Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Funnies - Fanboys

It is hard to believe that it was ten years ago this week that Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace was released in theaters. To honor that wild and crazy time, the Weinstein Company has finally released the comedy Fanboys to DVD! I first heard about this film four years ago and have been waiting to check it out. There have been numerous reports of unfavorable test screenings, re-shot footage, and battles between the filmmakers and Harvey Weinstein. Last year, it was announced the DVD would contain both versions of the film, but I have not confirmed that is the actually the case. All the above should be enough for any real fanboys to utter "I have a bad feeling about this," but I have heard some good words about the film from those who have seen it.

I was hoping to see Fanboys this weekend, but it appears I will have to wait just a little while longer. Though the DVD is on sale at fine stores everywhere, it can only be rented at Blockbuster. I am eager to check it out, if for no other reason than to see Kristen Bell in a Slave Leia outfit!

Movie Review - Terminator Salvation

Usually when I go to the movies, I try to leave any expectations and/or prejudices in the lobby. For Terminator Salvation, it was an extremely difficult thing to do. In a review of T3, I concluded that the third chapter "is better than a blatent milking of a franchise, but it fails to uphold the Terminator name and is disrepectful of what came before it" (though in hindsight, I was way too generous grading it a 6 out of 10 stars). I tried to watch the FOX series, but stopped after two episodes and posted, "I like a lot of the talent associated with the series, but in the end I thought the scripts were very poor and it was tarnishing the Terminator legacy." I even declared that I was done with the franchise - at least until Cameron returned in some capacity.

It was a lot of baggage to leave behind, but I was willing to try. I was curious to see this new chapter, particularly to watch Christian Bale's performance as John Conner, but my overall expectations were very, very low. And the film lived up to them, but barely. There were a couple of nice surprises (which I won't ruin here) but Terminator Salvation left me feeling much like I did after seeing X-Men Origins: Wolverine a couple of weeks ago - this movie is not even close to being as good as the first two films, but about on par with the third one. Unlike my feelings about the X-Men & Wolverine movies (I hope they make more, just please make them better), I wish FOX would stop milking the Terminator teat.

I understand Bale signed on for three films, but if the box office numbers don't support any more sequels, it would be fine by me. If FOX does decide to make more, I cannot honestly say (quote it with me now), "I'll be back!"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Funnies

A funny suggestion from an avid reader who wishes to remain "Anonymous"...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Funnies

In honor of the release of Star Trek, here are a couple of pics that I thought I'd post in public before someone decides to use them as blackmail material one day. Below is a snap from the 40th Anniversary Celebration in 2006 hosted by Galactic Quest and IKAV Nemesis. It was taken during my entry in the Shatner Impersonation Contest.

I came in third.

Thanks to Klingon Mistress Koloth for the photo!

And speaking of Klingons, here I am dressed up for Halloween circa 1995:

Instead of auditioning for a role in the next Trek movie, perhaps Michelle and I could star in a reboot of Beauty & the Beast!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Movie Review - Star Trek

A couple of years ago, the Star Trek franchise was at an all-time low. After the mediocre series Voyager was followed by the less than mediocre series Enterprise and the film series was reeling from the one-two punch that was Insurrection and Nemesis, many fans - die hard and casual alike - felt that the last few nails were being hammered into the coffin. Perhaps the concept had run its course. At the very least it should be placed on the shelf for a while.

I was not one of those people.

Others, including J. Michael Straczynski, felt the series needed a reboot - to go back to the success that was the original series.

I was not one of those people.

After watching Star Trek today, I am pleased to report that I have been proved wrong on both counts. This movie rocks!

One thing I have always insisted is that if the right people were put in place and the studio backed them up financially, it would pay off. I never believed that folks were tired of Trek. Rather, they were just tired of bad Trek. And there is so much more good about this movie than bad.

To read my spoiler-filled review, see my post at the Legend Lounge.

Bottom line is I loved this movie! So much so I saw it twice in one day and will probably see it a couple more times in the next few weeks. It is so wonderful to have Trek back again! May it live long and prosper!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Movie Review - X-Men Origins: Wolverine

I don't think it is a surprise to anyone familiar with the X-Men franchise that Wolverine would eventually star in a solo movie. The popularity of the character plus the popularity of Hugh Jackman seemed to equal a license to print money. And it also no surprise that the film's opening generated an estimated $87 million.

However, it was a bit of a surprise to me when it was initially announced that the Wolverine movie would be a prequel. It just blows my mind that studio heads continue to ignore the fact that prequels are NEVER as or more successful than the originals. EVER! I mean there's been some cases that prove that a sequel can surpass the start of a franchise. Reboots can also be rewarding. But prequels? They can give you a little bit of bank, but usually they are sign of a failing franchise.

And yet, 20th Century Fox decided to give us X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The very premise gave me low expectations going in to the theater. Throughout the movie, I continued to scratch my head as to why TPTB decided to give us Logan's life story before he joined up with Professor X. I was entertained, but only just so. Despite more than a few plot holes and other craziness, I did enjoy the two hour experience. Though I doubt I'll watch it again.

If you would like to see my spoiler-filled thoughts, check out my post at the Legend Lounge.

For comparison sake, I say that this movie is not nearly as good as the first two X-Men films, but much better than the third one. I hope it does well enough for a sequel - but this time a real Wolverine solo adventure and not a prequel to the first X-Men films.

Sunday Funnies

One of the successful series of webisodes of 2008 was "You Suck at Photoshop" hosted by Donnie Hoyle. These 20 clips are both funny and sad, and even manage to be educational if you are looking for retouching tips.

2009 Box Office Summer Movie Picks

This week, I finalized my picks for the 2009 Summer Box Office Movie Challenge, an annual tradition at the Legend Lounge forum.

1. Star Trek

2. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

3. Terminator Salvation

4. Up

5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Last year was pretty dismal thanks to the poor showing of Speed Racer, but I feel my selections are solid.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

FCBD 2009 Comics and Sketches

A good time was had by least at the comic shop I was today. There was a very good turnout today at Galactic Quest, and with good reason. First, there were the FREE comics. I picked up 10 issues that caught my eye and have already read through a few. Overall, the quality was pretty good - these aren't just reprints or preview pages of upcoming issues. Kudos to the publishers for giving us some original material. Marvel's Avengers comic was fun and the art was gorgeous! My only beef was that the book itself was a smaller size than a regular comic. Shame on them for shrinking Cheung's stunning pages! DC's Blackest Night prelude did the job - I'm eager to read this summer event! The Savage Dragon story was ol' fashioned comic goodness. And The Stuff of Legend has an intriguing premise and fanciful artwork, so I'll be adding the first of two issues to this month's order for sure. Kudos to Kyle for stocking a large variety of books today. Many independent publishers participate in the FCBD event and it was nice to see them represented on the rack along with the majors.

There were also some talented comic book folks at the store today, and I got a couple of sketches from two guys as nice as they are talented (which is to say a lot). Bobby Nash, whose main role is usually that of writer, added the following to my sketchbook celebrating the release of the Domino Lady: Sex as a Weapon anthology.

Writer, penciller, and inker extraordinaire Nathan Massengill was also in attendance. I've wanted a Scarlet sketch from him ever since we first discussed the character at the ACE convention last year, so today was the perfect opportunity. Nathan did not disappoint. I think it is quite apparent he had fun with it!

Many thanks to the folks at Galactic Quest for hosting a fun event. Today had everything that a comic fanboy like me could want - free comics (that were actually quite good), fine conversation with other fanboys and girls, talented folks showing off their work, and two welcome additions to my sketchbook. Oh, and I also saw some more pages from my artist for my latest project. I can't wait to share 'em! This might have been the best FCBD I have ever attended, which is saying a lot since all the while I was in some physical pain from having my wisdom teeth removed recently. Can't wait to do it again next year - hopefully pain-free!