comics: Please Publish the Complete Last Laugh!

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Batman: Joker's Last Laugh Recently, DC Comics announced that “Joker: The Last Laugh” was finally going to be published in Trade Paperback form.  This is a long overdue trade.  As Chuck Dixon (one of its co-writers) has often noted publicly, the book outsold “Our Worlds At War” at the time.  It was published right away as a trade paperback in Italy and in Germany and sold well.  Nevertheless, for reasons probably editorial in nature, the series was not collected in English.

DC’s reasons for holding back on the release are its own. The reason for releasing it now is obvious: To tie in with the new Batman movie featuring the Joker.

I’m glad to see this happen.  Standard disclaimer here: I’m buddies with both Chuck and co-writer Scott Beatty, and I’ve been Scott’s webmaster for a couple years.  But I was a fan first, and my feelings of elation about the release are unrelated to the fact I know both Scott and Chuck were disappointed it took this long.

The plain truth is, this mini was exciting and funny.  Chuck and Scott whipped up a mess of new side villains to play around with.  Shilo Norman, the former Mr. Miracle 2, is given a new job as the designer of prisons for super-villains.  (I liked that so much better than the bizarre and silly “Seven Soldiers” revamp.)  There’s one sequence involving Multi-Man which I will not reveal except to say that the cover price of the trade is worth it just for that.  And it centers around a unique idea: When the Joker is given only a short term to live by the doctor at Slabside Prison, he decides to exit the world with an all-out bang involving a prison escape and the release of dozens of “Joker-Ized” supervillains.

In execution, the book had many minor problems editorial in nature.  The first chapter was published in the Secret Files instead of issue #1, leaving many readers confused.  Some of the ideas they wanted to do were nixed. (Scott even told me that if they’d had their way, the Joker would have
killed Elongated Man and left his corpse stretched across a suspension
bridge!  And yes, somehow these guys are still my friends.)  The ending is good but it seems dictated instead of organic.  Most of all, the whole “Jokerized” villains plotline was a mixed bag.  Some editors and writers really ran with it, making a lesser villain a newly terrifying menace, while others simply put a Joker face on one of the standard big villains.

For that reason, the new “Last Laugh” TPB will not feature any of the crossover stories; it simply reprints Joker: The Last Laugh issues #1-6.

…and that’s the problem, really.

The series was actually supposed to be seven issues.  An editor decided to make it six and use the first chapter (giving all the setup) as a main story in “Joker: Last Laugh Secret Files and Origins”.  However, it’s not an extraneous set-up; it’s vital to the story.  At present, it doesn’t sound like the story will be included in the trade paperback.

I would urge you all to sound off about this on the DC boards and other message boards, or send an e-mail to DC Comics.  They need to include that story so that the readers can get the complete picture.

J.J. Abrams live chat on TrekMovie.com

Friday, January 25th, 2008

abramsint1.jpgStarting at around 1PM Pacific (4PM Eastern/9PM
UK ) JJ Abrams will begin answering
questions from the set in the comments section. He will start from a
selection of questions posed by that time, but may also take new questions that
come up during the session.


JJ will be joined by producer Damon Lindelof, writer Bob Orci and exec. producer Bryan Burk. It is also
possible that other behind the scenes folks or actors will join in as well. So
feel free to submit questions to Orci, Lindelof, and Burk. 

You can start submitting questions for Abrams now in the comments section.

The Down Side Returns To Burnhamania

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Well, count my first post in quite some time to be of a personal/selfish nature — the Down Side is back.

There’s been plenty of demand (well, more than I expected, anyways.)  I’ve only lacked an “easy” way to return the strip… and I’ve found that with the excellent ComicsPress blog system (via WordPress.)  I tumbled onto this thanks to Scott Kurtz’ PvP, which uses the same.

I grant you, neither my site nor the strip look as slick as Kurtz’, but I’m shaking the rust off the strip and a newbie at this kinda code monkeying!

Now go forth, my minions.  Be fruitful.  Multiply.  And point all generations to Burnhamania.  Thankew.

James Bond Finds Some “Solace”

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

The next James Bond movie has received a name, Quantum of Solace.  It sees Daniel Craig return as Bond in a follow-up to his critically-acclaimed Casino Royale.  The new film finds new Bond girl Camille leading the secret agent to Dominic Greene, a member of a mysterious organization and ruthless businessman who is conspiring to control huge natural resources.  Bond will also be trying to uncover the truth about Vesper, who seemingly betrayed him in Casino Royale.  It’s due for release in November.

I Would Be His Neighbor

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

I first saw the below clip in one of my first film classes a couple years ago.  I don’t remember the context of the discussion at all, but I do remember wanting to cry when we watched it.  Mr. Rogers is the butt of a lot of jokes in contemporary pop culture, and even though I’m not necessarily against having a little fun with his persona I would argue that the man deserves some recognition for the profound influence he’s had on children’s educational television.

Just watch this clip and tell me you aren’t touched.

Heath Ledger (Joker in Dark Knight) dead at 28

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Heath Ledger has been found dead in his apartment of an apparent drug overdose.  He was 28.

A Knight's Tale - Extended CutThe star played the Joker in the upcoming “Batman: The Dark Knight”; fortunately, it had just finished filming. He was also in “Brokeback Mountain,” “Monster’s Ball,” “The Patriot” and “The Brothers Grimm.”  He came to fame in two of my personal faves, “10 Things I Hate About You” and “A Knight’s Tale.”

It is unknown at this time whether the overdose was intentional.  Being on top of the movie world isn’t all a bed of roses, as the cases of Chris Farley, River Phoenix and recently Owen Wilson have shown (just to name a very, very, very few of the ones we even know about).  Most of us think that if we had all the fame and fortune, what need would there be for intoxicants to have a good time.  Still…one has to ask why Ledger would do such a thing at this point in his life.  Curious, too, that his housekeeper found him when telling him that the masseuse had arrived.  Who makes an appointment and then kills himself?  The pills were supposedly painkillers (again, at the time of this writing), so it’s entirely possible this was accidental.

10 Things I Hate About YouHeath was handsome and charming, and could act his way out of a paper bag.  His latest role, as a creepy, disgusting Joker with stringy hair and mottled paint, was clearly an attempt to broaden his range instead of taking pretty boy roles.  While it’ll be strange to try to hype a movie where one of the stars came to a tragic end six months earlier, “Dark Knight” could serve as the capstone of an all-too short career.

(All I’m saying is…well, he didn’t end his life making “Wagons East,” let’s put it that way. )

R.I.P.

UPDATE: I spoke too soon.  He was making a Terry Gilliam movie when he died.  Bad enough it’s Terry Gilliam…whom I like, but his record of cursed, dark failures is pretty long…but the title is The Imaginarium of Doctor ParnassusImaginarium!??  Didn’t Doctor Magorium’s Fantasmaporium bomb badly enough to send the message about phoney-baloney portmanteau titles?  Why not just call it The Contrabulous Fabtraption of Professor Horatio Hufnagel?

I’ll watch for updates on the Imaginarium front, and any announcements about whether his death affects Dark Knight.  I’ll also announce any updates on the cause of death.  Needless to say, many are stunned at this turn of events.  Heath is gone too soon.

Oscar noms are up!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

It’s just been announced.  The Oscar list is up.

Here is “Dirty Harry” at Libertas’ take on it.

Star Trek Teaser Trailer online

Monday, January 21st, 2008

It’s…well, it’s not much…but it does seem to show a more “realistic” approach to the film quality. 

Trailer online