Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Three peeks at what Spidey 4 could look like. Or not. Or at least what 3 should've been.
If Marvel had half a brain ,they'd hire the Japanese to do the next one.
Spidey Vs. Transformers! And Michael Bay kicks himself for not thinking of this.
Pita Parka becomes Spidey! Wire fu choreographed by Yuen Woo Ping.
Spidey Meets The Ramones!
Friday, May 25, 2007
How the hell did we end up here? LOST's third season finale has it all: teary deaths, quick deaths, a first kiss, a phone call (!) and a jump in time. Multiverse theories aside, this is the season for sharp storytelling. The dark origins---Ben's and Dharma's---are gripping and the closest to a horror episode that the series has ever done. The back stories have always been LOST's strength; I personally never felt that they were fillers. Sure they slowed down the plot but I'm a big fan of characterization. I'm all about characterization and secret histories. So if you ever feel like the series is going nowhere, just hang on a little bit. It all pulls together in the end. The finale's pay-off is this TV season's most satisfying, and the series' most hopeful. Before it all gets crushed by...
The waiting, this time, will be more torturous than ever. New episodes will air early 2008. Fuck that. But with LOST, it's always worth the wait. *****
Thursday, May 24, 2007
1. " . . .he's much worse. When I think about him, he can see me. . . "
2.Ali Larter Vs. Ali Larter catfight . . .and suddenly the Nikki/Jessica subplot gets interesting.
3. Claire jumping out the window.
4. Hayden Panettiere.
5. "You look badass, Hiro . . ." or something like that.
6. "I know you're there, Peter." - - - and Richard fucking Roundtree, people. Sulu,Alec from Clockwork Orange, Dr. Who and . . Shaft in one series. Hardcore,that.
7. Noah(?) . . .Bennett. Also, Secret Defenders(?).
8. Hayden Panettiere.
9. Hiro in feudal Japan . . . is Daddy Hiro Kensei?
10. Hayden Panettiere.
Yes, the climax was anticlimactic - - - the Peter/Sylar/Hiro fight left much, much to be desired.
Yes, the effects were shoddy - - - first season budgets ,what can you do?
Yes, all of this feels suspiciously like set-up and as Kring intended - - -we'll see.
Yes, Episode 22 was better - - -and Episode 20 much, but my favorite's still Ted attacking the Bennett household.
Yes , it is, most of the time, silly - - -and Desperate Housewives isn't?
Yes, it is, most of the time, a guilty pleasure - - -it's boy soap, dudes,loosen up, and the key word is pleasure.
And yes, I am a pushover and easily misled - - -probably.
Insanely addictive TV,all told. And I can't wait for September 24.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
That's what Warren Ellis calls his winning five Eagle Awards.
That's what Warren Ellis calls giving away - - -and winning - - - trophies for writing.
Fresh, really. You wish it would rub off here.
Congratulations anyway. Nextwave was brilliant.
THE SENSATIONAL SPIDERMAN ANNUAL#1
Written by Matt Fraction
Drawn by Salvador Larocca
I never bought it. Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker. The rich socialite supermodel then movie star hooking up with poor nerd high school science teacher and freelance photographer. Nope. Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker are a sociological anomaly. Or maybe I'm jaded. Also, Parker's the quintessential guy torn between duty(work) and love and his woman's not walking away? Isn't that what all women in real life do when their men are confused? Leave them? Mary Jane as Tammy Wynette, standing by her man? Not washing , not even with Straczynski , not entirely at least. Love conquers all - - - what crap.
Fraction, he milks a romantic comedy - - -the hipsters are calling it rom-com these days,to which I say "why?"- - -cliche , gives the he said/she said structure dramatic horsepower, sprinkles it with odd figments of real : ". . .that's how you tell boys you like them, you make them tapes of songs that are secretly about how you feel . . . " and " there was nothing about her that promised to be easy but I couldn't keep away . . maybe that's why she fascinated me so much,I couldn't explain her, that girl confused me to the core . . ." And suddenly this innocuous little comic has snuck up on me and started whispering in my ear. Has Fraction been wiretapping my head? And where was he when they were story-conferencing Spidey 3? Not a note seems to ring false , not a word smacks of fairytale,not even when Mary Jane tells off the cop trying to arrest her if she doesn't give her fugitive husband up : " . . . my loyalty runs deep, you sad little man. . .he's my husband, you're just some dude."
This is ultimately a love story about the weight of the past. How you cling to it for oxygen, how you discard it for fuel. And when Peter rescues Mary Jane ("I don't believe you've met my husband, the amazing Spiderman" ) by thrashing the coffee shop they've spent most of their life in , it's the kind of corny with a wallop you except your love stories - - - true or made-up- - -to cough up at the right moment or you feel like asking for your money back.
Fraction nails it - - -the whole dynamic of Peter & Mary Jane , their whole invincible history, and why you should buy it , why you should root for it, why ending it is creatively and narratively a cop-out, why Joe Quesada should lay off putting it asunder. Leaving is chickenshit and staying takes cojones. Straczynski had the same idea. Fraction just gives it throb. "I'll be back" Peter tells Mary Jane in one of many flashback sequences. "I swear. For you, I'll always be back." Superhero right there in my book. * * * * *
Monday, May 14, 2007
Is he for real? Have he really changed? He cheated on Dinah repeatedly – always telling himself that he will stop cheating but he’s shoot his arrows away when another girl would show the slightest interest. Nightwing probably learned how to be a jerk from him. But after 40 hours of … yes… if I were in Dinah’s place, I would give him the benefit of a doubt. Next month would feature the “proposal” - too fast for me. Ollie should wait. He should give Dinah time to realize that he honestly wanted her to see that he really has changed. Again he’s being cocky and too damn confident that Dinah would completely trust him. Or maybe he wants Dinah’s “yes” before she realizes that she was just swept away by the moment.
Friday, May 11, 2007
House of M was the Marvel event that made me read comics again after years of not picking up an issue of Marvel and DC. I was trying to fill in the gaps of my Strangers in
More than anything, House of M was a story heavily based on the characters – the impact of Wanda’s alternate reality where most of the Avengers and X-men were actually living their deepest wish of “what-could’ve-been” is best appreciated if you knew them – their history, their loves, and their failures. Wolverine was an agent of Shield (“I wanted to be Nick Fury”); Emma and Scott were married (which surprised Logan, I think he was expecting to see Jean); Ms. Marvel was a star superhero; Ororo’s was a bratty African princess (considering her childhood as a poor orphan/streetkid…); Magneto is King; and the tables were turned – the humans were persecuted by sentinels. It was kind of expected – angst ridden mutants were living easy, rich, and happy. But it was Peter Parker's dream come true that was most surprising – he was married to Gwen and they had a son; MJ was a successful actress; and Spiderman was legitimate and appreciated by the public - he had fans!
When Layla Miller and rest of the gang made Peter remember the real timeline, it almost destroyed Peter. Being married to Gwen reminded him of his worst failure and I thought it shamed him that deep inside he had wished he was not married to MJ and instead had a family with Gwen. Seeing MJ successful also made him believe that he was not good for MJ – that he held her back. Peter confronted the reality of what he really wanted and I thought it would lead to him to self-loathing and blaming – even when nothing is actually his fault.
For me it was the most defining moment of Peter – among all the mutants and powered people he wanted the alternate reality to be real. I think even Magneto was not completely happy with being king of the world. I think the ultimate sacrifice is not to die for a cause or someone (because you will not live to deal with the consequences or the responsibility of picking up the peices) but having to sacrifice what you want or need for the greater good (and you get to live and suffer the consequences, thinking of what could have been).
After all has been said and done, after the universe changing “No more mutants,” Peter had to live with the memory of that alternate reality. This should have changed him and his relationship with MJ. I was looking forward to how he would cope with the emotional grinder that the events put him through. It should have fucked-him-up-in-the-head knowing how angsty the character is. BUT this seems to have been ignored in the Spiderman comics – at least his anger and hurt was touched upon on Son of M where he confronted a powerless Pietro. Sayang lang. It could’ve made a great Spidey story.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Anyway, today's song goes out to a diverse bunch of individuals from pop geekdom, including erstwhile Avenger the Scarlet Witch, Nico Minoru of the Runaways, Deckard from Blade Runner, and JLA supporting character Kathy Sutton. What does such a random grouping have in common? They've all had relationships with articifical human beings.
"Yeah, I'm In Love With An Android" is taken from Ferocious Mopes (2005), the third album by Say Hi To Your Mom. The band started out with Brooklyn-based song-writer Eric Elbogen as its sole member -- he is loathe to describe it as a "solo project", as his snarky FAQ makes perfectly clear. But it has since evolved into a full-on musical group, dishing out moody indie-pop that veers wildly between dispassionate irony and earnest (dare I say child-like?) insouciance.
The song is fairly typical of Say Hi's ouvrve, blending lo-fi anomie with sci-fi romanticism. In his plaintive voice, Elbogen waxes sardonic about the unique highlights and frustrations of giving one's heart to a sentient machine:
Her kisses are metallic
And her touch is firm but cold
And I don't thinks she sleeps at night
But plugs into the wall
Download "...Android" (from the band's official site)
Download "...Android" (hosted by me)
Plus, in keeping with our declared theme of the month, I give you "Spidey" by Milky Wimpshake. I admit, it's hardly the most impressive track by the self-described "political twee" duo from the Newcastle/Slampt scene (heck, it's not even particularly representative of how they sound, in general). But it nicely captures the spirit of what makes Spider-Man tick, as a timeless, iconic character. Bonus points for avoiding the obvious route of sampling Paul Francis Webster and Bob Harris' familiar (read: over-exposed) theme from the 60s cartoon.
Download "Spidey" (from the band's official site)
Download "Spidey" (hosted by me)
Coming up, when I have the energy for it:
Free Comic Book Day 2007 round-up
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Okay, so I'm scratching my head like crazy. If there's one thing about this massive effort called 52 it's the curve balls that are never easy to predict. Sometimes, to catch. Most of these must be Grant's doing. Mark Waid did say that if ever there was some high concept being pursued, that would be Grant's, specifically the evil Skeets part. No surprise that issue 52 shoulders a heavily unpredictable end...err, beginning...
As temporal adventures go, everything is debatable. But the time-spanning touch down (literally, touch down) is something that fans, at least my sister and I, will be discussing time after time.
If there's one thing that 52 was successful at, it's telling the stories, the sometimes literal, sometimes spiritual, oftentimes moral journeys of Ralph Dibny, Black Adam, The Question, Renee Montoya, the JSA, Cassie (Wonder Girl), Animal Man, Adam Strange, Starfire, Steel, and Booster Gold. And Lobo. Definitely a year of heroes above any other league.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Directed by Sam Raimi
Written by Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent
The B Movie exposition that freaks Flint Marko up is from the same dark gristle that fed Raimi's Darkman. But the one that crowbars the symbiote into the piece seems puked out of The Blob. Meteorites, eh? Not quite rocket science, that. Factor in superfluous but motherfucking radiant Gwen Stacy, superfluous but belonging to another movie ( 4, as rumored) Eddie Brock and superfluous but superfluous Harry Osborn and it all starts to severely gag and buckle from too many subplots. Snazzy black duds notwithstanding, Peter and Mary Jane's emotional fallout and the plot twist Sandman brings to the party is drama enough to darkside the franchise and make it breathe. Less really is more. Raimi should know. He made Spidey 2. His set pieces still give good rollercoaster. The engagement ring dustup, the Gwen rescue , the Marvel Team Up climax- - - bang for the buck. But it's the less hopped-up ones (Sandman's awesome rebirth and ,really, every time he's on and metamorphosing) and the jokey bits (Bruce Campbell, hands down) that foreground his grasp of fun and funny. Juices this up for one spin. But you can tell the franchise is boring him. Time to move on, then. Popcorn but bloated. And what is up with all the dancing ? * * *
Spider-Man 3 wastes no time in delivering the goods smack at your face. Settle down in your seat fast because Goblin II kicks some serious spandex ass in the first 20 minutes of the movie. Sure, you still can tell apart the CGI effects from the actors but it doesn’t take away from the crazy angled alley dogfight. Off to a good start so the muddled middle was bewildering. Joel Schumacher bewildering.
(Hides under the table. Waves white flag. Coast is clear.)
Here there be spoilerage bullets.
- Thomas Haden Church's Flint Marko/Sandman is the best thing about this movie. Great effects. Resonant acting. Touching in bits.
- Evil Peter Parker. Strutting down the street with his Blink 182 `do, funny that one. Just goes to show that Parker/Spider-Man is the geekiest of them heroes. Even when he turns into an ass, he is still his nerdy, awkward, uncool self.
- Action sequences. Spidey using the falling debris to launch himself to catch Gwen Stacy was a nice show of spider agility.
- Gwen Stacy straight out of the comic book.
- MJ's flailing acting career. Heh. Nicely done though, subtle yet painful to watch.
- Goblin II. Minus the overexposed pearly whites. Cool gears, too.
- The Venom/Sandman team-up. Let's have them close a deal because the movie's getting too lengthy, feels like it.
- Spider-Man/Goblin II team-up. The ending turned into a messy buddy-flick.
- The chick-flickness. Not as bad as Superman Returns but sometimes you kinda wonder what you're watching in the first place.
- The children. They're all over the movie. Bad lines. Bad reaction shots. Unfunny jokes.
- Venom. The movie could've done without. Forced. Flat. And Topher Grace's wooden snear is fucking annoying.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
So guys, let's make this Spider-Man Month. Spare a few blog space for our web-slinging hero. Favorite Spidey arc. Favorite moment. Spidey appearances on movies, TV, cartoons. Favorite issue. Share girl problems like Peter's or boy problems like MJ's or geriatric breakthroughs for Aunt May. (That was weak. Sorry, I'm at work.)