July 19, 2014 § Leave a comment
June 12, 2014 § Leave a comment
Up next in a line of 1980s toy franchise reboots, Hasbro is in production on a Jem and the Holograms live action movie. I was never a fan of the Jem and the Holograms toys and cartoon, but my kid sister was; and being a fan of The Go-Gos, I found Jem a heckuva lot less annoying than Barbie.
Though Gen-X favorites Juliette Lewis and Molly Ringwald have joined the cast, this definitely looks like a project for a younger audience. Fans of the original Jem must now be in their 30s, and few of them will want to check out a film featuring an emo-looking Jem directed by Jon Chu, the man behind Step Up 2: The Streets.
We’ll just have to wait and see if this new incarnation of Jem is truly, truly, truly outrageous.
May 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
Work has kept me from posting in a while, but unless you’re one of the few who regularly read Think Tank by Matt Hawkins with art by Rahsan Ekedal, I need to tell you:
Think Tank is kind of like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare written by guys who want to explore the politics and moral issues of destroying your enemies with groundbreaking technology. Though it’s far from Image Comics’ best-selling title, I have to believe it’s one of its best. What makes this one-shot Fun With PTSD essential reading is just how sophisticated, relevant, and poignant the story is.
Without giving too much away, Think Tank: Fun With PTSD is a one-shot comic book about a government scientist named David Loren who attempts to cure the PTSD of a friend who is a Navy SEAL. Loren is the funny and rascally kind of genius, but the seriousness of the situation takes the story into some affecting places.
There have been a few stories in print and on-screen that address PTSD, but Think Tank is unique in that it examines the biological aspects of the disorder. Scientists have known (or at least suspected) for a while that there is a biological component to PTSD. I’m a veteran who doesn’t have PTSD (most don’t), and I volunteered to be in the control group for a study on PTSD’s affect on the physical brain way back in 2007.
Hawkins and Ekedal take time in the story to explain a lot of the science. This is one of the reasons to love this series: it treats the reader like he or she is smart. If we’re honest, most current science fiction treats you like you’re a reasonably intelligent eight-year-old. In explaining the science, these creators take a serious look at the issue and its solutions. And a tangible solution makes for great storytelling because it gives our protagonist a concrete goal.
So even if you don’t want a moving story that takes a serious look at PTSD that’s respectful of America’s veterans, you actually get a quality science fiction story, where real, relevant science fuels the story, as opposed to the science fantasy that audiences usually get. And if you don’t want a quality science fiction story, you get an emotional story about the effort a person will give to save a friend in need. And if you don’t want any of that, Ekedal’s ink-wash is gorgeous.
And if you like ANY of that stuff, well, you don’t enjoy life very much, do you?
May 14, 2014 § Leave a comment
May 1, 2014 § 1 Comment
Proving that Spider-Man is more amazing when he isn’t computer-generated.
April 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
BBC reports that a bunch of Andy Warhol’s work has finally been recovered from a 30 year old Commodore Amiga 1000.
Magnetic imaging tools were used to copy data on the disks so no damage was done to the original floppies. Examination of the copied data revealed several files that had titles such as “campbells.pic”, “flower.pic” and “marilyn1.pic” that were reminiscent of Warhol’s best-known works.
The recovery project was initially thwarted from viewing the actual images as the data was saved in an obscure format that modern Amiga emulators could not read.
Though you can’t help but applaud the efforts of Cory Arcangel and the Carnegie Mellon students who recovered these pieces, this incident is a real argument for working in analog formats. Modern film stock is supposed to last 100 years, but I don’t even have the photographs I took with my last cell phone anymore. Unless you’ve worked in film and TV for more than 15 years you won’t remember 1-inch video tapes, and those things were supposed to preserve our projects for forever. Now we’ve got everything in “The Cloud,” which really just means we’re letting somebody else take care of the physical home of our work.
As the artist’s technology develops, more and more visual art is moving towards digital formats, and though there are a ton of things we can do digitally that we can’t with ink and paper,
March 31, 2014 § Leave a comment
For the record, David Ayer’s Sabotage is definitely worth seeing. The plot is over-the-top, as are the characters and the gore, but the film is a (mostly) sincere police thriller that doesn’t devolve into an “Arnold Schwarzenegger film” until the very last scene. Arnold is good in his role as the salty, old leader of a DEA special ops team, and the rest of the cast is friggin’ amazing. Mireille Enos (The Killing) really stands out as a drugged-out wild banshee, and I really like Olivia Williams (Dollhouse) carrying a pistol.
There’s been a lot of press calling this movie a flop, and though it’s not fair to compare it to the successes of Arnold’s heyday, compared to more recent, similar films, Sabotage still had a pretty weak opening. But we don’t measure success in dollars, and with the gore on horror-movie levels and some of the best small unit tactics I’ve seen on film in years (suck it Zero-Dark Thirty), Sabotage has the makings of a cult film favorite.
March 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
I love The Rock, who stars.
I got mad props for Steve Moore, who wrote the comic book.
I don’t really like the work of Brett Ratner, who directs.
Verdict: With Brett Ratner having a history of taking great comic books and great actors and making a crappy (but admittedly profitable) movie (I’m talking about X-Men: The Last Stand), I’ll read the comic book and watch the movie when it plays for free on Netflix.