Monday, May 31, 2010

Michael Bay To Re-make TMNT or "Your Childhood Cartoons Aren't Safe!"

Platinum Dunes, the production company of Michael "I like to blow stuff up REAL good" Bay, is set to produce a new live-action TMNT film, alongside Paramount and Nickelodeon.

Michael Bay, you are the devil, sir.

R.I.P. Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper passed away over the weekend. This saddened me greatly, as Mr. Hopper was one of my all-time favorite actors. He had such a presence about him that if I was channel-surfing and came upon a movie with him in it, I would stop and watch that movie for a bit. He was a dynamic actor and I will truly miss his work. 

Suggested Film Viewing:

-- Easy Rider
-- True Romance
-- Knockaround Guys
-- Hell Ride

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Animated `Jonah Hex` Coming Soon or ``Double The Hex, Maybe Half The Fun``

I don`t know about you all, but I have some serious reservations about the upcoming live-action `Jonah Hex`movie. I do think it`ll be entertaining, but I don`t see `Jonah Hex`, I see `Ghost Rider`. I want to like it, but every time I see the TV spots or catch an Internet ad, I cringe. Then, I was checking out the extras for the `Batman - Under the Red Hood`animated DVD and found out that there is an animated `Jonah Hex`animated short to be included on the disc.

Little info has been released. And by `little`, I mean a bare boned description, some voice casting and a few stills from the piece. The titular hero is to voiced by Thomas Jane (The Punisher, HUNG), as well as Linda Hamilton and Michael Rooker also providing voices.

The animated short is described as follows: 

"In the DC Showcase story, the tough-as-nails bounty hunter Jonah Hex always gets his man - until someone else gets to him first - in this case a murderous madam who wants to steal more than just her bounty from Jonah Hex."

I know I`m kind of judging by the cover here, but I have higher hopes of a more faithful adaptation with the ``DC Showcase`` animated short than the live action movie. Here`s hoping I`m just talking out of my butt and they both do well. 

But, I mean, Come on! Dynamite guns?!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Retro Gaming Makes For Great Music or "8-Bit Music Rocks"

We all love retro stuff when you're a geek. I mean, who doesn't like the old school 8-Bit NES games of yester-year? Or classic rock songs of the late 20th century? Well, I recently found a combination of the two that make my geek-senses go ballistic. Thanks to StumbleUpon, I found this link featuring an 8-Bit rendition of `Carry on Wayward Son`by the band, Kansas on Produced by The Disco King, an 8-Bit musical artist, the song is an awesome cover of one of my all-time favorite rock songs. Check it out and let me know what you think!! -- ``Carry On Wayward Son`` 8-Bit Cover

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mark Hamill Done As the Joker or "The Last Laugh"

In an interview with the gaming website IGN, Mark Hamill stated that after "Batman - Arkham Asylum 2", he would be retiring from providing the voice for the "Clown Prince of Crime". This saddens me a lot because, for the last 18+ years, Mr. Hamill  has become as synonymous with this role as Kevin Conroy has with Batman. No one can do it better in my opinion. Jeff Bennett on "Batman - The Brave & The Bold" comes close, but that only counts in horse shoes and sniper shots. One of my favorite things about "Batman TAS" was Hamill's Joker laugh and sinister/whimsical voice. And he really cared about how the Joker's laugh should be used, as this video clip shows.

Thank you, Mr. Hamill, for all the years of entertainment your voice has provided!  (Via Topless Robot)

IGN's Interview with Mark Hamill - click here.

My Favorite YouTuber Posts 100th Video or "Iron Man Proves Musical Numbers Not Completely Lame"

If you have never checked out or heard of 'ItsJustSomeRandomGuy', you really need to because he is ,quite honestly, one the funniest guys on YouTube. He does little stop-motion animated videos using his collection of Marvel and DC toys to showcase his talents for comedy and songwriting , as well as commenting on various elements of pop-culture. 

Yesterday, he posted his 100th video and it was 10 shades of awesome. Not only did he celebrate in style, he did it in song! It takes a lot of talent and heart to pull off what was essentially a rant on the lack of  continuity in the 'Distinguished Competition's" stable of movies, while giving it a Disney-esque musical feel.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Doctor Who Theme Performed With Tesla Coils or "Science Makes Music, Not War"

ArcAttack, a musical performing group who use hand-made Tesla Coils (!!!), recently performed their rendition of the classic "Doctor Who" theme at the Bay Area Market Fair.

Never before have I seen science produce something this epic. Okay, the dinos in "Jurassic Park" were bitchin', but nothing trumps the Doctor! (Via GammaSquad)

LOST Explained With Post-Its or "It All Actually Makes Sense?!"

LOST, the mind and genre bending sci-fi series, recently ended its six year run. And I did watch it, here and there, but I was never able to get behind the show. I'm the sort of ego-maniacal fanboy who needs the story to make sense right away. I appreciate long form story telling in TV, even when it takes place over 2 - 3 seasons. So when I was alerted to this YouTube video by a Tweet on my Twitter list, I jumped on it because I had to know how it worked.

Sweet Zombie Jesus, it all makes sense!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Heroic Age Hits Marvel

Hi all you authentically geeky fans out there. big G here with news from the Mighty Titans of Tale-telling at Marvel as they enter their newest company wide re-vamp "The Heroic Age".

The Heroic Age is the most recent of a long line of Mavel epic cross-over type stories that started way back when Brian Michael Bendis began writing for Marvel in 2004 and have been running back to back ever since! Except this time, there are no cross-overs; just a theme that is running through each of the titles creating a unifying a company storytelling concept.

For those of us who have been reading since the start of the Bendis mega-saga the Heroic Age promises to be a breath of fresh air. Starting in 2004, Bendis took the Marvel-verse through a series of climactic hero-altering story lines in which the good heroes we've come to know and love have to get gritty and dark by making choices they never thought they would have to in a world where they are constantly on the run and don't know who to trust. It all started when the Avengers fell apart in "Avengers Disassembled", which led directly into an alternate reality ran by Magneto in "House of M", a super hero "Civil War" followed closely by a full on "World War (with) Hulk", the conspiratorial who-can-you-trust "Skrull Invasion", the bad-guys took over in "Dark Reign" and it all culminated in the most recent "Siege" of Asgard.

Six years, this has taken. Six years of our favourite characters running around not knowing who to trust, fighting their friends, making completely out of character choices to "fit in with the new dark era" and generally feeling like one overly extended REALLY bad 90's emo comic. Now don't get me wrong, I like the sense of continuity that Bendis brought in and I fully realise that bad things happen and even heroes sometimes have to make tough decisions, but six years, SIX YEARS?!? This has been WAY too long in coming.

But it's here now, so the complaining might as well stop. So far Marvel has graced us with a slew of new #1 issues to get readers back on track with the heroes we know and love. For those of you who would like a wider look at the grand picture that Marvel is set to lay out, Marvel has published titles like Enter the Heroic Age, a one-shot that highlights the upcoming exploits of the Avengers Academy (formerly the Avengers Initiative), the Agents of Atlas, a new solo series for long-time fan-boy favourite spy-girl Black Widow, a new title featuring the newly ressurected Hawk-Eye and Mockingbird (which of course is nothing like D.C.'s popular Green Arrow and Black Canary series...), and a new line-up of villains you love to hate in Thunderbolts. The four-part "Age of Heroes" is a series of short stories that highlight the new atmosphere of the Heroic Age with stories like "Thumb on the Pulse" which stars Mayor J. Johna Jameson coming to terms with the public outpouring of love for the return of the Avengers.

For those of you who are still quick you can get your hands on a copy of "The Avengers" #1 in which Steve Rogers, formerly Captain America currently America's "top cop" in other words the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. or whatever they decide to call the superhero equivalent of the F.B.I., picks out the new avengers squads and sets up a new epic battle with the most classic of all Avengers villains: Kang the Conquerer! Also fresh out of the gates are "Atlas" #1, which features the Agents of Atlas and their newest recruit 3-D man, the Invincible Iron Man is on part 2 of his first Heroic Age story, Amadeus Cho is the 8th smartest person in the world and is taking on the daunting task of ressurecting Hercules in "The Prince of Power", and Deadpool is even getting in on the fun with issue 23 of his new series starting off a fresh heroic take on Deadpool in Las Vegas!

Whether you're a new fan wanting to jump into comics or an old vet. like myself who is desperately searching for a hero that you can actually respect instead of a mopey, dark, "I don't wanna be bad" emo-jerk, now is the time to Make Mine Marvel!

Face Front True Believers -big G-

DC Comics Alternate Comic Covers In FRINGE Finale or "Somewhere, Over The Rainbow"

In last week's season finale of FRINGE (one of my favorite shows on right now), there was an easter egg for the eagle-eyed fans out there. In one scene set on the parallel world that has become the 'big bad' of the sci-fi series, we could briefly see framed comic covers on the wall of an apartment. Covers that suggested Superman died during the original "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and Jonah Hex joined the 'bwa-ha-ha' version of the Justice League. I've always enjoyed it when sci-fi series use the 'alternate world' concept, especially when we get cool treats like this.

Click on the image below to see a comparison between the 'alternate' covers and the originals. It's pretty sweet.

Star Wars Pancake Molds (!!!) Available or "I Find Your Lack of Syrup Disturbing."

If you simply cannot start your day without something from that galaxy far, far away, fear not! Grab that box of quick mix pancake batter and heat up the griddle! Courtesy of the folks at, for the low price of $20.00, you can cook up breakfast in the shape of a Stormtrooper, Jedi master Yoda and the badass Sith Lord, Darth Vader!!

I kind of wonder if Lord Vader would prefer blueberry or chocolate chip pancakes, but I suspect he is a waffle man at heart.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Geek Bio: Danger Socks

Real Name: Stacy.

Yes, a girl geek. much as I'd like to throw a lot of neon signs and pointy things at that (italics; bold; and underline with some exclamation points mixed in with a number and then a smiley face) I won't because I know a lot of girl geeks, so being a geek with boobs doesn't seem so special as the stereotype makes it out to be.

(And a lot of boy geeks have boobs, too. Which is okay. I am okay with that...)

Alias: Danger Socks.

Once upon a time I was a daydreamer. I still am, and I've learned to be okay with it. But all I was was a daydreamer. And it's pretty depressing to compare life to what it isn't, or to spend so much time imagining yourself to have certain skills like Batman, when you know deep down that you're not Batman. That Batman isn't real, but even if he were you still wouldn't be sidekick, let alone Dark Knight.


The mundane is sad, and we all know it. We all read comics, and watch movies and escape from living our lives. We all wear socks (clean, dirty, mismatched, whatever) and go to work and hold out for New Comic Wednesday, or that new Marvel blockbuster, or the awesome video game release. We watch for our webcomic updates, prime-time series finales, and our dandy Think Geek accessories to arrive in the mail. We represent ourselves by what we like, but we are often NOT what we like or would like to be.

Mundane is mundane, really. It's perspective. And for a time it was not something I looked at favourably. I didn't want to find, meet and marry Tim Drake. I wanted to be him. I didn't write Mary-Sues so I could have a boyfriend and be loved. I wanted to create characters who could realistically do what I could do. And those things they did were awesome stuff that scared me.

So yeah, that's where Danger Socks came in.

"They're just socks."

"But they're danger socks."

Let me rephrase.

"No really, they're danger socks."

And wearing danger socks, I went to Japan to train with real ninja. Twice. Wearing danger socks, I dressed like a super-hero and climbed a twenty-three story building for charity. I storm-chase in my mom's car wearing danger socks. I had shrapnel in my neck after a shooting course, which became the coolest Tuesday ever. I've become certified in first aid "just in case" and those danger socks are ready to step into almost anything now.

The danger socks were essential as a step to move my fiction, my daydreams of choice, into something I could grasp. To be my comics, and to read them too.

Geek Interests: It started with manga. Current favourites are anything from Kazuya Minekura, and Naoki Urasawa. A fateful Free Comic Book Day sale lead to me reading Teen Titans and wanting anything to do with Tim Drake. DC comics lately, though, have been fumbling around with his character. And when DC disappoints me, the things Marvel does only gets better. Presently, I adore Image Comics' Chew and I am saddened by the imminent end to Ex Machina from Wildstorm. I play Magic the Gathering and where I work at a comic book store, I run casual tournaments every other week.

In Closing: Duhhhhhhh...I can't really think of a worthy closing. So, until I'm smart enough to chew out an article for this blog, I'll challenge you all to wear danger socks. Do something only your geek heroes or your daydream self would do. Start taking those steps. Promote yourself into their/Your league.

Bridge your fiction and your reality, and banish your mundane.

-Danger Socks

Top 5 Characters on "The Hilarious House of Frightenstein"

"The Hilarious House of Frightenstein" was one of my absolute, must watch TV shows I was addicted to as a kid! A rare mix of slapstick comedy, educational segments and wonderfully campy characters, "Frightenstein" ran for 130 episodes, starting in 1971 and continuing well into the 1980's. The episodes had no over-arching storyline, but were linked through the buffoonish antics of Count Frightenstein (Billy Van) and Igor (Fishka Rais), his bumbling, incompetent lab assistant. They even had Vincent Price, the Godfather of schlocky horror movies, introduce each segment, as well as open and close each episode. The producers of the show created a treasure trove of lovable characters and puppets that was only rivalled by 'Sesame Street'. I loved them all, but I liked some more than the rest. And here they are!

#5) The Wolfman - The werewolf disc jockey of radio station EECH, who was a parody of legendary broadcaster Wolfman Jack. The Wolfman would rock out to music and dance in front of a trippy psychadelic background and was often joined in this by Igor.

#4) The Grammar Slammer Bammer - A large and gruff purple puppet who would routinely threaten to pound on Igor if  he got a word wrong during the educational segment where the disembodied voice of the Grammer Slammer would test Igor's  spelling ability.

#3) Gronk - A purple sea serpent that would chat with Count Frightenstein while he was reading a book. Gronk would answer questions incorrectly, interrupt at the oddest times and generally drive the Count completely loony.

#2) Grizelda, the Ghastly Gourmet - Grizelda was a witch who hosted a cooking show that was broadcast from Castle Frightenstein. It didn't matter what  ghastly recipe she concocted, they all ended the same way: she cracks her head on a pot hanging over her cauldron, then declares the recipe a failure after it causes a small explosion. 

#1) Count Frightenstein - The 13th son of Dracula, Count Frightenstein had been exiled to Frankenstone, Canada (!) some years before because of his failing to awaken Brucie J. Monster, the ever present 'Frankenstein' on the slab in his laboratory. Assisted by Igor, his clumsy and incompetent manservant, the Count never stopped looking for a way to revive Brucie, when he wasn't collecting rent from the various tenants (Grizelda, the Wolfman) or creating goofy get-rick-quick schemes.

God, I loved this stuff when I was a kid and I still do to this day! And the best part is, the show is still broadcast on a regular basis on Space - The Imagination Station, TV Land Canada, Drive-In Classics and MTV2. I think I`m gonna`go dig out my `Frightenstein` DVDs and watch them again right now! Later days! OR, as Mr. Vincent Price would say.....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Over-Sized Kitchen Creations or "Can I Get Some More Cheese On That?"

"This Is Why You're Fat" is a website where people can post pictures and recipes of monstrous, coronary-inducing sandwiches, desserts and other cholesterol-laden culinary creations! It's scary how many times I said "God, I'm hungry!" while looking through the varied posts.

Some of my favorites include:

-- The Breakfast Cabin

-- The Red Robin Italian Burger

-- The Bacon Mug

-- The Steakinator

-- The Double Stuffed Pizza Fatty

I'm pretty sure if I tried to consume "The Bacon Mug" or "The Steakinator", my heart would explode as a precautionary measure! If I ever win 'make you stupid' money in a lottery or something, I will take a vacation and try to eat some these things. I'll probably give myself a heart attack doing it, but I'll die happy with a full stomach!

The Chatty Duel---The Princess Bride or "You Gonna' Talk Or You Gonna' Fight?!"

One of my favorite movies of my youth! One of my favorite sword fights/duels of all time!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Robert Burden Paints Voltron or ``I May Not Know Art....``

Artist Robert Burden made this time-lapse video, in which he painted a portrait of the classic `Lion Force` Voltron, which consists of 1200 pictures taken over 900 hours. One word: EPIC!

He also did a kick-ass Battle Cat, too.

I can`t find the words to say how awesome these works of pop-art are!

New Transformers Cartoon Shaping Up or ``A New Transformers Show That's Just Prime!"

Just can't keep a good robot down. Hasbro, maker of Transformers and other toys, acquired a 50% controlling interest in the Discovery Kids channel last year. With plans to re-brand the channel with more entertainment programming for kids, they also plan to bring out a new Transformers animated series, entitled "Transformers PRIME". Few details have been released to this point, mainly about the voice actors involved.

-- The new "Robots in Disguise" will be based mainly on the designs of the live action movie. Check out the re-designed Bumblebee.

-- Starscream's characterization will be based on the back-stabbing version of the G1 series.

-- Jeffrey Combs (Herbert West in "Re-Animator", The Question in "Justice League Unlimited") will voice Ratchet, the mechanic/doctor of the Autobots. (Sweet!)

-- Johnny Yong Bosch (Vash the Stampede in "Trigun", Adam Park in "Power Rangers") will be voicing Bumblee. (Yay!)

-- The greatest voice of the 1980's will re-prise his defining role. Peter Cullen will be voicing Optimus Prime!! No word on whether Frank Welker will be voicing Megatron, though! (Fingers crossed, people.)

I think this series has some incredible potential, based on the voice acting alone. I cannot wait `til this show premieres, which is (hopefully) sometime this fall. OH YEAH, this is gonna`rock!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fan Makes His Own War Machine or "We Can Build It. We Have The Technology."

This makes me proud to be a nerd/geek/fanboy. Anthony Le, fitness coach and Iron Man fanboy, created his own 'War Machine" armor. The helmet opens up, it's dent resistant, the cannon barrel actually rotates and he built his own (non-functioning) ARC reactor!!

Mr. Le, did you know you're my hero?! (Via Popular Science)

"Premakes" The Empire Strikes Back or "Wow, Star Wars Is Older Than I Thought"

It takes a certain kind of dedication (and madness) for someone to make a tribute like this. I certainly would like to a '50s-era trailer for "A New Hope" and "Return of the Jedi". But not the *shudders* Prequels. Never the Prequels. Never again. Do you hear me, Lucas?! NEVER AGAIN!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

NBC Has A New Super-Hero or "HEROES?! We Don't Need No Stinking HEROES!"

Just days after announcing that "Heroes" would not be renewed for the fall season, NBC released their 'up front' line-up for fall. After reviewing the list, I think I may have found my new favorite show to watch. After "CHUCK" & "Burn Notice", of course. It's a new 'super hero' show called "The Cape". It's the story of Vince Faraday, loving husband/father and dedicated police officer, who is framed as a serial killer and seemingly killed in an explosion. After being rescued by a group of carnival performers/bank robbers, he discovers the extent of the corruption in his city, which is ruled over by the mysterious villain know as Chess. Vince joins forces with the carnies' leader, Max Malini, who trains Vince to fight back as the hero of his son's favorite comic book.

Seriously, this show couldn't be any more awesome than if it was created by Stan Lee! The premise alone screams 'silver-age comic book'. I mean the hero is framed for a crime he didn't commit, is trained by circus folk to use their skills in his fight and his main motivation is to make sure his son doesn't grow up believing that there isn't any good in the world. I swear to God and his brother, Jack Kirby, that if this show doesn't make at least 3 years on TV, I gonna' start watching infomercials for entertainment!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ronny James Dio Passes Away or "Heavy Metal Now Less Heavy"

One of the elder statesmen of heavy metal rock is now rocking the afterlife. Ronny James Dio, the only man with the chops to replace "the Blizzard" as Black Sabbath front man, passed away on May 16th due stomach cancer. Dio, with one of the most powerful and recognizable voices in rock music, leaves behind thousands of fans who love his work, a legacy that spans over SIX decades of music, and the 'metal horns' hand gesture (which he popularized during his run with Sabbath in the early '80s).

When I was young and just getting into rock, my dad always had some Ozzy or Black Sabbath cassettes (yeah, 'cassettes". It was the '80s!) laying about. I always loved listening to heavy metal music as a kid. It wasn't until years later, as I started paying more attention to those kick-ass tunes, that I discovered Mr. Dio. He had a voice that just made everything he ever sang seem so epic in nature. So throw up those horns and salute one of the Godfathers of Heavy Metal, Ronny James Dio!!

\m/ Rock on, sir! \m/

Saturday, May 15, 2010

DJ Shows 'Street Fighter' Some Love or "Wanna' Punches Boredom In The Face?!"

Earlier this week, I posted about the fan film, "Street Fighter - LEGACY". It was just one example of how popular "Street Fighter" is amongst its fans. And now another of the SF fandom has stepped forward with his offering. "Akira the Don" is a hip-hop producer/rapper in the UK, who also happens to be a bit of a gamer. To show his love for all things "Street Fighter", Akira has recorded a SF remix album (wherein he samples some of the music from the classic series) and is offering it for FREE download on his website. Seriously, how cool is that?! Go on and download it. You know you want to!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Haim Sabam Resurrects Power Rangers or "Can't Keep A Good Super Powered Ninja Down"

Fans of the "Power Rangers" franchise (and I am one of them) cried out as nerds are want to do when it was announced last year that "Power Rangers RPM" would be the last PR series, as Disney wanted to follow the same path as Toho Studios with the "Godzilla" series and let interest build for a few years. The Mouse House did however start re-broadcasting the original "Mighty Morphin" series, with anime style edits ("because kids love anime" -- Disney exec) and a cover (?!?) of the original Ron Wasserman theme song. Why?! The original was ten kinds of awesome!

Well, I have some good news. Topless Robot has reported that Haim Saban, the billionare that first brought us Power Rangers back in the '90s, has reacquired the rights to PR from Disney and a new series will air in 2011. I am very happy at this news, but I have just one question. Will the new series will be a remake of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger?! Because if it is, then we will be seeing small kids running around swinging toy swords fighting aliens again very soon. And that makes me smile because then i will know that the '90s still live!!

                                                                                                          -- Phreak711

EDIT: Found this on YouTube earlier. Too cool not to share. This is just awesome!!

Human Target Renewed By FOX or "Hell Has Frozen Over"

Hallelujah, praise the Lord and thanks to the Baby Jesus! FOX has earned at least 20 cool points in my eyes after I read this little tidbit on Entertainment Weekly's website. "Human Target", my favorite new show, has been picked up for a 13 episode, 2nd season. That means we get more of Chi McBride scowling, Jackie Earle Haley being a laid-back bad-ass and Mark Valley portraying the coolest man of mystery you'd ever want to have on your side!! OH, I feel good! Time to 'happy-dance'!!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Video Game Fan-Films Kind of OK or "Not As Bad As The 'Super Mario' Movie!"

In the last week, I have come across two examples of what happens when a geek's love for video games is combined with a film project. First is "MegaMan", a fan film made over a year ago by film-maker Eddie Lebron.

 "MegaMan" is a decently done fan effort, clocking in at 90 minutes. The plot is somewhat reminiscent of the first game, the costume designs and SFX are decently done (though a little low tech) and the acting was a little stiff, but serviceable. I especially liked the performances of 'Roll' and 'Dr. Wily' a lot. If you have the time, watch the  "MegaMan" film on Vimeo.

The other 'diamond in the rough' was a fan film called 'Street Fighter - LEGACY".

Done with the blessing of 'Street Fighter' publisher, CAPCOM, "SF - LEGACY" was put together by Joey Ansah, actor and 'Street Fighter' fan. He got a professional director (TOP GEAR director Owen Trevor), an actual production house for SFX and managed to cast two guys who actually look like Ken and Ryu!! We even get a little cameo by Akuma (the Shao Khan to Ryu's Liu Kang). It is actually much better than what has come before ("Street Fighter" starring Van Damme) and WAY better than what we got last year ("Street Fighter - The Legend of Chun Li"). Seriously, if you are a fan of the games, check out "Street Fighter - LEGACY".

Now, if only someone would do a decent 'Super Mario Bros." movie! Oh well, a geek can dream, can't he?

3-D To Enhance The Already-Enhanced or "Is This Really @%#$*-ing Necessary?!?"

Apparently, the 3-D phenomenon currently sweeping the film industry is set to take over the printed page as well. This month's edition of "Playboy" magazine will have a centerfold .... presented in 3-D !!!

** cricket's chirping **

Thanks SO much, Mr. Cameron! Your little independent sci-fi movie has made life even more awesome! Like I really needed 3-D glasses to look at a Playboy Centerfold! First we get 'reality TV', now this! Ooh, my head hurts. (via geekologie)

                                                                                                               -- Phreak711

Oh, no not another RELAUNCH

Hiah all you Authentically geeky fans, big G here with more carefully crafted complaints from the front-lines of comic publishing.

I'm here to talk about the recent rash of relaunched comic series that currently plague the comic industry.  Now don't get me wrong.  I like launching points, I like fresh directions on tired stories, part of me even likes costume redesigns; but I do not like to be bored, and lately comic relaunches have fallen into some cliches that are creating some of the driest, text-filled, wastes of comic paper ever printed.

My latest bout of relaunch disgust was brought on by issue #25 of Invincible Iron Man by Matt Fraction over at Marvel Comics which relaunches the Iron Avenger after suffering a self-induced lobotomy so that the Iron Patriot, Norman Osborn, couldn't steal his Iron-Man tech secrets.  This issue was so boring.  Nothing happened in it, NOTHING!!!

With the exception of a four panel/one-page battle sequence between a new villain and some bored military goons, the entire issue was one long conversation: Tony Stark talks with Pepper Potts about his current life situation, Maria Hill talks with James Rhodes about Tony's recent past and why he can't remember anything, Tony talks with Pepper about his company, new villains talk about their future plans, Tony talks with Reed Richards about losing his memory and building a new suit, Tony talks with Pepper about his company again, Tony talks with Thor about the mistakes Tony made as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Tony talks with wealthy financiers about his company, then finally Tony puts on the armour and, and...AND?!?  Flys into the foreground saying "I am Iron Man".  That's it, that's all folks, that's all she wrote; hope you liked the show.

Well I didn't, not one little bit.  As a clerk in a comic-book store, I completely understand the need to create points in a story-line where new readers can jump on and not feel lost, but to write an entire comic that is one big filler with absolutely no killer at all?  This is Iron Man here, not Days of our Lives!  Where's the giant robots, where's the zoom and boom, where's the action?!?  Tony doesn't even fire a single repulsor blast!!!

Sadly, this is not limited to Iron Man or Marvel comics, over at D.C. the launch of their newest "Brightest Day" theme has had several "launching-point" issues where all we see is people talking about where they are in life and what they plan for the future.  SO WHAT?!?  Don't tell me what you're going to do, just DO IT!  and for god's sake give me a reason to pick up issue #2 other than, "I hope I get to see Iron Man do something this time".

-big G-

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Legend Falls....

For those that haven't heard, legendary (and I mean LEGENDARY) fantasy painter Frank Frazetta passed away after suffering a stroke while in hospital earlier today. He was always one of my favorite artists as a kid. I grew up reading back issues of "Conan the Barbarian" magazine. You know, the old over-sized black and white mag?! His art was both vibrant and dark, dynamic yet subtle. He worked his magic on Conan the Barbarian, Solomon Kane, Spider-man and Vampirella in many of the old school comic magazines published throughout the '70s and early '80s . His art brought to life stories of ancient gods and human heroes. Adventures that seemed all the more real because of his art. Mr. Frazetta was an artist, one of only a few that I would say is truly worthy of the title. You will be missed, sir.

The 'Science' In Science-Fiction or "Does It (Really) Matter How It Works?"

Ever wonder why stuff works in your favorite comic book or sci-fi movie? Have you ever thought "how does Captain America's shield always come back to him?" or "how are the Jedi able to move things with the Force?" I think about this stuff a lot. But when you read as much as I do and work a job where you are alone for hours ata time, you'd think a lot about this stuff too. Or about whether or not 'LOST' will make any sense at the end. It won't.

 A good friend of mine once explained that there are two scholls of thought on this and he did it using Star Trek and Star Wars. The science in Star Trek is explained using theoretical but explainable physics, like the Alcubierre drive mathematical model that provides the basis for the warp drive of the Enterprise. Now Star Wars goes the other way with it's science. It works because it does. No more, no less. Hell, flying in space is pretty much the same as flying in an atmosphere. How is this possible? Because it looks cool, that's why!

I personally subscribe to the Star Wars method: no explanation necessarily needed.  I like to think that such answers don't matter as long as the desired effect or outcome benefits the narrative by making the action seem that much more exciting. Why is Captain America able to throw 'his mighty shield' with such pinpoint accuracy that it can knock out every bad guy before ricocheting back to him? Because it goddamn does! What causes the Millennium Falcon (and every Star Destroyer in the Imperial Fleet) fly safely thru space and stop on a dime? The hyper-spatial framinflatz, for all I know. My point is that every Batarang thrown by Batman need not be explained. Suspension of disbelief not withstanding, whatever 'deus ex machina' or 'macguffin' is thrown at me doesn't matter, as long as it doesn't seem too unbelieveable.

Now, there are others who would argue that the science should be explainable. This line of thought says that the adamantium on Wolverine's skeleton should be breakable, as there is no such thing as a truly 'unbreakable' alloy. Using real science, there is no way to explain how Chewie or Han could fly their ship with such precision and NOT fly into a meteor storm. The science behind such popular concepts in fiction should be explainable, no matter how theoretical or fanatsical. Which is probably why Star Trek wins out in this particular arguement.

Who's right and who's wrong? Who can tell the difference? I can't. It either works or it doesn't. I just think that if looks cool, it doesn't seem too outlandish and makes some kind of sense (common or otherwise), it's all good! And, in the end, Captain America throws his shield like a pro, Spider-man swings like a monkey on a vine and the Falcon makes the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Does it make sense? Hell no! But it sure looks cool, though!

                                                                                                      -- Phreak711

Friday, May 7, 2010

Stephen King's Dark Tower, a movie?!?

Hiah Authentic Geeks, I've got some cool, but scary news for you...

I stumbled across an article on the net that promises the following:
"Stephen King’s masterful fantasy series “The Dark Tower” is headed for theaters. As part of a deal being worked on at Universal (but not yet completed) the seven books which comprise the Dark Tower story will be condensed into three movies, in a script written by Akiva Goldsman and to be directed by Ron Howard."

Now, if you're like me and a Stephen King fan, then you'll definitely know the Dark Tower and the scope of this massive work.  The series stars Roland, the last Gunslinger, on his quest to find the Dark Tower in a world that has "moved on"; think post-apocalyptic but in a magical/mystical way where time and space bends, mutants roam vast deserts, and society has reverted to an almost feudal state.  Dark Tower is Stephen King's magnum opus, it combines nearly every story element he's ever played with over his entire career, it's a truly epic story; and it's entertaining beyond belief.   

But as was mentioned, Dark Tower is SEVEN books long, SEVEN.  Not only that, but each book, except the first one, tops off at a minimum of 500 pages with two of the novels topping 700 pages for a whopping total of 3712 pages for the entire series!!!  Now for anyone out there like me who has ever seen a movie that has been made from a book or book series you know the simple fact: BOOKS ARE ALWAYS BETTER THAN MOVIES.  This is not movie's fault, it just cannot be helped.  Books can take SO MUCH time to tell their stories, they have absolutely no time restrictions, they can be as massive as they want, while movies top off at about a 3 1/2 hours maximum before audiences start to get antsy; unfortunately, this in no way compares to the average length of a book.

So far, the only director to take a massive book series and make a decent film-adaptation has been the amazing Peter Jackson and his epic remakes of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.  But Tolkien's books were not only smaller, contained lots of descriptions which can edited from the movie with good cinematography, but also had one film per book; and Jackson STILL was not able to put everything he wanted into the cinema releases of his films, even though each one topped the 3 hour range.  

Now Ron Howard, an incomparable director in his own right, wants to attempt to condense seven much larger books into a movie trilogy?  It just won't work, there's absolutely no way it could happen and still be anywhere near as satisfying as King's books, even if each film was 4 hours long! However, there are rumours that if the films do well then there will be a television series that follows the film series, this could be a saving grace because a good television series can last as long as a good novel and the films could cover the first two or three novels and let the television series finish off the book series.  Sadly, it doesn't look like this will be the case as King is currently writing an 8th Dark Tower novel that deals with events and characters that do not happen or appear in the first seven novels and it is not currently known if the television series will cover this novel or new material all together.

Ultimately, I feel this is bad news; wicked-bad.  Looking back at the history of movies and other media, movies have an incredible knack for KILLING their adaptive counterparts when the movies flop.  Judge Dredd was one of the best selling of Britain's 2000 A.D. comics until Stalone killed it with his horrible adaptation.  The Mask tells a similar story with Jim Carey.  Even films like the original Star Wars trilogy have been nearly ruined by their recent unplanned prequel events.  In short, these films threaten to take Stephen King's most worth while novels and bury them under a sea of cinematic crap that could ultimately destroy one of the best adventure/fantasy series in existence.  DON'T DO IT RON!!! LET THE MOVIES DIE PLEASE!!!!!!!!! - Big G -

Original article:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Geek Sightings #2: Alexander The Great Is A Power Ranger?!?

If you are a guy and a nerd, you love watching Spike TV's "Deadliest Warrior". They match up great warriors from history (Ninja vs Pirate, anyone??) and then scientifically work out who would win in a fight. Once again, while I was watching the new episode, I geeked out a bit (just a little, mind you) when I saw Jason Faunt (Wes the Red Ranger from "Power Rangers Time Force") portraying Alexander the Great against Atilla the Hun.

Now, I was of course rooting for the Red Time Force Ranger to win. Not because he was a Power Ranger, but because he was portraying Alexander the Great, the dude who redefined 'strategic warfare'. Even though the Hun annihilated Alexander, I thought it was pretty cool a Power Ranger was playing him. I mean if Jason David Frank (Tommy the Green Ranger) can become a MMA fighter (no, seriously, he is!), then it's not that far a stretch for Mr. Faunt to portray one of the greatest conquerors in history!

Geek Sightings #1: Power Rangers Command Center Now Church

           Last night, I finally got around to watching the latest episode of "The Mentalist", one of my favorite shows on TV right now! The episode featured a church/cult, whose HQ looked mighty familiar to the Super-Sentai fan boys out there. I had no idea (NONE!) that this was a real building. It's called the "House of the Book", which is really a futuristically designed building on the Brandeis-Bardin Campus of American Jewish University. This building has been used by a lot of TV shows and movies over the years. You can see it in "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny", Marilyn Manson's "Dope Show" music video and "The Lawnmower Man". And, of course, the "House" was used as the Power Rangers headquarters from "Mighty Morphin' " thru "Power Rangers Turbo". Who knew?

Humble Indy Gaming Bundle

Hey there all you Authentic Geeks,

Here's some breaking news that's only gonna be fresh for one week.  A promotional/charity group  calling itself the Humble Indy Gaming Bundle has released a bundle of independent gaming's latest, greatest, block busters consisting of World of Goo, Aquaria, Lugaru, Penumbra, and Gish.  But here's the best part, this wonderful bundle of joy is being offered for "pay what you want", meaning you could pay $1,000,000,000 or you could pocket these jems with a hot little five-fingered discount.

I've only played World of Goo myself, but let me tell ya, this game is most worthy of your attention and a fair chunk of your time.  World of Goo is a puzzle game obsessed with Goo-balls.  The object of World of Goo is to collect as many Goo-balls as you can by building and manipulating amazing teetering towers with other, specialized Goo-balls.  All of this Goo-ball mayhem is wrapped in a superfluous, yet surprisingly engaging story about a society that destroys itself over an all consuming lust for Goo-balls, youth, and power; sound familiar?  Maybe not yet...

I cannot recommend these games highly enough, they are amazingly fun and being offered free of charge! This is not only an enormous act of gratitude on the part of the game developers, but if you decide to donate, you can choose to divide your donation between the developers and two different charities: Child's Play, a charity devoted to bringing toys and games to children's Hospitals across America; and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a website devoted to helping "John Q. Public" protect themselves and their information on the net.  You can even give your entire donation to charity if you want!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Batman Does Adult Art Film

         I honestly cannot believe I hadn't heard of this 'til now, but they have made a porno parody movie of the Adam West "Batman" TV series! Seriously, here's the trailer. (Totally safe for work, but probably should not be viewed by anyone who is offended by the 'nut-shot' videos on "America's Funniest Home Videos". And YES, those people do exist.)

          Sweet Zombie Jesus, words fail me. I can't believe the production value of this thing. I mean, just look at the trailer. The attention to detail, from the car to costuming to Randy Spear's make-up covered mustache (ala Caesar Romero), is so spot-on, it's frightening! I can't help but wonder if the producer had West or Ward by the set to consult. And just in case Warner Bros./DC Comics have their lawyers laying in wait ......

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Up Coming Title Gossip

Well boys and girls, this is Authentic Geek, and when I promised you tales of creators upcoming creations, I hope you weren't expecting any juicy tidbits from teeny-boppers like Alex Meraz or Peter Facinelli, cause I ain't into that teen-vampire make out fantasy shit.  Instead, I've gathered for you some incidental gossip about geeky fan favourites: animator Scott Morse, crazy cartoon creator extraordinaire Doug Ten Naple, and counter comic culture's loudest screaming lunatic Eric Powell.

Scott Morse was not only one of the happiest creators I met, with a permanent kiddish grin plastered to his face and little cartoon-twinkle in his eye, but also one of the most generous; when we asked him for a sketch and handed over my girl-friend's book, he proceeded to take both blank pages available to him and create a full scene with character, props, and scenery, all free of charge!  Scott is currently working as a "story artist" at Pixar, which means he's a writer with a fancy title so Pixar can hire more writers while avoiding union regulations, on their upcoming Cars 2 project which he feels is genuinely a better film than the first.  Yeah, that's all I got here...go watch Cars 2 I guess...

When I was deciding whether or not to make the more than 600 kilometer journey from Saskatoon to Calgary and attend this Con, the straw that broke my cartoon-camel's back was the appearance of Doug Ten Naple at his first ever Canadian Convention.  Doug is the creator of the cult classic smash hit16 bit video game series Earth Worm Jim as well as numerous insanely imaginative creator owned titles published with Image comics including Iron West (Alien Robot Zombies Vs Cowboys with help from Big Foot), Gear (Cat armies vs Dog armies using giant Insect mecha), and Tommysaurus Rex (10 year old boy, Tyrannosaurus Rex pet "dog"), to name but a few of his works.  Doug was incredibly friendly and also looked like one of his own cartoon creations with a tall-lanky frame and shoulders slouched at awkward angles from hunching over art-tables for a living, all wrapped in an over-sized black zuit suit jacket.  Currently, Doug is working on the initial stages of a very "hush-hush" television production in the states that is going to feature puppets and stop-motion animation.  For anyone who is familiar with Ten Naple's cartoon creations you, like me, can only guess at the wondrous wackiness that is about to explode from that man's mind!

Finally, I was able to dish the most prolific gossip-goo from a short conversation I had with the unmistakable, un-sung hero of underground comix Eric Powell.  Eric has made quite the independent name for himself over the past decade with the creation of The Goon, a comic series about a mob enforcer named Goon who takes over his mob and wages a war on Lonely St. against the undead armies of The Zombie Priest.  The Goon has everything a depraved mind could dream of laughing at; hoards of ridiculously stupid zombies, re-living/un-dead reverse zombies (guy needs to eat zombie flesh to survive), giant squids attacking cars, and old ladies pooping themselves in the gutter while selling cinnamon dental floss necklaces with cat eyeball jewelry.  Currently Eric has quite a few titles on the horizon: issue #2 of Chimmichanga is right around the corner after suffering publishing delays due to extreme illness on Eric's part in February, a new mini-series starting the aforementioned re-living/un-dead zombie named Buzzard is on the way, and finally a sequel to the amazing, and in my opinion greatly under appreciated, six-issue mini series Billy the Kid's Old-Timey Oddities, a series where Billy the Kid is coerced into helping a family of "circus-freaks" on mystical adventures, is on the horizon!  All most excellent news for the black-humored masses who've been sadly starved on the comic shelves lately.
Till next time, Face Front True Believers,
- Big G -