Sunday, December 17, 2006

I need HD in my life

This week Mr Drew has spent a ridiculous amount of money on a HD TV. When it came time for our next gaming session it only seemed right that I take my 360 up to his and find out what they could do. Let me tell you, they were beautiful together. First thing I had to do was both Halo 3 trailers, these amazed me when they first came out, but seeing them in HD took my breath away. Then onto the games.

We spent most of our time on Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, unlocking the last few morsels erin that game ready for the hard mode arcade action, of which we got a taste for and Drew and I are once again addicted. I was a bit let down of the jump from X-Box to 360 graphically originally but HD totally removed that. How much better this game looks is incredible. Everything just looked so much more detailed and crisper.

Drew had mentioned it was the racing games that really looked amazing on HD, unfortunately I don't own any but luckily I do have a demo of Carbon on the hard drive. I was drooling at the car selection screen never mind in game. Finally we tried Dead Rising, I noticed less with this game, but that may be due to the fact Capcom made it for HD and really ignored the standard definition. If was nice to be able to read the text in game for a change though.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gangsters and Capes

Two topics up for discussion today. Firstly Heroes because I'm not going into much detail. This show is fantastic. Finally a show I have gotten into right from the get go rather than sticking with it because I feel like it could go somewhere. I'm not sure I've done that since Buffy started on Sky One. It really does feel like someone had a comic story to tell but managed to get a TV network to make it instead.

Secondly there's Saints Row. It was one of the first demos I downloaded off Xbox Live and while not overly impressed I did think it could be quite fun, and I've been craving some GTA like action recently. When I first put the game in the machine I hated it, I thought it was very badly done. The car handling is atrocious, the cars feel extremely similar, its only you start getting into the game and start driving very different types of cars that you can start to notice the difference in the handling. Though the handbrake never improves, no matter what you're driving the normal breaks barely do anything while the handbrake is the guaranteed to stop you dead with a near perfect 90 degree turn.

The early missions aren't anything special, at least for the Vice Kings anyway. There are three gangs to take down in the City of Stillwater and it's entirely up to you which order that you do them. I've just finished the Vice Kings and moved onto Los Carnales. The difference between the early Kings and Carnales is quite shocking as I'm really enjoying the Carnales missions while the Kings I did get bored with half way through and it's only my worrying determination to finish games that kept me with Saints Row at that point. Also the activities, while initially standing out as good, just don't work for me really. I realise that they are pick up when you fancy them but I just find myself getting very frustrated with the level system used for them.

All said and done Saints Row is an alternative to GTA, not a better one and not necessarily worse either. They both do certain things better than the other, car handling is certainly better in GTA while targeting is better in Saints Row for instance. One thing for Saints Row is that although the story isn't great is does feel a better gang experience than San Andreas was, which seemed to forget where it came from once CJ’s brother got arrested.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Quick Shout Out

In order to make my posts a bit snappier, if I've got something to say I'm just gonna say it, rather than waiting till the end of the month (which I'm still gonna use as a general sum up).

First off, I've finally got off my arse and posted up links to some of my friend's blogs and the like.

Secondly, I've finally picked up last week's comics. In my pile the to read list was X-Factor (yes a week late but it's fantastic) and Iron Fist. I feel ashamed it's taken me this long to pick up Brubaker at Marvel, but now that I have his and Matt Fraction's story is fantastic. A quick read but brilliantly told. The advertising in Teen Titans was atrocious, and people have been complaining at Marvel? Also Wisdom was a bit of a let down. While it did feel like a proper British comic in the Marvel universe, it also felt like the story needed two issues to be told.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Movies Games and Videos

During getting my website back up and running and preparing an actual update for it, I realised I’ve not used this for one of the main reasons I originally set it up. When I updated my website I usually covered what movies, games and comics I’ve been watching/playing/reading. Due to my lameness at getting updates done it always bugged me that it got ignored. So here we are, and hopefully I’ll get this done once a month.

On the movie front we of course have Casino Royale. I applaud the makers abandoning the formula that has been ruining Bond films of recent and returning to the books with the very first one that somehow never got made. The film is great, and I could barely believe I was watching a Bond film, and I was delighted to see a third of the film dedicated to a poker game.

On the TV I’m quite pleased at the Legion of Superheroes show, and I’m ashamed to say I’ve not yet got around to watching Heroes. Other than that I’m sticking with the shows I’ve talked about many times on here.

As already stated I’ve recently bought an Xbox 360 and am I glad I did. Apart from the initial gamertag issues (see Mini Rants entry below) things have been going great. First game I got was Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Nothing majorly different from X-Men Legends 2, and what they have changed is for the better. Less item slots makes gear management a damn site easier, though my RPG heavy team mates bemoan this particular change. Instead the costumes have different abilities and you pick which costume suits your gameplay. Also Extreme Powers work on meter you build up rather than based on pickups making them much easier to use and more rewarding, though I’m not keen on ‘everybody uses it all at once’. At times it’s way too much overkill. Also the new team management is quite cool, and adds a bit more depth to the game.

On games that are actually next gen I bought Dead Rising. This game is great. If you’ve got a 360 you need this game. I’m thoroughly enjoying going back through this game for the 100%, unlike most games where I just feel the need to do it. I also broke my promise to myself and started playing Oblivion. I always said I’d lose my life if I started playing, and to prove my point I’ve lost a lot of hours without even realising it.

Comics wise, nothing much has changed. I’m looking to dropping a few titles but I’m not 100% made up my mind yet. I’m still loving Civil War, though I need to limit the amount of titles I’m getting for it, it’s become a bit all encompassing for my collection. Really need to get hold of more Invincible, reread the first trade, the only one I own and am craving the next book, but need to hold off till the New Year.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Catching Up

Going through my old rants on Monday as I was sorting my website out I realised I talked a lot about shows that have had a good run and some have even ended, and my opinions weren't necessarily the same now as they were on seeing one or two of the episodes. I even feel I need to talk more on the new Fantastic Four now that I've watched more than two episodes.

But first the big one, Justice League Unlimited. This currently rules supreme as the best superhero animated series ever. Ongoing story arcs that built up over the season with a huge payoff at the end, especially the Cadmus arc. Green Arrow clearly making it into one of the big names alongside GL and Supes. Even with the massive cast they stuck with the GL/Hawkgirl romance, making it a love triangle with Vixen with the added complication of John meeting his and Shayera's future son. This brings us to one of my favourite points, tying it all into Batman Beyond. Not only did we have the time travel story featuring the Beyond JLU from 'The Call', but we had the episode that should have been the last ever episode of the entire DCUA universe, Epilogue. OK, so it was extremely Batman centric, but it linked everything from the start of Batman: The Animated series to JLU through Batman Beyond. If you've not seen any JLU stop making excuses and Get It Done!

Three years ago I wrote my first rant and it was about Teen Titans and overly I was quite enthusiastic about the show. That enthusiasm carried right through to the end of the movie. In some parts it increased. For instance I now regard the theme tune as a fantastic piece of J-Pop. I loved the fact the series could be deadly serious one show and deal with Robin being too focused then the next just go off on one and the Titans get trapped in a magic hat. The Mad Mod episodes always surprised me with how experimental they were being, especially as this was far more of a kids show than JLU. The characters grew on me and Starfire stopped annoying me, though I still prefer the comic’s version. My biggest problem was it's last season, the season before had been fantastic, but then they went travelling the world and meeting new Titans in order to warn them, and the show felt really shallow during these episodes.

As I already mentioned, I've watched a few more episodes now and while it hasn't grown on me a huge amount, there are a couple of things that have warmed me to it. HERBIE as the Baxter Building's AI is a great little touch. Its become obvious that it's based on the movie continuity except Doom is the comic version, which makes sense since Movie Doom was terrible. The Human Torch is annoying the hell out of me, which is rather troubling since he's my favourite. He's far too stupid, he's meant to be cocky not an idiot. Most importantly we've had another episode building on the Kree/Skrull war, with a fantastic prequel to the debut of the Super-Skrull and a twist at the end. More than anything else, this has got me watching more of the series.

Finally, we have Smallville back on. Zod was a rather good episode but nothing spectacular as the last episode of the previous season was. So far the new series is quite good. Thankfully we've been given a new reason for people being super powered instead of Kryptonite powered humans, though the first one felt like a rip off of Poison Ivy. This season we have a young Oliver Queen, and just like JLU they've got the character down, though this is millionaire play boy Queen instead of the fighting for the everyman Queen. I've yet to see the episode where he properly goes out and about in a costume, but the cheek of the producers having him go to a fancy dress party as Robin Hood, but actually put Ollie in the pre-Infinite Crisis GA costume was wonderful. I think it'll be good for Clark to meet someone who enjoys the life of a costume hero for his progression to wearing his underpants on the outside, unlike the Angel of Vengeance *cough*Huntress*cough* we had last season. My hatred of Lana Lang grows ever more with each passing episode, hopefully now she's with Lex she can die a horrible death that will finally put Lex on top of the evil chain where he's been travelling towards for the whole of Smallville's run.

Don't worry, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is coming, I'm just trying to finish it before I talk about it. Also Legion of Superheroes once I've seen a few more episodes (I am learning), but so far so good.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mini Rants

Nothing outstanding for me, but a few little things. Finally got round to the Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo. Good movie that carried on from the series in a great way, hopefully we see more things like this and Ultimate Avengers then we do Superman: Brainiac Attacks. Bring on the Hellboy movie.

Got an X-Box 360 this weekend. I was all happy through out Saturday and Sunday. More to come on Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. However, I had some trouble with setting up my X-Box Live account. You see I have been on Live before with my old X-Box but got bored and the account was cancelled. There I am trying to reactivate it but I just don't have the info, which is well over a year old. In my desperation I actually ring Microsoft's helpline to get them to reactivate it then I can update the details. After pretending to be Chris and waiting for 5 minutes while the guy prats about, I'm told it was cancelled. Which I knew. However, it turns out when Microsoft cancel an account it can never be touched ever again and that Gamertag is lost to the world. No more NightJim. Sucks big hairy elephant balls. So I've resorted to KnightJim. Bloody Microsoft.

New Robin Hood on BBC isn't all that, first episode suffered from trying to play it too lightly, the following episodes have improved on that front, but something about it doesn't sit quite right. It may be how Dave put it, it's far too clean for medieval times.

Got Agent X, was disappointed by how little Gail Simone wrote of it, first and last stories. Hers are easily the best in the series, one of the others actually reading like a through and through Deadpool story, which is against the whole point of the book. Alex desperately was trying to be different to our man Wade.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Everyone's After Aliens

Two subjects to talk about today. First up, Torchwood started on BBC 3 on Sunday and I was there for the first two episodes. The new Doctor Who has done so well it’s managed to spawn a spin off that’s aimed at adults. So far it appears to be a British X-Files based in the Doctor Who universe. I just hope they manage to address UNIT at some point, because the fact the British Military has an organisation that investigates the paranormal seems to have been forgotten.

Captain Jack Harkness, the second companion for half of Ecclestone’s series has been given control of the third Torchwood facility in Cardiff. The fact that Torchwood isn’t hiding the fact that it’s based in Cardiff is one of the things that have impressed me about the show. Having just come back on the Friday from my business trip there it was very cool seeing one or two places that I recognised. Even to the point that one of the pubs I went in could just be seen as Gwen, the character the series seems to from the perspective of, enters the Torchwood facility for the first time.

More to the point, the stories are really good. It is far more adult that Dr Who can be at 7 o’clock on a Saturday night with death and murder quite strong in both episodes. The show does seem to have a fixation on sex though. With Captain Jack a little is to be expected, he was easily the horniest companion in the history of Who. We have been promised every single member of the cast will get a same sex kiss, and we’ve already had two in as many episodes. The whole plot of the second episode revolved around an alien that fed off orgasmic energy, killing the male in the process, similar to that Outer Limits episode that scared me shitless when I was 14. It seems to me that Russell Davies has to get some of this out of his system, since he has to spend his time looking after a ‘family’ show the rest of the time.

Thankfully they’ve addressed the fact that Captain Jack is alive despite the fact he died facing the Daleks in the final episode of Eccelstone’s run. He even mentioned wanting to meet the Dr to find out what’s going on. Technically the audience knows this as it was shown at the end of the Who episode (though I had to read it on Wikipedia) and from the special effect when he kissed the orgasm alien its obvious that its to do with the chronal energy that Rose Tyler absorbed. All said, the show is great and I fully intend to keep watching it every Sunday.

The second topic of conversation is the new Fantastic Four cartoon. I’ve watched two episodes so far, and I’m yet to be impressed. The animation is pretty slick although it falls under the category of the US imitating anime once again. I was mildly surprised to see the first episode start with a Ronan the Accuser story, a minor character from the Marvel Universe rather than an origin story or something with a better known character such as Doom. Which brings me onto my next point, it feels like I’ve missed some episodes. The series just starts getting on with things, no real character introduction and the second episode is Doom and it doesn’t really explain the feud between Doom and Reed its just accepted fact that Doom hates him. Now I can cope with this as I’m a major comic geek and this stuff to me is like the Bible is to the Pope, but have we got to the point where we don’t have to tell the origin of the Fantastic Four or their biggest villain? If so that’s great, but I only thought we were there with Superman, Batman and Spider-Man. I’ve got a total of five episodes to watch, I’m going to watch them and see if I fancy watching anymore. Though the hints at a Kree-Skrull war hinted at in the first episode has got me very intrigued.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

There Can Be Only One

I bet you're wondering where I've been? Well probably not but I like to pretend anyway. Well after my 3 week trip to Canada, which was great thank you. I just got home when work asked me to go to Cardiff to help look after the new people in that new office. They also gave me a semi-promotion, so I'm now looking after IS Support while someone gets round to actually advertising for the positions there properly.

So I'd been home a week when work sent me to Wales for another week, which has to be said was a great time as well. Anyway, I'd not had a huge amount of time to dedicate to the promise I made myself and to the good people at Heroic Images. That of getting my website back up and running once I got back from Canada. I got one night on it before going to Cardiff and we're nearly there and since I've got three days off from work I hope to get more down this weekend. Then I've just got the DNS to sort out and we should be ready to go.

Last night, having only slept for 2 hours on Thursday and traveling, I was shattered and in need of a film. So I watched Highlander: Endgame, against Chris' recommendation. Well his recommendation wasn't far off but it wasn't that bad. But as Chris put it I've watched quite a lot of the show and he hasn't. Which I feel is one of the main problems of the film. Its big thing was that we finally had Connor and Duncan together properly for the first time, and it was good for some of that, we got to see there history together, and why Connor wasn't about for the series. In other ways the film really didn't manage that.

The main villain, apart from being extremely cheesy and over the top, was someone that had been plaguing Connor for centuries but had nothing to do with Duncan, yet it was Duncan who had to take him out at the end. This seemed to be the problem for the film as a whole, they never managed to find someone who had real resonance for both of the MacLeods. That said, it's not like Christopher Lambert is in the modern day setting a huge amount, which is probably a good thing since how old he looks these days. Not really the nest thing for an immortal. Also some of the blue screen was absolutely shocking as well and all three people watching laughed out loud.

It's not a great film by any stretch of the imagination and unless you've watched the series you're probably going to disappointed.

Monday, September 11, 2006

GUNning it

Friday was an absolute quality night out, though Alex ruined the theme by getting back with his ex earlier in the week. Saturday, hung over to hell, I decided I needed some good shooting action, something not offered by any of the games I’m currently playing. What with actually having something to write about I decided I better fit another post in before the Canada trip.

Gun was one of those games that when it was released had intrigued me, the adverts looked great and when was the last time a decent western game was made? Anyway, Smith had warned me at the time that while it was supposed to be good it was also very short. However, seeing at £10 and on Buy One Get One Free you can’t really go wrong, unless you decide the latest Leisure Suit Larry or Lula game would be a good purchase.

Anyway, Gun is a brilliant game but, as Smith warned, it is rather short. I completed it in a weekend, though admittedly it did take two hardcore sessions. The game starts off rather hard to control but as your stats improve and you buy upgrades for your weapons it gets a lot easier, and a lot cooler. In no time at all I was picking bandits off their horses with my rifle and taking arrows and dynamite out of the air with my pistol.

The storyline is great and has a fantastic Western feel, with kind hearted whores, dirty business men, history with Indians and Civil War veterans looking to right wrongs. Also it managed to throw quite a few curve balls into the story, something which is quite unique in action games.

That’s not to say the game isn’t with its faults. I had one total crash and a fall through floor moment. The physical gestures during in game speech were quite often comical, and once or twice a model’s hands got mangled up during those gestures and I once saw a mission specific target walk through a wall. Also the game does a GTA and lets you keep playing after the storyline, and the more complete the game is the more fun stuff you get. Thing is, it’s not that hard to complete the side missions, once they’re done there’s not much to do, making the two best items in the game practically pointless.

All said, a great game, that was well worth the £10 charged, even better when you think I only paid a fiver.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Long Time No Update

So nearly a month and no update, and God knows how long it's been since my site's been updated. Hell the thing isn't even working right now. Well I've had nothing to rant or rave about, nothing I've seen has really given me any strong feelings. It's going to be even longer. On Wednesday I'm off to Vancouver on holiday with Drew for three weeks. Right now I'm telling myself when I get back I'm going to get back on track.

Civil War is still going great and I'm not bothered at all about the delays, I'd rather have it all told well by Millar and McNiven than put up with some fill-ins, a personal hatred of mine. I'm thinking of having a major upheaval in what I buy. Two comics have already been cast aside. Marvel Team-Up is finishing and I'm thinking of giving up on Birds of Prey. Speaking of Gail Simone, I finally got to read her 5 issues of Deadpool. Absolute Genius! Some of the best Deadpool I've ever read. Really need to get hold of her Agent-X now.

Stargate season 10 is pretty good, and Blade has improved but still isn't that amazing. Need to watch the new Fantastic Four animated.

Games wise I've got plenty on my plate. Currently been paying attention to Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, which seems to improve the further you get in the game. Also Chris bought Guitar Hero and it is brilliant. Wish I had an X-Box 360 for Dead Rising, the demo of which blew me away (Damn you Smith!).

Well I'm off to go get drunk again. A celebration of my four of Flat 28 are all single at the same time, the first time it's happened since we met six years ago.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Avenging to the Ultimate

Since the first film came out during the time I’d stopped updating my website and before I started this blog it never got covered by me and as I’ve just finished watching the second film I figured lets talk about both. Although with emphasis on the second obviously.

Released early 2006 Ultimate Avengers took Millar and Hitch’s first Ultimates storyline and made it an animated film. Unfortunately, they did that by dumbing the story down for time and audience reasons. In my opinion, while nowhere near as good as the original comic series it was an ok film, with Ultimate Cap and Iron Man getting good showings. The wife beating storyline was lifted and the aliens were nowhere near the threat they were in the comic. I can understand why most of this was done, Millar and Hitch had 12 comics to get their story across. Ultimate Avengers had less than an hour and a half and some of the scenes would have ramped up the rating of the film, but you can’t help miss them when you know they should be there.

The second film creates a totally original story and it’s better for it. Starting that the Aliens are defeated just set back was a great idea. Kleiser, a great character from Ultimates who was wasted in the first film finally got a good showing, though his defeat was one of the more disappointing parts of the finale. We also get the wife beating storyline rear its head in the only way I think the movie producers could have gotten away with and I’m glad to see it. The second seems to symbolise more of a departure to sticking to Ultimate timeline and mixing from normal Marvel Universe to create a match that suits the film, with an introduction of Iron Man’s Armoury and Tony switching to the War Machine Armour.

Both films have fantastic animation, but some of the design leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe it’s the fanboy in me but a lot of the character design just comes off bad. Mostly going for the Ultimate designs is all well and good, and it’s understandable going with the more well known green Hulk. What annoys me is, although it’s Ultimate Thor the designers have taken away his beard making him look more like he belongs on a Californian beach than the battlegrounds of Asgard. Also super spy Black Widow has her top unzipped and showing a whole load of cleavage, to be expected in this kind of production, but I was expecting her to zip it up when it came to going into action. Plus the new design of Black Panther was awful in my opinion and instead of looking regal, T’Challa looked like he belonged in a wrestling ring. Lets not even get into this new morphing into a panther power he’s found.

All in all, the Ultimate Avengers films are good fun for the superhero fans looking for some light entertainment, though anyone who has read Ultimates volume 1 will find the first a bit annoying.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Big Boy Scout

Of course I have to talk about SUPERMAN RETURNS. A thoroughly good Superhero flick, which has equal focus on the relationship between Lois and Clark as it does Luthor’s evil scheme. My heart started racing from the very start with the opening credits with the John Williams film, which I admit is kinda odd since I’ve never had too much of a soft spot for the Reeve films, while the first two were good, I wasn’t even born when they were released and only ever caught them on ITV. I have to admit, it’s been some years since I’ve seen. Also several FUCK YEAH moments when Supes was doing his thing.

On a down note I had a problem with a few of the characters, I always had a problem with Gene Hackman’s Luthor so Kevin Spacey’s didn’t rub me the right way, though he did do a better job than Hackman. Parker Posey’s character annoyed the crap out of me, I will never understand why they’ve had Luthor have someone like that hang around with him, an introduction of someone like Mercy would have been so much better. On the plus side I expected to hate James Marsters’ character from the moment he was introduced, and was pleasantly surprised that Singer and co made him a very likeable character who I’m going to feel very sorry for when he finds out the revelation that Clark and the viewer are shown at the end of the movie.

Also the flight scenes were a mixed bag, some were “Oh dear God that’s some terrible CGI”, others, well, lets just say, I believed a man could fly.

On a minor note, at San Diego Comic Con, Edgar Wright, director and co-writer of Spaced and Shaun of the Dead has been announced as the director of Marvel’s Ant Man. An interesting choice of character for a movie translation, but Wright picked and wrote it himself and the few ideas he mentioned at the Con sounded quite cool.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Another Vampire Slayer

It's been awhile since I've actually wrote about something sci-fi or comic book related and since that's the main point of this place I think it's about time.

So, the new Blade TV series. Thankfully continuing on from where Blade: Trinity finished, Blade's got a new partner and seems to be sticking to Detroit, now revealed to be his hometown. I'm not overly sure about the revealing of his real name and home town, I've no knowledge of the comic to know where they got this from, I only know what I've learnt from the films and the episodes of Spider-Man he appeared in. The name did seem a bit forced in, like they had decided that he had to have a proper name and just dumped a bit of dialogue in there to reveal it.

The new actor seems to be doing a good job of filling Wesley Snipes shoes, though he's nowhere near as cool at the minute and he does seem to hunch when he walks. Not sure if this is on purpose or just because he's not sure how to walk about with a sword strapped to his back. Whatever it is someone needs to teach him to stop it.

Also the whole premise for the ongoing story seems a bit... crap. I liked it when the girl was bitten, but thought we were going to get a replay of the (girl) from Blade 1 when Blade and Whistler stopped the transformation. Instead Blade gives her some of his serum and she gets her human mind back. To me this just seems wrong. It makes Blade having these abilities but being a good guy less unique, plus I thought the whole reason it worked for Blade was his half-breed nature. They give the explanation that it only works for her because she hasn't been turned for 24 hours, but I'm still not convinced.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Nightwing: All My Life

So I've decided to have a go at one of these music videos edited together with animation. Because its me it had to be Nightwing and Foo Fighters. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cheered up and Inadequacies

Like Smith, I promised myself I'd not using this as a diary but felt I really needed to today.

Well I feel a whole lot better. I’ve been pretty down recently for various reasons and been trying various things to cheer me up, none of which have been working. It’s amazing what a quiet night in the pub will do for you. After the initial quick bitching session and catch up, we had a very long and very geeky conversation with both of us cracking the other up. We even managed to fit in a quick rant about women in. Thanks a lot mate ;)

Also figured I'd talk about why my comic has not been updating for over a month now. See in interviews with professionals they go on about how good a storyteller their artist is and how they pass on so much through the imagery. Due to a total lack of artistic talent I use sprites, so fixed camera angles and no real expression. Plus I don't make my own sprites, Alex makes them for me (which I am eternally grateful for), therefore I've got a set of sprites to pick from and if I do need a new one I have to give Alex a weeks warning. All in all these leads to a very frustrated writer. I'm not saying I've stopped. I needed a break, I reckon it should be back soon. I determined to get to the next few storylines where I've got people interested in doing guest arcs. In the very least I'll give me time to seethe over the inadequacies of my chosen format. Anyone fancy drawing it?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Finally an update

I feel I’ve been letting my geek responsibilities (not to mention my general blogging ones) down recently. Thing is, I’ve not had anything major to write about. Watched the odd Smallville and kept reading my comics, but nothings really got me angry. So I’ve figured I better start covering subjects that impressed me.

First up is Whedon’s X-Men. Late to the game but earlier this month I bought the first trade and it was amazing. I know many people have said it but I’m just adding my voice to the choir. Colossus and Kitty were fantastic and Wolverine acted like Wolverine, which actually made me realise how bad X3’s portrayal of him was. It felt like the X-men should do. If you’re an X-Men fan or a Whedon one and you haven’t already I urge you to go get it!

Second, we have Star Wars: Republic Commando books. I know I said I was barely touching the Star Wars books anymore but Republic Commando the game blew me away with how good it was and the first book got quite a good review so I picked it up (BTW, I never did pick up that other series based after New Jedi Order, hive minded insectoid Aliens = Rubbish!). The first book is a straight forward, behind enemy lines infiltration op the second a lot more in depth deep cover investigation. I’m amazed at how different to the other novels they feel. They read exactly like most Special Ops books I’ve read, only difference is it’s based in a sci-fi universe. This is something I’ve been crying out for ever since we got the Rogue Squadron books, and thank god we’ve got them. They’ve managed to restore some of my love for Star Wars.

Last, we have Civil War. Two issues in and it’s fantastic. Captain America is kicking so much arse and being cool about it, Spider-Man’s reveal shocked me, took me a few days to process that one. Personally I’m enjoying this far more than I did Infinite Crisis.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Footballer's Wives

Had to share this. Thanks to Johnny Vaughan on Capital Radio and my Mum for this.

Disccussion on what a collection of Footballer's Wives should be called. Here are the options:
  1. A Boutique
  2. An Implant
  3. A Giggle
  4. A Handbag
  5. A Meow
  6. A Pout
  7. A Vacuum
  8. A Rack
  9. A Shallow
  10. An Extension
  11. An Excess
  12. A Surgery
Personally my favourite is "a shallow".

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Wolverine and Storm Show

Thanks Drew for the title of this.

You guessed it, I went to see X-Men 3 last night. Figured I'd better say something since everyone's expecting me too but this is going to be quite short, cos I actually quite liked it. Sure there were a few minor problems with it, Plastic guns, Vinnie Jones and Magneto's helmet not fitting properly and conducting whenever he used his powers.

Also the inclusion of Spike, the politically correct rip off of Marrow from the X-Men Evolution cartoon and far too many story threads for the time given, the Bobby, Kitty Rogue and her trip was tragically unexplored as was the Angel storyline with his father. Other than that I quite enjoyed it. Special mention must go to the inclusion of the Blackbird as the X-Jet, my favourite X-plane as it was this plane in the 90s cartoon and in the comics when I started with X-Men, a silly thing but I loved seeing it.

Update on Smallville and Stargate

So I managed to get through the whole of season 4 of Smallville and it was quite a slog. My problem with the ‘losing memory’ story line got worse with 3 episodes in a row doing it at one point. The main story arc kept me hooked though and I’m glad it did. Season 5 has significantly improved things with only one “Oops, I’ve forgotten what I’ve actually done” episode to date. We’re also getting more concentration on the arc rather than the odd 5 minutes thrown in. I’m also getting perverse enjoyment about Clark worrying about the very problem that Brodie brought up in Mallrats, that he might take out Lana with one well aimed shot.

I’ve also got over my problems with the continuity with one simple realisation. There is no way this Clark can ever become any version of Superman that we know of. Lois and Lex would take one look at Superman and recognise the guy they spent a good few years hanging out with. And so what? If you’re that bothered lets call it an Elseworlds and stop worrying.

It also seems to have taken a leaf out of Stargate’s book for getting audience by having other cult actors appear. With James Marsters of Buffy and Angel fame appearing as Brainiac (though never called that) and having it rubbed in your face with a Vampire episode and the lead vampire being called Buffy. Then the other Duke of Haazard turned up, in a Dodge Charger no less. Plus they not just using real people but pulling in other DC heroes now. After season 4’s Kid Flash episode, we’ve had Aquaman and Cyborg from the Teen Titans in season 5.

Speaking of Stargate it looks like we are getting the mini Farscape reunion with Claudia Black becoming a regular in season 10. It’s also covering Firefly/Serenity angle with Morena Baccarin confirmed to appear and Richard Dean Anderson’s Jack O’Neill coming back for an episode or two. Plus Michael Ironside appeared at the end of Season 9 and he’s practically been in everything going.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

DC saved by Superman and Schuie's up to his old tricks

Well, sort of. It was the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, the first F1 race I've watched for ages.

David Coulthard, DC for short, just secured Red Bull Racing's first Formula 1 Grand Prix podium plus DC has been having a bit of a rough time for the last few seasons. On a weekend where they were sponsored by Superman Returns. The car had the well known S on the nose and the back was made to look like a cape billowing from the driver's cockpit.

On the podium itself Coulthard had to wear a red cape, which would have been even funnier if he had been wearing the Superman firesuit like he was meant to and his team mate had done.

As for Michael Schumacher, I'd more or less forgotten all his dodgy little moves over the years, until Qualifying yesterday. Michael was top of the board with minutes to go before the end of the session and he goes and parks his car on Ras Cas corner and ruins everyone's lap so they can't better him.

Thankfully the stewards agreed with My Dad and Me (plus 90% of the F1 community) and sent Schumacher to start at the race from the pit lane. It shows how good a driver he is to end the race 5th (though at least 4 or 5 of those places were attrition).

I agree with Jackie Stewart that Schumacher didn't set out to do it, he had a minor incident which he decided to make a major one and ruin everyone else's laps.It seems a stupid move in what may be his last year in racing to remind everyone what type of person he can be, bringing back memories such as Adelaide with Damon Hill and Jerez with Jaques Villeneuve.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Watched MI:III this afternoon. Not bad, better than the 2nd anyway. Problem is when I came out of 1 I was "Wow", I was the same for 2 though on repeat viewings it doesn't hold up. I came out of 3 and it was just "Yeah, it was good".

It did have a lot of quality sections in it. I thoroughly loved the SWAT like rescue and the kidnapping was fantastic, and you could so tell J.J. Abrams of Alias fame was behind the film at that point. The bridge sequence was pretty good, and I liked the fact that when Hunt broke into a building it stayed with the team outside being concerned and waiting, but maybe this was because it was so similar to a sequence in MI:II.

Which brings me to my first major gripe. As we left the cinema Danny mentioned it was like they hadn't watched either of the previous films and I have to totally agree with him. This is where I get really spoiler heavy so I'm warning you all now. After MI:II I remember saying to Smith that they're going to have to think of something new for the bad guy because in both films it was rogue agents, and while the main bad guy isn't a rogue agent the whole reason it goes so very wrong for Hunt is a rogue agent, who just like Voight in the first film, was his boss. Admittedly it had a bit of a twist on it but come on people, some originality please. And that wasn't the only thing, Hunt's squeeze is in trouble: MI:II. Has to steal a biological weapon: MI:II. Hunt goes rogue because everything's gone wrong and someone on the inside is a traitor: MI. Those are just off the top of my head, I’ve got a nagging feeling I’m missing one or two.

Also it's a good job I don't suffer from motion sickness because the floor in front of me wouldn't have been pretty if I did. Half the film the camera's acting like it's having an epileptic fit. I get the idea that it's all gone a bit hectic, but I actually want to be able to see something when things get slightly exciting.

All in all not a bad film, but I think I've had enough of Ethan Hunt and the IMF.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

George Lucas is a total and complete tw*t

The guy's been pissing me off for years. Various comments such as "The books aren't mine so who cares?" How about the fans you left alone for 20 years and that was all they had to keep them going?!? Then we had Greedo shot first and other such travesties of the Special Editions, shortly followed by The Phantom Menace, where if Jar Jar Binks wasn't enough we had the stupid little shit Anakin to deal with ("Rolling! That's a good trick" Yeah, if you're 10... oh wait, you are). Not to mention the numerous terrible dialogue moments and the total lack of chemistry between Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen.

But getting back to my point, ever since Lucas released the Special Editions we've been told that we would never see the original prints again, so I held on for dear life to my decaying video copies. As films the originals flowed so much more easier and felt much better films I wasn't very happy to know I'd never get to replace them for everlasting DVD's. I didn't go out and buy the DVD's of the trilogy when they were first released, and I ranted enough about them at the time so I'm not going to go into that again. Eventually I caved when the money grubbing gits I work for offered it at a super cheap price. I was pleased with some changes to closer the orginals, hated Christensen and wasn't bothered about "Did".

Then the bearded git's announced that after 9 years of saying they'll never release the original cuts again, they will.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

How to make a sci-fi show last

I’ve been watching a lot of Stargate SG-1 recently, the little sci-fi show that could. Stargate is one of those shows that I used to watch because if was a fun show. When I went to uni I was never bothered about catching it so missed a few seasons worth. However, I did catch the odd bit of news through SFX magazine, Daniel leaving, Daniel coming back. The series getting renewed and renewed and now taking over X-Files for the longest running sci-fi show. But mostly I came back because I wanted to see how the brilliant Ben Browder from Farscape managed in this show now that he took over from Richard Dean Anderson as the head of the team.

The first 4 or 5 episodes of his debut series Claudia Black was a major character and we had our own little Farscape reunion. This led me to joke that this was how Stargate had managed to last so long, by being the home of actors from Sci-fi shows that no longer exist, thus attracting the fanboys. My statement was further helped by Lexa Doig from Andromeda starring as the new doctor on the base. Then things started to get out of hand. The Smoking Man from the X-Files turned up as one of the bad guys, leading me to joke all we need is someone from Star Trek. Low and behold, Richard Picardo, the Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager returns in his semi-recurring role, a role I had admittedly forgotten about when I made my joke.

So it seems the way to survive cancellation is pack your show with cast members for cancelled shows. Someone needs to tell Joss Whedon! (still bitter about Firefly)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Smallville's gotten a bit poo really

Smallville was something I really enjoyed when it started. A look at Superman as his powers kicked in was pretty cool. Even if every villain of the week somehow got their powers from Kryptonite. Then Clark started to find out about his extraterrestrial origins. It started off well, and the use of Terence Stamp (Zod from Superman 2) as the voice of Jor-El and Christopher Reeve as the scientist who knows everything, later to be replaced by Margot Kidder after his death were master strokes.

However, the direction they took his plans for Kal-El didn’t really sit well with me. Now I’m not one of those geeks that cries when ever something changes in translation and admittedly I only know the broad strokes of Supes’ origin but as far as I’m aware Kal’s father never sent him to Earth to rule it and for me it ruins some of Superman’s nobility.

Also every other episode is someone loosing control of their body, pissing people off then coming to not remembering a thing and everyone not liking them. First one I can remember is Clark and the Red Kryptonite, and really it was the only good one. Then I pretty sure Chloe and Lana went under control several times during that season just for Clark to go into a cave mouth and come out as “Kal-El”. Then the cheerleaders start making everyone fall in love with them, Lionel Luthor takes over Clark’s body and is nasty to everyone and then Lana is taken over by a 16th century witch, closely followed by Lois and Chloe, and I’m only half way through the season.

There is the occasional good episode though such as Kid Flash turning up, and that’s a continuity fuck up and a half, but it’s getting to the point that they’re not enough. I’m going to slowly work my way through to the end of Season 4 and see if I can be bothered with Season 5.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Something New

Bored of having to arse about with HMTL and FTP every time I want to have a rant I thought I'd try Blogger and see how that works. Basically I want to rant far more than I need to update my website so taking a leaf from Smith's bookI decided to set up this thing. Hopefully have a proper rant soon.