Dec 29, 2009

Too Many Penguins Eating Lunch

I don't really know what this is, but it made me cry. Someone with far too much time on their hands dubbed over some Star Trek: The Next Generation with pure nonsense. The result: hilarity.

Nov 20, 2009


If I possessed the power to manipulate time and space, I would travel back to Nov. 18 and catch The Swell Season show in LA. Glen will set everything up for you.

Best guest performance ever!

Nov 15, 2009

Turtles Forever!

As a final hurrah for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's 25th Anniversary Shell-ebration, 4Kids Entertainment has been working on a very special feature length TV movie, Turtles Forever.

The film is a melting pot of all things Turtles from every medium. Alongside the characters from the current animated series will be those of the 1987 animated series, some from the movies (like Tokka & Rahzar), and even the original B&W Mirage Comics Turtles, all joined together via some form of interdimensional travel no doubt (Wormholes? The Nexus? Mikey dreamed it?). Check out the teaser trailer below.

Turtles Forever will air November 21 on the CW.

As a side note...Turtle Mania(or is it Turtle Insanity?) doesn't stop with their 25th B-Day. Early in 2010, Playmates will be re-releasing the best action figures ever made: The "Movie Star" Turtles!

Oh, but there's more! There are also plans for a brand new figure line. Their intention: A beautiful marriage between the original line and that of the 2003 era. The result? This prototype Splinter!

I want everything mentioned in this!

Nov 1, 2009

Ornery Ewoks!

Ewoks are known for ruining a scene. In this case, they made it watchable. Be patient for the first minute or so, it gets hilarious toward the end.

Oct 26, 2009

Barbie Ladies of the 80's!

Many years ago I stumbled upon a Poison Ivy Barbie at Wal-Mart. I of course bought her immediately. The cashier, possibly feeling uncomfortable that a grown man was purchasing nothing but a lone Barbie doll at 3am, commented on how that was going to make a great gift for my daughter. I decided against telling her, "Oh, I don't have a daughter. This is for me!"

I wish I could say my Barbie collecting could be labeled as an isolated incident, but Poison Ivy was the catalyst to a very expensive (and emasculating) hobby. So with every shred of manliness gone, I have no shame in admitting squealing like a schoolgirl at the announcement of Barbie's next Pink Label Series (Holiday 2009). It has officially rocked my socks...and soon, will rock my pocketbook.

Ladies of the 80's!

Debbie Harry, Joan Jett, and Cyndi Lauper!

I love the selection! I'm glad they didn't just settle for the likes of Madonna and Pat Benatar.

Note: I hope they make Madonna and Pat Benatar.

Oct 10, 2009

Oh My Tauntaun!

It started out as the best April Fool's joke this side of Hoth, but now it's a beautiful reality. Ladies and Gentlemen...Wookies & Mynocks...

The Tauntaun Sleeping Bag!

Click the world's cutest rebel to read more.

This prototype was made as a gag, and as you know, you can't go around selling merchandise based on properties you don't own. Certainly not Star Wars. (My homemade Alf memorabilia is all over eBay). But what truly amazes me is that Lucas actually approved this. That's the only good that has come from him since The Empire Strikes Back (how fitting).

And feel free to pre-order me two or three of these.

I'm serious. I would sleep in it every night.

Oct 8, 2009

Japanese Read Comics Backwards

Kodansha, Japan's largest publisher, has set up shop stateside leaving tens upon dozens of manga kids in shambles. Basically what this means is anyone publishing titles owned by Kodansha, no longer holds licence to those properties. Dark Horse lost Akira and Ghost In The Shell, which isn't much of a blow considering numerous volumes have been out-of-print for some time now. But for the manga-only Tokyopop, they lost everything Kodansha. So it may be awhile for the legions of pimply, sexually confused tweens to see anymore volumes of such masterworks as Chobits, Love Hina, and Samurai Deeper Kyo. Anyway, none of this is really important...

...what is important is the status of a property Kodansha owns that ins't available in the states, nor has been for almost a decade. One that they haven't even announced plans to re-print, but I can't for the life of me figure out why it wouldn't be the first thing they'd release. When you think of manga/anime, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Osamu Tezuka? Well, only if you're awesome. I'm of course referring to Sailor effing Moon! I have no shame in the following three words: I want now.

But even more important than a possible re-print of the entire manga series (which I'd hypocritacally buy even though I hate 99% of manga and it's readers) is a little poll Funimation had on their site this summer asking: "Would you watch a re-dub of the entire uncut Sailor Moon series?" Unfortunately, there was not a tab I could click to offer them my soul if they were able to obtain the rights to re-dub an uncut Sailor Moon (the rights are locked up tighter than a dirty metaphor involving school girl uniforms).

So, to make a long story just a little longer; I love Sailor Moon...and I wanted the world to know. But now that I have that out in the open...who's with me?

Oct 5, 2009

Happy 40th, Monty Python!

October 5, 1969: six young lads change the face of television forever.
October 5, 1989 (probably): Toddler Garrett watches Holy Grail for the first time.
October 5, 2009: The Pythons are all old farts (or Graham would be) yet their fanbase is ever growing. And I'm still laughing.

In celebration of 40 glorious years of Monty Python, here are two of my favorite Flying Circus sketches.

What are your favorites?

Sep 13, 2009

Back To Pepperland?

High on the resurgence of Beatlemania, Disney snagged the rights for the 1968 classic this past week with Robert Zemeckis at the helm. Sigh. And since people are stupid, Yeller Sub (as I imagine the exec's refer to it) will be filmed in 3D (of course) using the same motion capture technology used in Zemeckis' previous films: Beowulf and The Polar Express. Now, I didn't see Beowulf or The Polar Express...because there was no reason to see Beowulf or The Polar Express, for I am neither 8, nor mentally challenged (the latter is arguable). Maybe that statement is unfair...but I'm not too worried about it. Here are some things to consider in formulating your opinion on the subject:

All 16 original songs will remain in the film.

Motion Captured CGI
Zac Efron will likely be John Lennon (total speculation)
The film being made in the first place.

As Paul would say, "Let It Be." Well, maybe not 2009 Paul since he's obviously okay with this project. Someone should give him this letter I wrote.

Dear Mr. McCartney,
There are good sell-outs and bad sell-outs. Bad=Yellow Submarine remake. Good=Beatles Rock Band!
Yours Truly,

P.S. Please forward this to Ringo.

I leave you with my favorite scene of the movie.

Sep 7, 2009

'Lemony Snicket' End Credits in HD - Happy Labor Day!

I don't know what Labor Day has to do with the delicious end credits of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. These events are--unfortunately--unrelated. But let us not linger on that fact. Likewise, let us move past the real unfortunate use of puns, on this eventful day. Click on the image below, and enjoy some of the best-designed end titles ever!

Fun Fact: Title designer/animator/artist Jamie Caliri and his associates aren't even credited by name in their own credits.

Click on the image above--or right here!--to view the end credits in HD.
Click here to view the end credits in SD.
(Bless you, The Art of the Title Sequence!)

Sep 6, 2009

If you are not excited about the start of Season 6 of 'So You Think You Can Dance,' why are you so stupid?

Rhetorical question. Duh. Everyone is excited about Season 6 of So You Think You Can Dance. Fox made sure of that, by airing the super-special special "The 15 Best Routines Ever" last week, as a warm-up to this Wednesday's season premier.

And unless you are in league with He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named and therefore hate all good things (and me)--dude, the rhythm is gonna get you. I dare you to resist. Actually, I dare you not to resist.

If you don't think you could ever get into "dance" or "reality TV" or--God forbid--"a reality dance competition," then you are wrong. Do not confuse So You Think You Can Dance with all that other schlock out there; SYTYCD has spent five years elevating itself above all other "related" programming by repeatedly offering beautiful and genuine artistry during it's killer dance routines. Do not let the live studio audience/screaming automatons deter you.

Watch, oh God yes, please watch. Give it a chance. Click play below. Find one of SYTYCD's most famous routines--"The Hummingbird and The Flower"--at the 1:25 mark. Watch it. Then, click around the timeline and find another totally different but still totally ah-may-za-zing routine (this bit is from Season 3), including a boardroom-inspired jazz, a sexxxy samba, and a transformative hip hop. Or, better yet, click here to watch the whole Top 15 special. Yes, do that. If you are not inspired to feel, or simply to get up and move, in mock, amateurish imitation, then you cannot be helped.

Oh my goodneeeess. It's so good. C'est si bon, indeed.

(Bonus Mark!)

Aug 25, 2009

Shaft? Dolemite? F@*# No!

What may be this century's only Blaxploitation film (unless you count my film, Sweet Sweetback's Even Mo' Badasssss Song, that I just made up) the Sundance hit Black Dynamite will be ass whuppin' it's way into theaters on October 16. How it managed to make it this far without becoming "Quentin Tarantino Presents" is astonishing to me. My favorite bit is at the end: "Hush up, little girls..."

You may recognize the lead, Michael Jai White, from Spawn (ha ha) or the deleted scene from Kill Bill Vol. I.

Aug 24, 2009

Those Glourious Basterds!

Quentin Tarantino has been talking about Inglourious Basterds for, well, forever. That's what he does, he talks. But I find, more often than naught, the man can put the money where his mouth is. I've adored every one of his films, but for some reason couldn't get behind Inglourious Basterds. I wasn't won over by the trailer and the mixed reactions from Cannes didn't help sway me. It wasn't until Wednesday, August 19 at approximately 2:14 pm that it hit me...a new film by Quentin Tarantino comes out this week! What am I so worried about?

All uncertainty was immediately quelled with the opening scene on Mr. LaPadite's dairy farm. This scene alone is worth your $10 admission. I will say nothing about it.

I'm actually not going to say much about this movie. Most of you have already seen it. The rest of you need to go see it. Then we can all have a nice chat. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll eat nachos, and you may kill a few Nat-zees on the way.

What I will say before leaving you:
This is by far Tarantino's prettiest film. There are shots in there that should be taught in film schools. The dialogue is as good as it has ever been. He wrote the farm scene back in 1998 and has never let go of it. Thank God! And Christoph Waltz? Oscar nomination. Col. Hans Landa may be one of the best villains in a movie ever. And Brad Pitt's Lt. Aldo Raine is so fun to watch I want a spin-off movie! Hell, throw in a spin-off for Landa and Hugo Stiglitz too!

Although it is 153 minutes long, the movie feels short. I need to see it again. Then maybe once more after that.

Aug 18, 2009


Hayao Miyazaki. The name alone puts a smile on my face. Through all of my cinematic exploits, there have been very few things that bring me as much joy as visiting a world created by Hayao Miyazaki. Ponyo is no exception. I already had a bias toward Miyazaki and the films of Studio Ghibli (four of which are among my favorite films ever made), so I expected to like Ponyo. I never would have guessed I'd walk out of the theater having seen a movie I would call perfect.

Studio Ghibli and Pixar are often viewed as equals when comparing both their body of work and their inner workings as a company. Both are overflowing with imagination, integrity, and a deep-rooted love for the medium. Both produce films that are lightyears ahead of the other animation studios, both visually and with masterful storytelling. The attention to detail and vast effort put into their films result a higher caliber of filmmaking. They don't make "kid's movies," they make movies that are marketed to children, because animation equals kids. But what sets Ghibli apart, and puts them closer to my heart, is their love for hand drawn animation. As much as I love Pixar and their films...I will never love computer animation. The layers of hand-painted cells, each one every bit as important as the last, all starting out as a single line from a pencil. I feel more connected to and have more respect for hand drawn art than I do something run through a computer, made up of microscopic bits of data; rendered and perfect. I want to see flaws and imperfections. Because through imperfection I see perfection. I see beauty! And Ponyo is beautiful. You'll notice I haven't really said anything about the movie itself. I don't intend to. The story is simple and it's themes are universal. It doesn't tread any uncharted waters. But the magic of it, for me, is unreal. I don't mean the magic of the world in the story, I mean the hold the film had on me. Jaw wide, head tilted, eyes absorbing eveything they see. Feeling like child again, but not at all. That's what makes Miyazaki a master at his craft. No matter your age, child and adult are synonymous when watching his films. A G rating doesn't have to denote "kid's movie." This is a film for anyone who dreams, loves, hopes, laughs, cries, feels. I'm sure Ponyo isn't going to make a profound impact on your life, or make you stand in the street shouting praise to the heavens, but I hope it will touch you in some way.

I dare you to watch it and not smile uncontrollably.

Aug 16, 2009

Can't We All Just Get Along?

District 9. It is I watched. It's also a movie I'm having trouble writing about. I've been staring at the monitor for well over 40 minutes now with nothing but the words District 9 on the screen, so bear with me.

District 9 leaves me very much on the fence. This sentiment will eventually change (and I feel the pull toward the positive side), but my problem lays in how...alien it all was. It's a familiar film, yet entirely new. The mockumentary style feels like it's been done to death, but it works really well here. However, it still feels like this style of film hasn't been perfected. It's still very much experimental, therefore, doesn't feel like a finished product. But at the same time, I can't quite put my finger on how to resolve it. The same problems arise in a biopic that is dramatized yet heavily references stock footage. The stock footage (the real footage) tends to take you out of the reality of the film. At some point, District 9 needed to stop being documented. And to some extent it did, but it didn't feel confident about this decision.

With District 9, some things worked and others didn't. It feels like a Catch-22. The mockumentary aspect worked...except when it didn't. The action (namely in the third act) went on too long and was your average popcorn fare, yet the movie needed more action. It's like a recipe that you followed to the letter but the meal still doesn't come out right. What variable is missing?

I loved the shifting sympathies in the film. You start out really liking Wikus van der Merwe and detest the disgusting, bottom-feeding prawn. Wikus and his armed goons are sent to District 9, the camps outside of Johannesburg where the aliens live, to serve them all eviction notices. The aliens are to be relocated some 20 miles outside of the city. So they go around confiscating weapons and evicting alien residents, fining them on unfair grounds, shoving rifles into their faces. Yet the prawn never once raise arms at the humans. The only thing they use these weapons for (weapons humans can't operate) is as tender; they trade Nigerian gangsters the guns for food. They don't seem very dangerous. And they love cat food! How menacing! You spend a good while remaining neutral until introduced to the alien named, presumable by humans, Christopher Johnson and his son. You instantly cling on to them. You also come to realize that they are the most human element in the film. Their desire to get home, to be free, takes precedence over anything else in the film. Although you follow Wikus, he never quite recaptures your sympathy until the very end. Since he is your main protagonist, I think this also means you never really care about the human race throughout the course of the film. While Wikus' motives are self serving, Christopher's are for the benifit of his entire race. The aliens, the prawn, are never fighting amongst themselves. Bickering sometimes, but they never harm or kill one of their own. They never even harm or kill humans unless provoked past the point of their own safety. They are not invaders. They are a lost people. And they can't go home because they are prisoners living in internment camps and the human government wont allow them to. This isn't too unfamiliar considering we're talking about South Africa under apartheid. Why is it I sympathize with these conditions more when it's an alien race this is happening to? Because I can say "It's only a movie?"

I'm put in a love/hate relationship with District 9 because of the disdain I feel for the human race. The cliché is aliens come to wage war and humanity can unite against a common foe. That isn't present here, of which I'm very grateful, of course! But humans are so stupid and don't learn from their mistakes. There's still war. There's still money in war. A peaceful alien race gets lost, we capture them, enslave them, and exploit them to the fullest. It leaves you wanting those clichés. Send the howling beam from the belly of your mothership and wash away this big blue blemish called Earth. We deserve it.

Aug 15, 2009

Choose Your Fate

This is one of the hardest decisions of my life! Do I want the red Darth Vader chopsticks or the blue Luke Skywalker chopsticks? More importantly, if I choose red, does this mean I'm also choosing the dark side? I don't want to be I? Hmmm...evil...

These should be available stateside sometime around Christmas. How's that for a stocking stuffer? No unagi will be safe.

Aug 13, 2009

This Recipe Needs More Julia

If I could change one thing about Julie & Julia it would be this: scrap the whole idea and just make My Life In France. I found myself infatuated with Julia Child and, well, her life in France. Conversely, I couldn't have possibly cared less about Julie Powell and her blogging (pfffft, bloggers). I've only skimmed the book Julie & Julia, but it feels like way too much was fabricated to make her life mirror Julia Child's. Or maybe the similarities aren't much of a stretch to begin with, therefore, it feels unnecessary to point them out. Now, there's no real harm in taking liberties and stretching truths to make the story work. And Powell doesn't try to deny elements of her story being fictitious. But it doesn't help the story. All it manages to do is make half of the movie incredibly boring. "Oh, that's cute! That's totally what Julia was doing in the previous scene. And now Julie is doing it!" To put my feelings into layman's terms, I've included this visual aid:

So to boil it down, I loved the My Life In France bits (and Meryl) and Zzzzzzz'd the Julie & Julia portion. Why they decided to fuse these two books together? Who knows. Someone may know. But who?

Aug 7, 2009

Parnassus Cometh!

It's been a long time coming! It'll be a full day at the cinema come October 13, with a Where The Wild Things Are and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus double feature. I can't wait! I wasn't sure how to feel about Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law stepping in to fill the gaps in Heath Ledger's character, but after this trailer, I think I'm pretty okay with it. We'll see soon enough!

The part that excites me the most: Gilliam making movies again (because you can't really count anything post Fear & Loathing).

A Wild Trailer (No. 2)

I already love this movie so hard!

Aug 2, 2009

Wes Anderson is taking over the world, one corduroy suit at a time

Did anyone else watch the new trailer for Fantastic Mr. Fox and wonder why Wes Anderson has outfitted Mr. Fox exactly like himself?


morphs into

Wes Anderson's latest subtle attempt to take over the world. Or at least homogenize it to his tastes, to a catchy tune.

Music 101: Bobby McFerrin at the World Science Festival 2009

'(500) Days of Summer' - Review

Like numbers, director Marc Webb? Here’s some simple arithmetic for you:

(500) Days of Summer

Watch the trailer here.

Jul 23, 2009

Descanse en Paz, Taco Bell Chihuahua is reporting (exclusively!) that Gidget--the chihuahua that "charmed millions" in a series of Taco Bell ads in the late 1990's--passed away Tuesday night. She was 15.

According to the release, Gidget was "a consummate pro" who "delighted the crew with her playful nature."

She is survived by her trainer, Sue, as well as two gorditas and an Enchirito® value meal. A fund has been set up in her name, in my wallet. Donations are welcome.

Jul 19, 2009

Stoopid Release Dates

The Region 1 release of The Mighty Boosh is fast approaching! The three seasons will be released as individual 2-Disc sets on July 21. However, the 7-Disc complete series set wont be released until October 13. Am I expected to buy the three individual sets on Tuesday to tide me over until the cheaper, prettier, special feature loaded, and all-around superior complete series set comes out? If I had a disposable income, the answer would be yes. Alas, I do not.

What do you think the motives are behind releasing all three seasons on the same day...then waiting another three months to release the series set? Other than driving me insane.

Jul 15, 2009

The Boy Wizard and Me

I have a confession to make. I am not a big Harry Potter fan. Therefore, I have not read all 7 books (blasphemy!). I read the first two around the time The Sorcerer's Stone was released in theaters. I wasn't remotely interested in either of them. A movie (or book) like Harry Potter didn't have a place alongside my regular diet of movies like Aliens, Heavy Metal, and Akira. It wasn't until the theatrical release of The Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004 that I was willing to give the boy wizard a second chance. Of my group of friends, I was the only one who didn't love Harry Potter, so even if I were to protest, I'd still end up seeing it at some point. After reading/watching the first two and not liking them, I was amazed at how unbiased I was going into the third film.

I loved it!

It was at that point I decided I would read the books
after I watched the movies. So I read Prisoner of Azkaban later that week. I found a copy of Goblet of Fire at the thrift store, but sat on it until after I'd seen the movie. This method seemed to be working in my favor. Then Order of The Phoenix came out...and I freakin' hated it. I was so displeased with the movie, I lost all motivation to read the fifth book. Harry Potter was no longer welcome in my life. I stopped reading. I stopped caring.

Last night, I went into
Half-Blood Prince feeling much like I did with Prisoner of Azkaban, scorned by the two prior installments yet having no sway or bias one way or the other. Guess what? I liked it! I was pleasantly surprised by the sixth chapter and can only hope the two-film Deathly Hollows will be of the same calibur. Sure, there are nitpickey things I can address, but there's no need to. It was easily my favorite "summer movie" this year and may have to make a repeat viewing soon (after the nutso crowds die down, of course). My only real complaint is of the franchise as a whole and that is that they aren't accommodating to viewers who haven't already read the books. Three and six are the only movies that stand alone as movies without requiring a reference manual by your side. A movie shouldn't require you to fill in the blanks with information not given to you within the film itself. The Lord of the Rings didn't have that problem, Potter! Learn from it.

So I've decided I'm picking up where I left off. I'm going to read
Half-Blood Prince and maybe, just maybe, I'll do a complete 360 and actually read Deathly Hollows before the movie comes out. Wouldn't that be wild?

Note: You may have noticed this wasn't a review for
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I do, however, have plenty to share about the film. So if you're interested, hit me up some time.

Jun 19, 2009

'Transformers' star Shia LeBeouf sings 'The Touch'

Haha. I LOVE that Garrett will HATE this. I am so cruel!

Look at Shia's stupid face! It rules!

Also, I never saw the first Transformers movie (and by "first Transformers movie," I clearly mean the Michael Bay-directed, Megan Fox-sexified Transformers, i.e., the only one ANYONE CARES ABOUT) (I'm not even going to link to the totally-forgotten animated movie's IMDb page--suck on that, Garrett!). So, if you could, maybe let me know what happens in that atrocity fun movie. In, like, 8 words.


(Cardboard) Black bear visits Cleveland. "This is what the bear probably looked like..."

"Except real."

Thanks to Attack of the Show. Best News Ever!

Jun 16, 2009

The Little Nemo That Wasn't

Anyone who was watching animated features in the early 90's should be familiar with Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland. Now, I doubt that it's anyone's favorite film, but it has it's moments. The animation is fluid, the characters are endearing, and most importantly, it's fun. With that said, what could have made Little Nemo better? The love and care (and immense talent) of Studio Ghibli, perhaps?

In pre-Ghibli 1982, Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) and Isao Takahata (Grave Of The Fireflies, Pom Poko) were developing the then titled Nemo as an American/Japanese joint project for TMS Entertainment. One of the duo's key animators, Yoshifumi Kondo (Whisper Of The Heart), put together this test pilot, which in under five minutes, far surpasses the version that we ended up with.

The production folded due to creative differences (i.e. Big American Dollars = Our Way Or The Highway), and Miyazaki and co. decided to pursue other projects. Namely, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind; the movie that sparked the formation of Studio Ghibli. Although I admire them for leaving a production that compromised their integrity...I really, really wish they made it anyway! Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland holds a little place in my heart, but it's a little place. Not a BIG place like Ghibli's phenomenal library. C'est la vie.

Little Nemo didn't get a US theatrical release until 1992...a decade later! It's production is a bit of a legend in Hollywood animator circles due to the vast number of "hands" the movie went through before it's completion. Oh, and remember this?

Little Nemo: The Dream Master for the NES

It Might Get Loud (Bring It)

Jimmy Page. The Edge. Jack White. Three generations of guitar virtuosos. Three of the best rockers to touch finger to string. They live music. They are music. Each has created a sound that is instantly recognizable. Each has built his own guitar(s). Each are worthy of praise. I'm very excited for this film!

Limited release: August 14, 2009.

Jun 13, 2009

A Boy And His Blog

Warning: You may find this blog boring. If you choose, you may skip to the section labeled "My point."

With modern video game consoles and their wide array of online content (i.e. Wii's Virtual Console or Xbox 360's Live Arcade), I have noticed a resurgence of classic gaming...and I love it! Be it re-release or remake, keep 'em coming. Top prize goes to Mega Man 9, which is a completely brand new game in glorious 8-Bit, made to be an original Nintendo game. Of course, they didn't distribute cartridges, so it's only available as a download. But I'm not complaining about that. Quite the opposite. I love my Nintendo more than a limb or any family member. So to get "classic style" games in the midst of big, graphically lavish, 20 minutes to load, explodie modern games, is a dream come true. Maybe I'm getting old? "Back in my day, we only needed two buttons, sonny!"

As much as I adore the Nintendo Entertainment System, I can't deny there were some terrible games that came out for it. And there were fan favorites that just never seemed very interesting. If you were to fill a room full of nerds and have them make a list of the best NES games, everyone's list would be somewhat similar. They would all have Super Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid and then seven of their favorite titles (that are probably just as universally adored). One such game that could likely rank on these hypothetical lists is a game I could never get into, no matter how hard I tried. A Boy And His Blob. I know, I know, you're thinking, "Get to the goddam point, please."

A Boy And His Blob is about a boy...and his blob...Blobert, actually, who when fed jellybeans can transform into a useful object that corresponds with the respective treat. Licorice jellybeans turn Blobert into a ladder and tangerine turns him into a trampoline. You use these abilities to progress through the levels collecting treasure (and more jellybellys). You and Blobert must face the evil emperor to save Earth and Blobolonia. Sounds...okay? It was actually pretty boring. I don't know if I ever figured out how to get out of the first stretch of sewer, literally, at the beginning of the game. Again...what's your freaking point?!

My point: Although I'm not a fan of the original, I'm really excited for the Wii sequel to A Boy And His Blob! It has its own style yet retains the flavor of the original. It looks immersive, adorable, and fun.

I think a majority of my excitement may be rooted in my love for these classic style games, and it makes me forget that I never liked the original...this may be no exception. But I'll give it a whirl based on principal. 2D games are still hanging on in the 3D age(Braid and Mega Man 9 sales reflect this), but they're few and far between. More than anything I just want more games like this and fewer first-person-shooters. Thanks for indulging me.

Jun 7, 2009

And Away...WE...Go!

Away We Go follows Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph), an unmarried couple who are preparing to have a child together. They live in the middle of nowhere in a house that looks like a sneeze could blow it over. They can work from home (or via telephone) so the only real tie to their current residence is that it's close to Burt's parents. With Verona's parents deceased, they want to be close to Grandma and Grandpa. But when Burt's folks announce they'll be moving overseas, the couple decide to take up stakes and go searching for "home". They plot a course hitting up major cites that have one acquaintance or another that could be their friends if the choose to start their new lives there. As you'd expect, misadventure and hijinks ensue.

Away We Go
is certainly a charming little film. Its characters feel like real people in real life situations. Granted, they're strange, uncomfortable situations with odd-ball (and often loose) acquaintances, but never anything outlandish. Or least it wouldn't feel that way if the film treated them a little more seriously. With the exception of the leads, Burt and Verona, every character feels heavy handed. I don't blame the characters in the script so much the actor's use of the characters. It's like they read the script thinking they would be alongside Maya in a series of SNL sketches. That sort of over-the-top caricature acting works if that's what the source material is requiring. Take Christopher Guest movies, for instance. But I don't feel that's what Away We Go was trying to be. It' a sweet, poignant film about love, family, and the meaning of home. Oh, and being scared silly of bringing a life into the world. How can you care for a life when you don't even know how to live your own? As their journey progresses and they encounter bad parent after bad parent, you start to realize they're going to be wonderful parents. This hits you during an impromptu puppet show the two give for Burt's neice as they are tucking her into bed. Maybe love is family and family is home?

Overall, I enjoyed this film. It was hard for me to warm up to it, and again, I wish it took itself a bit more seriously, but the good bits outweigh the bad. Don't force jokes to try and make things funny. Let the humor of the situation reveal itself. You may want to strangle almost everyone Burt and Verona meet along the way(Maggie Gyllenhaall's character LN! Ugh!), but that makes you love the couple all the more. Life can be scary and nobody has all of the answers. People are different and there is no definitive right or wrong way to live your life or to raise a child. In this case it took a cross country trip and a lot of soul searching to come to a conclusion they knew all along. As The Beatles say, "All You Need Is Love".

Jun 3, 2009

A Wii Bit Of News!

Nintendo has some great things in store for Wii in 2010! First up is Super Mario Galaxy 2! Now, Super Mario Galaxy could be described as "the most fun had playing a video game" and it'd be totally true. So a sequel (with Yoshi!) is very welcome! But wait! There's even more Mario heading your way! New Super Mario Bros. for Wii. Four player classic style Mario? Who do I make the check out to?

No three words are sweeter than "New Metroid Game." There has never been so much as a blemish in the series' history and I'm sure Metroid: Other M (from Nintendo and Team Ninja!), is no exception. So...totally...sweet.

I'm also super excited for the update to A Boy And His Blob, but I'll save that one for another blob, er, blog.

Oh yeah, and something called Zelda? More on that as it develops.

May 25, 2009


Does it make me a bad person when Patrick Swayze's dire health condition--so dire, in fact, that his publicist has to publicly deny rumors that he is already dead--makes me want to watch Ghost? Yes.

May 23, 2009

Terminator: SAVE ME!

(Remember when they'd send one of us to do what thousands are incapable of?)

In the start of the film you witness a prisoner put to death via lethal injection. To keep it clichéd, this is administered by mustachioed, grimacing Texans in ten gallon hats, stroking their gaudy bolo ties. As the fluid slowly drips down the vial and is being pumped into the convict's veins, all I can think is, "Save some of that for me!" It's generally a bad sign to long for death when you've yet to reach the 10 minute mark. I'm sure plenty of people will like (or love) Terminator: Salvation, but I'll take T3 over this any day. T3 is not a good movie, but it at least feels like a Terminator movie (albeit by ripping off its predecessors). Salvation does not. A few music cues and the use of classic lines and names from the series doesn't make it a part of the series. It doesn't even feel like it was influenced by Terminator. It feels like Aliens meets The Road every other action movie you've ever seen.

And boy is it an action movie! There is never a moments peace for these poor characters you couldn't give a shit about. I personally am sick of watching stuff blow up. Correction: I'm sick of watching stuff blow up
for two hours straight. If I want explosions and shooting and no story whatsoever, I play video games. This movie opens the door to many questions but chooses not to answer any of them.

Here are a few I had: Why is Skynet doing this? What is the purpose of wiping out humanity? Why are Terminators humanoid if they don't need to be disguised as humans? Shouldn't the machines be threatening or at least hard to thwart? How did Christian Bale manage to be a
more annoying John Connor than Edward Furlong? When will they realize rappers can't act? How many times are they going to say Kyle Reese (it could be a drinking game)? Why is it that Marcus Wright (a Terminator, for anyone who didn't see the trailer) is the most human character in the film? ( It must be his strong human heart).

Marcus is easily the most interesting character in the film, so it's sad he doesn't just destroy John Connor and the resistance and travel back to a time before this script was "written" and start fresh.
Terminator: Salvation is as unnecessary as a junior novelization or comic book adaptation. It doesn't contain anything you needed to know, wanted to know, or didn't already know about the mythos. But it's big, expensive, and explodie, so if that's what you're looking for...go play Halo.

May 14, 2009

Japanese Spider-Man!

Back in the late 70's, Marvel had made a deal with Toei, a Japanese film and television company, that allowed them to use the Marvel characters in any way they saw fit. In exchange? Probably large sacks of money (with a large $ painted on them) that were hand delivered to the states by Godzilla himself. The result? The shittiest best Spider-Man ever!

Peter Parker, or rather Takuya Yamashiro, is a motorcycle racer who acquires not only radioactive spider powers, but also a giant battle cruiser called Marveller that transforms into the fighting robot Leopardon. He endlessly goes head-to-head with the villainous Professor Monster, Amazoness, and their evil army of Iron Cross Group soldiers. I'm totally serious. And did I mention it takes place in Angel Grove? ( it doesn't)

You can stream the first 11 episodes of this exilharating 41 episode series over at Here's episode 9, which had my favorite title, "Motion Accessory is a Loveful Beetle Insect Spy." Enjoy! (and if you don't feel like sitting through the whole thing, skip to the 20:00 mark and watch the last few minutes)

Note: Although I like the image of Godzilla carrying bags of money over the Atlantic, in 1978 he would've been property of Toho, a rival company to Toei. Although Toei now owns Toho, back then I'm sure the business deal probably went down with suits and wire transfers. Not giant lizards.

May 6, 2009

Star Trek

A recent Onion video (that you should watch here) pretty perfectly sums up my feelings for the new Star Trek film. Fans complain, "the movie is fun...watchable." And it was! But was it Star Trek? Not really.

Naturally, any big budget studio picture is going to do everything in its power to draw as wide an audience as possible. Unfortunately in this case, that means heavy handed action scenes (that get progressively less exciting), jokes that feel out of place (or aren't funny), and Tyler Perry (who is Madea). But cornball humor and the awful scenes of stupid kid Kirk aside, Star Trek was "fun...watchable."

It may even be better than Star Trek V. But what isn't, right?

To my surprise, Chris Pine did a fine job handling Kirk. Actually, the cast in general surpassed my expectations for them. For the brief spurts of time they actually spend together, they have good chemistry with one another. They carry an overall feeling of "Hey, we're having fun." It's just sad you don't get to spend very much time with anyone.

One problem I had that isn't solely aimed at this film is a matter of me being utterly tired of CGI everything. There are entire scenes that exist only for the sake of squeezing in more effects. And they're boring! They take away from time you should be spending with the bridge crew, but big summer movie = tons of unnecessary runtime supplements (aka. filler). I also don't like a few design elements, namely the ships (all of them), and the bridge itself. It doesn't feel like a place where commanders would give orders. It feels like a place where the crew would ask, "Will you be purchasing the touch or the nano today?" But hands down, my biggest complaint is the use of solar flares, or just glares in general. Every single scene is layered with glares that are a mix of diliberate lighting to gain the effect and adding the effect in post production. It's super distracting. It was like watching the film outside in the sun, but through a window.

Back to the subject of not being very Star Trekky, the movie is referred to as science fiction, but is more appropriately: space. You won't find any science here. Or philosophy. Or exploration. If they could have left out a handful of those arbitrary scenes and tried to incorporate these elements (that Star Trek is known for), they would have had a better film.

Nevertheless, the movie accomplishes what it set out to. It's big summer fun that people will like, it'll make a ton of money, and will be forgotten pretty shortly. It uses the line, "To boldly go where no man has gone before." But it didn't. It went where most movies like this go: safe, standard formula...because (sigh) it works.

I by no means hated it. But I'm just as far from loving it.

May 5, 2009

MVC2 Is Coming To XBLA!

Say what now? Nerds would know (inherently) that the above title reads Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 is coming to Xbox Live Arcade! This is MEGA news! The original arcade game, circa 2000, has certainly withstood the test of time. Nearly a decade later it remains to be one of the best fighting games ever made. The home console versions (Dreamcast, PS2, Xbox) are highly sought after due to a limited print (Capcom was loosing the Marvel license) and will run anywhere from $40-75 on ebay! The steep price tag has always been a factor in my never owning the game. That's not to say the game isn't worth the money, I assure you it is, but the Xbox and PS2 versions were...lacking. Elements were added that weren't needed or desired and the gameplay handles differently; a bit slow, clunky. The Dreamcast version, however, is the identical twin of the arcade birth mother due to the use of the NAOMI system (for coding), which the Xbox and PS2 weren't compatible with. That's the trouble with ports, things will often get lost in translation. So when news broke that the original version was coming to Xbox Live for a mere $15 (1,200 MSP), I swallowed my tongue, coughed it back up, then sang praises toward the heavens.

Why is this game so great? What's the hubbub, bub? Well, it's Marvel dudes, um, and Capcom dudes...and they totally fight each other! With a roster of 50+ playable characters, and some of those being Wolverine, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Ryu, Chun Li, and Megaman...I'd buy it if it were only those six. But I can almost guarantee your favorite Marvel character is represented. But what really sets this aside from most in the genre is the 3 on 3 battles.

Player: With so many awesome characters available, it's hard to decide which one to play.

Developer: You can have three at a time!

Player: Insanity! (Head Explodes)

It plays like any standard fighting game only your off screen pals can aid you during battle or simply "tag out" and take over as one of them. You're only defeated if all three of your characters health meters are drained. Each character has their own set of moves and combos plus group moves that include your whole team.

Here, poor Ryu is getting a makeover from a trio of badasses using said group move. He didn't stand a chance.

Update: A tentative release date of June 29. I'm counting the seconds.

May 4, 2009


I don't know if you are like me (you are probably not like me), but if you are--in the sense that the school year is almost over and you are knee-deep in shit FINAL EXAMS--I'm hoping this will cheer you up.

Even if your depression is not Finals related...well, GET OVER IT anyways. Why? Because of this:

Also, I realize I have filed this post under "Puppies and Kitties," and a slow loris is neither a puppy nor a kitty, so I offer this bonus:

From The Daily Puppy:

"This little duchess is a six-week-old Samoyed. Her name is Luna and she is a furry and cute little puppy who likes to chew on everything. She loves living with us and we love living with her. She has brought unbelievable happiness and joy to our lives."

Luna 2

Luna 1

Luna 3

You are welcome.

Apr 30, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

I remember leaving X-Men: The Last Stand in a flurry of emotions. Rage. Sadness. Betrayal. More rage. I left X-Men Origins: Wolverine feeling...nothing. Void of anything that could even remotely be mistaken for giving a shit. The title is redonkulous, the trailer was terrible, yet, you hold on to that little sliver of hope that maybe it will at least be fun. I think I may have had more fun in The Mummy. The fucking Mummy! To say X-Men Origins: Wolverine (you have to say the whole thing because its so stupid!) is a bad movie doesn't really cover all of the bases. I wont go into too much detail, because I'm still recovering, but this movie falls into the category of unnecessary. It brings nothing to the titular character that wasn't already established in X2. In fact, most of the scenes involving the "weapon x" project already had a counterpart scene in X2. Granted, most are via flashbacks, but wasn't that sufficient? Do I really need to see fifteen minutes of Wolverine being pumped full of adamantium? Wouldn't those fifteen minutes be better suited for, I don't know, cutting shit? Or trying to develop a character? Any one of them! I don't even care who! It's funny that Wolverine's name is in the title considering how little presence he actually has in the film. Sure he's in every frame, but every piece of him (or any character for that matter) is so basic. Everything goes from point A to point B, but we don't care about getting to point B, nor do we enjoy the sights along the way. It's like having to drive 30 miles into the desert to get to the dentist - a tedious chore with nothing to look at and is likely to result in pain followed by numbness.

Like X3, this film suffers from having too many characters that you couldn't possibly care about. Not only that, but you may even hate most of them. You may even hate characters you love! Gambit and Cyclops...what were they even doing in this movie? But the biggest bummer, and something I'm curious to see how it'll be received, is the treatment of the character Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds, for like two whole minutes, had me into his character. But then he's MIA and doesn't come back until the end of the movie, and when he does, he isn't Deadpool. I think someone in costume design confused Deadpool with Baraka from Mortal Kombat. Maybe it was an honest mistake?

I think I've said all that I can because frankly, I don't want to spend any more time thinking about how royally they botched a movie that should have been able to write itself. The best course of action would have been to word-for-word plagiarize Daniel Way's run of Wolverine Origins, which uses Deadpool so well that it's likely the reason he gained the popularity to make it into the film. If you want to dig your claws into some Wolverine how he is meant to be, start there.

The "Everyday" Quote of the Day - Now For Everyday Use!

"Stay focused. Find a pen."

For use in situations involving:
  • Manipulative bitches feeding you false information, DELIBERATELY TAKING ADVANTAGE of your unique memory ailment that inconveniently (or, for the sake of the plot, conveniently) forces a periodic re-boot of your brain (see: Memento)
  • The existential malaise that comes from a constant awareness that everyday details--the small things that only grab your attention for an instant, then are gone--will be forgotten and lost from your memory FOREVER if you don't write them down or make a significant effort to please please please remember them (see: titles of rarely-heard songs, or wonderful, beautiful, not-often-used words that really ought to be used more, or fleeting images or anecdotes that would be perfect to share with an absent friend, etc. etc.)

Go to the 8:05 mark for a lesson in the "everyday" application of this handy quote!

Apr 28, 2009


I can't be the only one who gets a gonzo* from the previews for Fox's new hour-long series, Glee, can I?

Seriously, I've watched the online trailers, like, dozens of times.

I know it's just a Fox-ified (or, Nip/Tucked, courtesy of creator Ryan Murphy) version of High School Musical. I know that! But the musical numbers look SLAMMIN'. "Don't Stop Believin'"? I WON'T!

*gonzo = boner

Apr 22, 2009

G.I. Joe Resolute

Warren Ellis is easily one of my favorite people in existence, so there may be bias in saying GI Joe Resolute is the cat's pajamas. It's well animated, well written, decently acted, violent as hell, and pretty much everything I've always dreamed GI Joe could/should be. The episodes run anywhere from 4-6 minutes, so watch them at you leisure, but watch them you must.

Girls: Check out the trailer. If you think you can hang, head over to [adultswim] and watch the 10 episode series now.

Guys: Check out the trailer. If you didn't pee, even just a little, see the above instructions FOR GIRLS. Because that's what you are.

Apr 16, 2009

Sexy Poets Quiz

Because who doesn't like sexy poetry? Certainly not you.

From the Best American Poetry blog:

Match the poet with the quote from his or her poem:

1. "I groped for him before I knew"

2. "you slip/ half-a-foot deep into someone you like"

3. "new memory like a seltzer in my crotch"

4. "he kissed her Anne Sexton/ and she returned the favor, caressing his Ted Berrigan"

5. "that slippery ingress ... its complicated fragrance"

6. "Gently, with my lips/ loosen the button./ Have them slip into my hands/ Like two freshly poured beer mugs"

7. "she wanted him hung up on her breasts, not on her feet"

8. "The clam shell opens./ The oyster is eaten."

9. "At each beat of his heart it threw/ An odd little nod my way. From the slot of the spout/ Extended a drop of transparent viscous goo"

10. "nude ghosts seeking each other out in the silence"

Charles Simic

Marge Piercy

Albert Goldbarth

Emily Dickinson

David Lehman

Allen Ginsberg

Elizabeth Alexander

Michael Ryan

Jim Cummins

W. H. Auden

...Um, is the first one Emily Dickinson? I clearly don't know anything about poetry. Philistine.
Also: "beer mugs," heh.