Archive for November, 2008

Batman gets killed by WHOM??????

Friday, November 28th, 2008

I have not bought a new comic book since Jimmy Jams Comics closed its doors in late September, so I honestly have no idea if this is a spoiler about an upcoming book or a revelation from this week’s books.

Has Batman been killed yet? If so, then this isn’t a spoiler.
If that happens in books released this month, then you definitely do not want to follow this link.

Here’s my spoiler-free reaction:

This is temporary. Bruce Wayne will be back. This whole “dead and gone forever” thing is just as much hype as when Mike Carlin assured us that Electric-Blue Superman was the only Superman and that the red-and-blue tights were gone forever. Come on.

If Batman’s killer can return from the dead, then so can Bruce Wayne.

Still, I look forward to reading the trade paperback version of the story at my local library sometime next year.


Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

I was up at 5:45 to stuff this 20 lb. bird. We have to have Thanksgiving for lunch, since Melinda will be working the evening shift today. So, since I’m the earliest riser around here, I thought I’d wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Just remember: it’s not Turkey Day. It’s the day commemorating enlightened self-interest, which brought in the first good crop after the Pilgrims had been starving due to their former communal arrangements. Oh, and Squanto showed them good fishing spots…so it’s likely that their first Thanksgiving had fish, not fowl. (Guess Debra Barone’s Thanksgiving idea was a good one!)

Bolt needs a more believable premise

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

The trailers for Disney’s film Bolt look funny, especially that gung-ho hamster character. However, I can’t imagine the movie will be very good for one simple reason.

The main character is a dog who thinks he has superpowers, but he actually just plays a super-powered dog on TV and the show’s creators hide the truth from him so that he doesn’t know he’s on a show.

In other words, he’s never heard the word, “Cut!” Nor has he ever had to retake a scene. And apparently, there are no stunt-dogs or stand-in dogs. Also, every one of his adventures must be done sequentially.

Can you buy that?

I’ve often been baffled at how much we average citizens know about movie-making (and TV, natch) that the movies assume we don’t know. By that I mean: I think a LOT of us know that movies are grueling series of retakes, they aren’t shot in sequence, there is no soundtrack playing while they do it, stunt-people are used, stand-ins are used during back-and-forth conversations that are then assembled to look as if two actors are opposite one another, etc.

How does it occur to movie-people, who know this better than anyone else, to make films that are entirely dependent on a fictitious style of movie-making in which all special effects are done in real time and action scenes go on for five minutes without any cuts? Think of the Robin Hood-esque movie within "The Rocketeer" where there’s a soundtrack playing during the fight scene and the entire fight scene has to be redone due to an actress’ flubbed line in a close-up. Nobody makes movies that way. Or the countless films that rely on the "movie being made by hundreds of hidden cameras everywhere" premise, the most recent being "Tropic Thunder."

When I saw the trailer for Bolt, I couldn’t believe the premise at all. Too bad.

New Watchmen trailer

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Aside from Nite Owl being too lean and grim (obviously to fool people into thinking it’s Batman, which seems to be working), this is a good trailer.

A clip from Mortal Kombat vs DC

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Captain Marvel vs Raiden, Scorpion, Baraka, and Shao Kahn. Looks like Cap is finally getting the attention he deserves.

Here’s another James Kirk opinion…

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Shatner’s opinion of the new Star Trek movie

Friday, November 21st, 2008

I think he’s taking it hard.

Hat tip: Dirty Harry, who points out that Kirk wasn’t able to drive a car in “A Piece of the Action”.

Captain America is in good hands

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Joe Johnston is a name that should be better known in the movie biz. His first film, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” is a classic. “The Rocketeer” was a wonderful film, not only in capturing the feel of the comic book but as a period piece. (I re-watched it this year and was shocked to realize that Howard Hughes is played by Locke from “Lost”!) Speaking of period pieces, he also did “October Sky,” about four boys in a dead-end coal mining town who decide to pursue rocketry; if you have not seen it, put it on your Christmas list. I have yet to watch it without getting choked up at the end. He did “Jumanji”, which wasn’t my cup of tea but that’s probably due to Robin Williams being in it.

Joe directed “Jurassic Park 3,” a significant improvement all around over Spielberg’s “Lost World.” It’s the first JP movie where the kid was smart and not annoying. There is a joke with a phone’s ringtone that is the best bit in the movie. The ending’s a dud, but that’s entirely due to Spielberg’s animal rights meddling. It was supposed to have the main characters about to be eaten by the spinosaurus when a Blackhawk helicopter whooshes in and blows it away, but Spielberg quashed the idea. Steven Spielberg may have gotten his big break by detonating a shark, but since then he’s adopted this ideal that you have no right to hurt an animal just because it’s trying to eat you… or hadn’t you noticed that nobody ever hurts a dinosaur? Thus, the ending just has the army arrive and not do anything.

Oh yeah. Johnston, when he was working in special effects, worked on a few small films called “Star Wars”, “Empire Strikes Back”, “Return of the Jedi” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Here’s hoping that his directing “Captain America” does for him what “Spider-Man” did to the cult film director Sam Raimi.

Hat tip: Dirty Harry, who points out that the Prince Caspian writers are also the writing team for Cap.

Star Trek 2009 Trailer *UPDATE*

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

The official online trailer is now up at Apple trailers exclusively. Click the link below and enjoy.

(Ye Ed: Fixed it for ya!)


Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Must be too buggy or something. Now Luann is back to the old stuck-on-last-Sunday design.

*waiting impatiently*

Luann mystery solved

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Luann’s comic was inactive this week because the site was being revamped: Luann’s Room 2.0.

The site has a terrific archive going back to 1995. (Funny how I was just bemoaning the lack of a complete archive!) Luann now joins the latest fad: colored strips every day of the week. I like it so far.

One problem I’ve found: you pick a time period of comics that you would like to read… and it puts the newest one at the top! There’s no way to reverse the order. That’s ridiculous, especially with an episodic soap opera comic like Luann. Anyone reading is going to want to start at the back and read forward.

Look what I found! The first strip where Brad decided to become a firefighter. I don’t know what the opposite of “jumping the shark” is, but for me this is really the point where the strip started gaining ground. Brad went from being the fridge-raiding lazy brother and butt of all jokes to a dedicated young man with some purpose in his life, and it’s led to a dozen good subplots such as meeting Toni Daytona, contending with Dirk, and the current plotline about the calendar shoot.

All right. I posted on the blog. Now…back to reading some classic Luann strips.

Weird videos of the week:

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Stupid thumbs!

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

I don’t know why the thumbnails aren’t working for the site. I just wanted to let you know I’m aware of the problem and I’ll try to get it fixed.

Unreleased goodies

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

I happened to stroll by (no, I don’t know why the last two days’ worth of comics aren’t up) and realized that I hadn’t added the latest book of Luann comics to my wishlist for Christmas.

Seriously...: Luann #4 (Luann)One thing irks me about the Luann books: they’ve been jumping around and have missed many storylines. In particular, the entire storyline where Brad first decided to become a firefighter after watching the destruction of the World Trade Center. That’s missing. By the time the next Luann book debuted, it jumped far ahead of the storylines from the previous book. And for some reason, this new volume is labeled “4” even though I have five volumes of Luann on the shelf behind me…and that’s not counting the little novel-sized books that were released before that which are out of print and worth a fortune on No doubt there’s some complex behind-the-scenes history of switching publishers, low sales or some such. Doesn’t matter.

Bloom County Babylon: Five Years of Basic Naughtiness (Bloom County)What matters to me is that Luann is one of the better comic strips in newspapers and it really deserves the whole Bloom County/Far Side treatment, by which I mean an oversized book like “Bloom County Babylon” that preserves years’ worth of strips in one volume.

It serves as a reminder that even in this day and age where everything seems to be at our fingertips, we can’t get everything we want.

For instance: When will season 7 of “King of the Hill” be on DVD? Better yet, when will those bean-counting idiots wise up and realize that “Night Court” Season One only did badly because the first season was fairly awful and the show really took off in the third season?

When will studios start plumbing through the depths of their libraries for older stuff to make a buck from, such as “Quark”? I know it was lame, but I’d still love to hear “Space baggy, straight ahead!” again.

How about you folks out there? What things do you wish were available that aren’t?

Upcoming game reviews on Monitor Duty

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Call of Duty: World at War is coming out in time for the holidays, and we’ll be reviewing it here on Monitor Duty. Ethan Colchamiro will be reviewing it for the Playstation 3.

Watch this space!

Meanwhile, here’s a beautiful desktop wallpaper from the game:


Only three regenerations left!

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

David Tennant is leaving Doctor Who next year. He will be doing four “special episodes” in 2009, which I believe is in addition to the Christmas special for 2008.

Note that these are “special episodes” as opposed to “very special episodes.” The Doctor won’t be coping with alcoholism or a friend dying of cancer. It’s just that the four specials don’t count as a season.

I’ve liked David Tennant’s take on the character. He seemed more like The Doctor than the soccer hooligan who played the 9th Doctor. I wish David would have hung on for seven seasons, but it looks like Tom Baker’s record remains intact.

Still, this means we’ve burned through two regenerations in just five years. Timelords only have 12 regenerations, allowing for 13 incarnations total.

I’m sure that if the show ever burns through their 13th actor, they’ll find some way for the Doctor to get a new cycle of regenerations (a la what the Time Lord Council offered the Master in “The Five Doctors”).

Actor Bruce Campbell fights zombies. Also, dog bites man.

Friday, November 7th, 2008

How did I not know this film was on its way? I just stumbled across this on the Apple trailers and it looks hilarious.

“My Name Is Bruce”

Basic plot: when an undead Chinese monster goes on a rampage, some Bruce Campbell fans seek him out to defend them thinking he’ll be the bad-ass he is in films like “Evil Dead” and “Bubba Ho-Tep”.

Yeah, I’m a Bruce fan. I’ve sat through some pretty bad movies (Waxwork II, for example) just to see him.

And yeah, I’ve often wondered: whose wife did he screw to be forever stuck on the B-list?

Why didn’t someone tell us we had hologram technology?

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

I saw this on CNN during the election coverage…

It’s still a long way from Star Wars or Red Dwarf, but still…