Archive for January, 2009

Funny Japanese commercials part 2

Friday, January 30th, 2009

This one probably explains where Dr. Girlfriend came from:

This next one… um… WOW

These next ones I believe are Korean and Chinese…

All-Superheroes Cable Channel?

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Sadly, not an announcement. Just a dream. But it’s a good dream, and Sean Taylor has the line-up all ready to go.

You cannot parody Japanese commercials

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

The Simpsons had that very funny “Mr. Sparkle” ad, but really, what can you do to Japanese commercials that they don’t already do to themselves?

Compare:


The Mr. Sparkle ad actually appears linear and logical.

Here’s Frank Calliendo parodying the trend of prestigous American actors doing Japanese commercials.

Really…you can’t top the real thing with Arnold.

Li’l Editor

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Scott Kurtz has the cutest story on his blog!

Review: “X-Files: I Want To Believe”

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Perhaps, had I caught the new X-Files movie after a long drought of no entertainment, I may have liked it. Maybe. The fact that a few days ago I dragged out my dust-covered “Season Two” box set couldn’t have helped. To make things worse, earlier today we got to one of the best episodes ever: “Humbug”, featuring Vincent Schiavelli. A hilariously creepy episode, there is nary a wasted moment, and almost every line is witty and well-structured.

This X-Files movie has a number of things against it. The biggest is that the series jumped the shark long before it had an episode called “Jump The Shark” (the one where the Lone Gunmen get killed off). Chris Carter wanted to end the show when it felt right to do so, but it was one of the only hits on the Fox Network and so the show limped along. Mulder left, John Dogget was Scully’s new partner, Scully was now the believer in phenomena, the mythology got over-wrought and made no sense, Scully fell in love with Mulder and had his baby, the Lone Gunmen were killed off, and Mulder went into hiding from the F.B.I. and Scully quit.

The entire setup that made the X-Files the X-Files is ruined. Neither of them are F.B.I. agents and they don’t have a file cabinet full of spookiness to investigate! There’s no Cigarette Smoking Man, no Lone Gunmen, no abducted sister. How do you make a movie that follows this?

The answer is: You don’t make a movie. Unfortunately, they made one. Good thing for them, they didn’t blow a lot of money doing it.

In this new movie, Mulder and Scully are living together and Scully is a doctor for a Catholic hospital. The F.B.I. is trying to find a kidnapped agent with the help of a psychic, and they call Mulder in to assist in determining whether the psychic is on the level or is sending them on a wild goose chase.

On the plus side, this movie does what the first film, “Fight the Future,” should have done: a movie-length, movie-production values version of their better stand-alone mystery episodes instead of an installment in their on-going complex alien mythology.

Sadly, this is not one of the better episodes. It’s very boring, much of it feels like it’s been done before, there isn’t really anything mysterious and the only exciting scene is a standard foot-chase in the middle of a street with cars braking suddenly. Much of the movie is about Scully having a crisis of faith (what, again?). Meanwhile, Scully and Mulder’s relationship is terribly ambiguous…and unconvincing. These two are absolutely not in love. What have they been doing all these years, anyway? I can understand their not getting married due to Mulder being a fugitive, but they don’t act like anyone I know in a relationship. It’s as if they’ve been together for seven years but not talking about anything that would bring them closer as people. They’re more like roommates who’ve had a kid together. Their kissing scenes are downright awkward. (Remember when the BIG thing about “Fight the Future” was that Mulder and Scully might kiss?)

The movie really is hurt by the slavish devotion to continuing the changes from the end of the series. It should have found a better way to put Mulder and Scully back into their old roles, if only because most of the people in the audience will not have watched the lousy Mulder-less years and may be baffled.

Don’t bother. Go watch the box sets of the early years.

The most popular Halloween costume

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

When Erik and I were at Wizard World Chicago this year, we saw about 30 “Heath Ledger Jokers” walking around. That made this all the funnier:

I’m just posting it here because it turns out Erik didn’t see it. Enjoy, buddy!

The Dark Snub

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Dark Knight isn’t even in the running for Best Picture. This is a film so powerful, so well-made and artistic, that people who don’t like comic books think this is a great movie, and it’s made about a bajillion bucks. But the Oscars won’t honor it with a nomination.

Steve Mason over at Big Hollywood has an excellent analysis as to why the Oscar ratings have plummeted since 2005: we, the audience, don’t have a dog in the race (or “skin in the game” as Mason puts it).

Amazing 1970 footage of the first superhero

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

You will want to check this out.

Something to tide you over

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

I’m editing our first podcast. It’s an hour and a half long…at least, originally…so it’s taking me a while to repair all the little technical glitches and throw out the bits where my computer decided to only keep every third word out of my mouth.

In the meantime, here’s something funny to keep you entertained:

28 Very Weaks Later

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Spoiler Warning for 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later

I watched 28 Weeks Later tonight, hoping that it would surpass the original. Unfortunately, it suffered for the same reason that the original was ultimately unsatisfying. Both are great “zombie outbreak” films that are weakened by a deep hostility towards the military.

The original is a superior piece of work for 2/3rds of the film. Indeed, there is a dramatic cut-off point when the father of the teen-aged girl is infected, and the screen goes black. Then, struggling for an ending, it takes a jarring turn: the military camp that was to be the salvation of the survivors is being run by a sicko and he plans to conscript the females as sex slaves for his brutish troops.

The movie is struggling for an ending because the (probable) original ending was completely different, as revealed in the DVD extras. 28 Days Later was supposed to end with the male lead, Jim (Cillian Murphy) volunteering for an experiment that would restore the father’s sanity at the cost of becoming an “Infected” himself, and the movie ends as it began with him incapacitated in a bed and watching horrors on video screens like the monkey in the lab experiment. Unfortunately, this ending seemed absurd, given that a drop of infected blood can contaminate a person, so they came up with the military camp ending.

I don’t think the hostility towards the British armed forces is even intentional. As a tacked-on ending, it can’t have been the overall message that the director and writer were intending to send from the beginning. Rather, my suspicion is that it reflects the general view of the military held by the writer and the director.

Even if you can justify it to yourself as “that was just the case of one group of troops cut off from civilization, having spent a month shooting thousands of infected civilians until they don’t remember their old ethics”, the sequel is worse.

In 28 Weeks Later, an American Army General makes a tough decision to allow his troops to begin firing on a crowd because containment of the outbreak is top priority and trying to tell who is infected in the distance, in the dark, in the midst of a screaming mob makes smart determinations difficult. Okay, that’s understandable, if harsh. But then they go overboard with a “kill everything that moves” rule that insists on killing everyone even if you can be entirely certain they are not Infected. It gets so bad that at one point helicopters are shooting at a moving vehicle, as if one of these zombies could be driving!

The military exists to protect the populace. Most members of the military go to great lengths to save lives and would gladly give their own to protect others. Seeing them portrayed as uncaring thugs gets my hackles up.

In any case, it’s not a great movie. All too often, I am baffled at the poor planning in case of an outbreak. I realize that logical security measures would make it tough to get the movie going, but we’re talking about a film where the outbreak happens because the locked civilian shelter has an unlocked back door.

More fundamentally, why do the infected not attack other infected? If there’s no brain-eating involved, as there would in a zombie movie, but instead the infected are simply overcome with fury, what makes them discount getting angry at other Infected? And if you were enraged all the time, wouldn’t you burn out pretty quickly via high blood pressure?

And can you really survive an attack of liquid fire (napalm or similar) by going around a corner of a building?

I think this about says it all

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

True.

Good-Bye Khan

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Ricardo Montalban died today. He was 88.

Now let me tell you.

He has done a variety of roles but the one I’ll remember him best in is my introduction to him, where he wore a a set of fake breasts yet still convinced all that he was stronger than sin.

Of course, I’ll never think it was a bright move to introduce Kahn as a “superman” and then have Kirk beat him to unconsciousness with a PVC pipe.

I wish I could write a better obituary, but honestly I don’t care to do too much research so I can toast the man for things I have never seen. That is a sort of half-hearted tribute.

So Mr. Montalban did well, entertaining in Spy Kids 2. It was hard to ignore his performance on Kim Possible.

Any performance of Ricardo Montalban is difficult to ignore.

He was not a number. He was a free man.

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Patrick McGoohan, known for playing the Scarecrow/Dr. Syn, Danger Man, and of course, Number Six in The Prisoner, has passed away. More Here:

Mea Culpa!

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

I just discovered that our RSS feed over there on the right doesn’t work…and probably hasn’t worked in ages! All this time I was comforting myself that our visitors to the site were following our work via RSS.

Sorry, everybody!

Fixing that has just become a top priority for me.

Preview of Chuck’s G.I. Joe #1

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Yet another comic that looks so good I wish I still lived near a comic store.

One step closer to my becoming Batman

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

I always thought it was stupid when Nightwing (in his Teen Titans days) or Spider-Man would glide around due to a tiny bit of webbing between their arms and torso….but it turns out, you can.

Oh…you also need to have a brain the size of a schnauzer’s, apparently, so that you’re willing to get your guts dashed on rocks for the sheer thrill of going “yahoo”.

Now if only they can make that similar to Wayne Industries Memory Cloth…you may have something.

Bill Willingham: Still Super, But Losing Some of the Hero

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Breitbart and John Nolte (a/k/a “Dirty Harry” of Libertas and Dirty Harry’s Place) launched “Big Hollywood”, a new conservative culture blog this week, and look who one of the contributors turns out to be: Bill Willingham!

And it’s an awesome piece. I hope it gets a lot of eyeballs.

Over on the Dixonverse board, we’ve been talking about Willingham’s taking over as the new writer of Justice Society of America. I’ve been somewhat disenchanted with the new series, in which the JSA has been “guesting in their own book” (as Glen Davis so elegantly put it) which has been devoted to a Kingdom Come storyline. Here’s hoping Willingham can give the team new life and put some focus back on the heroes who belong to the team.

Addicted

Friday, January 9th, 2009

I can’t stop playing “Viking Defense“.

No, it’s not a football game.

New Dixonverse Board

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

A few weeks back, Chuck’s board got hacked. Here’s the new one, in case you were looking. (I like this one much better.)

Goodbye Trillian

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

I’ve used Trillian for years. It allows me to sign in to AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo, MSN and ICQ. If you have multiple instant messaging systems, it’s better to run one piece of software instead of many of them simultaneously.

Now I’ve discovered Pidgin. Pidgin does those four…and many more, including MySpace IM. (However, I don’t know a single person who USES MySpaceIM.)