Monday, March 26, 2007

Movie Omnibus

Daredevil and Elektra are fairly universally tied for the benchmark as the worst of the modern superhero movies. For some it's debateable which one was worse, but generally one or the other gets named.

Last week we saw Ghost Rider. It was better than Daredevil.

Okay seriously, though... it was alright. Not great by any stretch. Didn't totally suck. Nick Cage did a pretty good job, but lost me in his final scene where he's supposedly standing up to Mephisto. It was worth the price of admission just to see the bike in action. Kind of like Hulk was still worth seeing if only for the chase across the desert, but not much else.

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300 is one of the few movies I've seen that lives up to the hype. Anyone who goes looking for historical accuracy needs to get a clue. Like Sin City, this movie was not just inspired by the comic, it was practically lifted panel to frame from the comic. This was a powerful story with great performances and gorgeous battle sequences.

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If you are the kind of reader who appreciates the narrator of Nocturnal Essence, with all that introspection on fate and the human experience, check out Stranger Than Fiction. It's a quirky Will Farrell comedy with a great hook. This disturbingly normal guy stuck in a mundane existance starts hearing the voice of the author narrating his life. It's an inspirational story with an unusual formula.

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Speaking of avoiding the usual forumla... Harsh Times with Christian Bale is a very cool crime thriller worth seeing. At it's core, it's kind of a modernization of the Deer Hunter. Combat veteran with PTSD has trouble fitting into society. Throughout the whole thing you think you have a pretty good idea how it's going to end and what the moral is. You're wrong.

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On the opposite side of the dramatic spectrum, TMNT was a great, fun ride. It's a fantastic blend of the comic and the old cartoon. All of the interplay between the Turtles is as you remember it. But it had the level of action and feel reminiscent of the original comic. The obligatory Leo vs Raphael fight was awesome. Over-sensitive critics unintentionally gave this a ringing endorsement by saying it was too violent for kids. It seemed like the kids who saw it in our theater loved it, but I'm pretty sure they left with their innocnse in tact. Sidenote: Those kids were the most well behaved kids we've ever shared a theater with. Not used to that.

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Okay this isn't a movie, but I need to rant. We need a new rule for Smallville. No more wrestlers. Both times now, the fight between Clark and the wrestler have been the highlight of the show... but the rest of the episode stank on ice. In this last one, it was like Vince got involved in the production. The level of T&A was almost absurd, and for some reason the soundtrack was turned up to the point it was distracting. And don't get me started on the nonsensical plot points. It's so aggravating when the first half of this season was so good, too.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Life after work

Total non-sequitor... My mom started watching and likes Smallville. That wierds me out beyond words.

Being unemployed has turned out to be a bigger drain on my comic book time than ever before. I have two short stories to write and two feature scripts to finish and we still don't have a subscriber section to speak of. I thought I'd be able to hammer those out in a week, but I haven't even gotten started. My apartment is slightly less of a disaster at least.

Inter-Fan Jam was fun. We met some interesting people. It was good to finally meet Lance "Doc" Boucher. His table provided entertainment in the waning hours of the con. Potentially the best part was meeting a new artist from Chicago named Moe Nasar. We hope to be showcasing his talent through Rogue Wolf. If I can get the damn short story written for him.

Well I'm off to my first of two job interviews today. Dusting off my Unix and Perl manuals and trying to brush up on them enough so I don't sound like an idiot killed another day's worth of writing time. Hope it was worth it. Wish me luck.

Monday, March 5, 2007

It turns out, I only knew the half of it

So... it wasn't just a chapter of my life that ended this weekend. It was a whole book. Part II of the trilogy of my story (maybe it'll be a quintet, who knows) has come to a close with a doozy of a cliffhanger.

New page update for Nocturnal Essence just went up. Issue 3 wraps up next week.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

On to the next chapter

Like Rush Limbaugh when the Republicans lost the House in '06... I feel liberated.

Actually I've felt liberated since I first got the news that my job was being eliminated two months ago. But as of two hours ago, it's official. I'm unemployed.

Is that a bad thing? Hell no. The way my supervisor had to collect my keyfobs and my badge, walk me to the door and send me off, the scene looked and felt like an ex convict finally leaving the state pen. The irony was perfect.

Then in the car, the first song to queue up off the CD was Gotta Knock a Little Harder from the Cowboy Bebop OST, which was oddly fitting to how I was feeling on the drive home.

I feel liberated. I no longer have to pretend to care about a job as a phone monkey.

Maybe that's what I'll end up being again in my next job, but for awhile I get a break.

A break from jumping to the beck and call of a chime in my ear like a trained zoo animal and putting on my "smiling voice",

... from having to help the very people who are stealing my job on the sole merit of being cheap labor,

... from having my ethics, my integrity, and my intelligence questioned daily.

... from being shackled by moronic and useless procedures that are designed to discourage initiative, while at the same time being held to unrealistic standards -- that ultimately mean nothing -- that are held as sacred by people who haven't a clue of the realty of my job and couldn't care less,

... from being treated like the lowest common denominator no matter how often I prove my ability or how obediently I do my job,

... and from hearing lies like "This is your chance", "Your feedback matters", and my favorite "We care."

Is it any wonder why the villains in my comics are heads of corporations?