Monday, June 30, 2003

Finding Nemo:
Saw this about a week ago and, no surprise, loved it. Pixar Studios gets my money anytime they put a movie out (in theatres or on DVD) and it's always, always worth it. Finding Nemo had a special resonance for me as a new dad, because the notion of being able to protect my daughter from everything is one that weighs on my mind, and I like that Nemo had a message for kids (Your parents may not seem cool, but they'll do *anything* for you) and adults (you can't protect your kids by hiding them from the world). It also had, as always, great actors doing voice work and funny bits (loved Crush, the turtle voiced by director Stanton).

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Shadowrun Duels:
This action figure game is completely addictive, just as Wizkids' Heroclix line has been. I swore I was going to avoid taking the budget hit, what with so many good comics coming out in June and DC: Cosmic Justice besides, but I couldn't resist once I saw the figures. Amazing sculpts, pretty solid articulation and nifty gear made them fun for a toy collector, and the game system is simple enough but tailored to the action figure size, not just a retrofit of the Clix rules. I've played but one game so far, but the potential is there for big fun and big multi-player run and gun fests. So far I've picked up half: Kyushi the Yakuza sniper, Lothan the troll mage (by far the best plastic/money ratio of the bunch) and G-Dogg the ork bouncer, and I can easily see buying the other three before Wave 2 hits. Wave 2 and 3, btw, look even better than most of the figures in this first wave. Fun stuff.
The Hulk:
Went and saw this Saturday night with low expectations, and still walked away disappointed. It's not the FX... in fact, the Hulk just rocks, and the best scenes in the movie are the ones where he's fighting tanks, leaping through the desert or tearing up San Francisco. No, it's the fact that the FX crew delivered on the damn-near impossible task of creating the Hulk for live-action and Ang Lee and company dropped the ball with a slow, disjointed, emotionless and dull story. It never comes together, and I'm at a loss as to why it was necessary to spend a good hour or so of the film trying to convince us of the scientific plausibility of the Hulk... it's a guy who turns green and throws tanks around... how plausible can you really get? Throw in other minor-league complaints (would it have killed them to have the Hulk talk, or at least thrown us a "Hulk Smash!") and you've got a comic-book movie that sits right below Daredevil in the disappointing-but-not-really-unexpected failures.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

And The Award for Most Colossal Fuck-Up in Comics Management Goes to:
Graphitti Designs Presents... NEWSARAMA: WAID FIRED FROM FF WITH #508 - This rumor surfaced on the Bendis board and seemed completely ridiculous. I mean, under Waid's guidance the Fantastic Four is enjoying a creative resurgence (whether I'm a big fan of his take on Doom or not, the book is still good to great) and a sales resurgence... so they take him off the book? And replace him with President of Marvel Bill Jemas, who has gone to great lengths to prove that he can't write? (Update: Jemas is, according to Marvel, not the new writer on the book. That part may have been Waid repeating the rumors from the Bendis board poster, or (to be less charitable to Marvel) Marvel may have back-tracked on that when they saw how much heat that part of the announcement was stirring up.)

I'm just boggled by this decision. It strikes me as the kind of bone-headed move Marvel would have made during the 90s, right around the period where I (and many others) dropped all of their books in frustration.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Proof of God Found on IMDB:
Thanks to a tipoff from a message-board poster at the Pulse, I went over to IMDB and discovered that it is true: Brad Bird, creator of the underappreciated work of genius Iron Giant, is the writer and director of The Incredibles, a super-hero film by the "haven't had a miss yet" Pixar Studios.

I was already looking forward to The Incredibles because of the teaser trailer and my slavish devotion to the work of Pixar... now I absolutely can't wait for November 2004.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

The Animatrix:
Picked this up today (the 2-disc set with CD, naturally) and *LOVED* it. I'd already seen 5 of the shorts and liked all of them (Flight of the Osiris was a favorite, with Second Renaissance a close second and Detective Story a pretty close third... and if you ask me tomorrow, I might rearrange the order of those, and put Program in the mix as well). The last four on the disc are also anywhere from good to exceptional. Matriculated got a little too weird for me, but is still intriguing, but the rest are fantastic. I particularly loved the fast-paced "A Kid's Story," although the lyrical and strange "Beyond" and the hopeful and powerful story "World Record" are also great.

This has had the side-effect of interesting me more in some anime, and I've put Blue Submarine on my Netflix list as a result... the last thing in the world I need is a new addiction, but these features, and the well-done documentary about anime that accompanies them, has stirred my interest a little more. I also got a kick out of seeing local professor, Dr. Susan Napier, on the documentary, given that she's a professor that a friend of mine talks about constantly and absolutely adores.

I liked Matrix Reloaded, but in just about every way, The Animatrix is the superior product. I can see myself watching it over and over again, in whole and in part.