Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I have a man-crush on Aaron Sorkin that borders on the unreasonable. The West Wing is one of the best television shows ever. Ever. Do not argue with me. It's literally the only show that I can watch in its entirety once every year. I'm talking all 7 seasons, my peeps.
Sports Night was a show Sorkin created just before Wing. In fact, it actually ran concurrently with it. Where Wing was feted and an immediate smash, Sports Night struggled along, and despite being critically beloved and possessing a strong fan following, it was cancelled.
That being said, it is still awesome, with a brilliant cast, superb writing and all the talking while walking down corridors that you could ask for. It was released in a depressingly bare bones edition before (which I managed to obtain before it went out of print), but now for its tenth anniversary it's getting a deluxe version from the good folks at Shout! Factory.
Here's a link to some product details, while here's some of my favourite quotes from the show:
Casey: [Reading a party invitation] “October eighth, nineteen-hundred and ninety-eight A.D.” A.D. They’re worried I might accidentally show up 2000 years before the birth of Christ.
Isaac: Danny, I need to talk to you.
Dan: Good, 'cause I need to talk to you too. Who should go first?
Isaac: Since I don't really care what you have to say, I think it should be me.
Isaac: Dana, the things that I say in my office stay in my office.
Dana: Natalie's my second-in-command, she's the only one I told.
Natalie: Jeremy's my boyfriend, he's the only one I told.
Jeremy: I told many, many people.
Casey: Ugh... How can I be cool again? I'm a newly divorced man, I'm young, I used to be cool, I need to be cool again. Help me... be cool again.
Dan: (pause) Well, first I would have to disabuse you of the notion that you were ever cool before.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Anyway, credit has been given, so here goes:
I don't know what's sadder: the expression on this gentleman's face, the fact that I know it's a Count Nefaria costume, or the fact that someone would actually make a Count Nefaria costume.
I have no idea who this character is or is supposed to be. What makes me most uncomfortable is the fact that he appears to be standing in my rec room circa 1979. It should also be noted that the maker of this costume is the same fellow who made the Count Nefaria suit above. This time, he wisely chose to hide his junk a little better.
Ah, Harley Quinn. Perhaps this costume is the one you will see most often at conventions, although most of the wearers will not be wearing this look of abject shame on their face. It's clear that she was forced to wear this after her boyfriend insisted she help him complete his Joker fetish.
Awwwwwww! To the cute-mobile!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
For those of you who don't know Wold Parade, they are a great band from Montreal, where incredible Canadian bands go to make it big, apparently. The odd thing is that pretty much every member is originally from BC.
Anyway, their 2005 album Apologies to the Queen Mary has been on my playlist since it came out. I think it (along with Arcade Fire's Neon Bible and Metric's two albums) is one of the best Canadian rock albums of the last decade or so. So pick up either of Wolf Parade's albums and give a listen. They are great.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Today, Uncanny X-Men, the comic published by Marvel since 1963, hits issue #500.
I've been a fan of comics for a long time. Pretty much since I could read. I started off reading mostly DC; Superman, Batman, the Flash, Green Lantern. Eventually some Spiderman crept in there along with some Captain America.
But I really started to become obsessed with comics when I read Uncanny X-Men #211, which had the kick-ass John Romita Jr. cover shown below.
How could you not like that cover? I read it and didn't really know what was going on, but it was dark, complex and brutal, totally unlike the happier DC comics I was familiar with. It hooked me. For a long time, Uncanny X-Men, as written by Chris Claremont, was my favourite series. When he left the series, so did I, and although I would come back every now and then, it never captivated me in the same way.
But with issue # 500, I'm thinking of jumping back in. Ed Brubaker is Marvel's best writer right now, and Matt Fraction works well with him (they co-wrote the excellent Iron Fist relaunch). Here's hoping that the magic is back.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The Watchmen trailer debuted on Friday, appearing online and ahead of showings of The Dark Knight.
Watchmen has long been one of my favourite pieces of literature, and I'm pretty excited to see it translated to the big screen.
While I really hope it's faithful to the spirit of the book, I have no illusions that every little nuance and plot point is going to make it in. This is one of the things that really irritates me about fandom in general. When something gets adapted from one medium to another, some fans always insist on an unreasonable level of faithfulness to the source.
Take Lord of the Rings. Fans were uspet that Tom Bombadil got cut. Apologies to anyone who loves Tom, but.......no, fuck that, Tom Bombadil sucks. I must have tried to read that book eight times, and every time I got stuck, it was at that part. You got all excited about the quest they're going on, there's a great sense of urgency, and then the story stops as they spend an interminable amount of time with a borderline moron who sings about trees. I finally finished the trilogy after resolving to skip over Tom Bombadil.
Back on point, the trailer looks gorgeous, with scenes that appear to be lifted right from the book. That being said, anyone who has never read it would be completely mystified as to what the hell is going on. Still, I'm excited.
You can view the trailer in all its HD glory here.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
It'll happen people. Stop looking at me like that.
First up - "The Rods from God"
This is from an article in Popular Science:
This technology is very far out—in miles and years. A pair of satellites orbiting several hundred miles above the Earth would serve as a weapons system. One functions as the targeting and communications platform while the other carries numerous tungsten rods—up to 20 feet in length and a foot in diameter—that it can drop on targets with less than 15 minutes’ notice. When instructed from the ground, the targeting satellite commands its partner to drop one of its darts. The guided rods enter the atmosphere, protected by a thermal coating, traveling at 36,000 feet per second—comparable to the speed of a meteor. The result: complete devastation of the target, even if it’s buried deep underground. (The two-platform configuration permits the weapon to be “reloaded” by just launching a new set of rods, rather than replacing the entire system.)
Here's a link the article itself for more terrifying info.
So, if I've got this straight, we are close to building a weapons system with the power of nuclear weapons, but none of that annoying fallout and radiation?
When Skynet becomes sentient, these are the weapons it will use.
Now, I am aware that the nominating committee for the Emmy's are roughly analogous to the Oscar folks; namely old as the hills. But still, you think they could pull their collective heads out of their collective rectums and get with the program just once.
The Wire is not nominated for best drama series.
Okay, okay, it's not everyone's cup of tea, I get it, but how many "best of" lists does a TV show have to be on before the body responsible for recognizing excellence in TV gets their shit together and recognizes some gee-dee excellence?
The nominees in this category are:
All good, worthy choices. But wait; Boston Legal? Boston Legal? No one I know watches that show. You know why? Because if you've seen any other David Kelly show from Picket Fences forward, you've seen that exact show over and over.
Now, I'm not saying The Wire has to win. But over five seasons, it has been acclaimed as an absolute masterpiece. It's a complex, rich, satisfying, mesmerizing drama that superbly examines urban life in America like no other show ever has. This is not just my opinion. It's been on countless top ten lists over its five year run.
So, maybe a shout out, one time, would be nice. If we don't recognize and reward challenging, quality shows, why should anyone make them?
Don't even get me started on Battlestar Galactica.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I'm stunned and manage to sputter, "Yeah."
She nods and smiles and says, "Cool."
Two things hit me after this exchange. One, it's a miracle I ever managed to string together enough wit to ensnare my wife, and two, the nerd revolution continues.
Not in a Revenge of the Nerds, pocket-protector, socially maladjusted, virginal sense. That kind of viewpoint is so 20th century.
Nope, I'm pleased to report that in the 21st century, nerds are no longer consigned to the basements of their parents or the "computer labs" at school, where they toil away transcribing Monty Python routines and writing slash fiction where Seven of Nine goes down on Dax. Which Dax? doesn't matter, my friends, doesn't matter.
Now, nerds seem to be in charge of all the stuff formerly run by "cool" people. We have our rock stars (Thom York from Radiohead, Ben Gibbard from Death Cab), TV producers (the entire production team behind Lost), actors (Michael Cera, Elijah Wood, Ellen Page are all kindy geeky), billionaires (uhhh, pretty much every billionaire in the tech industry).
In short, be prepared, all you assholes who used to lock me in my own locker in high school, I have seen the future and it is us.
So, from here on out, I'll be blogging all sorts of things related to the geeky and nerd-like, from new technology to cool music and film and TV. Hopefully I'll be entertaining while doing so.
I'm not doing action figures, though. Seriously, gotta draw a line somewhere.