Sunday, July 31, 2011

Clif-Notes: Divergent

I love reading the young-adult books. I admit it. There is a certain "fun factor" in them that you don't get in regular books. I know it's a dumb argument but it's what I tell myself.
Anywho, Divergent is the story about Beatrice on her 16th birthday as she must choose what life to live. In an alternate Chicago (it's in Chicago, but I assume the rest of the country is something similar as well), everyone belongs to one of five faction: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On you're 16th birthday, you must choose if you are staying in your faction with your family or starting a new life in another. Beatrice chooses the later, moving from Abnegation to Dauntless. However, during the "aptitude test", she finds out that she should belong to three factions, making her Divergent. For some reason this is bad and she must work her way through initiation without being killed and without letting anyone know her secret.
I heard of this book because of the Hunger Games and I have to say, other than the basic premise of female lead in an alternate America, it's not much like it. First and foremost, Tris (she changes her name) actually does shit. She fights, she gets beat up, she kills. She does what she has to to survive and it that means putting a bullet into another person's head, she will.
And what would a story be without a love connection? Thankfully, instead of the triangle crap and people fighting for another's heart, Tris finds her man early on and he sticks with her. I can live with a relationship. Not that bullcrap of werewolves and vampires fighting over an ugly girl. There is no love drama. Not yet. It is the first in a planned trilogy, with the second not coming out until next year, so I can't say that it won't turn into a triangle but I'll be pissed at that when and if it happened.
Sadly (kinda), I actually really liked this book. It has a lot of comparisons to Hunger Games but I think people forget that Hunger wasn't the first story to involve an America that is divided amongst it's people. It has a surprisingly good amount of action and just enough love that the ladies will be happy. It does get a bit repetitive and the story does stall a few times but this is the first novel from writer Veronica Roth so those are things I can forgive for now. On top of everything else, Summit has already obtained the rights to make a movie outta this, so I'm sure it will be ruined and I will be making fun of it in a few years but for now, I'm impressed.
A great, quick read and worth picking up. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but it is good tea none the less.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Real Talladega

Check out this pastor. Dude almost makes me want to watch some NASCAR. Almost.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Clif-Notes: Cowboys & Aliens

I regret to inform everyone that I actually found this to be the worst of the comic movies this summer. Not that it was necessarily a "bad movie", but it definitely made me say "what the hell?" the most.
C&A is about a man who wakes up with no memory, quickly finds trouble with other cowboys and then must team up with said others to try and stop an alien invasion that has kidnapped some of their loves ones.
First, you don't really go into either a Harrison Ford or a Daniel Craig movie expecting the best acting of the year. Both did their parts and both were good in them but it was nothing to make ya stop and take notice (though I may have grown a little crush on Craig with all the tight clothing they put him in. Dude probably couldn't breath very well, which would account for his squinting, mean face the whole time). My real problems came at the end of the movie when it seemed like all the intelligence had just left. I know it's movie about aliens and that "logical" and "probable" go out the window but everyone seemed to stop thinking. I won't go into much detail (which doesn't help my case) because I don't want to ruin the ending but here's one that I will say: early on, Ford tells Craig that maybe he'll just kill him and take that weapon off his arm. Yet, at the end fight with all the aliens, when they killed one or two, they nobody was smart enough to try and take one off of them. Not even a try. Maybe they couldn't get it off but nobody even tried. The end was filled with little stuff like that, that drove me a little nuts. All smarts flew out the window.
Despite that, though, it was a pretty decent movie. I liked it and I would say you should see it eventually, but the ending brought it down a bit for me.
X-Men: First Class
Captain America
Green Lantern
Cowboys & Aliens
The final order of the awesome summer of comics. Tell me I'm wrong. I dare ya.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Red State: Not for Kiddies

Kevin Smith has released the latest trailer to Red State, which I am sure I will absolutely love. He made this movie without the studios and without the big-wigs so if you like Kevin Smith, Support this flick in any way you can. It looks great.
(and there is a lot of foul language so don't watch if you have a faint heart or are 5)

NB of the Week

Gots me a good case of Moment vs Issue this week. For future importance, it shall be know as MvI. Cuz abbreviation if cool. We'll start with the easier moment.

FF #7 - The Sepremor Seed
Awesome moment as we get the full return of Black Bolt. Bolt "died" during War of Kings when he and Vulcan (the third Summers brother) obliterated each other and created the Fault (a tear in space/time). In a simple explanation, Bolt woke up in the Fault, fought a squid creature (not the one from Watchmen, that we know of) and was able to go home. He is now the leader of the Universal Inhumans, takes his bride from each of the kingdoms and prepares to rule them all into the history books. Badass. (and that cover image never actually happened so pay it no mind)
Onto Issue.

Wonder Woman #613 - Odyssey: Chapter Thirteen
Chapter twelve ended with New Wonder Woman coming face to face with Old Wonder Woman. Come to find out, Old WW is actually "new" villain Nemesis. Turns out WW went to fight her before all this and was stabbed through. Instead of Nemesis being able to drain all of her soul, the Fates grabbed a little piece and that's what became this new Wonder Woman. And that's pretty much most of the issue. Fighting and explaining. But Nemesis is a bad chick and beats up on WW a bit. After grabbing the lasso and pulling WW in, Nemesis stabs her through (again), expecting to now possess all of her soul. But the Fates are tricky bitches. As we found out a little ago, this new lasso is actually WW's life string, given to her by the Fates. With all of her life now connected to her stran, her soul is pulled out and she is Wonder Woman fully once again. And just in time for one last charge into battle against Nemesis.
This story has been pretty awesome from it's start in #600. It had a slow start with a lot of questions that we wanted answers to but they slowly came and with 'em, the story took surprising turns and it has all been paying off. I think most surprising is that Phil Hester's writing may actually be better than Straczynski's. Granted, he got the tail end where all the reveals and action happened but that's not the point. Bringing in a new writer to finish another's story is a huge risk. It could have easily changed the entire feel and pace of the story (as Roberson's writing did on Superman) but it didn't. He managed to keep the tone and speed and turned it into his own. This story should make people look at Hester's writing more. He has proven himself with this one.
With one issue left until Azzarello's launch with the DCnU comic, I would recommend picking up trades for this one. Completely worth the money.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Brain Tunes

I heard this song this morning as I got ready for work. Not my normal stuff but I really liked it. Not sure I'll like a whole cd of it but it's really catchy and I approve.
The Friendly Fires - Hawaiian Air

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Boobs of the Day

Hayley Atwell
Adam called this one the other week in his COTW pick but I had to try and steal her. She was super hot in Cap and I expect her to be super hot for quite a while. And with Cap being set in the "good 'ol days", her boo-baws were definitely showcased. I would absolutely take whatever soldier serum she offered me. Time travelin' invitation is in the mail. I hope Keanu Reeves doesn't get it instead... (Adam will get that)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Clif-Notes: Captain America - The First Avenger

I love me Captain America. Have for many a year. So you may be able to imagine how excited I was for this movie and how scared I was that they would ruin everything I had hoped for. Thankfully, this movie did not disappoint.
Story is the simple one that most comic fans know. Small, pathetic Steve Rogers wants to serve his country but can never get accepted until a secret, experimental serum turns him into the Super Soldier, Captain America. Now he can fight the the Red Skull and his Nazi army and save us all from their threats.
In a smart move, the movie actually begins with people finding the frozen Cap shield. It then flashes back to the story of how it came to be. I really liked this approach. Sets a certain anticipation for where and how it all finishes out (see, I can sound smart).
But I'm done sounding smart. This movie was plain fun. Other than the slower set-up at the start, once the action started, it never stopped. Cap and the Commandos hit Hydra base after Hydra base. Nazis flying through the air, Cap kicking names and taking ass. The way it should be. However, the fast pace did hurt in two areas for me. The "death" of Bucky (spoiler alert) felt out of place. It seemed like they almost threw a dart at a board for where they would place the scene. Moving so fast, it didn't feel like it mattered as much as it should have. Same thing with the final battle with Red Skull. It sorta just... happened. Nothing big and leading. But I'm ok with them still. It's more a case of what I wanted and expected as opposed to what kind of job they did with it.
Overall, as a comparison, I would say the writing of Captain America was on par with that of Thor. Awesome action, some cheesy lines, a good, fluid story. However, I have to give the edge to Thor because of Kenneth Branagh's directing. Nothing against Joe Johnston and I know that Thor and Cap are two completely movies and feels but it's my comparison so stifle it. Branagh brought a certain class (to a movie that needed the class) while Johnston brought fast action (to a movie that needed fast action). It was just prettier. Thor was visually better than Cap so I give it the edge but that takes nothing away from Cap.
It was awesome and cool and awesome and you should see it. And stay for that Avengers teaser at the end of the credits. You know, in case you were deciding to leave early.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Boobs of the Day

Jennifer Aniston
I went to Horrible Bosses this morning and it was quite funny. You should see it. However, I took particular notice of Miss Aniston. As the boss who wants nothing more than to have sex with her employee (Charlie Day), they made her extra saucy. Including a scene where she only had on panties and a dentist's coat. Yummy. For which I invite her to join the club. Bra and shirt optional.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NB of the Week

Daredevil #1
After all the crap Matt Murdock has been through, Marvel thought it was time for a new start. After killing Bullseye, being taken oven by an evil demon and becoming one of the bad guys, Murdock left to find himself once more. After saving a small town from more bad guys and releazing that running doesn't solve anything, he has made his way back to Hell's Kitchen to make things right again.
Issue 1 starts with DD thwarting a kidnapping attempt on a member of one of the higher up crime families during a wedding between them and another crime family. Lame Spidey villain, The Spot ("Dumb name, disturbing power") is hired by one of the family member's to stop it all. Once DD figures it out, there is actually a pretty cool scene where Spot's arms come out of the man's chest (he can create teleport holes anywhere) and snap his neck to keep him from talking. We next see Murdock in court as the prosecutor tries using Murdock's identity as DD (a claim that he is back to denying and trying to hide) against him and his defense. The judge grants a continuance as he believes that having Murdock and Nelson represent him will hurt his case, setting up what feels to be a large plot to what this book will feel like. The new DA visits and hints to Murdock that if DD were around and smart, he would look into why nobody before Murdock would take the case. As he changes into costume and sets out to find answers, he is attacked and shot with "anti-radar chaff", essentially taking around his extra senses. He talks about knowing how something is coming at him but he can't tell what. This is all being said as we see on the last page, Captain America's shield flying past DD's head.
I was a bit uncertain of this new DD book. I've been buying the title since Kevin Smith relaunched it in 1998 and there have been maybe two stories since then that I didn't like. After Smith was an amazing four-year run from Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker for another three years and ending with Andy Diggle running Matt Murdock through Shadowland. I was excited to find out that Mark Waid was coming back to the title. I love his writing (he's half responsible for my favorite comic of all time in Kingdom Come) and this could be a good chance to bring DD back to a main title for Marvel. However, Waid said he was going with a more fun-paced, good-timed title which is quite different from what it has been for all these years. Turns out it's a good move.
As it is, the danger is still there. The dark side of Murdock is still there, he just wants to try and move past it. Waid doesn't do this by lightening the story, he does it by lightening Murdock. He is a bit more smartass like he was in the 90's. He actually smiles more and makes jokes about his situation. He knows he has a long road ahead of him and fighting with a smile will get him there faster and in better health. Throwing in Paolo Rivera on art just adds to that feel. He has a very "simple" style that is a bit cartoony but the brighter colors and the defined outlines mix well with the semi-dark writing that Waid is starting with.
There is still a chance that this book may not turn out as well as I am hoping, but this first issue is a good sign and I have some high hopes for where it can go.

Amazing Spider-Man Trailer

It's been released (more than likely to try and steal thunder from Dark Knight) and here it is. I thought they said they weren't doing another origin story but oh well. I actually think this looks pretty damn good so far. I'm on board.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A New Superman

With the whole relaunch of the DCU, they have come out and finally said the differences with the new Superman.
He is not Married to Lois, nor was there ever a marriage between the two. It's a little bit like Mephisto has his grubby hands in the DCnU now too.
However, the bigger change (at least inn my opinion) is what the probable reason for that is. Pa and Ma Kent are dead in the post-Flashpoint world, leaving young Clark without the humanity connection. DC described him as "more Kal-El from the planet Krypton than Clark Kent from Kansas". I could see this being a reason why he would never "settle down" with an Earth woman. With the embracing of his alien heritage, we get the new suit. It is apparently Kryptonian, ceremonial armor. Not quite sure what the practicality of armor is when you can't be hurt but at least they have given a reason for it.
I'm a bit uncertain about this one. I still like change for him. Seventy years is a long time to be a boyscout but it also depends on how it pans out. I love that Grant Morrison is on Action. I will absolutely be getting that one to see how it goes but I do have that fear that this will turn into another Batman run more than an All-Star run.
Ah well. Sound off and let me know if ya care about it or not. Does anyone but me even read comics anymore? I'll turn you all into believers again eventually.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Boobs of the Day

Harry Potter Fans
Harry Potter is the new Halloween. Last night's midnight seemed to be used as an excuse to dress up like Helena Bonham Carter from the movie and shove your juggs out at everyone. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, just observing. Some where good. Some where bad. Some wouldn't stop starring at me. All were pushed up enough that you would swear gravity was about to knock them right forward. So I thank you, Miss Carter. If not for you, we would not have rabid fans dressing up like weird, goth, stripper versions of Bellatrix Lestrange (yes, I had to look that one up).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cli-Notes: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

I have never been the biggest Potter fan. I read the first four books. Seen all the movies up to this, but I have never really considered myself a fan. Good and fun stories, but nothing that makes me salivate for more.
However, I was quite excited for this one.
There is a certain anticipation for a movie that is the culmination of seven novels and ten years. I was a bit excited to see how everything was going to end, especially since I have not read the final books. I have heard enough spoilers over the years to not really be surprised by the big things but that doesn't mean that I still can't be surprised and I was at places.
My main complaint was that the trailers made it look like it was packed full of action and it really wasn't. It was there, but most everything in the trailers is the short amount that's in the movie. But that's about it. I really liked this movie. If you are a fan of the Potter stuff, you will love this movie. If you don't care, this movie will not change your mind.
Also, I didn't get the Dark Knight Rises trailer but that's not the fault of Harry Potter.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

NB of the Week

Green Lantern #67 - War of the Green Lanterns: Conclusion
When we last left the Lanterns, the other, Color Guardians were trapped in the Black Book, the Regular Guardians were possessed by the Entities and to square off against all the Green Lanterns who plan on stopping them and Krona from taking everything over.
Fighting and bantering ensue as per usual. Hal has a brilliant idea to have Kyle draw the Color Guard out of the Book and it actually works (not really sure how but it doesn't even matter). Before all their rings can reattach to them, Krona pulls them back to him, showing his complete control over evey faction. He then proceeds to kill Ganthet. Maybe. It certainly looks like he did but we never really see it and nobody make mention of it the rest of the issue. My guess is he'll be back. As Krona then sets his sight in Hal, he entraps him, trying to convince him that the Guradians have done nothing but lie and that he should join him.
"I don't fight for them. I fight for what's right. I fight for the ideals the Corps embodies. I fight for the potential the Corps has. Everyone is, Krona. Me. You... Everyone."
At this point, ringless Sinestro gets a funny look on his face. More speech from Hal and Sinestro's eyes are no longer tinted yellow. As Krona says his evil plans, out of the blue, Sinestro jumps in, attacking Krona.
"He would die for the Corps. So would I."
As Krona knocks him off, a green ring flies in.
"Thaal Sinestro of Korugar. You have the ability to overcome great fear. You have been chosen. Welcome to the Green Lantern Corps."
Together, Hal and Sinestro fight back Krona until Hal is able to peirce through and kill Krona. As all rightful rings are returned (sans yellow), the now-free Guardians step in. After the death of Mogo and now the killing of a Guardian, Hal Jordan has become the most dangerous Lantern. They strip him of his ring and power, leaving us with a final page of Hal Jordan telling himself "This isn't how it's supposed to end". Next to him, the caption
"Coming in September, Green Lantern #1 Starring... Sinestro?!"
... What the holy fart just happened? Sinestro back as our Green Lantern? Hal Jordan stripped? What the holy fart just happened?! I am a bit shocked and completely intrigued. DC has now released the cover to the new Green Lantern and it is Sinestro in a Green suit. No word on if he is replacing Hal on the images for the new Justice League But I'm in. I wanna know where this is going and I'm pumped for the possible changes it brings.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Official DKR

The first, official poster for the Dark Knight Rises was released today. Looks pretty cool for just a teaser. Word is that the first trailer will be released with Harry Potter this weekend so I will definitely keep an eye out for that.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This One's for Adam

I saw this today and You were the first person I thought of.

Clif-Notes: 13 Assassins

I love me a good samurai flick. I own a nice little group of 'em and Seven Samurai is one of, if not my favorite movie of all time. So color me a bit skeptical when I saw that Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, Sukiyaki Western Django) was doing a samurai flick.
13 Assassins is the story of a group of samurai who undertake the task of killing a ruthless lord before he can join the Shogun and ruin the peaceful lives that they have helped create for so long. The way of the samurai is being forgotten and dying with honor could be a good way to go.
I won't even beat around the bush: I loved this movie. It's premise has the feeling of Seven Samurai meets 300. Not to say the story plays out like either, but that it has the set-up and emotion of them combined. As though Leonidas was a samurai instead of a Spartan. The first 2/3 of this movie were a little slow as it was mostly all set-up but it played out beautifully. As the last forty+ minutes was the actual fight, it needed to make us know and understand these characters so that we wanted to follow each swing of a blade. And there was plenty of it during this fight.
13 Assassins is an amazing samurai movie. It's an amazing movie movie. It made me think of when I first saw a Kurosawa samurai flick. It doesn't beat out his Seven Samurai, but I do feel that it deserves a place amongst his great ones. I found it to be that good.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Game of Thrones

Anyone else watch this first season? This show is amazing. I just finished it today and I already can't wait until season two comes. Great show. If you haven't seen it, you should.
Thrones is about many Lords all vying for the title of King. It's violence and it's back-stabbing and it's plotting and scheming and it's great. The last few episodes left me quite shocked. Check it out. And if anyone has read the books it's based on, you should tell me if they're worth reading. It'll take me a few years each book but I'm almost willing to add them to the list.

NB of the Week

Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance #2 (of 3)

As one of the 274 Flashpoint tie-ins coming out, Batman was my top pick for best simply for the fact that Azzarello and Risso were doing it. They're the writer/artist team of Batman: Broken City and the absolutely amazing 100 Bullets and so far, these two issues have been just as great.
The premise of the mini is simple: Harvey Dent's kids have been kidnapped by the Joker and Batman must find them before it's too late. Main points of change from regular Batman are the obvious of Thomas Wayne being Batman along with Gordan and Oswald Cobblepot knowing his identity and helping him along his crusade (whether they agree with his methods and frame of mind or not). The first issue, though, was essentially set-up. Cool but set-up.
Issue two starts with Gordan playing cop detective and looking for clues to where Joker is. First stop: Oracle. Better known as Selina Kyle. She finds him the dead body of a pizza delivery boy who fits the Joker's MO. As Gordan follows that lead, Batman follows his own, getting information from a local bar who had an employee eat some of Joker's poisoned pizza. Both leads sent both men to Wayne Manor, where Joker has the kids. As Gordan arrives first, he finds a room with Dent's son gagged and tied on the ground with Joker standing over him, guns pointing. Gordan leaps in, shooting. As the body falls, we see Gordan has made a grave mistake. The body with the gunshot wound to the chest is that of Dent's daughter, dressed up like Joker and strapped on a chair. As her body lays on the ground, Gordan at her side pleading to stay alive, a knife comes around, slicing his throat. As Batman races to the Manor, a video feed is patched through to him of a bloody Gordan trying to reach for his gun. The final image is of Joker. Only different. It's a mask and much more feminine. As Batman bashes in the doors to the manor, he yells at the top of his lungs,
"Damn it! What have you done this time -- Martha!"
We're left with a final page of Martha Wayne Joker, holding the knife and standing over the bloody bodies of two and the scared body of a third.
..... Holy shit. My exact words after I read that. I know Flashpoint allows for all new versions of everyone but I never saw this coming. The Gordan we know wouldn't have leaped in shooting but that's the beauty of it. This isn't the Gordan we know. And Martha not being dead either? Holy shit. My guess is that she went crazy after the death of Bruce (which is the most obvious path) but still. Holy shit. It's a bloody shame that we are gonna go back to Morrison's crappy Batman after this cuz this is a Batman I definitely want more of.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Fudgin' Knew It...

How about this awesome tidbit. I told people they were cow piss.

"The 22-year-old woman who arrived at an emergency room complaining of upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and a slight fever, according to the June 22 edition of the Journal of Medical Case Reports. A scan of her midsection was normal. She was sent home. She returned, however, even sicker, and bathed in a yellowish tint -- jaundice -- meaning her liver was failing. Doctors diagnosed the woman with acute hepatitis.

The staff checked her for viruses, alcohol and drugs. Nothing. Then the woman revealed a key part of her diet over the previous two weeks: 10 bottles of 5-Hour Energy per day.

Math time, lady: If the product indeed provides a five-hour boost, that two-week binge totaled 700 hours of “energy.” There are only 336 hours in two weeks. Must have been one hell of a deadline.

Doctors believe the woman overdosed on one ingredient: niacin -- also called vitamin B3 -- which can damage the liver when ingested in high amounts."

Friday, July 1, 2011

Trailer Watch - Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy

I admit to never seeing to original version but if this trailer is any indication, I'm absolutely willing and wanting. With a cast like this, it's almost impossible for it to not be amazing.