Thursday, December 16, 2004

Blade: Trinity

How is this a 15? Blade 1 was less violent, less explicit language and the woman was less likely to turn a 15 year old on! I mean both 1 and 2 were 18s! Despite what Chris puts to me I’m gonna stand by my stance that the BBFC are getting far too lenient. Now I’m going to stop sounding like someone’s mother and actually get to what I thought about the film.

I liked it, I’m just really unsure how much, I keep flicking between it’s the weakest of the 3 Blade films or better than 2, but it is a great action film. This CGI is a lot better this time than in Blade 2, where the Ninja fight in front of the lights was terrible. It had a lot less glaring inconsistencies in this one too, Blade 2 was terrible for this, like the UV protection suits that they suddenly forget what they used them for. The biggest one I can really think of was him driving his oh so precious car straight into the bikers, then switching the UV headlights on to kill the driver. Surely he should have just switched the things on instantly killing the two bikers and not damaging the car he spent the first fight scene in Blade 2 not even scrathing.

Wesley Snipes came across as going through the motions in this film, he knows how cool Blade is, he knows he’s amazing so he just trundled through the film doing the same thing he’s done for the previous two. In fact the bits I really enjoyed of Snipes was when he was being a bit less like Blade, such as “Mother Fucker, I’ll kill you, I’ll just enjoy it more.”

Jessica Biel was fucking gorgeous and I’ll take her over Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kate Beckinsale any day of the week. She has to fight Eliza Dushka for me though, in chocolate mousse. It was nice to see her with the bow and arrows too, I’ve developed a great love for them because of Lord of the Rings and Green Arrow recently.

Ryan Reynolds as King was fantastic, and possibly what made the film so enjoyable. I was constantly getting Jason Lee with Kevin Smith vibes off of him. However, I want it on record I’ve been saying “Fuck me sideways” for years!

Dracula, I loved how they made him the ultimate vampire by giving him all the advancements we’ve seen in the other two films various vampires have had (minus Frost’s Blood Godhood obviously). Blade’s day walking, Reaper’s superior feeding method and the Count’s (Blade 2 old geezer) look to the nth degree. However, Dominic Purcell’s acting was terrible. Of course all villains in the Blade series have the unfortunate position of trying to live up to Stephen Dorff’s Deacon Frost.

As for the other bad guys, Danica Talos was fun in a campy way but I couldn’t see past the fact that she was in Rachel Leigh Cook’s Josie and Pussycats. Her brother did next to nothing, which is a shame cos it’s the second Ray from Due South! He deserves a good role! Triple H I wasn’t particularly fond of, both Chris and I laughed out loud at one point during the “Wrestling match” between him and King, but on looking back he makes a nice change from the last two big guys who were just big and hard. He’s big, hard and a big softy, I mean look at his stupid dog.

Overall I really did like it, despite how negative this all sounds, I seem to have the innate ability to just sit back and enjoy a flashy action film for being just that. I also think it did a great job of turning a movie and it’s sequels into a trilogy as well, the previously mentioned Drake being all the parts that various evolutions from vampires from the last two films the most obvious of this.

Friday, November 12, 2004

The Batman

We have a new Batman show on the scene. Let me start with, isn’t it about time Warner Brothers gave some of the other big heroes apart from Bats and Supes a chance. Now that’s over with, on with the meat of the issue.

I really like the intro. The visuals are perfect, exactly what was right with the Beyond cartoon and Teen Titans as well. The music is pretty cool and I’m not sure if it’s in the theme or just background music of the program but I definitely heard hints of the old 60’s tune done very well.

The animation is very slick. Like the Teen Titans cartoon it’s not in the Dini style. As mentioned in the Teen Titans rant, I’m sad to see the Dini era is over. I’ve come to terms with it now, and he’s having one hell of a swansong over on JLU. The fight scenes flow extremely well. They’ve also gone the route of what is coming standard these days and this is using CGI for vehicles, which personally I like but I know these things are love or hate.

I’m not sure why they’ve gone with the Bat-Wave. One, what’s wrong with the Bat-Computer? Two, It brings back horrible memories of the 60’s Batman, especially when backed up by the Bat-Bot. Truth be told I quite liked the suit, just not the name. The amping up of Bane required it, and the fact that got trashed was even better, just Bat-Bot?

Not sure why they went for the Batman Returns version of Penguin rather than the one that’s been used everywhere else. It’s a version that never really worked that well while the freaky looking mobster is so much cooler. This version of Joker isn’t great either. He’s gone from insane genius willing to do anything for a laugh to just plain crazy. Man-Bat was a terrible mistake. They’ve turned the tragic character into just another looney that Bats has to fight. Another tragic character to suffer from this cartoon is Mr. Freeze, yet another tragic hero which for some reason they seem to using the version from Batman and Robin and turned him into Arnold Schwarzenegger, a low beat criminal one at that too.

This makes the rest of the characterisation even stranger. Bruce v Batman is done perfectly, especially considering this is early career, you can believe this guy becomes the obsessed individual we all know, but right now there’s a much more blurred line where Bruce ends and Batman starts. Ethan Bennett is great character, I can understand going away from Jim Gordon when most people think of him as the old Commissioner, but why a totally unique character and not someone like Hardback Bock. Yin is good as well and a great foil to Bennett but once again why the new character when you could use Montoya or another from Gotham Central. Alfred once again is spot on.

Not all the villains were done badly either. Catwoman is fantastic and I think I enjoy this version of the character more than the original Animated Series’. Bane got a power upgrade and a slightly new look to match but apart from that is nearly a carbon copy of Bane of old.

All in all I think the show’s a bit of a let down. Despite the characterisation of the main cast and the animation it just fails on the other levels. Removing what was great about most of the villains kills it, and the bad names for the tech are a step backwards. I’ll keep watching it, but I’m not overly fussed now.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Star Wars New Jedi Order

The New Jedi Order has come to end and was it any good? Muh. Ok so it came to an end quite a while ago but I’ve only just got round to reading the last book so nurr. Personally I think that the whole thing was hit and miss.

A bit of a confession first. In general conversation I always blame the prequels for my fall (or should that be rise?) from hard core Star Wars fan to almost normal levels but to be honest it’s the prequels and the New Jedi Order books. My problems with it, well I just got really sick of a lot of what the series was basing itself around. Planets that were important to Star Wars as a whole were getting wiped off the map, I appreciate that this had to be done to show how bad the Yuuzhan Vong were, just don’t agree to the extent it was done. Coruscant I believe needed to happen, as much as it saddens me they did that to such an important part of Star Wars mythology it did need to happen. But ALL the other planets? I think they went a bit overboard.

I actually stopped reading the books just before Anakin’s death (Star by Star). They’d built him up so much and was easily the most interesting character during the whole thing to date I just got so annoyed and stopped dead. For about a year. I finally did pick up Star by Star and Anakin’s death blew me away, I’m not sure if I’ve read a better death. This nicely brings me onto one of the good things the series accomplished. The growth of the new generation. Like I just said it really looked like the only person who was growing was Anakin (Kyp Durron looked like he’d had a total personality reversal to me), upon his death everybody else got meaning, Kyp swung round, Jania went on a dark journey (buh-dum-ch), Jacen stopped being a whiney little git and Tahiri went through a shed-load and that was damn interesting.

Corran’s return bugged me though. I love the character but the only people who can write him properly are his creator Michael A. Stackpole and his buddy Timothy Zahn. Stackpole wrote him out in a very good way. I felt his reappearance later on just didn’t feel right.

The Yuuzhan Vong. Too many cooks spoil the broth. It took forever for these guys to actually mean something. For the first half I got no real feeling who they were or about, just sadistic bastards who liked mutilating themselves and enjoyed killing things, especially droids. Once again it was halfway through that it got good. Finally we got a sense why they were like they were, we understood why they were invading. By the very end I actually really enjoying the Yuuzhan Vong.

From where New Jedi Order started and where it ended what do we have? Well a shit load of property damage to the Star Wars universe, major growth of the Solo twins, and the Jedi Order finally comes to mean something in the post movie world. The amount of planets bug me, but looking back on it now I realise that I expected this saga to make the Jedi’s mean something and actually develop the new generation. That was done, even though it still was Luke, Leia and Han save the galaxy a bit, it’s getting less so.

All done, I like where the series ended up, took too long to get going though. However I don’t like where Star Wars books are now. With this and Clone Wars it looks like they’re going to be huge sagas spanning many books, I hope it doesn’t become the norm. New Jedi Order also gets the unfortunate honour of me no longer buying every Star Wars book anymore because of it. As it stands now I’m not getting any Star Wars books unless they have Michael A. Stackpole, Timothy Zahn or Aaron Allston as authors. Which of course gives me a problem because Allston is writing parts 4-6 in a series of 9. Ahh whom I’m kidding I’ll get all nine parts.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Star Wars Special Editions

I loved the special editions when they first came out. LOVED them! I was majorly into the whole Star Wars universe and all they did was enhance it. It took me a few years to look at it objectionably and realise what a fucking cock up Lucas had made. The end celebrations were much better with just Ewoks. Greedo shooting first? For fuck’s sake let’s just totally destroy Han’s character development, totally destroy his uber cool moment and make him an idiot. I mean did Lucas actually think it was believable for someone the distance Greedo was to miss?

Now we have even newer versions coming out. One’s that Lucas claims are even better than before. So what travesties await us this time? Well first off we have Naboo joining the celebrations at the end of Jedi. Hayden Christensen replacing Sebastian Shaw as Anakin as well. And most criminally of all bloody redubbing Boba Fett to sound like his damn “did”.

But of the not really bothered, hard core fans are crying about it ruining the charm, is the once more improved effects. Most notable is the improvement to A New Hope’s Special Edition Jabba which so needed it.

Good stuff though? Surely not. Actually it seems so. The first thing I heard about was Ian McDiarmid replacing the ‘fake’ Emperor in Empire. This one is a stroke of genius. It was one of those annoying things that couldn’t be helped while developing a movie series. Best of all though? Apparently Greedo no longer shoots first and Han gets to mutter “Yes, I bet you have” again.

I’m almost tempted. At the very least I’ll get rid of the original Special Editions from a few years ago.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Worlds Finest!

Inspired by Chris and me watching the Batman episode "Girl's Night Out" while drinking.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Justice League Unlimited

So the Justice League gets a third season and a new set up. Now they’re the Justice League Unlimited and they now have every DC hero as members. Now that’s what I call a concept. It one of those that has been batting about my head for the last year or so, after I read JLA/JSA: Vice and Virtue. Why on Earth are there multiple teams of superheroes on the Marvel and DC worlds. Doesn’t it make a ton more sense to have one team with all the heroes in then when a mission comes up you pick the best people for the job?

And what a perfect way to arise awareness of DC heroes for the public. My guess is every episode will have one of the Big 7 in with a team of unknowns, just like the first episode ‘Initiation’, Green Lantern, Supergirl (returning from the Superman series), Captain Atom and Green Arrow (who in my opinion sounded to young but apart from that was spot on). Hopefully this will inspire people to go pick up books of any heroes they really like from the show and gives a chance to someone other than the big names to shine outside of the comics.

A new name and a new theme tune. Thank God we got rid of the CGI start, I’m not too keen on the ‘samples from the show’ part of it but I guess they have to showcase the characters involved. Shame the old tune had to leave, I really liked that the new one I’m unsure of, but haven’t made my mind up.

On a small note, Captain Atom was voiced by George Eads. That might not mean much to most but he’s Nick in CSI. WHICH IS COOL! He’s the character you should hate cos he’s all buff and you know the girls love him, but he’s a dude thrown in so he’s alright.

Now all we need is an episode with Nightwing in and a Hard Travelling Heroes episode, ok it wouldn’t be Hal but still, and I’m set for life.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Where Did Transformers Go Wrong?

For me there is a definite moment when it happened. Season 3 of the first ever series. Now I’m not saying it was crap, just saying that’s when it all started to fall apart. It went into space started throwing new races, alien and transformer, around like it was Star Trek and looking back Season 3 is a shade of what Season’s 1 and 2 were. Then we had the Beast Wars, a good concept but not when you compare it to the original; Beast Machines, a clever way of tying Beast Wars back to Cybertron and Leftfield’s Phat Planet as a theme tune. Next we had Robots in Disguise, Armada and Energon, truth be told I’ve seen 5 seconds of Armada and saw a flying shark and switched off but friends who have sat through entire episodes hate it.

So how to fix it? Well first off bring back the proper voices. I remember finally figuring it out, I was watching Beast Machines and I suddenly realised why Optimus Primal sounded wrong, there was no electronic hint in his voice. He sounded totally normal. The electronic voices were great, Christ except for the cassettes it was all Soundwave had going for him.

Now this next bit I think they’ve already fixed, but I’m gonna moan about it anyway because it’s one of the things that really cheesed me off about Season 3. The setting. Transformers only really works on Earth and Cybertron and when Autobots are fighting Decepticons. Random planets with random aliens do not make a cool Transformers story.

The vehicles. Ok, let’s me start with Hot Rod was fucking cool! Now I’ve said that I can bitch about the fake cars. I have no problem with the fake cars, I love the fact that they’re being used as the Cybertronian version of the ’Bots, it makes sense, why would they be built on another planet to look like a Toyota Supra? Can’t we have some that were designed on Earth and built there that does look like a Supra though? When you look back Jazz, Bumble Bee and Sunstreaker were cool because they were actual cars. Now I don’t know who blame. The toy company (because they don’t want to pay the licence fees) or the manufacturers (because I can see the arguments now “But we don’t want our car/gun/plane/fridge to be evil, our car/gun/plane/microwave is obviously good and should be an autobot”). If it was the manufacturers, SHUT UP! When I see a Porsche 911 or a Lamborghini Diablo I don’t think ‘Wow Jazz’ or ‘Cool just like Sunstreaker’ I think ‘Bloody Nice Car’. I have always loved the design of the F-16, who knows if it’s because of Starscream and co, but I don’t think of it as a evil plane, just a cool one.

Now they seem to have the right idea with BinalTech and Alternators. I’m not sure how they did it but they’ve got companies to let them design Transformers around their cars. Which is just fantastic! Now can we have a cartoon about them please? With electronic voices? Based on Earth?

Sunday, May 30, 2004


A new brand of condom here in the UK, though I know it's quite big in the US. First thing when Smithy, Jason and myself saw the name was pretty much the joke above. What a really STUPID name for a condom.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Smoke Machines

Ok, let’s be fair, smoke machines were great… in the 90’s. I imagine they were perfect during those heady days of raving, happy hardcore and all the rest of the stuff we’ve thankfully left behind as bad ides. But now? Crap idea. You see, a club here in Dundee, used to be the local dive, had a major refurbishment and is now considered the best in town. Lots of fun was had by me and my friends. Then two weeks ago Chris, Barry, Mark and myself were stood at the bar next to the dance floor admiring the ladies shaking their booties when a plume of white smoke came flying out of the sides and we could see bugger all. Later on when we were dancing and the smoke machine went off you couldn’t see a foot in front of you and that’s no exaggeration. When you tried to find someone on the dance floor even when the smoke wasn’t there all you got now was a bunch of light reflections off the remains of the smoke.

I wouldn’t even had realised this if the club hadn’t operated for two months without one and it had perfect lighting and ambience. Now it’s spoilt by a device I think has had its day.

Except when it comes to dramatic moments, nothing scarier (in a I’m gonna to kick seven shades of shit out of you kinda way) or cooler than someone or something coming out of a plume of smoke. Not really something you want in a club that though is it.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Fighting in 80’s Cartoons

Can you think of any really all out brawls that happened in the 80’s. He-man would throw stuff and make people fall over, same with Captain Planet. Thundercats, if they didn’t trick the Mutants into buggering up then it was just a lot of jumping about (though admittedly rather good jumping about) then firing lasers out of things that shouldn’t fire lasers such as swords, nun-chucks and shields. To my memory even the NINJA Turtles hardly did any fighting really, especially with their weapons.

Transformers seemed to get it right, not two episodes could pass with out one Decepticon try and take an Autobot apart. Maybe because they were robots they were allowed to beat the shit out of each other.

I can understand the fact that to see He-Man, Lion-o or Leonardo cut the bad guys to pieces fighting their way to Skeletor/Mumm-ra/Shredder is a bit much for a kids program, but maybe all these people needed was one good punch to make them think that this wasn’t the right thing to do, rather than embarrassing them by pushing them over or shining light in their eyes with a mirror.