read my dirty opinions about toys, comics, movies, tv, video games and anything else that is suffocating our brains today! You know, the stuff that matters!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

VIVA POPAGANDA PUT TO BED!

Sorry faithful readers of this bodaciously, byzantine blog but as typical of many bloggers out there, life and ADD have worn down the posting speeds of yesteryear to not even a trickle.

I thought I'd just post this message to let the few and faithful that visit the VP! to let them know to stick a fork in me, because I'm done! It was fun for awhile and it was just a test against my brother to see who could keep his blog going the longest (I won) and after that sweet taste of victory subsided I realized I had other things to do.

So thanks, gracias, arigato, do ghe sai, grazi and danke shoen my friends and I'm sure I will see you all again one day!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry X-Men X-Mas!

Ok so the holidays are here and everyone is either running around shopping or travelling - so lets all relax and write off 2005! I might do a Best of 2005 list after the holidays I might not.

Below is the cover to X3 director Brett Ratner's Christmas Card that I wanted you all to see since it has nice shots of Beast and Colossus...



Be Merry!

Monday, December 19, 2005

STEVE CARELL IS GOLD!


Yeah so I missed the theatrical release of THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN but I caught the DVD recently and must say this movie is hilarious. Carell blows me away on THE OFFICE, but he shows range in this movie. If you haven't seen it and are a geek (you must be if you are reading this blog) then you should rent/buy/download this movie. Definitely worth giving as a gift in lieu of action figures or to the person that has all the other blockbuster films (EP3, Batman Begins etc.) everyone will be very happy with this even if you thinking its a slam against geeks - its not - its pure comic genius and even his buddies and co-workers shine!

First rate comedy if you like Farelly Brothers type stuff and The Office. I saw 2 cast members of The Office in the movie too.

I just love this image of Carell!

ZATCH BELL!!!!


I know, you are thinking the same thing - what kind of weird anime has a little kid in a choirboy outfit as the main character? When I first heard about ZATCH BELL (Gash Bell in Japan) I thought it looked weird and creepy. New rule: Creepy and Weird from Japan = AWESOME!

This is kind of like a Pokemon show where humans with their mamodo's/pokemon's do battle against others to be come the Mamodo King. There isnt much info on where they come from and why all the mamodo are kids and why some are kids, some are teens and some are weird duck-looking creatures - but its one hell of a fun ride and for those who like zaniness in their action-adventure should be catching this show on Cartoon Network.

One of the things I love best is the voice of Zatch himself...if you've seen Jimmy Neutron you might do a double take but the actor who is a woman (accomplish voice actor and film actress Deri Derryberry) the naive yet deadly nature of Zatch and his relationship with his owner Keyo makes this series fun to watch.

I am just starting to read the manga now from Viz and it seems like a storyboard for the anime. Mattel is making toys for the show so I hope they make a plush life size Zatch. The card game is selling well and I even picked that up having never played a CCG before...

I guess this show is aimed at Teen Titan age kids, but if you are older you'll enjoy it too.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

KONG BABY, YAH!


I was one of the people that helped KING KONG show off a bad opening day. I was there for the midnight show on Tuesday to see if this flick could live up to the hype. I am not a huge Kong fan...I like the Japanese monsters better, actually Kong might very well be on the bottom of my ist of favorite monsters but if Pete "Slim" Jackson likes him and I loved LOTR then I can at least see what he did. Actually I was sold on the fight scenes in the trailer. If you are like me and want to see some cool monster-on-monster fights then you won't be disapointed.

You can really see the 3 acts in this movie - Act 1 on the way to Skull Island, Act 2 on Skull Island and Act 3 in New York. Act 1 should have been cut down by half or more. 1 hour from the beginning to when you finally see Kong. While you could argue that Act 2 was too long (90 minutes I believe) I would have been disappointed if it was any shorter because this is what I paid to see. The final act? I guess how else could it really end? I won't really flaw the story because it is what it is...looking at it from a new perspective with all the CG effects is what I am basing my viewpoint on.

The reason why LOTR didnt seem like 3 hours is because of its 3-4 different narritive streams which kept bouncing back and forth, KONG just has one - so you either love it or like me get fidgety in the theatre at 2am.

Good fun for monster fighters...like Gollum, Kong ceased to be a CG effect after about 30 minutes. Naomi Watts is hot, like a new Nicole Kidman, Jack Black although not the crazy School of Rock guy was good but what is up with Adrian Brody's nose?

I'll probably get the DVD to see the fight scenes again but no doubt they wont look as good as they did on the big screen. I am indifferent about this flick maybe because of my preconceptions, so maybe another viewing will do it justice.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

ESSENTIAL MANGA: GANTZ



Sometimes I do like being the last in line. Usually I am first but sometimes being first is not the best...take this anime and manga series called GANTZ for instance. Its been a manga since 2000 and its been available as a English anime from ADV since last year and this year in box set form.

I did see an episode but it moved a bit too slow for my taste, and I didn't quite know what to make of it. Then I was able to get the English manga and I must now say this is one of the best manga I have ever read.

First, for those who like more Western style comics and dont like manga because of the big eyes and cutesy nature of most of the stereotypes of Japanese comics - PUT THAT BIAS ASIDE...you won't find a better story than the first 6 volumes of GANTZ manga...it is creepy, sexy, action packed and violent - this is more in line with a Vertigo comic drawn by Jim Lee than whatever preconceptions you may have about manga.

I might even go as far as saying outside of my nostalgic view and love for INFINITE CRISIS that GANTZ is the best comic I've read this year! While I havent finished it yet, it so far has pushed all the right buttons with me. The reason why I like manga is that it really decompresses a storyline to the point that it does feel like a movie. After a comment is made, the art shows the characters reaction in art rather than thought balloons and a fight scene will be a wordless 10-pages of extreme detail and 2-panel pages where you feel each blow and the destruction around it.

OK so I haven't seen the anime yet but this kind of story I like to read at my own pace because its so exciting and cliffhangery (there's that term again) that reading the manga lets me follow it and keep me going. For some reason the manga is not available in bookstores yet, I got mine off the web...so there really is no reason not to seek it out because people say the manga is better in terms of it being more graphic and also better drawn.

You can find a blurb about the storyline online, but I will say that besides its Battle Royale type theme of killing for a game - the rest is so original that you will not have seen or read anything like it. So seek it out, it will be worth it.

NIGHT STALKER CANCELLED; PRISON BREAK CONTINUES


Ouch - well the last 3 epsiodes of the 6 that aired of the new NIGHT STALKER series were pretty bad, did anybody actually think that it would survive against CSI: LAS VEGAS? But still scoring 5 million viewers is pretty good. Producer Frank Spotnitz reveals on his blog that its game over for the Stuart Townsend X-files type show. I thought it was OK but I'm sure Stuart will find work elsewhere.

Good news that PRISON BREAK which was supposed to be just filler until 24 came back on has built a fan base so that it will continue. Prison Break is probably my favorite NEW show of the 2005 Fall season...but what is up with new episodes in MAY 2006??? But this show is so damn good and cliffhanging that you have to watch it. If you haven't seen it yet save yourself the suspense and wait for the DVD box set as this is one of those shows you will want to watch in a marathon - this once a week thing is killing me.

PS
I find it flattering that some of you spammers think that my blog is popular enough to warrant leaving spam messages. I guess the joke is on you guys...viewership has dropped like a rock in the last month.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

IN A MINUTE: EP3 DOCUMENTARY


I have never seen anything I could call "exhaustive" - okay maybe watching all 3 Lord of the Rings or all the Star Trek movies in one sitting is equal but Rick Macullum's 90-minute documentary on Disc 2 of the STAR WARS REVENGE ON THE SITH DVD - the making of the 60 second fight scene between Anakin and Obi-Wan on Mustafar was the most in-depth thing I have ever seen!!!!!

Going from the design group at Skywalker Ranch to the location shooting to the costumes and props to even the CATERING - it took over 1000 people 2 years to make that 60 second scene...wow! Anybody that doesnt think this kind of CGI movie isnt a work of art should watch this. For film buffs everywhere this documentary is a must watch!

BATMAN BEGINS DVD - MUST BUY!


Wow time flies - I remember posting my comments of BATMAN BEGINS on this blog not too long ago and now I am reviewing the DVD.

If you loved the film you obviously are buying the DVD so I dont really need to sell you on this. I bought the 2 disc set with the comic inside. The comic has Long Halloween #1 and Detective Comics #27 - two issues I've read many times - but its nice to see the inclusion of the short story from SECRET ORIGINS Circa 1989 as I've never read the story "The Man Who Falls" - great story and can see that this story was used in fashioning the origin elements of the film.

I wont go into details about the sound and picture clarity of the DVD, but I can say that after watching this again - this is my favorite superhero movie - let me watch it a few more times before I *definitely* say this but right now it beats out SPIDER-MAN 1, X-MEN 1 and marginally sliding by SUPERMAN 1. One thing I warn you is to NOT BUY the original 4 Batman films unless you are die-hard. Watching those again is like watching Robotech and then Ghost in the Shell. Just painful in comparison! Christian Bale and cast and crew - Chistopher Nolan and David Goyer you guys just knocked this so far out of the park.

The Second Disc is pretty cool except for the annoying comic book interface - this movie is so far beyond comics I dont know why they need to dress it up this way. This movie is so good it makes me forget this is based on a comic book and that Batman is an actual urban myth. The behind the scenes features are OK - in-depth but very glossy look at the making of the film. OK, I did see the documentary on the REVENGE OF THE SITH DVD and that will make anything else seem glossy. All in all a great 2-disc set but I know, I KNOW I will have to buy it again - WHERE THE HELL IS THE NOLAN AND GOYER COMMENTARY??? That was one commentary I was really looking forward to hear (Lucas didnt do one for EP3 either)

Anyways - buy it and love it - SUPERMAN RETURNS has alot to live up to and without the origin story to fall back on.

BSG COMPANION BOOK



I just finished reading this companion book for BATTLESTAR GALACTICA from Titan Books and its great! Thumbs up! There are 2 covers to this book - I have one with Number Six on the cover flanked by cylons which I believe is the direct market cover - Titan likes to have a more mass appeal one for bookstores and then I guess a sexier one for theh fanboys - I'd prefer the mass one but they only had this one at the comic shop I bought it at.

Its like the Concordance for Star Trek but focuses on the mini-series and the first season. It has ALOT of behind the scenes info which is why I bought it - I didnt want it if it was just an episode guide but it talks to Ronald Moore about his thinking behind the re-imagining as well as casting, costumes, music and visual effects - great if you love the show and great if you want to learn about what goes into making a sci-fi show.

January cannot come soon enough for more of Season 2. (FYI - Sci Fi ordered 20 epsiodes for Season 2 but for some reason broke them up into 2 packs of 10 - I guess to avoid the regular networks Fall releases , whci h Iwuldnt be scared of since of all the new shows BSG is still the one I would choose to watch.)

Hurry up with the toys Hasbro!

The first 10 epsiodes of Season 2 are on DVD on December 20th!

IC 2 IS HERE!




Sorry its been a month since last blogging but wanted to drop in and make sure everyone is buying INFINITE CRISIS - the second issue is out and its awesome.

Geroge Perez actually draws a few pages where the original Crisis is re-capped so its a nice change from the ugly artwork that is Phil Jimenez. I still don't understand why this very important comic was drawn by a bad Perez-clone. I would take any of the DC staple artists like Rags Morales, Howard Porter or even Ed Benes - but Phil is the only thing that is bringing this series in a notch below the original COIF for me.

But I've waded through worse to get a good story and I did suffer with Jimenez on his run with Grant Morrison on NEW X-MEN so I guess I can take it - at least its not Ethan Van Sciver...what's up with all these bad post-Image artists?

Friday, October 14, 2005

INFINITE CRISIS IS HERE!

I haven't felt this way since maybe the first issue of Crisis on Infinite Earth's #1 20 years ago...INFINITE CRISIS #1 by Geoff Johns and Phil Jimenez was the only comic I bought this week and I couldn't wait to get home to read it. Straight home after the comic shop and plopped down on the sofa and read it super slowly to make sure I took in all the artwork and the double-page spreads.

I obviously won't spoil anything here because since Wednesday I have been dodging any mention of anything to do with this comic online. Obviously I am a huge DC nerd because to me the best comic series of all time was CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS and I have that hardcover that came out a few years back and I will treasure that as my history book to the DC UNIVERSE.

A big thank you to the current DC COMIC management for putting this Infinite Crisis together - whether it turns out good or bad or does or doesn't compare to COIF it doesn't matter - its the DC event we've been waiting for since the Death of Superman.

Don't you love how comics can make you regress into a kid again! Thanks DC!

BATTLESTAR IS AWESOME!


I just love it when I miss something and then am able to catch up in one whirlwind of being glued in from of whatever it is. I did see the first part of the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA mini-series and it was so bad and so boring that I never bothered to see the series.

Then my buddy lends me his box set of SEASON 1 and I skip the mini-series and dive right into the 13 episodes of the series and love it. It's jumping up quickly to be the best sci-fi show. I don't know if I count FIREFLY as sci-fi really, and while I still think FIREFLY's cast and stories were great, with BSG having wrapped part 1 of their second season its going to be tough for Firefly to keep that title because BSG is just great television and great sci-fi.

I cannot recommend this show highly enough. Everything I thought I'd hate about it is perfect. How can anyone replace Lorne Greene and Dirk Benedict - well Edward James Olmos and Katee Sackhoff have more than amazingly pulled it off.

And I just love the classic viper - IMHO the best space ship design ever.

TOO MUCH TV


No new blog entries in almost a month means we have been sucked in by the TV season. I can't remember ever watching this much TV except when I was 8 and living for Saturday Morning and After school cartoons.

I'm going to post these shows I like and see if I still like them the next time I see this entry.

NIGHT STALKER: Never really saw the original KOLCHAK - but this one if pretty creepy, and now comparing it to SUPERNATURAL whoch is also a bit creepy, Stuart Townsend is more creepy than the Supernatural Brothers - and Kolchak gets a Jimmy Olsen and a black Lois Lane to boot.

E-RING: USually I don't like military shows, I don't watch JAG or things like that, but these stories with Benjamin Bratt and Dennis "Spitting Mad" Hopper are neat little Bruckheimer-type adventures. I've been entertained at least so far and will continue watching.

PRISON BREAK: Still good and still keeping up the story. I have a morbid facination with this show waiting to see it fall apart - if it doesn't I will be very happy.

MY NAME IS EARL and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: Two sappy comedies but the only short form sit-com content that is passable this season, seems everyone went for 1-hour drama's.

I've already dropped THRESHOLD and SURFACE and will skip through SUPERNATURAL.

And then there are the usual suspects: ALIAS, SMALLVILLE, CSI, THE SIMPSONS, BOSTON LEGAL, MEDIUM and LOST - no Desperate Housewives here.

I point you to a great TV Show blog here!