Saturday, December 27, 2008

Review: Force Unleashed & The Dark Knight

Force Unleashed (somewhere else) the book

During the annual video game get together, Saturday after Thanksgiving, I watched some of this video game being played. The graphics are awesome and it looked like you could do a decent amount of stuff as the character. While at the library a few weeks ago, I picked up this book, plus Revenge of the Sith, to read. Force Unleashed takes place between RofT and A New Hope.

I read through Revenge first. Vey had suggested giving it a look, so when I saw it on the shelf, I picked it up. I honestly didn't expect it to be much. The "new" trilogy comes across as very stiff and plot point driven. I didn't feel compelled to like any of the characters, even though I enjoy watching several of the actors. What I discovered about Revenge is that if I tune out the stiff acting and horrible dialogue from the movie, it's a really good story. The author wove in more than the movie did and I actually began to pity Anakin. I felt sorry for Padme, being pregnant and married to a guy who can't seem to really grow up. By the end of the movie, I finally understood what the story should have been, a classic tragedy with Anakin at the heart of it.

With that, I picked up Force Unleashed and dove in head first. Sadly, this book is nowhere near as good as Revenge. Granted, it's based on a video game. I was willing to look beyond that and try to enjoy it, nonetheless. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish this one fast enough. The action sequences from the video game read horribly. The character development is as shallow and stinted as it would be in a video game. There's no real big payoff feeling like there would be from beating a video game. And the video game's story and how it plays into the Star Wars metaplot? meh. Interesting idea, but meh. If you want to experience Force Unleashed, play the video game and skip this book.

Anyone wanting the plot elements that fit into the mythos, let me know and I'll post spoilers.

The Dark Knight
potential for spoilers ahead

I got this one as a Christmas gift. I've only watched it once, so I'm sure I've missed things. It's a very good follow up to Batman Begins. The development of Gordan and Batman's relationship is good. The inclusion of Dent was nice. I would have liked a full movie of him as Dent before the creation of Two Face. Ledger was good as the Joker.

I was surprised at the direction they went with the Joker's personality. He came across as the quiet guy, who finally snaps, instead of the cRAzY mAn I often expect him to be. You know, closer to the '60s tv show version. The portrayal as a quiet, more subdued personality, perhaps more unsecure?, was a great turn and for some reason, a little easier to relate to. This is not to say there was no over the top insanity from Joker, there was. However, there was not a lot of cackling "ha-ha-ha-ha"s. I could have used a few more. Joker definetly upped the ante on what he was willing to do for his cause. That was nice. It wasn't just some random kill people here, blow that building up there. The character was well thought out. There was still some comic book pastiche, but that's to be expected.

I didn't care for the ending with Batman and Gordan's interactions and Batman taking the heat. It felt very forced and just didn't jive with the rest of the movie. I felt it could have been left out. I understand the need to have him outside the law and on the run. After all, we can't have people rooting for a vigilante, now can we?

I wouldn't be surprised in the next movie if they include Gordan's wife moving back to Chicago as part of the plot. They set it up this time, with Two Face's actions.

If you liked Batman Begins, you'll like most of this movie.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

War Zone - Spoilers ahead

I went to Punisher War Zone this evening. They got a lot right in this movie, but I also feel there was enough bad to go around. I want to make one statement before I throw in the cut. The cut, because I'm bound to spoil. The statement,

This movie is rated R for strong violence, gore, horrific visuals, swearing (not a lot, really), and an over the top amount of anger (hey, it is Frank. I cannot recommend kids seeing this movie. Nor can I recommend it to people who have trouble with the latest round of Batman movies, Blackhawk Down, or Event Horizon.

What they got right:
Atmosphere of Garth Ennis era, MAX Punisher
Ray did a great job as Frank
Camera work

What they got wrong:
Horrid script
Someone couldn't decide if this was a Marvel Knights movie or Marvel MAX movie
Let's kill a whole bunch of characters from the comic book, thereby making it impossible to include them in the future
Silly comic book bad guy's brother
No Frank Castle War Journal voice over

Right now, an hour after seeing Punisher War Zone, I feel like I enjoyed the movie. Frank's base of operations looked good, I enjoyed the actors that portrayed the mainline characters from the MAX comic. I'll refrain from spoiling all your fun by mentioning who they are. I will say they kill all nearly all of them. The amount of violence, level of violence, the same topics with blood, Frank's seriousness while in combat were all good. Blood is seen, innards are seen, bodies are broken, heads blown off.

Jigsaw's brother was atrocious as a character. His lines were iffy. His actions were often stupid and stank of "supervillainy."

The script sucked. It really was horrible. I think one of the problems was they couldn't decide if it was a MAX or Marvel Knights movie. During the fight sequences, it was a MAX movie. When it wasn't a fight sequence, it was "a softer side of Sears." I'm all about showing Frank's weaknesses. They didn't do that. Instead, they wrote two scripts, one for The Punisher and one for my mom.

I can now understand why Tom didn't want to do this movie. He may not have liked the ultra-violence or he may not have liked the shitty script. Either way, he made a good decision, as he doesn't fit this Punisher. I'm not putting him down for this, but Tom played a different character.

The first and second movie are ignored.

There is no extra ending after the credits.

I think I was one of the few people in the theatre that laughed as Frank wove his revenge against the bad guys. I'm sure that doesn't say much for my psyche, but The Punisher is my favourite superhero, even if he is an anti-hero. People like will enjoy this movie for what it is - Garth's Punisher if Garth didn't write it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quantum of Solace and War Zone

First off, the trailer for Watchmen is showing before QoS in England - but not in my neck of the woods, here across the pond. I'm jealous, but still love my island friends. No really, it's okay. ;)

Anyways, for those of you heading to see Quantum, I have some advice for you. (No worries, no spoilers here.) First of all, it's still the new Bond. No crazy gimmick devices. Sure, I miss Q Division, but not that much. Second, this is a continuation of the story begun in Casino Royale (the movie, not the original story by Ian Fleming). Third, there is a tonne of action in this film. Lots and lots and lots of action. Fourth, the theme song is alright by me.

I enjoyed it. It was, in my mind, not better than Casino Royale. That doesn't bother me. There were some weak points, but I'll not point them out. If you don't notice them, all the better for you, I say.

* * *

Punisher War Zone can come out anyday, now. While I wish TJ was again portraying Frank Castle, I'll settle for a new actor. Can he really be as bad as Lundgren? No, really. The movie looks darker, more nasty in its adjudication of the bad guys. Now, I've honestly not read up on this movie after hearing TJ wouldn't be in it. However, while researching Marvel Comics today, I came across something that made me take note. War Zone is being released by Marvel Knights Pictures. MKP will function the same way that the Marvel Knights comics function. MKP will make movies for mature audiences.

I just hope the movie doesn't tank, as it's been plagued by production delays.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Here's a Still I'm in from the Harvey Putter set. My character and the blonde female's character were Death Editors. That's Lord Moldymort in the front with Smellitrix next to him. Release date for this movie should be 2010.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vacation Pics

Okay, here are links to the pics. I have yet to write the story that goes with them, but this will get you started...

Ybor City and Shipboard pics

Roatan Island pics from the ship

Roatan Island pics while snorkeling


Gala Buffet

Formal Night

Monday, September 15, 2008

Niki's wedding

Back from the Caribbean. I'll post on that later after I have the ELEVEN rolls of film developed.

Mum just sent over a set of pictures from my cousin Nikkie's wedding. I've only looked at one of Niki and I, thus far. It's the only one I'm interested in. This was her day and she looks very happy in this picture with me. It's a horrible picture, really. Mum was sitting right next to me and I'm twisting and leaning backwards, so that you can see Niki. She's trying to lean in and forward - which was not the easiest in her beautiful dress. Here's the pic.

Anyways, on to the reason of the post.

You see, I believe that weddings are important. If you're lucky, you'll come across old friends, visit family you don't often get to visit, and you're helping to make someone's day a wonderful memory. Funerals are important, too, but usually much more depressing.

I love Niki, she's my only blood cousin.* I don't know her as well as I should, but everytime we see each other, we do lots of smiling, laughing, and comparing notes on which family members are making dumb decisions. She usually wins. Here's why.

The scene is a wedding near Columbus, Ohio, birthplace of this blogger. The day is sunny and warm, but not unbearingly hot. The cast includes:

My cousin, her parents, me mum, me mum's fiancee, me, my cousin's siblings, and a whole slew of people I don't know. The flowergirl is my cousin's daughter, all cute with her eyes bloodshot from refusing to sleep the night before. The ring bearer is my cousin's eldest brother's son.

My cousin's siblings' birth order is like this:
brother one
brother two
brother three
And my cousin is the youngest. Her sister is the only other one married.

So, the wedding ceremony goes off. Niki appears to be happier than could be. The groom does well, but is obviously nervous. His name's Cameron. He seems like a good guy and his parents appear to be good folks.

While the ring bearer was brother one's son, brother one was not at the wedding ceremony. His girlfriend was, in an inappropriately short, jean miniskirt. As it turns out, brother one was getting his hair cut for the wedding and picking up his suit. Except, he didn't show up in the suit, rather in some new clothes he bought (crease lines still across the front of the stomach area of the shirt). He was also kind enough to take the new shirt off and display his t-shirt which bore an image of a comic strip character urinating on the logo of a type of car. I wasn't present for this, so I don't know which car logo was used.

He never put on the suit, even at the wedding reception.

Brother two was there, not wearing a suit. I don't know that he owns one, that's not the type of person he is. Up until recently, he'd been working as a bouncer at a local bar. His dress for the wedding was a pair of black pants and a dress shirt, barely tucked in and not with a suit coat or tie.

Remember, we're at his baby sister's wedding.

I called brother two out on this. His reasoning is as follows, he doesn't get out of work until 2:30am and didn't have time in the past two weeks to pick up some decent clothing. I asked him if there were any 24 hour stores like Miejer or WalMart near his house. He said there were. I then asked him why he didn't go to one of those places and pick up some clothing that would fit him better, as well as a suit or at least a tie. He told me he didn't have time, as he was very tired after work every night. Besides, his mother went out the night before the wedding and picked out some clothes she hoped would fit him.

You know, it's not like the mother of the bride to be doesn't have enough to worry over prior to her baby girl's wedding, is there?

Brother three was happy as could be, enjoyed the wedding and the folks there, was dressed for the occassion, and was fine.

The bride's mother took it all in and rolled with it. I'm sure she's used to some, if not all, of these hijinks. Same with eldest sister. The bride's father was dealing with other more important issues that don't matter to this post.

I was at the wedding, because I wanted to be there and because Niki wanted me to be there. I met up with other people while in town for the wedding. I did other things while there. I held better conversations and saw things more appropriate. I didn't let these bad things get in the way of helping to make Niki and Cameron's day something good to be remembered.

You see, I think weddings are important. I just wish everyone acted like they knew it.

* One of her older brothers is an adopted cousin.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Real Update

It's a long one folks. Grab a brew (alcoholic or not), kick back, and read on. The quick table of contents would be something like:

Fall Guy
King's Island
4th of July
GH: Aerosmith

So, where to start, neh? How about Saturday?

I spent a great day on-set of Harvey Putter as a Fall Guy. Tim invited me out to play the part of a Death Editor. I hear that the equivelent in the Harry Potter films is a Death Eater. No clue. Anyways, I'm now in plenty of pain. No, there was no full contact, mano-a-mano fight work for me to do. Oh, no, my gentle reader-folk. We were slinging spells across the warehouse of doom, fighting it out via special effects yet to be witnessed by mortal eyes.

Somewhere during the start I got the crazy idea that I needed to do some wacked out, crazy thing, to upstage all other folk on-set with my crazy skills. Yep, 3 crazies, 1 sentence, it's crA-Azy. And this idea of mine was to introduce a tumble roll through my fellow bad-guys avoiding spell-blasts and hiding behind gaylords.

Now, for those of you not into film-making, let me explain something to you. When you shoot an action sequence, you shoot every single second of it from 4+ angles - warm up-walk throughs, show it to the director of the photography live shot, shot it to the movie director live shot, show it to the producer live shot, several master shots (2+), shots from each point of the fight's angles (7+), several wide angle shots of portions of the fight (4+), action shots (2+ this weekend), and we didn't even get to the, "Hey, this would look bad ass, let's figure out how to shoot it," shots.

Yeah, I did that tumble through the magic wand fight bunches of times. a suit and tie...

...under a trench coat...

...with a latex mask on...

...and make-up...

...on a concrete floor.

And I loved it. Unfortunately, I managed to irritate my old work injury. You know, the one where I was t-boned at 50mph. Don't remember that story? I can find it for you and link it - or you can go back a few years and ready it. It's probably titled Too Stupid to Die, or something like that. I've also got a pinched nerve in my left upper arm, right forearm, back, and a few other places.

The fight scenes went well. The crew was plentiful and helpful and willing to work with us! Tim and Jed were more organized than I expected them to be, neither one moreso than the other. We just weren't as organized as we wanted to be on Dork of the Rings.

Edige's Mutant & Masterminds game is over. We had a great time. We may get back together in the fall for more, but no guarantees. He's sent over a set of rules he wants several of us to read through and potentially test for the True20 rules set.

Kaiju's True20 pirate game continues on. We've had some more combat and gathered more guns and items of mystery. It's a great game and gives me a chance to chat with Kaiju's wife. Always great to see these two.

The day before July 4th, I picked up Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. This same very day was a game of Kaiju's pirate game. So, I had to leave it, unplayed, at home, while I was at Kaiju's. But after that I came home and beat it on medium level in about 4 hours. =D Since then, I've also beat it on easy.

I enjoyed the fact that the game got progressively harder as it went along. The other GHs felt as if they didn't get harder or they would jump in difficulty for no apparent reason. This one was much better scaled. The notes to be played also made more sense than any other version. The down for me was that I don't like Aerosmith that much. They're okay, but not all that. And video game Steven Tyler is much, much more frightening than real life Tyler. Really, he is.

However, Mott the Hoople's All the Young Dudes made up for everything else I didn't like on the album.

The house is falling apart. I have a gutter falling away from the top of my house (above the second floor), a window that has completely cracked through, and a screen door that has ripped off the hinges. *sigh*

All in all, things are good and I'm looking forward to some things in life.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Movie updates

I know, I know, I haven't posted anywhere in awhile. Life's been busy. I'll give ou an update later, maybe. Until then, here are some movie updates for those of you behind the ball like I usually am.

Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor trailer is up. Sadly, no Rachel Weiss.

I know Jim is having problems with the previews for The Dark Knight, but so far I like what I see.

twilight appears to be the latest teenie bopper vampire movie. Thankfully, it's not due out until December.

I Want to Believe only has two trailers out, thus far. I've seen no coverage on local television for this one. The trailer is dark and goes for the spooky vein, reminding me of the first season X-Files tv show.

Out of context with the rest of these comments is Religulous. While I probably won't see it in theatres, it def. looks to be a good one. Somebody better tell Skippy to not see this one - oh wait, O'Reilly will bash it and that will be enough for Skippy, I'm sure.

A second Madagascar movie is coming.

Speaking of animations, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is up to two trailers and continues to garner my interest. Now, if I could only gather enough interest in local gamers for a d6SW game! This second trailer is much more somber.

Punisher: War Zone looks like it may make the movie viable with standard movie fans. For those fans of the comics, it looks to combine the number of deaths per comic book page with really bad acting coupled with Hollywood action. Thomas Jane isn't in this movie and it looks like I'll be glad of that.

GI Joe: Rise of Cobra has a ton of people in it! Including Gerald Okamura!, Brendan Fraiser, Christopher Eccleston, Rachel Nichols, and Arnold Vosloo. I don't see a trailer available for it, yet, but the production pics are awesome. Sorry, I don't mind the leather, especially on Rachel Nichols.

Babylon A.D. and Death Race could be good, especially as the former has Vin Diesel and Michelle Yeoh in it. Stone is taking a stab at sending up W. Yes, that dubyuh.

That's all for now!

Monday, May 19, 2008


Empty-handed I go, and behold the spade is in my hands;
I walk on foot, and on the back of an ox I am riding;
When I pass over the bridge;
Lo, the water floweth not, but the bridge doth flow.

Credo quia absurdum est.

There is no pain, no origin of pain, no stoppage of pain, and no path to the stoppage of pain.

The middle way is where there is neither middle nor two sides. When you are fettered by the objective world, you have one side; when you are disturbed in your mind, you have the other side. When neither of these exists, there is no middle part, and this is the middle way.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Long Count

I finally picked up this hot little number from Jason Blair and Leanne Buckley.

I tried to order this through - gave them the title, the author and artist names, publisher, my name and phone number. They warned me that it could take a month or two if it wasn't a "wide release."

That was a month or two ago. With any luck they'll call this week. I'll go buy it if they do get it in, but I haven't been back to that local shop since then.

Also grabbed two Slaine graphic novels of old 2000 A.D. material.

Hopefully I'm in for some good reading!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Six Demon Bag, Ivy, and GenCon Indy update

So, the original script for Big Trouble in Little China was a western. Anyone have a copy? This was before Richter was brought on to rewrite it, which was before John Carpenter was brought in.

Speaking of Carpenter, he has three movies in the works. Psychopath. may be the first to see the light of day, even if IMDB doesn't have a listing for it.

In other news, I have discovered the joy of poison ivy. Damn this shit itches. I think I had a very small case of it last year. Otherwise, this would be my first experience with it. I've got some good meds (least I think so) and they are helping a lot.

And finally, for those not weak of heart, I bring you the latest from GenCon Indy...pole dancing as a class. I kid you not. Yes, it's already sold out. Yes, they list a weight limit for participants.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Magnificent Sound

I'm watching The Magnificent Sevent on AMC. Sure, it's got commercials, but it's a great classic.

When I was a kid, my little brother bought the soundtrack for the movie on tape. I listened to it all the time. That faded in a couple of months and then it was my "go to" album when I needed it. I don't remember the emotion associated with it, but there was one. Anyways.

I remember more of the music than I do of the film. Sure, I remember the film, what it was about, and who died/didn't die in the final fight sequence. But I remember the chord structures, when the gunshots sound during the soundtrack, and which theme is associated with which situations.

Yet, I don't remember the kid infiltrating Eli Wallach's bandito camp. I don't remember the gunslinger having nightmares. I don't remember there being two gunfights with the banditos.

I guess this is just further proof I should have stuck with music as a career, or further proof that I associate most everything with music. Either way, I find it an interesting bit of psychological nonsense.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

nWoD and VtR sale

I picked these books up and I just can't get into them. They seem really cool, though. If interested, make an offer. They are all in good or better condition. All are hard cover. I'll list the msrp for those that may not know or be clued in to such things.

nWoD core book - $25 when I purchased it, I believe it now goes for $35
NWoD Antagonists - $25
nWoD Second Sight - $25
nWoD Book of Spirits - $30

Vampire the Requiem core book - $35

Monday, March 31, 2008

Dnevnoy Dozor

Picked up 3 movies over the weekend. Nochnoi Dozor, which I've already watched and enjoyed aspects of; Dnevnoy Dozor which I watched today and liked; and License to Wed.

License to Wed is a chick flick, but mostly safe for males. Robin Williams and John Krasinski do an okay job. Mandy Moore is so out of her league, it's not funny. The movie is nothing to write home about and I've seen both Robin and John do much better. Still, if the SO wants you to watch it with her, the pain should be somewhat minimal.

Dneevnoy Dozor is the movie adaptation of the book of the same name, Day Watch. It's the follow up storyline to Nochnoi Dozor, or Night Watch. Night Watch gained fame for being a Russian film that made it to the outside world, with special effects equal to the BBC in the 1990s, and having some very cool visuals. The movie lacks the depth of the book in many ways, including the cut down storyline resulting in some Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moments.

I haven't read Day Watch, yet. It's still sitting here waiting to be read. I hope to get to it by summertime. However, I found the movie to be far and away better made than Night Watch. The special effects were good and modern. The story made sense. They introduced the concept of the Inquisition, which is the third book/movie. The actors did a good job.

The focus was more on the Day Watch than the Night Watch. However, they stayed focused on Anton and Svetlana. The movie opened with another great battle scene, this time with horses riding through walls and oriental warriors shapeshifting from raven form in mid-flight.

It's a good follow up to the original movie and sets up a "what are they going to do in the third movie?" atmosphere.

On the down side, I picked up the nWoD books and I'm not sure I made good purchases.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

RPG Recommendation?

A game idea I had for modern fantasy (which I'm reading as modern supernatural).

City will be my fictional version of Memphis - Silverbrook. It's a city of fog.

Characters will start as basic people. They will have experiences which will lead them to a run in with a doctor. The doctor will provide them medicine and devices that will give them the ability to fight the bad supernatural folks. The medicine will function similar to mana/essence/quintessence and will power the devices.

The devices could include such things as masks of disguise, cloaks that make you invisible or clean up your appearance, magical pirate matchlock pistols, hidden swords ready at a moment's notice, books of magic, books of truth.

I want to be able to do original things (to me) with the system, supplying cool devices and even cooler bad guys.

Eventually, the world the characters know will morph into more of a spirit realm.

I want a rules system that uses or can easily incorporate Legend/Hero/Drama Points.

I do not want straight up d20 or oWoD. However, I may use elements of oWoD Changeling. I want a court of supernaturals in place, as I plan to have all supernaturals part of one Fae Court or another. Mind you, this will conflict the doctor's plans and many of the villains involved with that part of the storyline.

I am not going to use Little Fears. These girls have been through some real world trauma and I don't want to go down that road. It's nothing against , he knows I love his work.

Psychic powers may also be an element of the game. High weirdness and freaky shit that makes no sense ala Unknown Armies or lighter elements of Kult are also good. However, the UA rules are not okay.

So, my question to you, gentle readers, is what game line would you recommend I use for this game? The game system must use dice. I don't care for card based systems.

Thoughts I have thus far for the system are:
Cinematic Unisystem
Armageddon - for the powers of the Old Gods

I'd love to use Cold City's mechanics, but they are a little lighter than I really want.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Been in a Western mood lately. Read 3:10 to Yuma, then picked up Elmore Leonard's complete Westerns collection, Larry McMurtry's Dead Man's Walk (the first of the Lonesome Dove series), and Robert Parker's Apaloosa (yes, that's Robert Parker of Spenser: for Hire fame).

I read through Apaloosa first. I know Parker and his style. Knowing that, I knew I could kill it in a few days. Well, two to be exact. It's a good read. Nothing overly fancy. An ending I didn't expect, but did enjoy. About 1/3 of the way into the book, it started to feel a little close to Spenser as a Western. I was afraid of that, but I didn't mind. The characters were definately not Spenser characters, but some of the dialogue was close.

I'm about 90 pages into Dead Man's Walk. It's nothing special thus far. I've a feeling though, that it's about to get good. For those that have read it, I'm at the part of the story where the characters are leaving for to join the army.

Having already read 3:10 to Yuma, I'm saving Leonard for last. He was first, I'll get to him later.

And eventually, I do plan to read Louis Lamour, I'm just not in a hurry.

So, with that in mind, I went trolling through Youtube and found some interesting indie Western flicks. I'll stick them behind a cut to save on your load time.

In addition to that, my on again off again Western script idea is back on and I'm slowly plugging away at it. Expect nothing soon!

The Hayfield Movie

Six Reasons Why This is the one I'm most interested in.

The Spaghetti Western style trailer.

Six Bullets

Dodge City: A Spaghetto Western (with Isaac Hayes

And if you’ve never seen it, here’s the opening gunfight from Once Upon a Time in the West.

Sergio would follow this up with A Fistful o’ Dynamite (aka Duck, You Sucker!) and Once Upon a Time in America.

Friday, March 14, 2008

March for Dimes donations

Hey folks,

I’ll be walking with the March of Dimes again this year. If anyone is able to, I’d love to see some donations from my friends. Any amount would be appreciated. My local walk is on April 26 at 9am.

Anyone able to contribute can send money to me direct, or use my online MoD account to donate.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Star Wars: Infinities

I've started reading the A New Hope graphic novel in this series. The premise is that Luke's torpedoes didn't hit in the original Death Star, Yavin 4 is destroyed, and Leia is captured and taken as Lord Vader's student.

So, SW fans, does this sound like an interesting setting to play or no? I'm wondering if it's just me that's interested in the idea. As of now, I'm not looking to run a game of it.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Landshark Lager and other tales of sailing

As requested by my good friend Meghan, I tried Landshark Lager this evening while at Max & Erma's for dinner. Now, I've got this terribly wonderful headcold/sinus infection thing going on, so take my review with a slug of rum. I gotta say, not that impressed with the lager. It tasted like a cross between a corona and "classic" American beer. It's from the wonderful folks at Margaritaville wherein my friend works. Anheuser-Busch is making it for them.

Next up, kaiju pressganged 8 of us into playing in a Freeport game Saturday night. We'll be playing every other Friday night and it looks to be the start of a good game. The game storyline is actually titled, "The Adventures of Ur-tarczek the half-elf and his companions Yasmina the Medusa and Michelle the Privateer." Of course, no one knows this but my character - Ur. Ur is half elf and half-goblin, but all piratey. He wears a simple leather vest, a leather skull cap with tie-downs, pants, and an eye-patch (to protect his good eye). Yasmina is actually a Medusa scattergun and Michelle is a pistol. The game looks to be horrendously painful in a good way. I even found a pirate goblin fig with scattergun this evening while at Fantasy Games.

Privateer Press has issued Pirates of the Broken Coast, adding ship rules to the Warmachine world. The book is overpriced, but I bought it anyways. I was going to pick up the Five Fingers book, but the cover was banged up in such a way as I did not want that copy. I'll keep my eyes open at Borders and other places in my travels. I'd love to run another Iron Kingdoms game. It's a great setting, very similar to Freeport. When I ran it a few years ago, we used the Unisystem instead of the OGL system it was designed to be used with. While I preferred the Unisystem rules, the magic rules broke the setting IMO. I'm not sure what I would do if I ran it again. True 20 works a bit better in my opinion, so I may do some converting. Iron Kingdoms just has so many setting specific character types with specific rules, that the moment you step away from those rules, you may step away from what makes Iron Kingdoms, Iron Kingdoms.

Privateer Press also has several new sets of pirate related figures to go with PotBC. I'm tempted to pick them up, just to have them.

Course, I'd lurv to run me another Star Wars game, too. :D

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Ultimate Versus

Tonight, the temps are dropping to the zeds. The streets are sheets of black ice. I almost fishtailed across a few lanes of traffic on the way home. ugh

Looks like the rest of tonight will be either Svenguli with The Creature Walks Among Us or slapping in Ultimate Versus (the ultimate version of the movie Versus).

Speaking of Ulimate Versus! It claims to be an "independent film." Can anyone out there tell me what the difference between Japanese indie movies and USA indie movies are?

While we're at it, does anyone have a copy of Down 2 Hell? As it turns out, Versus is what happens when indie film makers get real ambitious with sequels. It started out as The Return: Down 2 Hell. Believe it or not, they had 150 people in/on staff of that movie! I think Dork of the Rings had about 120. Anyways, Versus came out of the creation process with R:D2H.

I'm still interested in doing more indie film work. I may be helping a friend out on March 1st.

Monday, February 4, 2008


For those that didn't see or research the commercials on the Superbowl and for those that saw the Superbowl and don't realize it, Wanted the comic is being made into a movie. The first commercial I know of for this movie was on during the superbowl. The comic isn't some great peice of work, but I enjoyed most of it.

I finished up The Long Halloween. I also enjoyed this one. Lots of movement in and out of characters. One thing that ate at me, was The Batman making leaps of logic without us seeing his logic. Or at least, leaps of logic I didn't see.

I also read the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser graphic novel put out by Dark Horse. I'm not impressed. Mignola's artwork is okay, but nothing special here. I've not read Hellboy, so I can't compare the two. The storyline leaves much to be desired. However, I think that's a problem with the source material being converted to graphic novel format. I've seen the problem crop up with other short stories and novels being converted into comic book format. Still, I can't recommend it.

My friends Nik Havert from Pickle Press and Jim from Of Masks and Men both questioned my thoughts on Identity Crisis. And on further thought, they were right - there are parts of that storyline that are bad. First off, the running around Superman and The Batman's back? WTF? Superman not carting Lois off to someplace remote where she'd be safe, or at least to the farm with his parents so he could watch over all of them at the same time?

It hit hard at first - which I liked - and then it lost steam over time. It also reduced supers to real people with real concerns. I tend to like that at times, too. The twist at the end was okay, but not great.

However, after letting the material sit, there are two big problems I have with the story. The first is that The Batman was brainwashed once in this storyline and it's hinted at that it's been done at least one time before. Yet, at the same time, there's hints that he knows what really happened and that he knows he was brainwashed to cover it up. Again, wtf?

Now the other item is why The Batman was brainwashed. It crosses every line of good standing and when I read the story the first time, I wondered why they showed the details. There's a rape scene in the story. I was taught long ago, and I forget by who, that there is never, ever a reason for a rape scene in any story. If you want to severely hurt a character, do something else. But rape? Completely unacceptable.

So, for now, even though I want to go back and reread Kingdom Come, I think I'm swearing off superhero team up comics for a bit.

Mind you, I just started reading Fable after several recommendations and that's kind of got an all-star line up. We'll see. I don't think I'll read all of them, but maybe one or two. I'm already tired of the gratuitous, totally unnecessary swearing. Passe'.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Port Meirion

Something I wrote up over dinner...

Port Meirion was only the beginning – the first step in what would become a series of holding cells and jails to keep those of us who know too much from sharing what we knew with the rest of the world. Like anyone would believe us anyways. The things we saw, the things we heard, what we learned and tried to forget – all of it! – it was just too much.

Most folk dealt with “it” in one of two ways. The first was outright denial. You know, the river. Some of them didn’t realize what they had witnessed or their minds didn’t believe in such things. Others knew what it was that they bore witness to and refused to accept the truth to it. They simply blocked it from their minds and it never bothered them ever again. Amongst the Village residents, these are the hardest to discern if they are prisoners or participants. They rarely realize why they are in the Villages. With the right prescriptions, they are no trouble at all.

The second group cannot deal with their new-found knowledge and go insane from it. The Arkham Asylum is filled with these individuals. I’ve herad tales from the Bear and Oz facilities that our foreign counterparts are not always as nice as us and will put people with both mainline coping methods in their Villages. Dr. Sapperstien keeps his “participants” in a medical clinic separate from Arkham.

Dr. Saffron goes so far as to keep the two different groups in two different countries. The non-believers and those that find a way to cope among us are kept in a mansion in the countryside of England. The madmen of the UK are sent to an isolated castle in the Highlands of Scotland. The Welsh location is still in use. We mostly use it for testing new techniques and equipment (the Rover model 5 is brilliant!).

A third U.S. facility is being planned for the Washington area. The number of prisoners and participants on the east side of the country is growing. The destruction brought by Katrina has increased our population.

I’ve been told the India subcontinent office is off and running. “Dr. Raj” has a wonderful mind – even if he insists we do not refer to him by hi real name. There is also talk amongst the Number Zeds that a location in southern Africa or South America may be needed in the next 5-10. Problems in their larger cities are becoming more and more common.

Monday, January 28, 2008

3:10 to Hush

I watched 3:10 to Yuma last night. I thought it was a good movie. It was no Sergio Leone classic, but it was worth sitting through. I think a happier ending would have been better ending, but that's life.

I think I like Russel Crowe as a bad guy more than a good guy. He wasn't a crazed over the top bad guy, just a criminal capable of doing really bad things. Christian Bale as the innocent bystander trying to do right was fine. I sensed bits of Quinn from Reign of Fire and Bruce Wayne The Batman in the character, but that could be me reading into things.

However, the two castings in the movie that I thought were absolutely brilliant were Alan Tudyk of Firefly and Peter Fonda! of everything. Alan did a great job as city folk trying to help out and Peter Fonda was brilliant as the old curmudgeony, bounty hunter type.

Gretchen Mol was nice to look at, as always. Logan Lerman was great as Bale's son. The kid reminds me a lot of Christian Slater in the face.

I noticed during the credits that it was based on a book. Can anyone recommend good Western novels? I don't even know where to begin and I'm not sure I'll ever find one I like. Most of my love for Western cinema is due to camera angles and bad-ass actors. Surely there's an author out there that can accomplish that?

Next up, I read Hush, the Batman graphic novel.

Wow! What a well written, well art worked comic series. I've been hoping to find a really good Batman graphic novel and this was it! I read it between 3:10 to Yuma, sleep, and dinner this evening. I need to go back and reread it, watching for artwork nuances I may have missed the first time. This comic brought a lot to the plate, with action, secrets revealed, romance, trust issues, and all the usual darkness that can come with The Batman (you must say it like, The Ohio State).

Before I do that, though, I'll be reading Brad Metzler's graphic novel Identity Crisis, another big seller for DC Comics.