Archive for March, 2013

Happy Birthday Hutch

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Marvel Comics launches robot Avengers title

Friday, March 29th, 2013

I find this concept to be horrifically boring and like one of those old concepts they refuse to acknowledge they did multiple times already.

“Springing out of the increasingly razor-thin crawlspace between the organic and synthetic worlds comes ‘Avengers A.I.’,” said Axel Alonso, Editor In Chief, Marvel Entertainment.  “When one of the Marvel Universe’s preeminent brainiacs, Hank Pym, embarks on a long road to redemption, he must assemble a team unlike any other, a team composed of heroes that will challenge the very definition of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and the way you look at super heroes.”

How many times and under how many different writers has Hank Pym hit a low point and then was redeemed?  Don’t bother counting it will just make you wish they stopped writing new comic books if you try.

I also fail to see how we can get a good robot Avengers team when I don’t see Machine Man (a.k.a. X-51 a.k.a Aaron Stack) or Jocasta, both of whom were in Marvel Zombies.  The last time I saw Machine Man before that was in Warren Ellis’s Nextwave: Agents of Hate comic book.

I’m sure if I think about it I can come up with other robot super-heroes in the Marvel Universe.

Now I looked and here is another release with another description for the book.  I just don’t plain understand this concept.

“The Marvel Universe within the blink of an eye is being colonized by A.I.s who may or may not have positive feelings about the way humanity has been treating them for the past 100 years,” said writer Sam Humphries of his new series. Featuring art by Andre Lima Araujo, the comic sports a line-up of robotic characters: the Vision, Ultron’s son and former Runaway Victor Mancha, a new character named Alexis and a Doombot who has until now been held prisoner by the Avengers. Joining them is Ultron’s father, Hank Pym and Monica Chang, the 616 Universe’s version of Humphries’ “Ultimate Comics Ultimates” S.H.I.E.L.D. commander.

“He comes back after having transformed himself, after upgrading himself, and now that he is in the age of artificial intelligence in the Marvel Universe, he has a new role to play,” Humphries said of the newest incarnation of the Vision, currently seen terrorizing his fellow Avengers in the pages of “Age of Ultron. “He’s not just a bridge between humanity and A.I. but he is a leader. All of a sudden, he’s not just the robot in the room — he’s an A.I. in a world of A.I. and humans.”

The team will face off against a new villain named Dimitirious while facing challenges not typically found in the hero/villain dynamic “”Artificial intelligences are a product of human ingenuity, and although they are going to be going down their new path, they will remain a mirror to humanity,” Humphries said “Understanding that and exploring that in ways that are going to be funny and touching and endearing are definitely going to be parts of this book.”

I don’t care now.  In the blink of an eye we have 100 years of robots?

James Tucker replaces Bruce Timm as WB Animation Overlord

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Comic Book Resources reports the story.  It does not mention the cause.  The article chronicles the start and finish of the DC Animated Universe, from Batman: The Animated Series to Justice League Unlimited.  The article also does not fail to credit the other co-architects of that Batman cartoon.  Timm’s last work in his former role was the second chapter THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.  Bruce Timm is being replaced by James Tucker, another DCAU creative.

My enthusiasm for all of these projects is less than my joy every minute of Justice League Unlimited, with its own continuity and well-built world.

Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

We have known for years that Tom Selleck was nearly cast as Indiana Jones, the only obstacle being the television phenomena MAGNUM, P.I. but here is something I have not seen, at least to my memory.  Here is a screen test for Tom Selleck for RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.

Now I refuse to make a direct comparison to Harrison Ford’s performance. Either way I reckon the quality of the films would be a constant. I have no doubt that Harrison Ford’s career was greatly benefited by this.

It is nearly impossible to say about Tom Selleck and whether he was better off with the many years of that great television show or this film. I will say definitively that for the period of time between MAGNUM, P.I. and now the actor has received less and worse than what he deserved.

IDW Transformers stuck in a post-war loop continuity

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

From Enders Non-Spoiler Written Review of RID #15:

I’m a big proponent of having “The War” in my G1 Comics. Personally I think the Cybertronian civil war is at it’s most exciting when it’s more like World War 2 and less like the Middle East “Peace Process”. Seems to me that we’ve been drowned in stories of the beginning of the war, which just keeps moving back,and after the war, which keeps ending over and over, but never seem to really see “THE WAR” which is ostensibly what the Transformers is about.

The biggest difference between TFs and people is really ageless durability. So when you get down to it, what the Transformers fiction is fundamentally about is Endless War.

I can totally understand not wanting to have perpetual Prime/Megs filled oil field raids, but that can be accomplished with out killing/disabling them, or in IDW’s case giving them a series of groan inducing Midlife Crises. You just don’t have them feature in the story when you don’t need them. Ta Da!

As for story, I’d think pan-galactic millenia of war would provide rather nicely. Enough D-Voids and Mythic Relics. Fail to take a hill, get bogged down in the trenches, clear a bunker.

“Ender, didn’t you just give this a good review?” Well, yeah. The writing and art are excellent, the story’s working, it’s well made art. It’s fun to read. I’m not gonna fault it for not being “what I’d ideally like to see”. I’ve said since the beginning of this Barber/Roberts Era, that the tragedy here is how these great writers, who clearly get The Transformers, are bogged down in this lack luster continuity. The G1 Comic franchise is still digging it’s way out of the hole Costa dug it into.

I wish they’d rebooted and let Roberts and Barber rebuild G1 from the ground up. The comics are great right now, thanks to great staff, but this continuity is an untenable mess.

I should also clarify that I don’t think there is NO place for non-action based TF comics, I’m all for some political intrigue. I’ve always wanted to see what happened leading up to and to some extent during the 300 years between G1 and Beast Wars. It seemed clear that the Autobots had come out on top, but clearly there was some complex political situation still. They seemed to have some kind of race-wide scale down. I thought it was interesting to think that by reducing their energy consumption, they had abrogated millions of years of conflict. I suspect one could tell a contemporaneously analogous story there.

I’ve always felt the G1 Cartoon was the most direct ancestor of Beast Wars. I kind of imagined the beginning of the end of that war was Cyclonus, Soundwave, and Razorclaw* meeting Prime, and co. on some asteroid, tossing Galvatron’s head to them and saying “So… We need to talk.”
(*Predacons, see?)

I agree. This is also the exact problem with George Lucas’ STAR WARS Prequel Trilogy.

I more or less completely agree with this sentiment. The details may differ.

Podcast 8: Chatting About Movies Again (Lost Podcast #2)

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

This is the second of our “Lost Podcasts.”  Erik Burnham and I both worked in video stores so as often happens, while gearing up to record a discussion about something else, we just get talking about movies…and it turns into a whole ‘nother podcast!

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

I guess K-Mart killed a shark

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

The effects of shooting a television advertisement for the mediocre b-grade big box general merchandise store chain K-Mart has allegedly led to the death of the shark being used during the shoot.

The recent death of a 5-foot-long white-tipped shark during a Kmart commercial shoot in Van Nuys is currently under investigation by local authorities and fire by The People (for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

PETA reports that after being shipped from New York to Los Angeles, the shark was placed in an above-ground swimming pool in a backyard for the March 6 shoot. The group states in a release that people jumping in and out of the pool and other factors caused the fish substantial stress, and it began to show signs of strain. A trainer injected the shark with adrenaline and gave it oxygen in an attempt to “perk him up,” according to PETA.

Crew members were reportedly worried about the obviously distressed shark, but the American Humane Association waited for about an hour before shutting down the shoot, says PETA. The ailing shark was later removed from the pool and transported down to Long Beach to see a specialist. It died later that afternoon.

A whistle-blower shared the story with PETA, and the animal rights association immediately rebuked the AHA, a nonprofit tasked with overseeing the well-being of animals on sets: “Again, it appears that no one on set is protecting animals from exploitation, suffering, and death, making it clear that the only sure way to prevent real-life animal snuff movies is not to use animals in the first place,” said PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange in a release.

Spokeswoman for the AHA Jody Frisch, however, told the L.A. Times that the shark was placed in a 60,000-gallon water tank—a space allegedly large enough to accommodate the animal. She also said that an AHA representative called off the shoot when it was clear the shark was ill. Frisch continued by noting that the AHA has asked a third party to investigate the incident “to be responsible and find out what the cause of death was.” The AHA does not have jurisdiction over what animals are used in production or how they are transported to set. It does review scripts and make recommendations on how animals are used in productions, according to the Times.

Kmart has also been criticized for the incident. In its March 12 letter to the chain, PETA cites the whistle-bower again, noting “that a false bottom was placed in the pool in order to force the shark to swim close to the surface of the water.” The shark reportedly “became trapped underneath the false bottom.” The letter also noted that “the noise and chaos of a commercial shoot is a very stressful environment for these sensitive animals,” and there was some concern about the temperature and salinity of the water, both during transport and in the pool.

While it is unfortunate that they chose to use a live shark and then apparently accidentally killed that shark in an apparent example of irresponsibility, my first reflex is always to side against PETA, or at least side against their involvement.

My second reflex is to not feel muchp pity for the shark, given that it is, body and soul, a shark.

Transformers Prime season 3 is final season

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

transformers-prime-optimus

via press release:

EMMY® AWARD-WINNING “TRANSFORMERS PRIME” RETURNS FOR

THIRD AND FINAL SEASON WITH A NEW FOE: THE PREDACONS!

The Series Also Debuts with a New Name –

“Transformers Prime Beast Hunters”

 

Special Four-Hour Catch-Up Marathon Kicks Off

The Final Chapter on March 22

 

LOS ANGELES – The Hub TV Network, the fastest growing children’s cable network, announces the return of the third and final season of the Daytime Emmy® Award-winning CG-animated series “Transformers Prime Beast Hunters” from Hasbro Studios on Friday, March 22. The epic saga’s return presents a formidable new opponent for the Autobots and the introduction of a third dragon-like faction called the Predacons. A special four-hour marathon (3:30–7:30 p.m. ET) of back-to-back episodes from the series’ second season will run leading up to the season-three premiere which debuts at 7:30 p.m. ET.

 

In the half-hour action series, the epic battle with the Decepticons rages on as Optimus Prime leads his team of Autobots and three human children in a mission to defend Earth and one day restore his home planet of Cybertron. But a brand new enemy emerges that could turn the tide of the war in Megatron’s favor.

 

In the season-three premiere episode, the survival of Optimus Prime is in doubt after Megatron’s destruction of the Autobot base on Earth, while the separated members of Team Prime try to reconnect after being scattered to the wind to prevent detection. The final 13 episodes will see Optimus Prime and his team face their greatest challenge yet in a new foe dedicated to the destruction of the Autobots — and potentially, planet Earth.

 

To “roll out” the final season, The Hub will host a special LA-based, invitation-only, World Premiere Screening Event of the first two episodes of “Transformers Prime Beast Hunters” followed by a Q&A session with cast and executive producers. The show’s passionate fans will be able to win tickets to the VIP screening through contests held on various online sites.

 

Additionally, starting Friday, April 19 (7:30 p.m. ET), the first four episodes of the new season will have special encore presentations that include “Autobits” — behind-the-scenes trivia with exclusive in-picture commentary designed to create an immersive viewing experience. Additional new episodes will resume in May.

 

On hubworld.com, an all-new show-page design for “Transformers Prime Beast Hunters” will feature exclusive images and video clips, as well as a countdown clock for the season three premiere. Additionally, two brand new games will launch on Friday, March 15 to support the new season. “Relic Hunter” features beloved character Arcee on a mission to Antarctica where she must navigate nine frozen trails to recover an ancient Ionian relic. “Pulsar Defense” features a battle between good and evil as the Autobots race to build up their defenses against the Decepticon’s ultimate weapon that threatens to destroy them all.

 

Finally, The Hub’s Facebook and Twitter (@HubTVNetwork) platforms will also provide sneak peeks and exclusive content from the new season and extend the viewing experience with additional activities to engage fans of all ages.

 

The Hub Original Series “Transformers Prime” was honored in 2012 with two Daytime Emmy® Awards, including Outstanding Special Class Animated Program. The wins bring to four the total number of Daytime Emmy® Awards the animated series has received since it premiered in November 2010.

 

“Transformers Prime Beast Hunter” is executive produced by Duane Capizzi (“The Batman,” “Superman: Doomsday”), Jeff Kline (“Jackie Chan Adventures,” “Men in Black: The Animated Series”), Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Cowboys & Aliens, and Transformers feature films and TV’s “Fringe” and “Hawaii Five-O”). Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Josh Keaton, Jeffrey Combs, Kevin Michael Richardson, Ernie Hudson, Gina Torres, John Noble, GeorgeTakei, Markie Post, and Steve Blum lend their voices to the series, which is produced by Hasbro Studios.

 

Later this year, fans can look for a 75-minute “Hub Original Family Movie,” titled “Predacons Rising,” which will also be available on DVD.

My TeeFury Haul

Friday, March 8th, 2013

I just love TeeFury.  This site offers a new shirt design for that day, and only that day…and then it’s gone forever…almost.

Almost is because very now and then, they offer a grab bag day to clear out their inventory of remaining shirts.  The shirts are only $6, you choose your size, and you can order up to 12 of them…and it’s potluck.  Until the package arrives, you don’t know what designs you’ll get.

I’ve managed to miss EVERY grab bag day!  So when the February 2013 grab bag day arrived, I did the full 12.  I was really hoping to get the Indiana Mouse one I missed, or any of the constant Dr. Who shirts they have.  Here’s how it turned out.

The Precious Gem:

Acceptable:

The reject pile:

I’m selling all of these.  Don’t know yet if I’ll put these on eBay or what, but if you’re interested, make me an offer in the comments section!

  • Super Saiyan Man – Superman rips open his own shirt to reveal…an orange shirt with a Japanese character.  The heck? I had to look up this one.  Turns out it’s a Dragon Ball Z reference.  It’s probably cute…if you like Dragon Ball Z.
  • Camera Robot – This is probably cool if you’re a camera aficionado.
  • Boba Fett in Assassin’s Creed gear – Not my thing.
  • Tools of the Trade – I don’t even get what this shirt is for.  It must be a video game I don’t play.  Tools of the TradeOh, yep, I just looked it up.  Metal Gear Solid. And they sent me TWO of them!  That surprised me.  I didn’t think that TeeFury would stick you with two of the same shirt in a grab bag.  That kind of stinks.  I’m guessing they had a LOT of these left over and every grab bag buyer got one.  Any Metal Gear Solid fans out there?  This one is already for sale!

Not a great haul.  Honestly, only one gem, from a site that has gems that I pass by every day?  (I can’t buy every great shirt!)  Here’s hoping I can find the people who were salivating for that great shirt that got away (and wants it in 2XL).  I may even move a few of the “acceptable” ones to the sell pile.