Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekly Recap - September 25th, 2010

Playing a little Rock Band, whether singing, drumming or guitaring, always improves my mood, whether I'm in a good mood or bad mood to start with. I should remember this.

I started the home office reorganization on Wednesday, and abandoned it halfway through. These things must be done in stages! Stage 2 has not occurred yet.

On Saturday, my son attached a small bungie cord to my extra Rock Band drums and was jumping down while holding it, saying "Yoinks and away!" Not too surprising, given that he's been watching Daffy Duck's Robin Hood impression at least once a day lately. But funny.

Wow, Monday is a crowded TV night all of a sudden. First impressions: Lone Star is a great pilot, the lead has a very Clooney-esque quality and I have *no* idea how they're gonna sustain the cons, but I'm interested in seeing where it goes. (Apparently, it's going into quick cancellation. Ratings were *terrible*)

Chuck came back strong, as always, and remains one of my favorite shows.

Hawaii 5-0: Beautiful to look at, plays like a solid action movie remake of the franchise... and I actually thought O'Loughlin was decent as the lead of the ensemble. I'll keep watching.

Running Wilde: Maybe it was all the bad-mouthing by Fienberg & Sepinwall, but I thought it was OK. Mediocre, sure, but a couple of laughs and I see some potential in the premise.

Undercovers: OK, but both Hawaii 5-0 and Nikita are better action shows among this year's crop of new shows.

Other Links:
I haven't actually read a ton of Pratchett's work. But this story makes it clear that he is awesome.

Not only do they make great music and amazing videos... they're dog lovers. OK Go, you are also awesome.

Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" is a fantastic idea, and should be spread far and wide.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekly Recap - September 18th, 2010

Karoake Apocalypse at the Nomad was a blast. Lots of really good singers, great crowd, had fun hanging out with friends. And I sang Ball & Chain and did mostly OK, aside from forgetting to sing "Take Away This Ball and Chain" the last time and having to be prodded by the bass player.

I went to the Nomad twice last week, actually. On Tuesday, I grabbed an Ace Pear with friends and a Funky Monkey at Gordough's.

Also had a great dinner at Frank, followed by Last Starfighter in the park, on Wednesday.

Comics Retailing:
[sarcasm]And as we all know, after the year 2000, nobody ever sold comics again. So all this panic about "August-mageddon" on the comics website is *totally* rational and not at all stupid, half-assed analysis by folks without an actual realistic view of the market.[/sarcasm]

Rented Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions from Redbox on Tuesday. Played three levels (one Amazing, one Noir and one 2099) and so far... pretty impressed. Neil Patrick Harris makes a great Peter Parker, and it's fun to see more of the 2099 universe. Also, Noir is very much a riff on Batman: Arkham Asylum, complete with stealth and takedowns. Might have to put this on the buy list.

I will most definitely be playing this during Fantastic Arcade. Also? Twisted Pixel, the guys who made 'Splosion Man, have a new game and are Austin-based. I knew neither of these things, and I'm looking forward to interviewing them for the Leader.

Rewatched about half of the Star Trek movie on Netflix Instant and... I still don't get it. Yes, the cast is pretty good, yes it's flashy as hell and has some nice set-pieces. But... everyone is so damn smug, the villain is *terrible* (has Bana ever been good in anything?) and the plot is over-complicated and not super-interesting. I don't get the love for this movie.

Yeah, Cartoon Network, that countdown clock for Sym-Bionic Titan running for the entirety of Brave and the Bold's premiere isn't at all annoying. And on a related note, am I the only one who wishes Ross & Waid had never come up with Captain Marvel using his Shazam lightning as a weapon? It's getting really, really old. And was one of a few cliches in Saturday's Brave and the Bold opener, which was awesome in the details but disappointing in the actual story.

Other Links:
Man I wish I could be in Washington DC in October for The Daily Show's Rally for Sanity.

SMBC is hysterical.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weekly Recap - September 11th, 2010

What does it say about me that I find Jack in the Box's egg rolls superior to most of the veggie-filled, bland egg rolls I've ever had at Chinese restaurants? Am I going to the wrong Chinese restaurants, or is my palette all messed up, or is Jack in the Box that good at egg rolls?

On Monday, a woman brought an entire box of Swedish fish to the store. Not trying to sell anything, just a promotion for Swedish fish. Odd. But delicious! Apparently they're making a big marketing push in Austin.

Don't ever look at Yelp! at around midnight. I was craving Best Wurst, Kebabalicious, Habana *and* Franklin BBQ and none of them were open on Monday night. So I decided to go to Franklin BBQ for lunch on Tuesday. Despite the downpour which flooded parts of the city, still decided to go, and... learned that it is not open on Tuesdays, even when it isn't raining. My buddy Jason and I went to Torchy's instead, which was good, but I'm still craving Franklin.

On Thursday, I had a blast doing Geeks Who Drink with friends at Nomad. We came in fifth, which I blame on sports, elephantitis and the Branch Davidian compound.

Watching Road Runner cartoons with my son... there are worse ways to spend a Saturday morning.

Comics I Read This Week:
Thanos Imperative #4 - The first half of this issue was sheer cosmic action joy, the second half more of that "they're screwed" sense that's pervaded the rest of the series. Loving it, as with all the Abnett/Lanning cosmic stuff, and I hope this isn't the end of it all. If it is, it's a great send-off.

Sixth Gun #4 - Very strong contender for best new title of 2010.

More TV Dudes! This time our giant two part Fall TV preview. Part 1 here, Part 2 here.

Watched The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard - This was a lot of fun... great cast. Craig Robinson almost steals the show as DJ Request.

Not quite as impressed with Daybreakers - 2 1/2 stars is probably generous, upon reflection. Not the best movie that could have been made from this premise, but also not the worst. Oh, and weird, weird ending... seems like they went "Hey, we still have a huge gore budget to burn!"

Loved Black Dynamite. Lots of folks do '70s exploitation parody, few do it this well. Hilarious and clever, with lots of great performances.

Sunshine Cleaning I'm a little more uncertain of. I'm not usually a big fan of quirky soul-searching indies, but I thought this was pretty good, if you are into that sort of thing. On reflection, though, I liked it a little less, although I still love Amy Adams.

Finished Castle Season 1. Bring on Season 2! Except that the DVD comes out the day *after* season 3 premieres. WTF kind of planning is that?

I seem to be in the minority amongst my friends, but I thought the pilot for Terriers was pretty frickin' great. Donal Logue was *perfect* for the lead role, the chemistry between him and co-star Raymond James is really strong and the whole thing has a vibe that's James Ellroy meets Elmore Leonard with a very recognizable streak of Ted Griffin's snappy patter and fun set-pieces from Ocean's 11. Highly, *highly* recommended viewing. Daniel Fienberg has a really good review.

Oddly, Alan's "I'm not interested, but it's well done" review has me more excited than I previously was for the new Nikita. Partially because I never watched the USA version, partially because I like the twist of Maggie Q's character (and Maggie Q) and partially because I am super-partial to shadowy spy action stories.

Here, Alan Sepinwall talks Rubicon and why you should be watching one of the best shows on TV. Even if we still don't really know what the conspiracy is about, 3/4 of the way through the season.

Other Links:
This looks very cool... if I was an artist, I'd totally do it.

Awesome mash-up of Matrix and Big Lebowski

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Weekly Recap - September 4th, 2010

This week: TV Dudes recording on Rubicon, the Emmys and Community; a game of Fiasco that's half veteran, half newbie (I love seeing people discover this game) set in Gangster London; a second viewing of Scott Pilgrim and the commencement of a new D&D Tomb of Horrors game. Full but promising week.

My son, on the inherent unfairness of Wil E. Coyote v. Road Runner: "Cut that out, Meep Meep!"

Took a nap on Friday. Woke up and the world had exploded with a half-dozen metaphorical fires that needed putting out. I long for the days before adulthood, when days off were a real thing

Anybody else doing Fantastic Arcade? Looks like I'm going to be covering Thursday and Friday at the show to do a piece or two for the Round Rock Leader.

Comics I Read This Week:

GI Joe A Real American Hero #158 (A few confused action sequences, but in general, this is reminding me of post-#50 GI Joe, which is to say it's not the book at its peak, but it has the same no-nonsense action vibe that made me a fan in the first place)

Hawkeye & Mockingbird #4 (Continues to be a book written just for me. McCann has nailed what I like about these two characters, and his secondary characters, from Dominic Fortune to Phantom Rider, are favorites as well)

Hellboy The Storm #3 (Fantastic conclusion to the latest Hellboy series, and I'm especially pleased that we may *finally* see Hellboy back with his comrades at the BPRD)

Young Allies #4 (Coming together nicely... the more extended pacing of "putting the team together" stories these days doesn't always work in the first couple issues, but if you stick around, sometimes you're rewarded with a promising new group. We'll see if this can stick around where things like The Order, Runaways, etc. didn't)

Comics Retailing Thoughts:
This is huge, very good news.

Comics News:
This is a fantastic Batman analysis by Chris Sims. My Batman is the Miller Year One Batman and the Dixon/Grant Batman of the '90s, and I'm not 100% sold on Morrison's take on Batman, and I disagree with some of the assertions he's made, but you have to agree that he's done some of the most thoughtful Batman work of anyone in a long time.

The video series I've been doing with Greg & Grant launched for real this last week, with episodes on Summer TV (in two parts), Rubicon (my favorite so far) and The Emmys.

I also chimed in on the League of Extremely Ordinary Gentlemen podcast on '80s action movies.

And I finally got the Losers from Netflix, watched it and *hated it*. Toothless, by the numbers shitty adaptation of a great graphic novel series. Wasted potential, I got bored enough that I didn't finish watching the last twenty minutes or so.

On the other hand, perhaps my friends were right, and I should have been watching Castle all along. I've been really enjoying the first season DVDs.

Wow, this is pretty awesome. Tons of Iron Giant sketches from various artists. Iron Giant is fantastic, and even better, remains on Netflix Instant Watch. If you've never seen it, check it out.

Other Links:
Finally they add cameras to the iPod Touch. I'm gonna need an upgrade.