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!

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?