Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Let's hunt some ORC!


So I had the pleasure of introducing The Lord of the Rings to a friend of mine over the last couple days. He'd never seen the films or read the books before, so we started with The Fellowship of the Ring film (extended edition, of course, as it should always be). He seemed to enjoy it.
I feel like I've just spread the good news of Tolkien. It's fun.

I forgot how much I love Lord of the Rings. Sitting down and watching it again for the first time in a long time was a lot of fun.

There's something about Lord of the Rings that's really unique. In large part, it's the borderline-ridiculous attention to detail. The level of artistry is just insane. In any other movie, you can simply look hard enough and see the cracks in the illusion. But no matter how hard you look, you will only find more and more detail in Lord of the Rings. Every set is believably built; every prop is intricately crafted with all the same artistry that you'd expect the real thing to have. There's just no end to it.

It's kind of like that moment when you see something crazy and have to make sure you're not dreaming. But with Lord of the Rings, there's no pinch to wake you up; you're never pulled out of the story. It's like you're staring through a window into Middle-Earth itself.

No other film series can claim that. Not even Star Wars, practically perfect as it is, can claim that. With Star Wars, you can always find the odd prop in the original trilogy that's obviously a real-world object, or an incredibly off-putting shot of a CG creature. Not so with Lord of the Rings. It just feels real.

We're gonna watch the other two movies over the week. I'll probably write more then.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Criticism

A lot of you probably know how big a part of my life criticism is. I don't mean personal criticism, of course. I mean the analysis and critique of everything from movies to TV shows, comic books, and video games. I spend a likely-unhealthy amount of time delving into all this material, and perhaps just as much—if not more—time reading and listening to critical opinion on said media. I read written reviews, listen to a ton of podcasts, and discuss it all on forums. And now I'm thinking that needs to stop.

I've always tried to stay positive on things, for the most part. I like to let myself enjoy the stories I watch/read. But that doesn't seem to jive with the rest of the criticism world.

I read this awesome article written by George Perez (a huge name in comics writing) about why superheroes don't need to be "dark and gritty." One of his paragraphs caught my eye:

My son and I went to see Captain America about two weeks back, and it was as enjoyable and delightful a trip to the movies as I can remember in years. My days as a bitchy critic of cinema are long past, mind you, and I’m not interested in posting a review. I could do that. I once did do that. I stopped doing that 20 years ago. The proliferation of people who mistake their opinion for criticism made me stop.

It was when I read this that something clicked for me.
See, there's a mentality among critics that there is some unknowable standard of "quality" that permeates all art. That through analysis and critique, the "truth" of the art in question can be gleaned. Furthermore, there's a bizarre mob mentality that goes on both in the critic community as well as in general geek fandom where certain stories are simply declared "good" or "bad," and anyone who disagrees with the absolute quality of those judgments is wrong. Now, many critics will deny this. They'll say that "everyone's got a right to their opinion," or something along the lines of "hey, if you like it, good for you." But when it comes right down to it, those people will discuss their subject with a kind of absolute and harsh language that doesn't mesh with what they've just said.

There's an indeterminate list of qualities within stories that are known by critics to be good or bad. It rarely matters if a movie actually does something unique with a normally-"bad" story element; critics will still only examine the movie based on a pre-set pattern they've set up to gauge the previously-mentioned "absolute quality." While this vague formula actually does work in most cases, it tends to disallow many critics from actually seeing what makes a story great individually. It doesn't matter if a green-colored rose is beautiful; according to the pre-set formula, roses are NOT supposed to be green.

It's been said of the geek community in particular that "there's no gray area." It's impossible to have a discussion about The Dark Knight, for instance, without immediately resorting to either singing the film's praises or playing devil's advocate by saying that it's overrated. In nearly every case, if a story falls into that medium-level category between "amazing" and "terrible," it automatically falls into the "terrible" category, as far as the geek community is concerned. There's nothing that internet-based geek fandom loves more than to be as negative about the things they claim to love as possible. For someone like me, who tries to look on the brighter side instead of immediately jumping to a negative gut reaction, this makes discussing the things I love online very difficult.

As I write this, we're currently in Week 3 of 4 in DC Comics' New 52 relaunch. I've enjoyed a good 70% of the books, tolerated about 20%, and hated 10%. But there are a ton of fans out there who have been literally looking for reasons to hate the New 52, and they keep finding singular details in a few books to use as banners for their hatred. I've heard people describe themselves as "livid" over a few details, and constantly throwing out "f*** you"s at DC. A few of those people have jokingly (or not so jokingly) asked me if I actually work for DC, because no one could possibly have a positive outlook on all this. And even though that shouldn't bother me, it does. I've started to realize that I don't necessarily want to be a part of the geek criticism community. I just want to enjoy my stories and discuss them, not go looking for things to hate about them. I don't want to be irrational about anything, and I'm not looking to stick my head in the sand and make myself enjoy something when it's crap, but at the same time I really do think that a huge section of the geek community is merely negative for the sake of being negative. I know many, many highly intelligent people that I respect who do this, and it's really discouraging.

What Perez said in his article is true, I think. There's a "proliferation of people who mistake their opinion for criticism." I can deal with people not liking the same stories I do. Really. No skin off my back. But I wish people would be able to realize that their personal feelings are not the end-all be-all of the universe.

At this point, I really think I'm going to pull out of the criticism community in general. I'll still continue to enjoy the same stories I always have, and I'll probably still throw up reviews of stuff I read/watch, but I'm done with all the debating and all the judgment. I just want to be able to enjoy my stories without having to argue with people who think they're on a holy war to stop the terrible writers.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Supermodel

A supermodel wearing a ForceCast T-shirt and holding my Luke Skywalker FX lightsaber.


That is all.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gryffindor!

So I got into the early-access Pottermore beta. It's got a J.K. Rowling-approved sorting hat quiz.

And it put me in Gryffindor.


YEAH.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I saw the Wonder Woman TV Pilot

Title says it all.
So, yeah, I saw the pilot episode of the not-picked-up Wonder Woman TV series. It had unfinished special effects and some questionable editing, but it was maybe 95% there.

Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first:
-It's not comics-accurate. It has Diana at the head of a company which merchandises Wonder Woman in order to pay for all of her crimefighting gear and forensics labs for crime-solving.
-The costume is really oversexed. Diana herself doesn't act slutty, but her outfit is extremely revealing. It's low-cut at the top and rides high on her hips when it doesn't need to. It just feels awkward. Also, there are three versions of the suit that are seen: "shiny pants/blue boots," "normal pants/red boots," and "briefs/red boots (the original costume but shinier)." She changes in-between these three costumes with no reasoning, once in-between shots of the same scene.
-Diana kills. In her quest for justice against evil drug-people, she tortures one thug for information, uses another as a human shield in a hallway (causing him to get shot and presumably die), and throws a metal pipe into another thug's throat, killing him instantly. It feels very, very odd. It's not just inconsistent with the comics, it feels inconsistent with the rest of the show.
-Going along with the last point, there's a select few elements of the show that feel a bit too "mature." There's one point where Diana angrily uses crude terms to refer to her overly-voluptuous likeness as a toy doll, and a few scenes with a bit of extreme violence that contrasts bizarrely with the relatively light tone of the show.
-The dialogue isn't that well-done. It's rather bland, in matter of fact. No brilliance whatsoever.
-There's nothing really truly remarkable about the show at all. It just doesn't feel quite important or epic enough to deserve the name Wonder Woman. The pilot episode of Smallville did an amazing job of rooting that show in deep, family-driven drama while staying true to the core of the comics and crafting a story that was perhaps low-scale (being set in a small Kansas town), but felt extremely important. Wonder Woman's pilot does none of this. It just feels like the show is being run by children playing with makeup and action figures.

Now, the positives:
-Diana is presented as a real, human person. It's acknowledged that she's an Amazon from Themyscira (they even pronounce Themyscira correctly), but she's not the stiff-worded, alienated character that she's shown to be in most modern interpretations. She's a twentysomething young woman who manages to feel like an extraordinary yet still normal person. It feels somewhat like the interpretation of Clark Kent in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. She might go out and "kick dudes in the head" (she actually says that to her cat at one point), but she ultimately goes back to her apartment and relaxes in front of the TV like anybody else.
-There's a lengthy fight scene, that, up until the killing at the end, is actually really cool. It's a bit cheesy, but it  works, and it's a lot of fun.
-She's got decently well-done romantic tension with her (at this point, former) love interest, Steve Trevor. It's vaguely implied that they have the same comics history of him having been a pilot that crashed on Themyscira, but now he's become an FBI lawyer. Maybe it's the fact that I grew up watching J.A.G. and therefore like the idea of fighter pilot lawyers, but I'm okay with this.
-The whole idea of Diana owning a company, as stupid as it is, does make sense from a certain point of view. The Batman comics recently had a similar idea, where Wayne Enterprises publicly funded crime labs for the local P.D. as well as providing crimefighting tech for individuals acting as Batman-themed crimefighters across the globe. Also, in the pilot, Diana is shown to be almost dismissive of her company, as though it's merely the means to an end—that end being bringing criminals to justice.
-Adrianne Palicki definitely looks and acts the part. She's a bit of a younger Wonder Woman (even though she's a good bit older than Lynda Carter was when she played the character), but that works. She's got the exact kind of statuesque elegance that Diana needs.
-She's really really hot.
I couldn't find another way to say that.
-The show might be mostly unremarkable, but it's at least fun.

So, in the end, I think this actually might have worked. It definitely needed a few changes (make the costume less shiny and revealing, remove the killing and torture, and maybe tighten up the dialogue a bit), but it would have been a fun show.
At the same time, it definitely would have been nothing more than a guilty pleasure show. I'd much, much rather have a show that took itself a bit more seriously. It's clear that the crew behind this show really didn't know what they were doing, other than crafting a story that basically boils down to excuses to put Adrianne Palicki in tight-fitting outfits with a mildly interesting plot.

I would have watched every single episode had it aired, but it also probably wouldn't have been that great. Like if you gave me an unlimited supply of cheap store-brand soda. Sure, I'd drink it all the time, but I'd be under no illusions that it was anything special.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Friends My Age

So, this is kind of a funny thing. You'd think it wouldn't be a big deal, but it kind of is.
I don't actually have that many friends my own age.

Most of my friends are, at closest, about ten months younger than me. Most of them are actually a good several years younger or older on average. It's a weirdly alienating thing. I'm usually either a big brother or a younger one; rarely an equal. It's actually hard to relate to people who are farther away in age, even if it's only a matter of months.

It's not like I'm ungrateful for the friends I've got, it's just kind of hard not to feel alone sometimes.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Halo

Halo is amazing.
It seriously is.

I'm not really sure why I didn't see it before. I'm guessing it was because all these years before, I'd been trying to play Halo like it was a different game. I grew up on PC first-person shooters predominantly based on the Quake III and Unreal Tournament engines, so I had no idea how to play a game that only let you carry two weapons at a time or didn't involve you merely running at enemies with guns blazing. Halo has a sort of ultra-simplistic chess-like quality. You've got a limited amount of ammo for only two weapons (plus grenades) and you have to decide how best to use your skills. Prioritization is the key; dividing up your various skills between your opponents all while paying attention to your recharging shield meter.

It struck me last year that Halo isn't a shooter in the normal sense of the word; it has an ultra-refined simplicity that one sees generally only in classic games like Mario, Zelda, and the like. Once I understood that, I went back to Halo: Combat Evolved (the first game, for people who live under rocks) and played it through. It's now one of my favorite games of all time. It's like it finally clicked in my head, and now I understand what the rest of the world saw that I didn't. I absolutely love it.


Concurrently with my Halo game-playing, I've been reading a ton of the side material for the series, mostly consisting of novels and comics.
The novels are wonderful. They take characters that seem shallow in the games and give them depth. They give the universe detail and texture. They just make everything better. The comics are less consistent. It's like no one is really doing any quality control or trying to make everything in the comics congruous with the rest of the universe.

Halo is a kind of special event. Its fans treat it with the same kind of reverence and love usually bequeathed upon movies like Star Wars. Playing Halo with friends is like playing a backyard sport. It's just for fun, but there's definitely a degree of skill to be gained and utilized effectively. It's got a perfectly-balanced focus on casual fun and competition, so no matter who you are or what you want to do with the game, you can enjoy it. That's something that other games can't seem to get quite right. Call of Duty seems to lean way too far towards the competitive side, while some other games just aren't fun for more skilled players.

There's one more facet of Halo that truly makes it special: the music. Martin "Marty" O'Donnell does much the same for Halo that John Williams did for Star Wars decades ago. His music breathes life into the universe and stands alongside the greatest soundtracks of all time—gaming or otherwise.




(skip to 0:53 and turn your sound WAY up)


To your ears:
You are most welcome.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

DC: The New 52


As I mentioned before, DC Comics is rebooting their universe in September with 52 all-new #1 issues. It's not a "hard reboot" in that a lot of the major events from the comics' history will remain intact (mostly in the cases of Batman and Green Lantern), but everything is now up for grabs and most of the DCU probably won't be the same again.


I plan on actually reading every single #1 issue. I probably won't keep reading them all, but I'm definitely going to give each of them a try. I figured I'd list them all, along with my preliminary thoughts. I don't expect anyone else to understand anything I'm saying, so don't feel bad if you just want to stop reading.

Anyway, here's the list.
(visit TheNew52.com for story info)

The books are divided into 7 "families:"

Superman
The Superman books are completely being redone, with very little continuity staying at all.

Action Comics #1 by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales
Grant Morrison is pretty much the undisputed master of Superman writing at the moment. This is probably the book I'm looking forward to the most.

Superman #1 by George Pérez and Jesus Merino
Definitely interested to see where this goes. They're definitely shaking up the current Superman status quo, while also returning to the classic Superman/Lois/Clark love triangle, which should be interesting.


Superboy #1 by Scott Lobdell and R.B. Silva and Rob Lean
No idea if this is going to be any good, but a similar concept appeared on the Young Justice TV series not too long ago, and it seems to be working pretty well. 


Supergirl #1 by Michael Green and Mike Johnson
It's basically an "alien girl lost on Earth" story, which sounds interesting. The art looks pretty amazing.


Batman
The Batman books are mostly retaining their recent continuity, so it looks like I'll need to brush up on my Batman book-reading a bit before starting this up.


Batman #1 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.
Scott Snyder is a master at telling dark, deep, and disturbing detective stories. This is definitely one of my top five.

Batgirl #1 by Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes.
I am SO EXCITED that Barbara Gordon (the original Batgirl; the redheaded one from the 60s show and the animated series) is back in her original role. Another of my top five.

Batman And Robin #1 by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
This is one of the rare books that actually is continuing somewhat from the story before, and I'm not up-to-date on my B&R comics. Still, though, I think I might do my best to catch up on B&R just so I can read this.

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 by David Finch
Before this reboot, Batman: The Dark Knight was supposed to be a book centering on Batman fighting magical and supernatural threats, which isn't at all something he's used to or comfortable with. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be based on the same concept, but either way I'll give it a read.

Batwing #1 by Judd Winick and Ben Oliver
An African Batman-type hero fighting threats unique to Africa? Sounds cool.

Batwoman #1 by J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder
I haven't read any of the Batwoman comics before, but I hear they're great, so I'll eventually check them out. Hopefully in time to read this issue at its release.

Birds Of Prey #1 by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz
I don't really know much about this series, and what I've heard hasn't hooked me. But Birds of Prey has been a critically-lauded series in the past, so I'll see if this one is good.

Catwoman #1 by Judd Winick and Guillem March
Totally reading this.

Detective Comics #1 by Tony Daniel
More Batman! Yay?

Nightwing #1 by Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows
As my username might suggest, I looooooove Nightwing. But this new red costume makes him look more like Nightwing's evil twin. Oh well; I'm still hopeful the book will be good.

Red Hood And The Outlaws #1 by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort
I hear this is supposed to be a more comedic take on gunslinging anti-heroics. Sounds pretty awesome.


Green Lantern
This one might actually be keeping every bit of its continuity from its recent 6-year run. Fortunately, I've read that entire run, so I'm good to go on these!

Green Lantern #1 by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy
Definitely reading this. I'm very interested to see how the recent mega-twist in the story plays out.

Green Lantern Corps #1 by Peter J. Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna
GLC has always been a great book. Looking forward to reading it more.

Green Lanterns: New Guardians #1 by Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham and Batt
I'm glad that they've finally put the rainbow of various-colored lanterns in their own separate book so they don't dominate the main books anymore. And a GL book with Kyle Rayner as the lead character? Awesome.

Red Lanterns #1 by Peter Milligan, Ed Benes and Rob Hunter.
The Red Lanterns are mostly people who just snarl and vomit space acid. So I'm not really sure how a book focusing exclusively on them will work.


Justice League

Justice League #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee
Top 5. Geoff Johns and Jim Lee might be the two best creators DC has (alongside Grant Morrison), so the fact that they're collaborating on DC's flagship book is perfect. It looks to be a little more popcorn-blockbustery than Action Comics, but this will probably be the best-looking book out of the 52.

Justice League International #1 by Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti
I'm not real familiar with the JLI, but I'm interested to read this. If anything, its ongoing story connections with the main Justice League book will be cool to see.

Aquaman #1 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis
Geoff Johns has a way of making Aquaman awesome, and Ivan Reis is up there with Jim Lee as one of the best artists in the industry. This is a definite read.

Wonder Woman #1 by Brian Azzarello #1 and Cliff Chiang
I know very little about the specific story for this book, but I really hope it's good. I've been waiting for a great, definitive Wonder Woman story for years now.

Flash #1 by Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul
Francis Manapul is an artistic genius, and one of my favorites. His recent run on Flash was extremely fun, and this looks to be much the same.

Captain Atom #1 by JT Krul and Freddie Williams II
I've always found Captain Atom rather interesting. I'll be interested to see how they do this.

Fury Of Firestorm #1 by Brian Clevinger Gail Simone, Ethan Van Sciver and Yildiray Cinar.
No idea what this is, but it's Gail Simone co-writing, so it's gotta be funny at least.

Green Arrow #1 by JT Krul and Dan Jurgens
Really interested in this one. Green Arrow's new ultra-cool costume design is awesome, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how the character is reinvented.

Savage Hawkman #1 by James Robinson Tony Daniel and Philip Tan
HAWKMAN SMASH.
Yay.

Mr Terrific #1 by Eric Wallace and Roger Robinson
Mr. Terrific is supposed to be one of those characters that no one realizes is actually amazing, so this should be good.

DC Universe Presents #1 by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang
An anthology series focusing on random minor characters from the DCU? Awesome!


The Dark
The mystical, darker side of the DC heroes.

Justice League Dark #1 by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin
Zatanna, Deadman, and John Constantine on the same team? Aw, yeah. Bring it.

Animal Man #1 by Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman and Dan Green
I don't actually know that much about Animal Man, but I hear that he's actually a really great character. And apparently this is an almost straight-up horror book? Sounds cool.

Demon Knights #1 by Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert
A medieval-era book featuring Etrigan the Demon fighting evil magical threats. VERY excited to read this.

Swamp Thing #1 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette
I actually know very little about Swamp Thing, but apparently he's one of the best comic characters of all time? I'm gonna have to read up on his history before reading this. It certainly looks different enough to be worth reading, and Scott Snyder is a perfect for the dark tones this book is supposed to have.

Frankenstein: Agent Of SHADE #1 by Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli
This sounds so bizarre that it has to be worth reading. Looks like it might have a Hellboy vibe.

Resurrection Man #1 by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Fernando Dagnino
I've only ever read one story with Resurrection Man, but he was totally interesting. This definitely has a shot at being cool.

I, Vampire #1 by Josh Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino
I literally know nothing about this book.


The Edge
DC's villains, anti-heroes, and general non-Justice League heroes


Stormwatch #1 by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda.
I don't really know any of the characters aside from one, but I hear in the first story arc they FIGHT THE MOON. Yeah. The moon.


Voodoo #1 by Ron Marz and Sami Basri.
No idea what this is supposed to be about.

Blackhawks #1 by Mike Costa and Ken Lashley
The Blackhawks are one of my favorite parts of the WWII-era DC universe, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how they're reinvented as a modern team.

All-Star Western #1 by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Grey and Meridat.
Jonah Hex is already an interesting character. Throw in the fact that this first story is going to intersect with Old West Gotham City and the Batman history, and this is looking awesome.

Deathstroke #1 by Kyle Higgins, Joe Bennett and Art Thibert.
Deathstroke is one of the most entertaining villains in the DCU. I really hope this series is good.

Grifter #1 by Nathan Edmondson
I seriously don't know anything about this character.

OMAC #1 by Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen
I don't think I really have any faith in either this book's concept or its writer.

Men Of War #1 by Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick.
Much like the Blackhawks, this is a WWII concept (Sgt. Rock) revived for the modern age. So, basically, it's Sgt. Rock: Modern Warfare. I heartily approve.

Suicide Squad #1 by Adam Glass and Marco Rudy
I like the idea of the Suicide Squad. But why are Harley Quinn and King Shark on the team? Oh well. Might as well be happy that Deadshot's on the team.


Young Justice
The teenage heroes

Teen Titans #1 by Fabian Nicieza Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund
I really, really want this to be good. I love Tim Drake, Conner Kent, and Bart Allen. I want them to be done justice.

Blue Beetle #1 by Tony Bedard and Ig Guara
Blue Beetle is a really fun character. Looking forward to seeing what happens with him.

Static Shock #1 by John Rozum, Scott McDaniel
Static is long overdue for his own series in the main DCU. Super-happy to see this.

Hawk And Dove #1 by Sterling Gates and Rob Liefeld
I've been wanting to read a good Hawk and Dove series for a while. Definitely interested.

Legion Lost #1 by Fabian Nicieza and Chris Batista? Pete Woods
I'm not familiar with any of these characters, but the story sounds interesting.

Legion of Superheroes #1 by Paul Levitz
The LoS is one of my favorite elements of the DC universe. This book isn't supposed to be touched by the reboot, but I haven't been able to get into any Legion comic stories, so hope it'll still be put at a place where new readers can jump in.


*whew*
I need a break now.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bleh

Saw a pretty girl with her boyfriend at church today. Made me depressed.

Bleh.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Harry Potter

So I've discovered something recently.

I LOVE Harry Potter.
It's a weird thing. I didn't start watching the movies or reading the books until I was 16 or 17, and even then I mostly only thought it was "pretty cool." And afterward, I watched each film as it came out, read the first three books, but mostly kept HP off to the side. It wasn't really anything nearly as beloved to me as Star Wars, Star Trek, superheroes, Lord of the Rings, or anything else like that. But now that the final film's come out, I've been going back over the HP films and books, delving deep into all that lore and culture. And I've found that I really do love it.

It's not because of the magic, the imaginary creatures, or the epic plot. Those things make up the empty shell of Harry Potter; the lifeless body of it. What gives Harry Potter life, however, is the characters. It's those people that you grow to care about over the course of seven years. Their friendship is the stuff of epic legend, yet feels completely real. Furthermore, the world of Harry Potter is such that it encourages its young readers to imagine themselves and their friends in similar positions.

For those unfamiliar, the characters in Harry Potter attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and once there are sorted into one of four "houses," each with its own traits.

Gryffindor
Those in Gryffindor value bravery, courage, and chivalry above all else. They're usually the most "heroic" of the four houses, and most of the main characters in HP are Gryffindors.

Hufflepuff
 Hufflepuffs value friendship and acceptance. They're the most laid back of the houses.

Ravenclaw
Ravenclaws value cleverness and wit above all.

Slytherin
Slytherins value ambition, cleverness, and a disregard for the rules. They're also usually evil.

It's really remarkable just how much the idea of the four houses factors into Harry Potter fandom. Nearly every HP fan knows what house he or she would fit into, and friendships all over the world are given a sense of camaraderie (and friendly rivalry) through this fun element of the HP universe.
When I went to see the 7th film at the midnight theater showing, a huge portion of the teenagers in attendance were wearing the signature colored scarves showing their house allegiance.

That sense of identity might have been what I didn't quite connect to with Harry Potter initially. Every other fandom I've got comes with that identity.
I know who I would be in the Star Wars universe: a Jedi.
I know who I'd be in the Star Trek universe: a Starfleet officer; command division.
I know who I'd be in the Lord of the Rings universe: a knight of Gondor.
I know who I'd be in the DC Comics universe: Superman. (or so I'd hope)

But I was a good bit younger when I first discovered Harry Potter, and didn't really know myself as well then. Was I a Gryffindor? Possibly. I always admired the brave characters. Was I a Ravenclaw? Maybe. I value my intelligence quite a bit. Then again, I loved my friends more than most anything at the time, so maybe Hufflepuff?

In April of last year, I went through a church seminar focused on self-examination through group interaction. If that sounds vague, then yeah, it is. It's hard to explain. Anyhow, the point is that at the end of the seminar, each of the twenty-something people there were given new nametags to replace the ones they'd been wearing for the last two weekends. These new cards were simple descriptive words—titles, basically—that the staff felt defined someone's real inner strength. This was mine:

How cool is that?
I always sort of doubted my boldness, partially because I wasn't sure if I really was bold, but also because I didn't want to inadvertently become arrogant or prideful. But to actually have other people get to know me really well over a couple of weekends, and then give me that name? That was just amazing.
I also got knighted by the sword of Aragorn. Long story.

But after that, and after seeing the last two Potter films, I realized that Gryffindor really was where I'd fit. And somehow, that makes it all so much more personal. Those ideals—courage, bravery, chivalry—they're ideas that I can remind myself of when the need arises. Simple moral ideas that can stick with me.

In recognition of this realization (and because I wanted a new desktop wallpaper), I put this together:

Oh, also, by complete coincidence, today is Harry Potter's (and J.K. Rowling's) birthday.

Monday, July 11, 2011

blank

So I haven't posted much of anything here in a long while. I can't really explain why. I guess I just haven't had much to write about over the past year or two. I've been keeping up with some of my other writing projects, but haven't had much to say on my personal blog. Maybe it's just that nothing major's been going on; I don't know.

I don't want to bore anyone with more of my thoughts on all the geek-related TV shows, comic books, and movies that I'm into, unless it's something really remarkable. Like Wonder Woman's pants. I think I get really annoyed at the fact that people think of me as "the Star Wars/Star Trek/Superhero/Video Game guy." About a year ago, an old friend from high school found me on facebook. She IMed me and said "Hey Superman! :)" Now, this was because in high school, I wore a Superman T-shirt constantly, and "Superman" was a loose nickname of mine. I liked that a lot at the time. Heck, I encouraged it. But when my friend called me Superman last year, it just... bothered me. I'd like people to actually think of me as Aaron, not label me with whatever geeky interests I have.

Hmm. I hadn't actually intended to write all that. That was random. Okay, what else do I have to say...

I don't know. I guess that's it. I haven't been writing on here because I don't have anything to say.

Friday, June 3, 2011

DC Comics


So DC Comics announced on Tuesday that after the conclusion of their Flashpoint story event (which runs from May through August), the entire main DC Universe will be rebooted. That is to say that the entire universe will be "updated." The history of the universe will be rewritten (to varying degrees), characters will be at different (likely earlier) points in their lives, costumes will be updated, and all manner of other details will be altered.

This is what we're getting, come Fall:


That's the cover to Justice League #1. It's finally reuniting the classic team of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), and the Flash (Barry Allen) which is six out of the seven original team members. Also, they've apparently brought in Cyborg, a former member of the Teen Titans. Which is cool, I guess.
You can see the little costume changes. Batman has armored gauntlets. Superman has a collar, and he may or may not have lost the red briefs. Flash has a slightly redesigned cowl. Cyborg is sleeker and spikier. WONDER WOMAN HAS STUPID PANTS. -_-

A lot of comic fans are going CRAZY over this news. After all, it means that pretty much everything that's ever been written after 1986 (when the last DC reboot happened) might be changed. DC's also re-numbering every single book and starting over from #1, so Action Comics and Detective Comics—the books that launched Superman and Batman, also the two longest-running comics in history, currently at #901 and #877, respectively—will perhaps never reach their one-thousandth numbered issues.

This has been read by some comic fans as a slap in the face from DC, who are tearing apart the beloved stories from the past 25 years in order to make things easier for new comic readers to jump in. In essence, DC is supposedly sacrificing their current fanbase in order to make room for newer readers.

Personally, I don't think that's true at all, and I couldn't be happier with this news.

It's true that comic continuity needed to be rebooted to make room for new readers. After all, most comics are very hard to get into if you're unfamiliar with the decades-long history already in place. Furthermore, comics are a very, very unknown, tiny, and oft-overlooked industry. Even the absolute top-selling books out there never break a million issues sold. Most high-selling titles only get into the tens of thousands, and a big event book is lucky to break into the hundred-thousands.
Comics need to be available to the masses; characters like Superman and Batman should be able to be read by millions or billions of people, not mere thousands.

At the same time, there's no reason to sacrifice the integrity of the story that's being told, either. The interesting thing about DC Comics is that its characters are more archetypal and ideal-driven than Marvel's. It's the characters and the ideals behind them that make DC stories work, not the years of continuity.

So as long as those characters are the same at their core as they always have been, this is not only a good move for DC; it's a wonderful thing for the entire comic book art form. And, so far, judging by various comments from people at DC, it really seems like they're doing just that. Except for Wonder Woman's stupid pants.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Minimalist Design

So there's this artist, Justin Van Genderen. He does minimalist art in the form of posters. I absolutely love some of the stuff he's done. These are a few of my favorites:











The Metropolis and Gotham ones are my favorite; I'm totally getting those and putting them up in my future house that I don't own yet.

Van Genderen's site is here. Go look. There's awesome stuff.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wonder Woman - Cancelled


The new Wonder Woman TV series has not been picked up by NBC, and is thus not being made.

Blast it. I had just accustomed myself to the fact that this series was going to exist. I'd even convinced myself I was going to enjoy it!
Now what am I gonna do?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Green Lantern

So. The trailer for the new Green Lantern movie came out late last year.



Now, that's not exactly a bad trailer, but it's certainly not the best it could be. It kind of makes Green Lantern (both as a character and as a film) look like a joke, filled with clichés and dorkiness. It doesn't at all explain why Green Lantern is a unique character, or why we should see this movie.

Well, new footage of the film was shown at Wondercon this past week.



OH YES. THAT'S IT. RIGHT THERE.

The CG still looks very early, but the epicness of the mythos and story seem to be there. It's practically the inverse of the first trailer. And it's awesome.


In Brightest Day,
In Blackest Night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power:
GREEN LANTERN'S LIGHT.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wonder Woman TV Costume - YES.

So it looks like they changed the costume before actually shooting the pilot. These are photos of both Adrianne Palicki and her stuntwoman while filming the pilot:







Yes. Very yes.

The red bustier is still kinda shiny and silly, but it's not that bad. The pants aren't that stupid blue vinyl stuff, and the boots are actually red. So, essentially, it's the comic book costume with pants instead of briefs.
I am pleased. :D

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wonder Woman TV Costume - NO.

(Normally I wouldn't make three posts in a single day. But this needed to be mentioned.)

This is the first photo of Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman in the upcoming TV pilot by David E. Kelley (the guy behind Ally McBeal). Yeah, he's making a Wonder Woman TV series. It involves Diana of Themyscira being a successful businesswoman trying to balance her work life with everything else. No, I am not making this up. It's true.


No, I am not kidding. That's real.

See, here's the thing: we've heard the argument before that Wonder Woman's traditional outfit is too revealing and ridiculous; that it's "exploitive."


I'm sorry, but that TV costume looks FAR more exploitive than the "traditional" costume. With that bright blue and red sparkly latex, she looks like a streetwalker. Heck, even the "metal" parts of the costume look like cheap plastic.
It honestly looks like a very bad joke. I can't express just how pissed I am at this. More on it later.

Work

So. I got hired by a family friend to de-rust and re-paint an iron fence. I've been working on it for about 4-5 days a week over the last couple weeks. It's pretty hard work.



For various reasons, I've been having to get up at 6:15am each morning to go work on the fence each day. This morning, I did not want to get up and go. I only got about five hours of sleep, and wasn't at all thrilled with the idea of losing my precious 2-3 hours more that I wanted. I kept thinking up various reasons to stay home: I could say I was "sick" with allergies. I could say that I just felt bad because of a lack of sleep. The point is that, as silly as those reasons were, I probably could have used them and stayed home.
But, ultimately, I decided that going to work was the right thing to do.

So, this morning, I was out working until about noon when my allergies got so bad (in the hot sun and crazy wind) that I actually couldn't stay working outside any longer. The irony was not lost on me. So I left and went to the nearby town center to relax (indoors) for the rest of the afternoon. Through random crazy happenstance, I ended up running into a friend of mine that I hadn't seen in about three years. We talked and caught up with each other for a good ten minutes before he left, and he ended up inviting me to his wedding in June.

So, moral of the story: being lazy will not aid you in randomly meeting good friends from high school and getting invited to their weddings.
I learned something today.

117

This is my 117th post on this blog. As such, it seems only fitting that I extol the bravery, excellence, strength, and heroism of Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, SPARTAN-II Commando of U.N.S.C. Naval Special Weapons Operations (NavSpecWep).







Thursday, March 17, 2011

Podcast attempt

So. Tried to record a podcast tonight. Didn't work real well. Bleh.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Cali

So. I'm thinking of pursuing a screenwriting degree at UCLA.

That is all.

EDIT:
Nevermind.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Star Wars idea

So, I was reading Matthew Stover's novelization of Revenge of the Sith when I suddenly got to thinking:
If I was suddenly transported into the Star Wars galaxy, what would I do? Like, if I randomly ended up at the beginning of Episode III on Grievous's flagship as the Jedi were crashing, what would I do/say?
Probably, I would grab Obi-Wan and immediately say "CHANCELLOR PALPATINE IS THE SITH LORD YOU'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR. HE SET UP THE BLOCKADE AT NABOO TO GET THE SYMPATHY VOTE IN ORDER TO BECOME CHANCELLOR, AND NOW HE'S TRYING TO GET ANAKIN TO JOIN THE DARK SIDE AND DESTROY THE ENTIRE JEDI ORDER. Also, the clones are brainwashed so that they'll turn on you at a moments' notice. Oh, and PADME IS PREGNANT, and..." you get the idea.

What would happen, then, I wonder? I bet Obi-Wan would listen. He's reasonable. And, I mean, I could always just mention the fact that I know every detail of how he and Qui-Gon fought Darth Maul, right down to the exact moves they used. Heck, I probably know that fight better than he would.
And the Jedi could probably sense my honesty, right? Unless the fact that I'm from another galaxy means that the Force wouldn't work on me or something, kind of like the Yuuzhan Vong. Which is another cool idea...

I think I might actually write this story. It'd be pretty cool.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Political stupidity


11:10
Aaron Ross
OH MY GOD I HATE STUPID PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET
Sooo.... here's what happened.

11:12
Angela
:O

11:12
Aaron Ross
One of my favorite teachers (who is very left-leaning, politically speaking), posted a link to an article titled "Top 10 Shockers from the Republican War on Women."

11:13
Angela
Republican War on Women?  XD

11:13
Aaron Ross
It basically is a short list (admittedly, with source articles) that tries to take various facts and quotes out of context in order to suggest that the Republican party is actually waging a type of war on women.

So, here were some of the comments from people:

Maddy Barganier: I'm throwing up. That's ridiculous.

Edna Daniel: It's hard not to be political when such atrocious things such as redefining rape are actually being considered by our so-called representatives. Scary stuff.

(the rape thing was not true, btw, but it was stated as such in the article)

So this was what I wrote:

Aaron Ross: That article itself is what's stupid. Taking things out of context, finding the most extreme examples, and then trying to wrao them up into a massive conspiracy against women?
It's exactly the same kind of one-sided, lazily-researched dogma that Glenn Beck uses. It's meant to make you mad by painting an entire side of the political spectrum as "evil," NOT by actually informing anyone of anything, nor being "fair and balanced." It's a cheap shot, and it's stupid.

11:14
Angela
uh oh

11:15
Aaron Ross
So then I get FLAMED by people.

11:15
Angela
I BET YOU DID!!!

11:15
Aaron Ross
Justine Sunshine White: ‎@ Aaron: Did you look at the bottom of the article? The sources are listed for all of the examples. It's not a conspiracy when it's the simple plain truth. Check your facts before you argue "lazily-researched dogma."

Summer M. Williams: ‎@ Aron- you're stupid.
(I found that one funny)

11:15
Angela
"Aron" xD

11:15
Aaron Ross
Edna Daniel: ‎@Aaron- that site does cite their articles. No wonder LeeAnn tries not to be political on fb...I mean, with responses like yours- I don't blame her!

Aaron Ross: Justine and Edna: My apologies. By "lazily-researched" I meant "taking snippets of an article or issue and using it to represent the whole, in order to further a negative political point." Summer: Aww, thanks. You're real sweet.

Reese Pierce: Aaron, the only thing lazy around here is your proofreading. What does "wrao" mean? You are the one sounding like Glenn Beck.

Aaron Ross: I noticed that typo, yet didn't re-submit my comment because I figured you would all know what I meant. Heck, I didn't even call out Summer for misspelling my name.
Please, if you have an complaint, try to keep it to the issue itself. I have better things to do than be personally attacked.

11:17
Angela
I would I would keep doing those "better things" for a while until the issue dies down.  XD

11:17
Aaron Ross
Well, hey, I'm actually making decent points. Most other people are just calling me stupid, as though that's a legitimate argument.

11:18
Angela
True that!
I am of the belief that there are things in our government that are unfair to women, but a conspiracy against women??  That's boloney.  xD
and by things, I mean small things
kinks that could be looked at better

11:20
Aaron Ross
Everyone's treated unfairly in some way

11:20
Angela
Yup
Not even the government is perfect.  xD

11:20
Aaron Ross
It amazes me how for many people, politics is just "taking a side," and most of their points really boil down to just saying "I'm right; you're wrong!"

11:21
Angela
Yeah!
People are also waaaaayyyy too trusting of their sources.

11:22
Aaron Ross
That whole "redefining rape" thing is one of those instances where one phrase got blown up into something entirely different, and it was 100% only spread by people who were looking for something to nail the Republicans for.

11:22
Angela
Yeah!
How are they "redefining" rape, anyway?

11:22
Aaron Ross
Well, see...
There's currently a law in place that says that the government will not pay for people's abortions.
However, there's exemptions for various reasons
If you're raped, there's an exemption
And the government WILL pay for your abortion at that point
Now, take in mind that the Reps really just wanna abolish abortion for the most part anyway. But what they wanted to do was change that exemption so that if the rape was not "violent," (like, if an adult guy had consensual sex with a sixteen-year-old girl), then the exemption would not apply. It would still cover "violent" rape, but not the others that are "technically" rape.
So, essentially, what that was doing was redefining the way that rape is viewed in the context of that exemption.

11:26
Angela
Ahh.  Isee

11:27
Aaron Ross
But then people got hold of that news and started saying that the Republicans were trying to say that unless you can prove that you were violently raped, you weren't "really" raped.
And people conveniently left out the fact that it was only being applied to that government spending exemption.
So left-leaning people said that the Republicans were trying to change rape laws.
And therefore hurting rape victims—or worse, "targeting them."
Hence the "Republicans' War on Women."

11:29
Angela
Wooooooooowwwww
that's really... not right  o.o

11:30
Aaron Ross
Yeah, that's the kind of CRAP that people can twist out of really minor issues.
It's all about painting the other side as being ultimately evil.
And then when I decide to point that out? BAM—I'm suddenly called stupid, because I actually did digging and thought for myself.

11:31
Angela
D:<
Stupid people

11:31
Aaron Ross
Thank you.
-_-

Friday, February 18, 2011

TRON

If you've not seen TRON and/or TRON: Legacy, don't read the rest of this.  It'll mostly involve spoilers.


So, for me, TRON has always been a really personal story.
My dad was a computer programmer, and he was the one who got me into Tron as a kid.  That scene in the beginning of Legacy—where Kevin tells Sam about the world of Tron—was really familiar to me.  Also, check this out:

Disney hired an ARG company to make a viral marketing game for fans of TRON: Legacy.  They created a website for the fictional company from the Tron films, ENCOM.  On that site, there's a timeline of important events in ENCOM's history.
July 26th, 1989, is my birthday.  So, the day Kevin Flynn disappeared (and that opening scene of the movie) takes place ON MY BIRTHDAY.
Yeah. That's about as much a connection as there could possibly be.
But enough about me.

How awesome is the TRON: Legacy soundtrack?  I mean, really. Daft Punk has a few of their classic electronic beats in there, but it's mixed in with a ton of orchestral stuff. Awesome.

So the movie ends with Quorra going out into the real world. That's just crazy. I mean, how would she "work" in our world?  If Sam bleeds with human blood while on the Grid, does Quorra bleed pixels while in the real world?  Does Quorra have any special skills in the real world, like how users have special skills in the digital world?

The very last scene of the movie has Quorra in amazement at the beauty of our world.  It's really poignant because, at that point, the audience has been in the digital world for nearly two straight hours.
It's a really unexpected point, but it's made very well: Sure, the digital world is amazing, but how much more amazing is our world?
After seeing Tron: Legacy, I felt like I'd been taught an important lesson. Have you ever spent a few hours playing video games or surfing the net, then taken a look outside and marveled at just how incredibly beautiful the world really is?  Yeah. It felt like that.  Then again, the half-hour drive home from the theater at night was on an empty freeway, with nothing but my car's headlights illuminating the road; it felt very much like I was driving a light runner along the Grid.
Probably helped that I had the movie's soundtrack playing.

I think that, for geeks—especially computer wizards—TRON represents something special: the idea that the digital world isn't a stiff, meaningless distraction, or a lame replacement for reality, but is rather a somewhat magical place where ideas are crafted as bits and pixels; where pure fantasy becomes one step closer to reality. It's kind of like a refuge for a subculture that goes largely unnoticed or overlooked by most.

A lot of people probably won't—and never will—"get" TRON, or why it's so remarkable. But that's okay. In the end, that's part of what makes it special.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Transformers: Prime


So there's a new Transformers TV series out. It's called Transformers: Prime (a rather derivative name, but whatever).


I like it a lot. It feels "fun," like a throwback to old Saturday morning action cartoons, but it's well-done enough to not feel cheap or too immature. As a Transformers fan, I have to say that this is definitely my favorite TF TV series, and it eclipses the movies in nearly every respect.



Also, check out this guy's cover of themes from the TF films. It's awesome.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why I Dislike Twilight: Part 3

I caution you, readers. There's some sexual parallels that I draw, and it might get uncomfy for some of you younger ones.

A few months after the first Twilight movie came out, a friend and I had this joking repartee on the subject:

Elisabeth:
So... in the movie, they changed it, because in the book, Bella wasn't in her panties when Edward came to see her. That was the one part of the movie that everyone didn't like.
Aaron:
What?! That... that was... that was the entire point of the movie.
Elisabeth:
Uh-huh... explain.
Aaron: (this is where I start making stuff up, and inadvertently stumble upon the crux of the Twilight story)
That scene represents the entire movie. See, there, Edward and she make out, but they stop short of "doing anything" because he's afraid he'll go too far. So, they're doing something bad, but it's not all the way bad. And, like, her underwear is gray. And it's not lacey or anything; it's kinda normal. So, see, it represents her morality. She's in her underpants, but it's not overly-sexual or anything. But still, she's making out with a dude on her bed in her underpants. So... yeah. It's that gray color again. The moral grayness. It's that idea that a girl can walk the line between good and evil. That she can date the psycho stalker vampire, but it's okay because he'll still love her in the end. That you can walk the line between light and dark; night and day... the Twilight.
Elisabeth:
...wow....
Aaron:
...wow. I think I just stumbled upon the entire point of Twilight.
Elisabeth:
I think you did.

So that's it, essentially. The entire point of the Twilight story is contained within a girl's underpants. (double entendre fully intentional)
It's not a secret that most girls secretly fantasize about being with a "bad boy." So, of course, the fact that Twilight has a literal predator male—who is physically perfect, constantly dangerous, and utterly dominating—is highly appealing to that fantasy.
Twilight, on an emotional level, is for many girls what porn is for many men on a mental/physical level. A surface-level fantasy.

My real problem with it, however, is that it's a complete inversion of everything I believe in.

I grew up on real love stories, not nonsense. I was raised to believe that love was compassion, not obsession. True care, not simple desire. Something formed out of maturity, not blindness. I've grown up believing that the dream of true, honest companionship is something to be patiently, steadfastly waited for.
Let's look at this from a different perspective. What if the fabled princess didn't wait for her actual prince charming to come for her, but instead just ran off with the first obsessive guy that she met? How many fairy tales would be ruined? Heck, how many real-life potential fairy tale love stories are ruined by this sort of inadvertent shallowness?

In the third film, Bella says (in reference to choosing between marrying Edward and having a real life) that she needed to make a choice "between who I should be and who I am." Essentially, she's saying "I'm not quite right, so I won't make the right choice here."
Here's the problem with that: people decide who they are; they're not controlled by their nature. All Bella's doing in that scene is trying to justify what she knows is a bad decision by saying "I'm not perfect, therefore I can't do the right thing."

And that's it. That's the lie. The lie that choosing the bad boy over the good guy will yield a happy ending. The lie that embracing the darkness will allow light to shine through. As though even an undead being can somehow shine with light.

And it really makes me sick. It makes me worry.
For as long as I can remember (literally), all I've ever wanted to accomplish in my life is this:
Find whoever I'm supposed to be with—whomever she may be—and marry her. I've got other goals, too, but that one is paramount.
Am I going to be passed over because I'm not twisted enough to conform to some backward fantasy presented as true love? I really doubt it, but still. The very idea makes me furious on some level. For every time I remind myself that steadfast faith in love will win out eventually, there's a Twilight-style story there to say it won't.
And I really hate that.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Womens'-Only Gym

This was a conversation that Angela and I had.


Angela
I'm thinking about going to like a Fitness For Her kind of place.
like a woman's place.

Aaron
eww
Do they have, like, people there to constantly tell you that you're pretty, and not fat?
Or to listen to all your problems, without offering to fix any of them?

Angela
No. It's just that there's no men allowed.
No men to bother you or make you feel bad or anything.

Aaron
Do they weaken the upper arm workout machines without telling you, so you feel better about yourself?

Angela
You can't weaken steel weights. XD

Aaron
You can re-number them
Do they have secret rooms you can go to secretly eat chocolate when no one's looking?
Do the TVs only play the Lifetime and WE channels?
(and the new Oprah channel)

Angela
You're making it sound lame.

Aaron
Do they have an entire room dedicated just to Twilight moms and their creepy obsessions with teenage boys?

Angela
No. xD It's just excludes men. Men can't come in, stink up the place, show off all their muscle and mad skeel, and hog the gym. Women, even bitchy skinny women, aren't so pretentious as some muscle-men are.

Aaron
Do they have extra toilets in the bathrooms, just for bulimics?
Do the steamrooms have, like, model runways in them?

Angela
That would be awesome and you know it! XD

Aaron
That would be amazing.

Angela
lolz
I really wanna take yoga.

Aaron
I bet they teach that at the womens'-only gym

Angela
Right

Aaron
along with classes on self-empowerment, believing in yourself, and self-confidence.

Angela
Aw man. Women aren't that weak.
And isn't that all the same thing? o.O

Aaron
Well, yeah. That's how they make so much money.
They just make you take the same class three times.
They also have a class titled "You Don't Need a Man to Complete You"

Angela
xD

Aaron
Though, oddly enough, directly following that is a class on Twilight, and its deep and powerful message for women.
That's actually what it's called. "Twilight: Its Deep and Powerful Message for Women."
It's written in that weird Twilighty font, too. On a black background, with a moon in the sky.

Angela
o.O

Aaron
They also have a class named "Sports: What You Need to Know About It So You Can Keep Hating It."

Angela
XDDD

Aaron
There's a class on "The Look: How to Perfect It."
By the time you're done with it, your scornful gaze will be powerful enough to fry eggs on a slab of cold concrete.

Angela
that sounds cool
I wanna fry eggs WITH MY EYES!

Aaron
However, there's another class titled "Cooking: Man's Tool to Demean Women."

Angela
What kind of class would be for lesbians?

Aaron
"Why You Don't Need A Man to Complete You... But You Definitely Need a Woman."

Angela
xDDD

Friday, January 28, 2011

Buffy vs Edward

Part 2 of "Why I don't like Twilight."


Buffy vs Edward (Twilight Remixed)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Eclipse

So. I went into my local library for the first time since moving here last Summer.
It's a tiny place, but it's got a decent DVD selection. Among other things, I borrowed Twilight: Eclipse (the movie), just out of morbid curiosity. Here are my in-the-moment, ongoing thoughts.  I apologize for any semi-foul language.

-

0:34 - A random guy is walking through the rain, and is attacked by a random black blur. Somebody gave Smallville-Clark Red Kryptonite again. (sorry, non-Smallville fans)

4:14 - Ugh; this is stupid. It's entirely obvious that whoever wrote this only has a high school education. And only paid attention for about twenty minutes of an English lit class.

7:12 - So bored.

7:55 - Every song in this movie (and there are many) is apparently taken from a light rock douchebag playlist.

9:50 - Oh hey. It's not-Sokka from the not-Avatar: TLA movie. He's wearing a bright orange wig or something. I'm kinda scared.

11:18 - Hmm. Rumors of rampant vampire attacks sweeping the countryside. ABOUT TIME.

13:53 - Every secondary character in this movie acts as the voice of reason. "Are you sure about Edward, Bella? The way he watches you is really creepy." "I don't like Edward; I think he's a bad influence on you." "Hey, isn't it weird that Edward got you two plane tickets so you could travel away somewhere alone together?" And yet she doesn't pay attention.

16:15 - CG parkour through a forest. More weird-colored wigs. What the hell?

17:01 - Much as I wanna hate every character in this movie, I gotta respect the werewolves for having the brains to try and KILL EVERY BLOODY VAMPIRE IN SIGHT. Though their tendency to not wear shirts ups their douchebag level considerably.

18:38 - Jacob just got a rock music intro as he slowly turned toward the camera. It was hilarious.

19:00 - Bella to Jacob: "Why haven't you returned my calls?" Jacob: "Because I'm a moody teenage ***hole, that's why."

21:00 - Even the other werewolves make reference to Jacob's "melodramatic internal monologues." Apparently, the only thing worse than being a moody teenager is being a moody telepathic teenager.

24:45 - Everyone in this movie has apparently been drinking straight-up liquid testosterone and estrogen.

28:02 - Apparently, the makeup artist's idea of "make people look pale" is "dunk their faces in baking powder."

30:00 - Watching Edward and Jacob try to one-up each other in manliness is probably the gayest thing I've ever seen.

37:56 - Bella: "After you change me into a vampire, I'll have to explain to my family why I won't be visiting at holidays and stuff..."
Edward: "After a few decades, they'll all be dead anyway, and it won't matter."
Bella: "Oh! Okay! "

41:45- I think I've spent a good half of this movie so far with my face in my hands.

42:08 - Jacob, in a DISPLAY OF HIS AFFECTIONATE MANLINESS, grabs Bella and kisses her. She pulls back and punches him in the face. His face doesn't move, and she breaks her hand. HAAAAAAA.

42:45 - Jacob & Edward, their faces about four inches apart: SNARLSNARL GRRR RAWR SNARL. I seriously thought they were going to make out.

46:30 - Flashback to... 1920s drunken gang rape? What?

46:55 - Oh. Vampire vengeance. Gotcha. Still don't care.

49:00 - Dakota Fanning and three dudes with Justin Bieber haircuts watch over an alleyway vampire mob scene in Seattle. That's either the greatest or worst thing ever; I can't decide.

50:50 - The Valedictorian at Bella's high school: "This isn't the time to make hard, fast decisions. This is the time to make mistakes." That logic leads you down a bad road. I should know; I picked up this movie.

53:20 - This movie so far:
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57:13 - "Twelve [Vampire] Newborns are more powerful than an army of thousands," and "no human army could stop them." Clearly, Stephenie Meyer's idea of a human military was taken from M.A.S.H.

58:25 - Now a bunch of pale dudes in turtlenecks are wrestling in the forest. I'm strangely uncomfortable.

1:01:40 - Another flashback! This time to... Civil War-era Texas? Hrm. Not-Sokka's idea of a Texan accent is borderline-offensive to a native.

1:06:36 - An entire army of hipster douchebags. Somebody call Scott Pilgrim.

1:08:45 - Jacob: "You can love more than one person at a time." So... he's in love with Edward, too?

1:12:00 - Bella and her dad are having "the talk." Hmm. He's not giving her any advice on being with more than one person.

1:16:09 - Bella: "PLEEEEEAAAASE SLEEP WITH ME"
Edward: "WHAT? NO. NO. I'M IN LOVE WITH JACOB I COULD KILL YOU OR SOMETHING."
Bella: "IF YOU DON'T, THE PLOT WILL NEVER ADVANCE AND WE'LL BE STUCK HERE FOREVER!!!"
Edward: "...damn."

1:19:00 - Why does Edward want to marry Bella? She's a complete psycho. Does he think he can change her or something?—oh, right, yeah. =P

1:24:07 - The evil vampires are walking across the bottom of a lake, exactly like the skeletons in Pirates of the Caribbean. They even have the exact same pounding brass music in the background.

1:25:25 - Edward, Bella, and Jacob are camping alone together in a tiny tent. Man, if my theory about them turns out to be correct...

1:26:02 - Jacob to Edward: "I am hotter than you."

1:35:40 - Bah. Nothing happened in the tent. Just more teen angst.

1:36:40 - Vampire/Werewolf army face-off. Hmm. There's actually some cool fighting stuff in here. Surprising.

1:37:26 - I just realized what the vampires remind me of. Pale, dressed like hipsters, and constantly in weird statuesque/homoerotic poses? They're mannequins from The Gap.

1:40:45 - Dangit, Bryce Dallas Howard, you're too hot to be in this movie. GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

1:42:30 - Oh. Looks like she did. Good for her.

1:44:15 - Jacob "had all the bones on the right side of his body shattered." He looks the same, only he's grimacing and can't move.

1:48:10 - Awww. After fighting evil vampires together, the good vampires and the werewolves are friends! Lame.

1:54:28 - Oh, wait, that last scene was the movie's climax? Dang. I had no idea.

1:55:16 - Seriously. Could they have picked actors with any less chemistry than Stewart and Pattinson? I mean, it's three movies in and I still don't know why they like each other.

1:55:30 - What?! Credits?!? THAT WAS THE ENDING?!? Guh. Seriously, NOTHING HAPPENED IN THIS MOVIE. NOTHING AT ALL. You could skip this one and miss nothing in the plot, because THERE IS NO PLOT. The characters are all in the exact same places they were at the end of the last movie; nothing's different. One evil vampire character died, but that only took two minutes of screen time. I just watched two hours of nonsense for no reason.