Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sam The Captain America Eagle

This is pretty cool, except it kind of really annoys me as well. It would be cool if it was just a parody poster put out to promote the upcoming Muppet movie, but unfortunately, it smacks of marketing to me. Maybe if Disney didn't own both the Muppets and Marvel Entertainment group, whose Marvel Studios are putting out Captain America in the next week or so, it wouldn't seem like a such a cynical cross-promotional tool, but they do, and so it does. Sorry if I ruined it for you, it is still pretty cool.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Work In Progress

It could possibly be close to a year since I did any work on this painting. And I didn't do much now.

So it makes sense to start a new one.

Maybe I'll have them finished by the end of the world next year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DVD (And Other Video Movies) Review For Week 12/7/11-18/7/11

After last weeks excellent foray into the Sci-Fi section of Video Ezy, I thought I'd actually go through all the movies in that section in a systematic viewing schedule, but when I turned up last Tuesday and perused the shelves, I just couldn't do it. There seemed to be nothing of interest to me there, so that put paid to that idea. Maybe I'll try again next week. So instead I got this out.

I saw this at the cinema, and from what I remember, I enjoyed it, but wasn't sure if it was a keeper. So I got it out to try formulate a definitive answer on it. I'm not sure I'm there yet, but it's growing on me. I quite like the movie, but there one or two things which make me hesitate. The first is the editing. I think the film is quite stylishly shot, but the editing doesn't allow any shot t linger, for you as the audience to appreciate it. I understand why you do that at the beginning, it is called Faster for a reason, I guess. But the action flows better when we can see it for more than a few seconds. And the cuts seems to be in really awkward spots, it just didn't seem very well edited to me. The second thing I don't particularly like is the Killer character. And it's not so much a problem I have with the character, but more the actor portraying him.
He could've been better. And Maggie Grace, she's real pretty, but she doesn't really convince in her role either, but I don't mind so much, because like I said, she's pretty. Don't judge me.
But having said that, there is stuff I love about the movie. The Rock's character, Driver, has a really interesting arc, and the Cop, played by Billy Bob Thornton, is another really interesting character. I love his interactions with this son. I love his complexity as a addict cop and how he's just trying to get to retirement. Like I said, there's lots of stylish shots, and I really love this shot from early on...

But the thing I love the most is the final guy he goes to kill, the guy who became a christian in prison and now has a revival tent ministry. I just love how this film deals with vengeance and forgiveness. It seems something new to the revenge film, though I;m sure it's been explored before, but I wonder if it's been this explicit. So right now, I'm thinking of buying it, because I really do love that stuff I mentioned, and I guess maybe I'll learn to put up with the stuff I don't.

And that's about all I watched. I had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 on in the background while I was doing stuff, but I'm going to give that a proper viewing this coming week, so I'll talk about that alter. And I also watched 2 Weeks Notice which I taped of TV. What can I say? I got a real soft spot for Sandra Bullock, so I like it, even though it's pretty standard, and quite middle-of-the-road romantic comedy. I also taped Under Siege, but the timer cut out too early, so I didn't get to see Steve kill Tommy. Might have to get that and the sequel out sometime soon as well then.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Comic Reviews For Release Date 6/7/11

This is a little late, because the shipment got held up at customs, so didn't actually come into till about a week later. That was a hard week for me. But anyway, shall we see what I read this week?

One of the problems with reading serialised fiction, like a monthly comic, is that you have to remember what happened in the previous issue. I knew that this had something to do with Jason Todd as the Rd Hood teaming up with Dick Grayson Batman and Damian Wayne Robin, but I couldn’t remember why. Well I picked it up as I went along, something about a girl being kidnapped or something, but he problem was, by the end of the issue, I didn’t care. Red Hood got away, and felt really nonplussed. I quite like the cover, and the interior art was pretty nice. I’m not quite sure how to describe it, so it’s lucky I can post a picture of it instead.

I like how the Red Hood has red pistols, a nice little stylistic touch. And the rendition of Damien looks age appropriate, so I liked that as well. (Side note, I’m mainly referring to Greg Tochini, who was the penciller for the majority of the issue, though the last few pages were done by Andy Smith, and I don’t think were quite as good). But in the end, the story let me down, or rather my lack of interest in a wider Batman continuity let me down. Oh well, it’s all ending soon anyway, so why worry too much about it?

I wasn’t going to buy any of the Fear Itself event books, but I heard this was a good issue, and I’d been buying and enjoying Uncanny X-Force, so thought I’d give it a go. And it was pretty good, I think. Simone Bianchi was on art chores, and I like his stuff, it’s just I wonder if he’s really suited to American comics. His art is beautiful, I just think I prefer his covers to his storytelling. It’s almost like his work is too busy for a fluid reading, or he needs the pages to be wider, or something. Anyway, the story was good, with the team trying to track down the usual bad guys who don’t like mutants, and it had a nice scene with Deadpool being interviewed by a couple of stuffed toys, and a pretty harsh cliff-hanger ending, so all in all, despite what I said about Bianchi’s art, I enjoyed it.

Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso are just one of those creative teams who are worth buying, because they always deliver. Continuing the alternate reality storyline of this Flashpoint event, we have Thomas Wayne Batman trying to track down a couple of kidnapped kids, with opportunities to see some familiar faces in some not so familiar roles. One of them should have been more obvious to me, I mean it was practically handed to me on a plate, but still I didn’t see it coming. And I thought the reveal at the end was going to be Bruce, which would have been really clever, if obvious, and make no sense at all since he was clearly shot, but I was wrong, but it was still a cool reveal, even if I think I may have read about it beforehand, And that nasty triack she plays on Jim Gordon when he arrives at the house, that was a good moment. You’ll have to read it for yourself if you want to know what happens, I’m not going to spoil it.

This event makes me wonder, what right does someone have to try alter an alternate timeline back to a supposed original timeline? That’s what Flash is trying to do, and he’s recruiting Flashpoint Batman to help him. But this whole world, it’s the world as these people know it, so what right does this Flash have to say no, you can’t exist in this way, I have to put you back to this other way, the way I know? Anyway, it’s probably for the best, since the whole world is being kid of going down the tubes with the war between the Amazons and the Atlanteans. So in this issue, the fellows try to get the team back together, so go to bust out Superman from where he’s been hidden for the last 30 years or so. Which is pretty cool, since he’s been hidden from the sun, the source of his power, and locked up in a government facility, he’s nothing like the Superman we know, skinny and scared, he bolts for the sky at the first sign of trouble after they bust him out. Also, Grifter makes his first appearance post-Wildstorm appearance. I’m hearing a lot of online murmurings about how people are enjoying the tie-ins more than this actual title, which I think I agree with. It’s not really the strongest story, it’s ok, just not great. But it’s fun to see all the different alternate characters, which leads us to…

I don’t know who this magic teen girl character is who’s the protagonist of this series, so I don’t know how different she is from normal DCU continuity, but she’s travelling around this Flashpoint world a lot trying to rally people to join her in stopping her father from launching nuclear weapons at the Amazons or Atlantis or both, I can’t really remember, but anyway, we get to see a lot of different characters because of that. And that’s the fun of this series and event, so even though I don’t know who she is or maybe half the people she’s visiting, I’m still enjoying it. Things of note, or things I especially liked, Beast Boy making his appearance and answering the question of what happens when someone rapidly changes size from a bee to a chimpanzee inside someone else’s head. Answer, it’s bloody. Also, nice cliffhanger ending reveal.

I’m enjoying this, which is a pleasant surprise, since the last few projects that Bendis and Maleev have worked on have left me cold. But this is ticking along nicely. I don’t love it wholeheartedly, but there’s definitely enough to keep me happy. I like the crazy aspect of his character, and I think Bendis is doing a good job with that. And Maleev’s art doesn’t seem so dependent on his reference material as it has recently, more a return to his Daredevil style, but still better somewhat, maybe. Just not as bad as it has been, so we’ll keep going with this one, but hope it gets better, it could go either way.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

DVD Review For Week 5/7/11-11/7/11

Man, I thought this was a really good week for videos (or to be more accurate, DVDs, but you know what I mean). I decided to hit up the Sci-Fi section of Video Ezy, and got out 4 movies to watch, a couple of repeats and a couple new ones for me, and each one was worth a watch. So why don’t you sit back and I’ll tell you all about it?

Dragon Wars - So when this was first released, I was pretty excited to see it, but was also wary, and wariness won out, so it’s taken me a couple years to actually get round to seeing it. But I thought it was pretty good, not great but good. I knew this was a Korean made film, but when I saw it had an American cast, I was a bit worried, as that rarely seems to work, but it wasn’t too bad this time. The biggest problem I had with the film was the actual story. The dragon war it self was pretty cool, and I really quite enjoyed most of the action, it’s just the framing for it, left a little to be desired. The story is about some kind of giant snake type creature of Korean legend that every 500 years has the opportunity to become a dragon and be a force for good or evil in the universe, but to achieve this, some 20 year old girl must sacrifice herself to it for some reason. Except 500 years ago she and her protector fell in love and ended up dying in each other’s arms, plummeting of a cliff, thus preventing the evil snake imoogi from ascending to dragonhood, as well as the good immogi. So now in the present day it’s happening all over again, and it’s really kind of pointless. I think there are plenty of other ways they could have had a dragon war without being too dull. Anyway, I didn’t want to spend too much time on it, so let me sum up the good and the bad. The good, fun story when it was involving dragons. Good use of practical and real locations. Minimal use of CGI, mainly for dragons themselves, most everything else seemed practical. It was pretty cool to see this dragon army marching down the streets of L.A., and having a huge aerial battle with dragons and helicopters in the middle of all these skyscrapers.
The bad, the story stuff I already mentioned. The lack of geography making sense, scenes just happen at one place with no sense of how long it takes to get there or where they are in relation to other scenes. And the end scene, at some alter type place in a barren landscape with huge castle and monuments, I’ve no idea where that is, is it meant to be in L.A. or Korea?
I liked it, but it’s not a strong recommendation from me, unless you’re into dragons. It’s kind of like Heat meets Star Wars prequels.

Jonny Mnemonic – A repeat viewing, but this film is worth it. Have you seen it? It’s awesome. It just keeps on delivering, there’s always something new around the corner. It’s got Keanu Reeves, Dolph Lundgren, Ice-T and Henry Rollins in it, to name a few. That’s got to be worth seeing just for a cast list like that. And I love Dolph’s role in this, he plays this killer priest type character, all dressed up like a hermit with a big bushy beard. It’s got Yakuza, body enhancements, a dolphin hacker, everything a growing boy needs. A strong recommendation.

Class of 1999 – Yeah, boy. I thought this was possibly going to suck, but it might’ve been my favourite of the week. It’s an obvious terminator rip-off, but when you read what the back cover blurb says, you’ll definitely want to watch it. Unfortunately, I forgot to write it down, so I’ll just try summarise for you. So the youth gangs have become such a problem that the cops won’t go into some areas, so in a high school some robot teachers are brought in to try discipline the kids. But they’re former army robots, and they start reverting to their more extreme programming. So the gangs have to come together to try destroy the robot teachers. The video said it better, but I hope you can sense how awesome it could be. It was made in 1990, so it’s still full of practical effects, though there may have been one computer effect, but realistically, they wouldn’t have the budget for it. But I think the effects they had hold up really well, and there are some great kill shots in here. When the teachers really let loose at the end, and start transforming a bit into the weapons they were I the war, it’s obviously fake, but it still looks cool. Also, it has Ed from Northern Exposure as a drugged up gang member. I think there’s something in this movie for everyone, but I could be wrong. And you have to be over 18 to watch it. But it’s worth it.

Mimic – I mainly got this one out because I have a theory that Blade II is Guillmero De Toro’s best film, and I wanted to prove it by comparing all his movies. Well, I might be wrong, because this is a pretty good film. I think I knew that, and I think I’ll always prefer Blade II, but this is a really strong contender. It was in the sci-fi section, but it could just as easily be in the horror section. I admit it, I felt a little nervous during some scenes. Basically the story of mutated bugs, it’s well worth a look. I hope to revisit this later when I’m ready to do my op piece of Del Toro’s oeuvre, so I won’t say much more, except to say, I might have to buy this one as well. If I can find it cheap. Actually, I’d be inclined to buy 3 of the 4 films I watched this week, so I’m pretty happy with that.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Frank Cho's "Guns & Dinos"

Ooh, this is pretty. If you don't know, Frank Cho is a cartoonist who I follow for his work on his own published comic strip, Liberty Meadows. He can really draw, and he loves beautiful women, apes and dinosaurs. You can see why he would appeal. But now he's announced a new comic to come out hopefully at the end of the year, though just between you and me, I expect it to come out next year. Anyway, it looks pretty obvious what it's about, but you can read up on it at his official site here and here.
Meanwhile, here's a pretty picture.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Unofficial Pixar Cars Makeover Of Other Movie Cars

I thought Cars was an entertaining but insignificant film, so don't really care too much about it, but this amused me, over at They re-imagined famous cars from movies as Pixar Cars. I like the land-speeder one as well.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Koreans Tour South Park

Since Jared recently put up a photo of our band on Facebook, I thought I'd put this up here, since why not? I think Jared created this using some character developer module or something on the net, anyway, it turned out pretty good, I think. Hope you like it too.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Comic Review For Release Date 29/6/11

After last weeks disappointing batch of comics, I was beginning to question how much longer I’d continue to buy the monthly floppies, and then this weeks batch was really strong, so I guess I got sucked in again. This is what I read this week, in alphabetical order.

American Vampire #16- Consistently one of the best comics on the “racks”, or shelves, if you prefer. Rafael Albuquerque continues to impress with his expressionist art, and Scott Snyder is giving us a great story. I think what I appreciate more about this run on the series rather than the earlier one is that this story is more linear, not so much jumping around with back story. We’re pretty much with Henry and the squad looking for Vampires, and Rose as she tries to come to Henry’s rescue. And it’s unfolding nicely with twists and turns, just what you want to keep you coming back for more month after month.

Batman Detective Comics #878- Another great Scott Snyder written comic, but this time with great Jock art. So we’ve got Dick Grayson as Batman, trying to solve the mystery of the girl in the killer whale inside the bank, and it opens with Batman about to be eaten by a killer whale. It’s good comics. And the story with James Gordon makes obvious that which was only suggested before, and it’s about as bad as we feared and hoped for (assuming you’re reading this as well, I guess).

Batman Incorporated #7- Written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Chris Burnham, this continues to explore the expanded Batman franchise, this time on a native Indian reservation, with a Father/Son team at odds about their mission. A fairly straightforward story this time round from Grant Morrison, with more obvious references to the big bad which seems to be a global threat. Which means all this international Batman franchise stuff is going to pay off big, I suspect. Anyway, while Chris Burnham is no Frank Quietly, he’s doing a great job, and he’ll only get better, I suspect, so looking forward to following along with him on this title.
Also, this issue has one the laws of comics that holds true, that Batman riding a horse = awesome.

Drums #2 – This is shaping up to be a nifty little read, a good palette cleanser from all the superhero stuff. This comic continues to follow the investigation of an apparent massacre or perhaps ritual suicide, having something to do with voodoo. It’s got some pretty creepy things going on with zombies and dreams and that whole black magic thing, so another good read for the week.

Green Arrow Industries One Shot (Flashpoint tie-in) – While I quite enjoyed this, and almost would have bought it just for the cover, I think I would have got more out of it if I was more familiar with the characters from the regular DC continuity, so I could see how they’re different, and enjoy it at that level. But as it is, I know a little bit about Green Arrow, and nothing much about anyone else, and I’m not really sure where this fits into the Flashpoint continuity/storyline, but I enjoyed it anyway. It was an interesting story with pretty decent art, telling basically a bit of a cat and mouse story set on a jungle island. It was good fun, without really tying into anything else.

Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine #1 – I think this might be my pick of the week, or at least surprise of the week. You don’t really expect too much with a title like Marvel Universe Vs. Wolverine, but this delivered. Seemingly to take a leaf from Garth Ennis’ Crossed series, there seems to be some virus going around turning people into super-carnivores, human feasting death machines, and no one seems to be safe. So you can see where this is going. In this first issue, Wolverine runs into the first signs that something’s not right, and by the end has had to kill a lot of his friends. So it’s got two things happening that I wasn’t really expecting. It’s got a cool story with a bit of heart to it, and it’s well told, both narratively, and the art is pretty good too. Also, the level of the violence is fairly high, with limbs being hacked off and babies being eaten, stuff like that, all with the emotional punch of this happening to people Wolvie knows and cares for, it’s a pretty good read. Looking forward to the rest of the series now. I better mention the names of the guys who wrote and drew it I suppose since I’ve just praised them, but I don’t really know much about them. Jonathon Maberry wrote it, and I think I read online that he wrote the Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe story, which if memory serves, was also pretty good. The artist is Laurence Campbell, who I don’t recognise, but seems to come from that Michael Lark/ Alex Maleev school of art. It’s good stuff.

Project Superman #1 – Ok, not quite what I was expecting, but a good story none the less. I was expecting more like on the cover, where Superman’s lifepod crash lands in Metropolis rather than a Kansas cornfield, but that doesn’t happen till the end. What does happen is another one of those government trying to create their own superman type stories. What’s interesting is the story is told from the subjects viewpoint, so we get to see how he kind of proves the old adage true, that power corrupts. As he gets stronger, his grip on his humanity begins to loosen, and it seems to me to be setting things up nicely for a clash of supermen.
And I just realised, this is my third Scott Snyder comic for the week. The guy's a machine.

Ultimate X #5 – I was kind of over this already, without having read it, just because it’s taken so long for this series to finish up. As I flicked through it, it wasn’t really appealing to me, but when I actually got round to reading it, it reminded me that this actually has been a really strong series, well told (by Jeph Loeb) and beautifully drawn by Art Adams. It’s setting up the new status quo for mutants in the Ultimate Universe, and setting up the divide between two groups, and the mission statement which should drive the new series forward. It’s got me interested to catch up with the Ultimate Universe again, so it’s doing a good job.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

DVD Review For Week 28/6/11- 4/7/11

So another light week this week, though I did have a couple films on in the background, but stopped watching them because I wanted to pay more attention to them that I was, so maybe next week I’ll tell you about them, but these are the ones I’m discussing this week.

Extract-This is the new film by Mike Judge, probably best known as the creator of Beavis & Buthead or preferably, writer/director of Office Space, as well as doing Idiotcracy and probably other stuff I can’t remember of the top of my head. Starring Jason Bateman, who is most famous for Teen Wolf Too, being Justine Bateman’s brother, and Arrested Development, the film follows him as he struggles with getting some from his wife, trying to sell his extract business and having to deal with an employee involved in an accident at work trying to sue the company under the influence of a con-woman. Hope I didn’t give it all way then, but none of that is really a surprise, I’m pretty sure I knew most of that going in. Anyway, I guess the real question is, was it funny? And yeah, I thought it was pretty good. Maybe not such an instant classic as Office Space seemed to be, but still pretty good. I’d give it a watch, if I was you.

The Visioneers-The appeal here is Zach Galifinakis, but it’s not your typical Zach Galifinakis role, so I guess I should tell you a bit more about it. The film seems to be some future world where some kind of mega-corporation seems to be pretty much running America, selling happiness, I guess. Except people seem to be exploding, for no apparent reason, and Zach’s character is some mid-level paper-pusher who has seems to be more intimate with the voice on the other end of the phone on another level than he is with his wife, and I guess is going through an existential crisis. It seems to be of that kind of film similar to stuff by Kaufman. And I don’t have anything against it, but I just kind of wonder, did they really think what they were saying was anything new? Do we really think that happiness can be achieved through buying the right things and following some corporations instructions? I’d like to think most of us aren’t that shallow, and if we are, we’re off watching Transformers, not hiring out some unheard of movie. It was cool, but didn’t really leave me with much of a sense of anything.

A Serious Man-I got this out because I’m trying to figure out if I think this is the Coen Brothers best film or not, since I enjoyed True Grit so much recently. And as it started I was thinking maybe I had overvalued it, but as the film continues, I think it becomes a really strong contender for best film. I’m not sure I can answer that question, which is appropriate for this film, since it deals with unanswerable questions so much. But one question that was answered, in regards to the opening story, does it have significance for the rest of the film?, and the answer is apparently no. Which make me feel better. In the bonus features, there’s an interview with the Coen Brothers, and they discuss how they just felt it was the right way to open the movie, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with the film. So that’s good, because I struggled to make any connections, but it is a great way to open the movie, and does set a tone for he film.
I think this film is really visually strong. I think Roger Deakins is who they worked with as cinematographer on True Grit too, and this guy’s stuff looks beautiful. Plus you’ve got ths really particular niche script, with truly great performances, especially form the lead guy, and it really is a great all round package. I’d say it falls into my personal top five Coen Brothers films, but I need time to ponder a bit more whether I think it is their best film, which is what I’ve previously stated, and probably still think.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Batman/Joker "Knock Knock"

The Dark Knight was on tele tonight, which is as good as reason as any to post this joke.
It makes me smile.

(Original Source Unknown)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Old Green Lantern

I can't remember where I stumbled across this old photo of a kid dressed up as Green Lantern, but I like it. I think it's a comic writer or artist, but I can't be sure. But it's Green Lantern, Old School.

Update: (source: