Saturday, December 26, 2009

Screamers 2: The Hunting

Screamers is a favorite movie of mine. Not something I'll pop in to cheer me up like Bruiser, but if it's on, chances are I'll watch it. I'm sure a lot of that is because of Peter Weller, who is just aweesome. The first movie had an interesting premise, with two factions that had gone to war (the miners and the company who they worked for) and in the process created a weapon that eventually made life terrible for the both of them. Well, in the sequel, these robotic land sharks are back and ready to make life miserable again.

A distress signal is sent out early in the film and responding to it is a crack team of alliance soldiers. One their way to find the source of the transmission and rescue whoever sent it before a cosmic storm completely renders the planet unlivable, they find a group of survivors who want nothing to do with them and also a factory that made the screamers that goes from dormant to awake and starts the problems for everyone. The soldiers actually make some fairly smart decisions and decide that the mission is FUBAR and head back to the ship, but the screamers have drained their power cells so now they have to work with the hostile natives and find some more before they're all killed by screamers or the storm, unaware that the threat of a new variety of screamer may destroy them before either of the others.

Not a bad little film and unlike some sequels, a working knowledge of the first film is almost necessary, as there are references that aren't explained fully so you may be a little lost without them and some that aren't explained at all and you won't even notice without the first film. This mainly refers to the repetitive actions that the humanoid screamers do that sets them apart from others. Of course, perhaps they omitted this as not knowing this really keeps the ending a surprise. They could have made it a little better, mainly by cutting out some of the random deaths that didn't really make sense, like the engineer who is killed alone and found later by the soldiers when they return to the ship. It could have been more interesting if the screamers stowed away on the ship and were waiting for it to take off and then were found by the engineer and killed him and then drained the cells and ran because they were discovered. Better than most DTV efforts, that is for sure. There's another death that is random and they miss an opportunity for the later screamer variety to make an appearance via this victim, but so it goes.

It's a gory movie, much more gory than the original and the effects have been done rather well this time around, not suffering as much from the compositing issues of the original and the newer computer effects make for some neat hybrids. If you're looking for a good way to kill some time, check it out.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Cacophony


It's almost that day again, in fact, it's the eve of it, and as I sit here on a day off, watching my daughter run around the living room like a lunatic, I'm enjoying myself very much. I got quite a bit done today, from trying to resurrect my newly RROD'd xbox (again) to taking photos of Santa CHUD to watching as many xmas movies as I can. I hope everyone out there has a happy and safe holiday and remember to put out a bowl of angel wings with the milk and cookies for Santa CHUD, the other guy in red that is coming around tonight.

Also, bring me cookies. That is all.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tekken 6

I can't say I've ever really played a game in this series, save for 3 which had Gon as a character, but I picked it up anyway for dirt cheap for Black Friday and I'm enjoying it. It seems to me that it is a lot more of a fighting fighter as opposed to the fireball and special moves of Street Fighter or the weapons of Soul Calibur. At least I haven't discovered anyone with a hadouken, though I'm sure the robot chick has something. The character models are done really well and the move sets are varied and interesting and you have 40 characters unlocked from the start, which is nice, as I've played games where you have 3 characters out of 20 or so to start and have to unlock the rest. It's got a robust set of gameplay styles, from Arcade to online to scenario, which has a crazy amount of cut scenes and is almost like an action rpg so far, but rather entertaining and also the best way to earn up money for unlockables. The unlockables could be annoying if you had to buy them all, as they cost a lot and in arcade you only get about 2k a pop. If you do scenario, that shouldn't be a problem. I'm having fun with it and and have only tried about 5 characters so far but there are no problems so far. Check it out.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Power of Thwack

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Mine was goodly, save for some illness in the family, but the colds subsided and now everyone is healthy. I managed to break 50k and win Nanowrimo for the third year in a row. That was quite happy. I've been puttering around the house and decorating and raking leaves for the most part, until last night, when I wanted to draw on my computer so I busted out the wacom tablet and found that the pen was active no matter what I did.

What this means is that it was registering that it was clicked, even if it wasn't touching the tablet, thus drawing a line when you didn't want to or just being annoying and selecting everything on the page. I tried updating the drivers. No luck. I removed and replaced the nib. No luck. I restarted and unplugged the tablet before plugging it back in. No luck.

What worked? I smacked it against my desk. Now it works. I tried it against my hand but there were no results from that. The desk was apparently the key, so now it's working. Note to other Wacom users--don't store the pen in the tablet, at least not with the nib in. Apparently this can cause the sensor to stick, which is what happened to me, I guess. This could permanently damage your pen and make you buy another one, so it's nice that if it isn't too bad, you can fix it this way.

It's amazing what can be solved by violence.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Modern Warfare 2

I'll admit it. I missed the boat on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. I blame my nephew and TJ for that, as they kept saying that Halo was better and they would be playing that so I should buy that instead. They're damn liars, especially since they promptly bought CoD4 almost a day after I got Halo 3. Thanks guys. On the bright side, I picked up MW2 last weekend and I am enjoying it a whole lot. Basically you're fighting for the free world against terrorists all over the place, from Russia to Brazil to Northern Virginia so far, as I'm only part of the way into single player. It's a blast. I think it's probably the best game that captures the feel of an action movie. I swear to god I find my self ducking to avoid bullets as my character does.

Multiplayer is where the game really shines. It's almost like a FPS/RPG, as you can play with a set group of weapons and have fun, but as you fight, you level up, enabling you to use even better weapons and attachments so you can have a fully customized experience. It is unlike anything I've played in those regards and I like it, as it makes you want to play more so you can unlock new things, not just kill people. The team play is fantastic, from what I've seen as well. Team Deathmatch is always a hoot but it's things like Domination and Capture the Flag where the comes to life for me as it feels like you're part of an operation, not just running around and blasting things.

I'll write more as I play but I think this is a game of the year for me, maybe even next year as well. Pick it up. It's worth the money and my old college roomie helped make it, so you get to put some loot in his pocket and support great games as well.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nano Nano

Sorry I've been out of touch lately. The majority of my time has been spent doing my words for Nanowrimo. For those not familiar, it's a contest with no real prize save for the rest of your goal, which is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. This month in particular. I'm doing well and hovering at 24k right now, with more words to be added tonight as soon as I get settled. If you haven't done it before, you should give it a try. It's fantastic and rewarding and fun and quite exhausting. I love it.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween

Happy belated Halloween. I had a hell of a time. We had a Halloween open house and great friends and family came over. Now it'll be a year before the next part. Throwing them really tires you out. I don't know how my sister does it all the time.

One of the highlights was the return of Chiller Theater, with Elvira and the movie The Evil of Frankenstein. Good times and it makes me long for the return of a hosted horror movie show. Maybe they can hire me to do it.

Also, I think I'm addicted to Magic cards.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chiller Theater

Watching Supernatural tonight, I see that Chiller Theater is coming back on channel 11. I don't know if it will be only for one day or a continuing show, but god damn, am I excited. I loved all of those types of shows--Super Scary Saturdays, Theater Bizarre, Fright Night--so more of it now is going to be very welcome. Check it out this Halloween. Not sure when, but check your listings.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Midnight Meat Train

I know, it sounds like a porno, but it's not. It's an adaptation of a Clive Barker story about a man who finds a mysterious serial killer on the subway. The movie, of course, expands quite a bit on the story, but it works. Instead of a man who just falls asleep on the subway, the main character is a photographer who is looking for the next good picture that will put him on the map, and in his pursuit, he finds a man who he thinks is a killer.

The film is directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, director of Godzilla Final Wars and stars Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb and Vinnie Jones, who looks fairly psychopathic to begin with. Great cinematography, good music and suspense and a compelling story make this one a winner. Check it out.

I also took advantage of Best Buy's horror movie sale this week, picking up the previously mentioned Hatchet, as well as Halloween and Halloween 4. I love those damn movies. They had a pretty decent selection too. Well worth visiting to pick up a hard drive.

Almost done with my Black Lanterns too. I hope to finish them up tomorrow, if all goes well. Then I can build my display before Halloween.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dramatic Readings

Hatchet

Now this, this is how you do a slasher movie. Over the top, gory, funny and scary all rolled into a big old taco of a movie that will rock your cinematic taste buds. What's it about? Who cares? Go fucking see it. Ok, I'll tell you a little bit. Ben and his friends are in New Orleans and looking at tits during Mardi Gras. Ben is kinda down as his girlfriend dumped him and the scene isn't doing much for him. He drags one friend down to do a haunted boat tour through the bayou, where they encounter Tony Todd, a Murray brother, Harmony from Buffy and a few other characters. They head off to the tour (well, not Tony) and in the middle of it, the boat gets stuck and sinks and they're lost in the swamp with crocs and snakes. The worst part? There's a psychopathic ghost named Victor Crowley who wants to tear them apart. And he does, one by one.

This movie is so good. It's like Halloween with some gore, pacing wise, and when Victor shows up, chances are someone is going to die. The cast is pretty able and handles their roles well. I liked seeing the morbid intern from Bones as the lead, as he's pretty damn funny. You get to see some nudity too, which is nice. Harmony has a nice body.

I watched this via Netflix and now I need to go buy it, it's that damn good. Seriously, check this movie out. Also, Kane Hodder as the killer. How cool is that?

Oh yeah, google Adam Green (the director) and Dee Snider. It's a story of how Adam came to be in the movies and it's heartwarmingly awesome. Check it out.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Hills Run Red

No, it's not the western, but instead a slasher movie that I watched over the weekend, directed by Dave "The Dead Hate the Living" Parker. It focuses on a man obsessed with a lost horror film that was shot and completed but only shown once or twice and then disappeared, leaving only the trailers and some posters and stills to show it ever existed. The film's director goes missing as well and is presumed dead, never to be heard from again. The hero finds the director's daughter and basically kidnaps her and detoxes her and makes her take him and his crew to the director's old house in the woods where a print might still exist. Unfortunately for them, the killer from the movie seems to be stalking them in real life and starts taking them down one by one. Then shit gets weird.

It's a decent enough flick when sticking to the slasher bits. Babyface is a creepy villain and the design of his costume is top notch. The idea of a lost slasher film is great as well. The film seems to fall apart a bit in the third act though as things get a bit meta and deviate from the formula (which normally is a good thing). You don't really get much reasoning behind the killer's motives and a little more exposition on a few parts would really help bring it all together and would take about 3-4 minutes to do, which wouldn't hurt the already lean running time. As it was, I felt kinda cheated in the end and wasn't sure what to make of it. I'm still not but it's worth checking out for the killer alone, as he is rather scary.

Decent performances from the cast and some good gore and dodgy CGI. William Sadler stars as the director of the lost film, and he's always fantastic. Stifler from Band Camp wasn't bad either. I wasn't a fan of the director's daughter. People seem to be raving about her but her performance was one of the weakest in my opinion. Still, she didn't mind showing some skin, so that's a plus in her favor. Give it a viewing and let me know what you think.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Trick R Treat

I can't remember the last time I saw a horror movie I liked this much. I mean, I watch a lot of them and like a lot of them, but I don't usually make a tradition out of watching them on a yearly basis. This one I will. Like the original Halloween, it's a holiday classic set around the aforementioned day. Unlike Halloween, this is an anthology film, like Creepshow, but with intertwined segments akin to Pulp Fiction.

It's set around a town in Ohio that loves Halloween and makes a big celebration out of it. The four stories (plus one bookend) are about a principal who has a dark secret, some kids who have a Halloween prank that goes wrong, a young woman (played by Anna Paquin--hotness!) who is in town looking for that special man and stalked by a stranger, and an old codger who is terrorized by a demonic trick or treater. All of the characters weave in and out of the other stories, often doing things that affect another one--such as the young boy from the story with the principal smashing all the pumpkins on a street, forcing the pranksters to look elsewhere for them. All of the stories work well and several have multiple payoffs, meaning that you might think it's at an end but are pleasantly surprised when there's more to come.

It's hard to believe that this was shelved for two years (it was completed in 2007). It's even harder to believe that this is a DTV release. The film is strong enough and fun enough that it could beat out the majority of the films out there in theaters right now, especially the horror ones. It's that good. A shame, really, as Warner Bros. really has a hit on their hands that's destined to become at least a cult classic, but could have been so much more. Rent this or buy this--it doesn't matter--as you'll be happy just to see it. Check it out, please. It's a moral imperative to support a film that is THIS good.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

You Must Pay the Rent

Not only words to live by, it's also my new video, shot on Friday nights while my little girl is asleep and my wife is letting me sit in the basement. Enjoy it. It's the first in the series by the Cellar Dwellers, which is usually just me in different masks, but is open to guest spots as well. (I'm looking at you Gerard.)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Mutilator

Friday I needed something to do so I popped in this little gem of a movie. The sound was out of sync and the picture kind of sucked but I enjoyed it in all its terrible glory. A young boy accidentally shoots his mother on his father's birthday. Years later, the father has become unhinged and stalks the boy and his college friends at their beach house and kills them one by one. An entertaining movie though not very good. It's got some decent kills, my favorite being one with a chainsaw where the father just hops right out and stabs the guy with it. Must be one of those quick start models. Some nudity helps move the film along too. It's worth it to see just for the father walking around the house with a damn battle axe most of the film, holding it close. Very fun stuff. Also, it takes place in Atlantic Beach, NC, where my wife's friends go to vacation. I might have to head down there and look for the house now. Check it out.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A Very Power Girl Day

Yesterday was a good day, especially if you love Power Girl like I do. I picked up and watched Superman/Batman: Public Enemies on dvd. It's a faithful adaptation of the first arc of the comic of the same name. All the fights you want to see are in there, save for the Batfamily and Superfamily attack on Luthor in his office. All of the heroes are, except for the aforementioned ones, and Power Girl gets a bit of an expanded role. She only has a few panels in the comic but now gets a bit more characterization as she is part of a team hunting down her cousin from another Earth, Superman. The Ed McGuinness artwork translates well to the screen and makes for a pretty and exciting ride. Every time PG was on the screen I got giddy and I can't wait to watch it again.

Yesterday was also comic book day.

Power Girl #5: This issue starts a new arc where PG deals with three alien fugitives who have landed on Earth and are up to some mischief. She's also trying to balance her job and finding a new apartment while remembering to pack all of her costume into her bag so she's not flying into battle without her boots on. Good issue with snappy dialogue, interesting new characters and of course, Connor's awesome artwork.

GL #46: Blackest Night continues as Hal teams up with Star Sapphire and also Sinestro to fight Mongul as Indigo-1 gathers together the strongest of the various corps to fight the Black Lantern Menace. Also, John Stewart gets a page to himself. Good issue overall with great fights and storylines that make me want to see where they end up and how they do it. Definitely picking up steam and worth picking up.

ASM#507: More of the Black Cat and they finish up their story. Awesome cover, decent story and Spidey gets laid. Fun and presents a crook with an interesting scheme at the end of the day.

JSA: More infighting as the team gets ready to separate and we're still not sure who the betrayer is, as the person they catch seems to be brainwashed. A little too much on the paranoia and not enough payoff, probably because there are so many things going on at once. Still, I'll stick it out for a bit longer.

Marvel Zombies: The Return #5: Decent ending to a good story. Nothing as awesome as volumes 3 and 4 but still entertaining and presents an interesting twist at the end. Van Lente can write these zombies any day, as he does a great job of it.

The Boys: Herogasm #5: The Supies are going on and the groundwork is laid for a big fight at the end. Not much else going on, but Hughie's ass itches, which means he got violated in a different way than I expected. Good, but not as good as the main title.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Zombie Apocquaman

Busy, horror filled weekend for me last Saturday and Sunday. The big event was going to Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary. If you're unfamiliar with it, you must live under a rock or not have a tv, as it is probably one of the biggest haunted houses around, featuring on shows like Ghost Hunters, MTVs Fear and others. The prison has a whole sordid history of its own, part of which they draw from for the attraction, which is made up of five separate sections that take you from admittance to the prison and onward. The cast is enthusiastic and play their parts well and the makeup is excellent as well. I had a good time and my wife and family got their chills and thrills as well. My only complaint is that the lines are rather long, and you'll spend a few hours in them easily, so be prepared to wait. It's worth it. In terms of the show, I wish they didn't use as many strobe lights and fog machines, but it didn't bother me much. Check it out.

Next up is Zombie Apocalypse. Not a movie or attraction, this is a Live Arcade game for the Xbox 360 that plays a lot like Robotron with the undead. You move with one stick and fire with the other. There are numerous types of enemies and just as many weapon drops to dispatch them with through seven unique areas and around 50+ levels, each getting harder and introducing new zombies and strategies to use. In addition to weapons, there are hazards you can kill zombies with by leading them/shooting them into such as chipper shredders, cremation ovens, turbines, helicopters and more. Simple, but addictive and you can play with three friends online or on your couch. I haven't tried the multiplayer but I can heartily endorse the single player version and can't wait to kill some undead with friends. For 800 points (ten bucks), I can think of worse things to spend it on. Hopefully they'll come out with a mall level to play on, which I think is the only thing sorely missing, maybe an island or an Etruscan tomb too.

Last but not least is the last part of the title. Namely, Aquaman. I've been working on a few Black Lantern figures for a Halloween GL display and he's the second one I've gotten about done. In fact, I was just doing some touch ups on him tonight. Add a ring and I'll be done. Then it's time for Superman and Martian Manhunter to join the fray. I might pick up a Firestorm DCUC to add to the army later, but for now I have my hands full. Pictures of him and Hawkman to come.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Heavy Metal

Man, it's amazing the difference a good paint makes, especially a metallic one. I just cracked out the Vallejo Silver and it's amazing, covering even black in almost one coat. I've gushed about the paints before but I have to do it again. This stuff is amazing. Much better than the watery craft stuff I was using. However, the craft grey and brown I just bought are fantastic too. Americana, I believe. They almost coated the Black Lantern Hawkman I'm working on in one or two coats as well, even with thinning. Very nice. I'm almost done with him at this rate. Just need to do the pants and detail the boots and sculpt a ring, maybe another day of work. I'm psyched.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Night Continues

Got some good comics today, the main of which being Blackest Night #3. I'm enjoying it more. Still some gratuitous deaths bue at least they give us a way to stop the Black Lanterns right now. Mera continues to be awesome and really needs a bigger role in the DCU, maybe as a replacement for Aquaman. She is what a leader and a hero should be. Hal and Barry get some good moments and it's nice to see Ray Palmer in something other than back issues. Building up to a nice bit of action, I think. Makes me want to make more Black Lantern figures. Or you know, finish the ones I'm doing right now.

Also of note: Batman and Robin #4 continues to be a good read with a new dynamic duo on the prowl in addition to the titular one. Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth is beautiful and hilarious, as a buddy with his zombie head comic should be. JSA: Engines of Faith should be in the regular title, as it is awesome and puts the JSA up against a credible and devious threat in the form of Kobra. ASM was alright, though focused mainly on MJ, who I didn't need an extra-sized issue on, but that's ok. That's it for now. Good times. Pick them up.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Teeth

As I sit here on a lazy Sunday, sick and pumped full of vitamin C, I figured it would be a good time to review the movie I watched on Friday night, which is Teeth. This is a fun little coming of age flick where the lead figures out she has something wrong with her....down there. She's big into the cause of celibacy because of it, afraid of what might happen if she was to fulfill her lust. Well, when someone tries to force themselves upon her, we find out what will happen, and I haven't seen this much meanness towards male genitalia since The Killer Condom. There's lots of blood. Be prepared.

Despite the severed male parts, I rather enjoyed this movie. The lead actress fills the role well as she runs the gamut of terror at what is happening to her to confidence and control over it. The cinematography is well done, using a shot of a nuclear power plant behind the house to suggest that her mutation might be from radiation. Her mother in the film is sick too so it might be from that as well, though I don't believe they get into the cause. It's a fun way to spend an hour or so and some of the creepiest scenes actually involve the religious nuts that are part of the celibacy group that the main character is part of. Come to think of it, the oversexed characters aren't that sympathetic either. Which makes sense, as the film is about losing control and then taking it back.

Check it out.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Finishing Touches

It's always a nice feeling when I can finish off some figures I've been working on awhile. In this case, it's Composite Hal Jordan and Red Lantern Laira, both of which I started well before the move but then the move and unpacking intervened so it's taken awhile to get back in the customizing groove for them. Now that I have, it's rather rewarding to sit here and tell nobody about it while the paint dries. I should have pictures up soon. Couldn't get my light box out of the garage tonight, mainly because I'm tired. Soon.

Tonight. You.

District 9

Among other things this weekend, including the sublime Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, I actually got to see a current film, this one being District 9, which is a parable of apartheid told with aliens in South Africa and also a fun action film. About 20 years ago some aliens showed up on our doorstep above Johannesburg. They landed, tried to make friends and got shoved into camps and ghettos and formed their own little community while the rest of the world just wants to be rid of them and Nigerians try to scam the hell out of them for cat food. On the day of evicting the residents of District 9 to move them to a different and worse land, the lead agent in the relocation, Wicus, gets sprayed with a strange fluid and suddenly the man who is trying to get rid of the aliens finds himself needing their help.

The film was based on a shorter film by the director, which got him noticed and funded to make this flick. I'm glad he did. It's an action film with a bit of a political subtext but full of thrills and alien weaponry that never overstays its welcome. It's interesting to watch as the lead starts to understand the creatures that everyone reviles and how he helps them in the end. The actors are good, though nobody I recognize, and I look forward to the dvd so I can understand what the hell the South Africans are saying--Wicus in particular--as they have some heavy accents.

The special effects are great and never detract from the film and the idea itself feels like a more fun and brutal Alien Nation, which also dealt with aliens looking for a new home, though they merge a bit better with our society thanks to James Caan. But I digress. District 9 is a fun film and really shouldn't be missed, a breath of fresh alien air on a scene that seems to be catering to bad vampire movies and remakes lately. Check it out.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Let the Right One In

Finally got around to watching this little gem of a film from Sweden. It's been in my queue forever but I just haven't been in the frame of mind to watch it. I'm glad I did. For those unfamiliar with it, Let the Right One In is based on the Swedish book of the same name and follows the tale of a twelve year old boy named Oskar and a similarly aged vampire named Eli. Oskar's parents are split and he's bullied at school and is desperately seeking revenge and a friend. He finds one in Eli, who moves in next door and gives him someone to confide in and she in turn coaches him on how to fight back against the bullies. Their relationship grows while her aide/manservant tries to keep her in blood by draining it out of people he captures. Eventually, people get wise that there's something not quite right going on and this discovery threatens the relationship of the friends.

Beautifully shot and written, this movie brings vampires back to a serious romanticism that you don't find in many offerings these days. The setting of a winter covered Sweden is cold yet stunning and serves as a great backdrop for their story. Oskar just wants someone to be his friend and help him and Eli thinks she just wants to be left alone until she finds herself liking his company more and more. I can't say I'm crazy about child actors, but these two pull off their parts quite well, as do the rest of the folk their age. In addition to the story, there are some great killings, some brutal, some with a great humor (usually those involving the aide).

The film is paced rather slowly, so if you're expecting a thrill a minute ride, you're going to be in for a disappointment. Instead, everything comes together when it needs to and the dread is allowed to build and build and you wonder when everything is going to come crashing down upon them, akin to a noir film. Don't let that stop you from seeing it, as it's probably one of the best vampire films that you'll have the luxury of seeing.

There is a remake coming out, but I'd check this out first, as the new one will be by the mastermind behind Cloverfield, who handles subtlety as well as Leatherface ballet dances. Also, there's no need to remake an almost perfect vision. He claims he wants to make it more accessible to audiences. That's a change that doesn't need to be made. Support the original vision and check the Swedish version out. You can get it with subs or dubs, I understand, and either will be sublime.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Comics 8-25-09

Fairly big comic book week this time around, especially for me. New Nova, GotG, JSA and GL to name a few. Good times too. Here's a rundown of a few books.

Nova: We finish up the War of Kings and the Nova Corps story arc with Richard Rider facing off against Strontian and Blastaar while trying to save his brother. Nova has consistently been one of the most entertaining books Marvel is putting out and this issue is no exception. Richard shows how he has grown since the beginning of the series, even since Annihilation, and the prospect of a continued Nova Corps makes me giddy. Also, new Worldmind is great.

Green Lantern: Tying in to Blackest Night, we find Carol Ferris facing off against Sinestro, the Blue Lanterns vs. the Orange Lanterns and the Red Lanterns vs. the Lost Lanterns. That's a lot of lanterns and story, but it works. Oh yeah, the Black Lanterns start arriving to take down everyone, raising quite a few of the dead of each Corps. No real Hal presence in this issue, but he's still the focus, as Carol is fighting to help him out. Also, John Stewart has a hell of a fight coming his way as the Black Lanterns raise something from his past. And Larfleeze proves to be the highlight of the comic yet again with his comical ways.

GotG: The team is split in the timestream and some of them might be dead. That said, it's up to Adam Warlock, Gamora, Phyla, Drax and the rest to seal the rift left from War of Kings, with surprising results. Groot and Maximus have some great banter, as do Crystal and Rocket Raccoon. Worth checking out. Not sure how the last events will pan out, but I'm curious.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back in the Saddle

I've just about got my customizing station set up so I decided to do some painting tonight, mainly to Composite Hal, who needed his head re-attached (after I widened the peg hole a bit with a trusty razor) and then his eyes painted. He also needed the symbol attached, which I did with some glue. He's almost finished. I'll have to do the rings (this weekend with some other curing) and touch up and then I can take some pics. I think he came out pretty nicely. Now to get a shelf for them all.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Power Girl

Today is comic book day and a very light week, but I really enjoyed the books that I got, especially Power Girl. This book is just dripping with awesome. Palmiotti and Gray's writing and Amanda Connor's art are the perfect match on this book. Each page is a delight to read and it's not just the breasts on the lead that are a highlight. With Connor's artwork, you don't care if there's any action going on. Just seeing the reactions on the faces she draws is enough to keep you entertained. PG and Terra go to a movie in this issue and I want a poster of the reactions of the two as they just sit in their seats. I've been over the page several times and it gets better every time. Once the action kicks into high gear, it gets even better. I'm keenly interested in seeing what happens next issue, which is something I usually reserve only for Green Lantern books. If you aren't already, please buy this book so they can keep it going and keep me happy. I'd buy multiple copies if they weren't doing the incentive covers instead of the 50/50 they were with the Connor/Hughes covers in the beginning. Seriously, the Guillem March covers are pure sex and I would buy them in a heartbeat. Just not at the markup the incentives get. Check this book out. Also, look for a cameo by the Big Bang Theory Guys.

Also out this week was Ash Saves Obama, which is a pretty fun Obama cash-in and I just got it to see how it was but I'll probably check out the rest, either in floppy or trade form. Lastly I got Blackest Night: Superman, which is by James Robinson and awesome. It ties into the Green Lantern event and stands well on its own. Usually with the tie-ins they seem to just expand on a scene. This is something I haven't seen at all in the main titles and it's a good story. The "dead-o-vision" is used to great effect here as Superman brims with all of the emotions at once as he tries to stop the villain. Another first issue pick up that I'll probably get all of them, if just for Robinson's fantastic writing. The new issue of ASM was out too, but I didn't pick that up yet.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tapes

If you need any minidv tapes and can't wait for online order fulfillment, go to Walmart. Best price around and it's actually reasonable too. I needed some more for a project I'm working on and Target and Best Buy were off target and not a good buy at all on tapes, charging about 18 bucks for three tapes and 30 for five. At Wallyworld, I got six tapes for 18 dollars and their five pack was about 15 or somthing. I chose the 6 pack as it had a rebate for a free tape rack. It only holds ten tapes but I ain't complaining. Definitely the way to go.

Edit: Of course Best Buy has the Sonys on sale for 9 bucks for 3 now. Still, their 6 pack is marked at 33.99, which is odd as now it's cheaper to buy more of the smaller packs, so you could buy 9 tapes and still be under the price of the 6-pack. Strange.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hal Jordan in the JLU

There's long been a tease of a figure out there, made specifically for some folks working on the JLU cartoon. It was very limited in number and basically unavailable to most unless you had about a grand to drop on it. This figure was Hal Jordan. He only showed up briefly in JLU but all the GL fans, myself included, clamored for him. Why not make more? Well, there was a deal cut that Hal couldn't be made again. They destroyed the mold or some such thing and didn't want to ruin the rarity of the figure. However, there was a loophole--he could be made without his mask and uniform. This SDCC, Hal Jordan was made available for everyone. He's in his orange flight suit and comes with Abin Sur and Sinestro, who are in GL garb. Also, they all have swappable heads, so you can have Hal in his GL outfit through the years as well as his flight suit. The only caveat? He doesn't have a mask, so you either have to get two and paint one on, which isn't hard but requires a steady hand and 20$ more or you order a head from spymagician and you can paint it up to your likingfor 5$. I just got my 3-pack and the latter is what I'm going to do. I can't wait. Such an awesome figure. I just need to get my work area set up again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Star Trek 2009

As we were on vacation, Jen and I thought it was only fair that we take in a movie while we had some time to ourselves. Of course this meant whatever was on the hotel network as we were pretty tired. I wanted Drag Me to Hell. We watched Star Trek instead, and it wasn't bad.

This film covers the story before and leading up to Kirk's captaincy of the Enterprise, spanning years as an enemy from the future shows up in the past looking for Kirk's oldest friend that he hasn't even met yet. Shit goes down, the Federation is in danger and one by one we meet the new versions of the classic series crew as they all team up to save the day and revitalize a sagging franchise, which they succeed in doing. The story is a little wonky at times but fairly solid and despite events in it, won't upset those who consider original films and series canon. The new cast is quite good, particularly Zachary Quinto as Spock, Karl Urban as McCoy and Simon Pegg as Scottie. That's not to say everyone else is nothing to shake a stick at, but those were my favorites. Kirk is played well by Chris Pine and Harold makes a great Sulu and Chekov and Uhura are good too. Even the villains are good at what they do and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, save for Winona Ryder, who looks like she's scoping out something to steal.

I'm looking forward to the future adventures of this crew, as even with a two hour runtime, it felt like we needed more time with them all once everything go cracking. Well worth checking out on hotel tv or dvd or wherever you can see it. My only caveat is that Laura Hofferman made a better green alien than the one they have and I'll leave it at that.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Unpacking

The unpacking at the house continues. Now that the carpet is down, we can hit it all serious business-like. Unfortunately, it seems that this is such a busy week and next weekend is the same that I don't know when we'll be done with it all. Hopefully soon, as the carpet looks fantastic and I can't wait to make a real office out of the back room. I'm almost giddy with anticipation for all the Power Girl pictures that will be hanging on the wall.

Green Lantern: First Flight

Ever wanted to see what Training Day would be like in space? Well, that's pretty much what GL: First Flight is, and that isn't a bad thing. Covering the origin in about five minutes, the bulk of this movie is Hal's first encounter with the rest of the GLC and the Guardians and in particular, Sinestro. Hal is assigned to be Sinestro's partner for a bit to learn the trade from him and what it takes to be a good GL, but in the process, he learns that Sinestro has some sinister secrets.

The story is pretty good. I've read bitching online about it (go figure) but I don't see it. It's a solid adaptation of Hal's first few weeks on the job, which has been retconned/retold so many times that it doesn't really matter if they're not entirely faithful to it. There are liberties taken, particularly with some of the characters that I like in the story, but not all change is bad. Boodikka, for instance, became a rather hot and interesting character and we get to see more of a GLC than we have in the JLU, so that's a plus too.

The voice acting is top notch, with Victor Garber as Sinestro and Christopher Meloni as Hal Jordan and a bevy of other name actors to go with them. Definitely worth checking out and the discs, both normal and special edition, have some excellent extras on them. Do the GLC a solid and watch this movie. You'll like it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hank Hates You All

Why aren't you watching Californication right now? Turn it on. Do it now! Then go blog about it in the Apple store.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Ruins: Plants are Assholes

My wife and I needed something to watch last night as our DVR was being a douche (thanks Comcast) so we popped in The Ruins, which had sat in our inbox from Netflix for a few weeks now. For those not familiar with it, this is the second film based on a book by the author of A Simple Plan. It's also his second book, so he's batting 1.000 so far. The short of it is several young people head to a newly discovered temple for various reasons and shit starts going down. Why? Because plants are assholes.

As you might figure out from the dvd cover/movie poster, the vines/flowers that cover the entire temple are not to be trusted. Before the crew even sets foot on the temple to look for a German guy and a journalist, they are detained by enraged Mayans who try to keep them off of it. Once they put a foot on the vines, though, the warning shots become lethal and the remainder of the group has to hoof it up the temple as they get surrounded by angry villagers. One by one they fall and start to realize that maybe they should have listened to the Mayans as the vines start to wreck some people's shit.

A good movie with more suspense than gore and a cast that doesn't jump out at you with who might be the first to go and the last and they all turn in great performances. I've never heard of the director but if this is his first film, it's a doozy. Great camera work and tight editing help keep the pace terse and the tension palpable. Well worth checking out. This and Evil Dead will have you using Round Up like crazy to keep the plants at bay in your yard.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Seperated at Birth?

Lucinda Dickey in the final number of Breakin' and Gozer, from Ghostbusters. You decide.

Blackest Night #1

Well, it has arrived and I have read it. Actually did so a few days ago but haven't had a chance to write up a review until now. I have to say, it was a very good read and I'm excited so far to read the rest of the series. A lot of people thought it started slow and maybe had too much introduction, but for me it had the perfect amount to appease new readers and old ones. It opens on a day of rememberance for fallen superheroes, helping us understand the sheer numbers of heroes who have died and those that have come back as well. Then the dead rise and it starts to get a little gory. That's to be expected with a zombie/undead book so it should come as no surprise but it was a little jarring as I haven't really experience that with Green Lantern. It all makes a wicked sort of sense in the end too, as the heroes that are killed are experiencing a bunch of emotions and it seems that's what the Black Lanterns are hunting to fill up their battery.

The Black Lanterns so far are actually cooler than their creators, the Black Hand and Scar, who have been around so much lately that they've been driving me nutty. As much dimension as they've been given too, they just aren't that interesting. However, Black Lanterns the Dibnys are freaking awesome. Same with Martian Manhunter, and I've only seen one panel of him. It makes me giddy and I'm going to have to save up for the action figures. Maybe actually sell some customs too. I need me some official Black Lanterns. That might be a good custom with one figure I've had around for awhile too, as he kicked the bucket in this issue. Hmm. Can't wait to see what the official design looks like to play with.

Another issue this week too, in the form of GL #44. If you have the guts to make your way through essentially a 24 part series, start picking this up. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Atlantic Highlands Film One Fest

Didn't get into this fest. Apparently they like shitty contributions about people standing on a riverbed for a minute with a cell phone. For a one minute film fest and considering the amount of submissions they got, they should show them all. I mean, at 60 seconds or less, you could fit 60+ films in an hour. I'm sure they saved room for reacharounds for the committee and all that jazz though, you know, the pretentious stuff. Irritated about it. We cut our hearts out on that one. And Rob, I swear to god I will summon a rain of cock spiders down on them.

Also, I need to upload the trailer to Youtube, but I've been packing and a painting so I'm really sorry. I should be able to do it tonight.

Fuck.

Green Lantern: Blackest Night

No, I haven't read the actual issue yet, as it comes out this week, but I've read the prologue and prelude issues of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps respectively, and I wanted to weigh in on it before it began proper.

I'll start by saying I'm a bit apprehensive at the whole multi-colored corps idea and how fast we've been rushed into it. I thought that we could have dealt with the fallout from the SC war, sort of what GLC was doing, hunting the strays down and dealing with the power vacuum that Mongul is attempting to fill. Instead, the main title has been a six issue retcon of Hal's origin and the Black Hand's, as well as Hector Hammond's all in order to set up Blackest Night. Red Lanterns and Blue Lanterns were barely touched upon and it seems like Orange is the only one that got a decent shake but that might be due to the singular nature of that corps. Indigo is yet to be introduced in full and the Reds still need some more face time to fully explore their powers. Moving on.

GLC finishes up the Emerald Eclipse arc that deals with a riot on Oa and Mongul conquering Daxam. In the process, some issues are raised as Guy and Kyle take offense at the Guardians new fascist laws and Sodam Yat is incognito after igniting a sun. The Guardians are going to have to get their asses kicked big time to realize the mistakes that they're making in being too controlling. Well, that and continuing to listen to Scar, who looks like a fucking zombie lately. Nobody thinks anything is up? Seriously? Tomasi and Gleason make a great pairing and I would love to see a Soranik Natu figure in her skivvies as Gleason drew in this issue. For the upcoming Blackest Night, I think this title will fair pretty well.

Green Lantern, on the other hand, seems like a mess. The Black Hand, who was a gimmick but good villain, is now a necrophiliac with "darkness" inside of him that needs to be let out and he hears something that tells him what he must to do bring about the death he wants to embrace. I'm annoyed at the amount of retconning needed for this story. There have been great stories told by Johns that didn't fuck with the histories of characters as much as he's doing here. Black Hand already got modified by little German gremlins. We didn't need to unnecessary additional crap he added, thereby invalidating older stories in a way by making the villain so different. For all the depth he gave a villain like Captain Cold, it seems here that he's only doing it to tell the story he wants, which he could have done without changing as much as he has.

I'm optimistic and will buy the issues when they come out because I love me some GL, but I think that this could have been handled better and maybe Johns is hitting a dry spell as of late. I hope I'm wrong. I'll have a review of the first issue up when I can after Wednesday.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Zombie Diaries

Sat down for some zombie action last night and popped this flick into the dvd player. It attracted my attention at Best Buy a few months ago but I never got a chance to see it until now. The verdict? A solid mockumentary-styled zombie epic with decent gore and acting and the harrowing idea that the only thing worse than the undead might just be the living. The story follows three groups of people--journalists, scavengers and survival types--as they deal with a world that is being dealt a deadly blow by a virus that turns people into the undead. The story jumps around a little due to the narrative relying on the limitations of a single camera shoot for the most part. It works well and has you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out who will come out of this alive. Entertaining, though not if shaky-cam makes you sick. For the most part there isn't a lot of that though and what there is isn't too bad at all.

It's worth checking out for zombie lovers and horror fans alike. Be warned that it does start to unravel a bit once you get the third segment and you might night like the ending much, as it pushes the "humans are bad" idea pretty hard and almost ruins the film in the end. Also, don't let the cover of the dvd mislead you. This is strictly a low budget affair. No Vin Diesel wannabe with guns and a biohazard vest on and definitely no post-zombie holocaust London either. Just farms.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy July 4th

It's that time of year to celebrate freedom, our own and that of our country. It's also time to have bbqs and relax as I'm on vacation. Unfortunately, there will be little relaxing in this case as I'll be packing up and moving stuff over to the new house, which is actually pretty exciting. I'll have room to use as a workshop for customizing and everything. I'll probably still painting indoors as I usually prefer to be near a water source. I'm enjoying it and can't wait to be moved in. Enjoy your holiday.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Homeowner

I am now the proud owner of a house and mortgage. Yay for being an adult. :) It's a really nice place and has a ton of room so between the three of us, it shouldn't get too full immediately. Giant room for my office too. And comics. I'm so psyched.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wizard World Philly

Went to WWP this Saturday. It's been a custom of mine to at least hit one convention during the year. I missed NYCC so I tried the old standby again, which in previous years was quite big. Well, I can't say what it was like last year, but it's a lot smaller than the one I had been to about two years ago. No DC or Marvel booths that I saw--usually they're hard to miss--and not a whole lot of big booths from other distributors either. There was a decent showing of retailers, artists and others, but it was a shade of its former glory. I'm sure the recession has something to do with it. Still, it was a fun time and I picked up a few single issues and some trades that I was looking for. That's about it. I have too many prints that I need to hang up and too many figures that I need to customize to buy more, though I was sorely tempted. Once I get everything organized I can start doing that.

I met some friends at the show and they had a blast despite it not being all that it could be. Also, I got to meet Ted Raimi and Tom Savini and drooled over Kristanna Loken and Emma Caulfield. Good times. Also, KITT was there and Bruce Leroy. Not a bad showing, I must say. I might have to go next year to see if it gets bigger, as NYCC isn't until October 2010 and that's a long time to wait and save.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Another rainy day, though it got relatively nice out for awhile. Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there. I'm hoping to cap the night off with a good dinner and then maybe the new Friday the 13th movie. Nothing says Sunday like Jared Padalecki and hockey masks, right?

Wizard World was this weekend too. I went on Saturday with John and Cyndi, two friends from work. More on that later.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Final Shot

Had our last shoot on the Ginkers movie on Sunday night. We hit several locations, including Pirate's Cove in Cliffwood Beach and Connie's in Slayerville. The shoot went well, though there were some killer gnats eating us alive for the outdoors sections and made me want to scream, but I held the camera as steady as I could. Looks like editing is up next, though we might have to shoot some b-roll locations for some cutaways and establishing shots. That's a one day thing if at all though, so it's not a big deal. Gonna be fun editing the full film. I had a blast doing the trailers and I'm looking forward to the feature length cut. Should be in the new house by then too so if we need to work late, I'll have places for the guys to sleep now.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Want!


Green Lantern figures of Hal in every costume he's worn a ring for so far, even if he hasn't had a full costume with it? Yes please.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Wet Palette Get!

Finally got the materials and put together this little device. It's so easy to do. Just add a sponge and tupperware and water and parchment paper and viola, it's finished in about a minute. It's worked great so far. I can't say yet how the paints will hold overnight, but for the short bit I did I was impressed and able to use every drop of paint I put down without any noticeable drying. I'll keep you updated, maybe with pictures if I stop being lazy. Also, Composite Hal is coming along nicely. Maybe I'll have him done in time to enter into the custom contest at WWP.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Wet Palette

One of these days I'll get to making a wet palette. I was going to make one yesterday but I didn't have the necessary materials. Looks like I'll be making a run to the dollar store for some tupperware and sponges. Oddly enough, I have the parchment baking paper already. Go figure. Then my paints will stay moist a little longer. Heh. Moist.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

R.I.P. David Carradine

Man, somebody killed Bill. Looks like a rope and autoerotic asphyxiation. A shame. I always enjoy seeing him pop up on movies. He was awesome on a stick. Good luck wherever you are, little grasshopper.

Let the Rats Die

I heard a story on the news about how Orkin was being fined for not responding to a call after some squirrels were caught in one of their traps and the animals were dying and had to be taken to a hospital. Are you fucking kidding me? Let the bastards die. Do they do anything besides eat your siding and try to nest in your attic? I think Orkin was in the right here, even if it was a miscommunication. They're just rats with furry tails, and the only reason they should have been taken to a hospital is to be thrown in an incinerator. Seriously. I hate squirrels. Not a good animal, unlike Nessie, which is just pure awesome in a lake.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

WTF Shuttle?

I have a Contour ShuttleXpress for my mac that I use for editing. I got a new machine awhile back and never installed new drivers as I wasn't doing much editing at the time. Decided to install them today. Can't just download the new drivers and install. That would be too easy. I go to VersionTracker to find them. Click on the download link and get taken to another page. That's fine, but the shuttle is now through a different branch of the company so I have to go to another page and find the drivers. Oh wait, I can't download them as I have to register for their fucking site first, which also involves getting an activation email and then clicking through to what I wanted again. All because they want to see their userbase. If it wasn't such a nice tool, I'd be tempted to sell it off. I might if I can find a decent competing product, as that's bullshit. I shouldn't have to jump through hoops to use your product and then sign up for your webpage. I bought the fucking thing. Just give me the drivers.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Bay

Working on finishing up the editing we started on Wednesday so we have something for the film fest next week. In a good spot. Just need one more clip to break up some monotony during a music number and then I'll grade the color and get the audio to Bill for him to play with and fix up. That'll probably be the hardest thing, as those files are usually large. It's going well though. Also, who knew that pasting an entire sequence into a new one would scale files automatically, but not the dv files for some reason, just the hd stuff. Easy enough to change. Saves some render time too, as if I initially edited them in a dv sequence, it was going to take me hours to render, which means I'm probably doing something wrong there. Good to know though.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Valle-HO!

Started work on a new figure today, painting, at any rate, as I primed two on Sunday. I must say, that I am in love with Vallejo paints. They go on smooth, cut well with water, cover well and most importantly, they cover even the blackest primer I have, which is nice as coating black over the white for a figure like GL is annoying and leaves more room for white spots showing through. I'm working on a composite Blue/Green Lantern and and primed him all black on a whim, knowing that if coverage failed, at least I can primer over some parts and the joints will still be coated black. I was pleasantly surprised to find that even when cut 2:1, the paints showed up nicely on the figure and I'm on my way to being done. If you need paints for a figure, by all means order up some of these. They have tons but basic colors are a good start and you can mix them up just fine.

Wolverine

Finally saw the movie last night. I must say, it was pretty enjoyable, certainly more so than the steaming pile of crap that was X3. No complaints about any of the acting and the effects were nice. Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson was awesome, though the Deadpool character in the film isn't quite what is in the comics. I'll overlook that though as there's always the possibility of another film with him going more towards the comic book version, who's currently hanging out with pimp action Destro on my desk. Worth seeing, as it's good mindless fun and isn't too objectionable with it's adapting of the comics. Now to get the game.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Crushing on Deborah Foreman

I watched April Fool's Day last night and it's only served to reignite my crush on its star, Deborah Foreman, who you may remember from Valley Girl and Waxwork. AFD is a smart and fun slasher based in part on And Then There Were None by some Agatha Christie person. A group of friends are invited to Muffy St. John's (Foreman) party on April Fool's Day on a remote island. After a small accident involving a ferryman, they get to the house and relax and have a bunch of pranks pulled on them. Once the hilarity ends, the terror begins as someone begins offing them one by one.

It's a fun flick and keeps you guessing right until the end and performances by Amy Steel, Ken Olandt and Clayton Rohner help round out the cast. Well worth checking out if you like slasher movies and more if you love Deb Foreman, who is sublime.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Bloody Valentine - 3-D

I'm a sucker for a good slasher movie, and when I heard they were remaking one of my favorites, I was a little scared. When I heard Jensen Ackles was in it though, I feared no longer, as I was a huge fan of his from Supernatural and Devour. I missed it in the theater with the good 3-D so I had to settle for the dvd release, which unfortunately has the green/magenta glasses instead of the grey ones. So how is it?

Fucking fantastic, that's how. The 3-D is damn cool and a sight better than Freddy's Dead and adds a new element to the gore. The performances by the cast are pretty strong and it's nice to see Tom Atkins in another genre role. The plot is similar to the original. Harry Warden, a miner involved in a cave-in, goes psycho and kills people around town, eventually getting taken care of when he tries to kill teenagers having a party in the mine. Jump to years later when Tom Banniger (Ackles) comes back to town to sell the mine and the killings are starting up again. Is Tom behind the murders or is it his old friend Axel or is it Harry Warden, back from the dead? It's all answered in the end and I'm not happy with it but it's a small flaw in an otherwise entertaining movie. Well worth seeing, in 3-D or not.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Squeal

Man, there are few things cooler than a pig roasting on an open flame. I don't know why it amuses me so. Probably because at a bachelor party it's usually a stripper on the rotisserie. Either way, it was a fun time and I had tongue, which tasted a lot like pork fat, which isn't much of a surprise as it was from a pig.

Speaking of strippers, I finally got to see the rest of Zombie Strippers. Pretty bad. I mean, there's some hot stripping scenes but if it's nudity you want you're better off watching an episode of Red Shoe Diaries. They're shorter and have David Duchovny. Dying to see Zombie Diaries now since my queue is caught up on. That should be better.

Someones needs to remake Resident Evil 2. God I like that game.

Monday, May 11, 2009

One Minute to Save the World

This weekend was pretty damn fun. As you may have read on the Ginkers blog, me, Rob and Bill had an editing session where we cut a one minute sample of the film for the Film One Fest. I think it came out pretty well for the brief time we had allotted and the several hours of footage from a few different shoots we had to go through, in addition to Bill fixing my audio and supplying his own as well so we had a more professional sounding soundtrack. Like anything, I wish we had a few hours more to work on it but I'm proud of what we did and hope it does well in the fest. It was a tiring time, but a fun time. I can't wait until we can do it all again and put together the whole flick.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wolverines!

Holy crap, the Wolvering: Origins game is pretty freaking sweet. I've only played the demo so far but the copious amounts of bloodshed and cool moves and mechanics have caught me in its web. Unfortunately, I'm on a game hiatus so I'll have to wait to get that one, but I like what I see.

TosLink

I've found a solution to the missing LANC on the HV20. By using some velcro, tape, the remote and a toslink cable, I can fake it pretty well, getting some pan and zoom action without having to mess with the body of the camera. Got a bit longer a cable than I needed and mine works without the cap on the remote end, whereas the tutorial I saw still had it on. I'm glad it works regardless and look forward to using it. Might need to get a second cable for the steadicam and rig that up. We'll see how this works first.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Review: Behind the Mask-The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Started watching this flick tonight on a whim and I'm not disappointed so far. It's a film in the vein of Man Bites Dog, but instead of following a serial killer, the crew is following a slasher, or rather, a wannabe slasher who is on the cusp of breaking into an industry. You see, in this movie, the slashers you're familiar with from movies like Halloween and F13 are real, and they've inspired other people to do the same. Leslie is one of these people. As he trains for the big night, the lead interviewer starts to have qualms about what they might be party to and wonders if they shouldn't stop him before he begins.

Leslie comes off as likable and very intense when in costume. The rest of the cast is adequate as well, including a look at an older slasher/mentor who helps Leslie on his quest of glory. Robert Englund is surprisingly mellow and toned down in a role as the "Ahab", who is trying to hunt down Leslie before he can kill.

It's in an interesting film and concept and well executed, though for me I'd rather the film crew remained impassive, as in Man Bites Dog, though it has been awhile since I saw that movie so I might be a little off in remembering. Still, it's a fun take on the slash film. It does break the documentary feel in parts, for pleasing angles that just couldn't be done even with the two camera shoot they were doing. Definitely worth checking out. Especially with wine. Or liquor. Or beer.

Also, death by post hole digger. Very awesome.

Also check out Man Bites Dog. It's in French, so be prepared for subtitles. Also, French is the language of madmen, so if you ever see a guy walking down the street muttering that language and you aren't in that country, just run away. It's safer.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Post Shoot Soreness

No, it's not a sexual term. It's just the aching I feel after holding a Steadicam for a few hours in a row. It's a good hurt though, as the shoot went well and we got some good footage. As Rob stated in his blog, we missed some good stuff after the cameras were away. This will probably lead us to having another shoot at Connie's, which would actually be awesome as it was pretty fun and I'd like to have a little more time to mess with my light. I think it was diffused too much, so I didn't get as much light as I'd like. Still, having it was a boon as it gave me a nice low light instead of no light at all. It was a fun time. I wouldn't mind getting up there to sing a little too. It'll give me something else for my reel. ;)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Cheaper Alternative

I needed some gaffer's tape for a project I'm working on. Unfortunately, I needed it relatively immediately and couldn't order it online and I wanted a cheaper alternative, as some brands run fairly expensive. I found a good source for a similar tape that is readily available in most areas. Just walk into your sporting goods store and ask for some hockey tape. It comes in several colors, is fabric lined and matte and leaves no residue that I've noticed. Holds pretty well too and is about two dollars a roll, so if you need to use a lot, you won't break the bank. I'm only using it to hold some gels so I didn't need much but it's handy to have to mark out spots for actors to hit and to hold wires and other fun things. Just a heads up for all the budding filmmakers out there.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

DIY Fun

With an impending shoot at a bar next weekend, I had to get prepared for it. The on camera light I have is a little too blue to use unfiltered and would look weird on screen with the lights balanced to the probable orange glow of indoor lights. The solution? A CTO. I'd like to say I'm all about lighting but I don't but what I try to learn what I can. In this case, it was learning to use an orange gel to get the color temperature of the light right.

Fortunately, I have gels to change color temp.


Unfortunately, they're CTBs, or will change the light to daylight from tungsten.

Fortunately, I have some color effects gels with an orange one. I cut this up and then took a piece of clear vinyl and sanded it down to diffuse the light, since it was a pretty defined circle and would be pretty apparent on camera. I tested them out and it looks pretty good, considering the gel was more for atmosphere than color correction. Slightly more orange than I would like but I think it'll be ok. I'll know better Sunday night.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Loopy

Heh, it turns out I'm not the only one who uses the stock Soundtrack loops for my work. I just saw a commercial for the Devils advertising ticket sales and they're using a loop, called, I believe, At What Price, Victory. Something like that. It's a fun and sweeping theme and kind of reminds me of Starship Troopers. It made me smile.

Editing Blues

Ok, not so much blues, but it's definitely a longer process than I expected. I guess part of it is not being familiar with the book for so long so I'm re-reading it and then going back over sections to fix it. Also, trying to do it when I don't have a lot of free time makes it equally tough, but I'm powering through. About 20 pages in so far out of 150 or so, though that's MS Word pages, not real pagination. Maybe 5000 out of 50000 words or so, so about a tenth of the way, though I'm adding stuff as I go where needed, trying to flesh it out, so that count isn't really accurate either.

Trying to do it while watching the Devils is a slow endeavor too, as I'm only working on it during commercials tonight while I focus on the game intensely during the periods.

Go DEVILS!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Playoff Time

Ahh, the time of year if I could grow facial hair, I would to support my team in the cup, getting myself a nice playoff beard. As it stands, we're rematching against Carolina and ready to take them down, what with their terrible logo and wannabe Detroit color scheme. Let's go for a sweep.

LET'S GO DEVILS!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Devil's Camcorder

Just watching Reaper on the DVR and I noticed that Satan, as played by Ray Wise, has my camcorder, the HV20. How cool is that? The camera so good, it's devilish. Or something. It is a nice camera. Glad to see the gods agree. Also, watch Reaper. It's awesome. A shame that it gets a very brief season in favor of crap like 90210 and Gossip Girl and every other cookie cutter show on the CW.

Monday, April 06, 2009

House?

What the hell, man? They killed one of the more interesting and likable characters on the show. Instead we're left with angry balding man and Foreteen, either of whom could have been offed nicely. I'm sure the creators have reasons for it but it seems so arbitrary. Plus we don't even get him in the episode as a corpse. WTF? Sad and good episode otherwise, save for the fact I still can't fathom why Meat Loaf continues to be addressed as such. It doesn't work well in dramas when you associate a character with a food relative of Salisbury Steak. It distances you. It also makes you hungry.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Week 2

8. I love Green Lantern.
I wish I could have his ring.
Big green punch of doom.

9. Flash, the fastest man
alive. Good for catching crooks.
Not for the ladies.

10. Godzilla is my
name. Stomping buildings is my
game. Can you dig it?

11. Why am I watching
Australia? God, this movie
sucks. Damn you Jackman!

12. Resident Evil.
It's zombie killing goodness.
Mmm. Zombie killing.

13. I have light sabers.
They're silver and shiny too.
But they're not real...yet.

14. Lady Gaga, please.
I can read your poker face.
Now get off my air.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Week 1

Did you know that a week actually has seven days? That's what happens when you figure everything according to work. Here's the remainder of haikus.

6. I have often walked
Down this street before. This time
I forgot my pants.

7. I took some Ny-Quil.
Muddled mind, can't think clearly,
It's a sick day folks.

Lazy Saturday

For those of you not on the facebook, here are the first week of haikus that I've been doing. Enjoy!

1. God, the parkway sucks.
Five miles of people looking.
It's only a deer.

2. Dave, I've told you this
before. Bud ain't a 40.
You must drink OE.

3. I want some nachos.
They would really hit the spot.
Me gusta queso.

4. Hi little snowflake.
Please don't destroy my commute.
You already have.

5. I am sick today.
I think all of the Shriners
tried to take my soul.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Whiskey on a Sunday

Just got back from a relatively whirlwind trip to Poughkeepsie for my wife's uncle's shriner shindig and I'm frelling tired as all get out. I even took a nap. Then I woke up and tried to take another one but I couldn't so I finished the Starman Omnibus Vol. 2. That is such a great series and it's wonderful that it's getting the love from such a thorough treatment. Every issue, in full with annuals and spots in other comics like Showcase Presents and even the Shade Journals. It's a fantastic read and it's probably going to take them about 5 or 6 of the omnibuses to finish it as the series runs 80 issues plus one shots and the like. It's well worth picking up, even if you won't be able to get the full set in awhile, just because Starman is one of the most fantastic comics ever written. James Robinson just weaves pure magic on the page no matter what artist he's teamed up with. Check it out.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

552!

Go Marty! Best goalie ever! No. 30 is #1 with a bullet after a great win over the Blackhawks. Also, congrats to Patrik Elias for getting the franchise record on...wait for it...St. Patrick's Day! History in the making.

A Question About Twilight

Does anyone else think it's weird that a 200 year old vampire wants a 16 year old girl? I mean, regardless of how young he looks, it's statutory rape. I'm sure there's some exception for him as he's technically dead, but then that makes her a necrophile, which is almost dirtier. It's all insipid no matter how you look at it and annoying since everywhere I look I have to see that fucker doing Blue Steel with his cheeks sucked in like a fish. Just saying.

Also, nowhere near as hot as Anna Paquin in True Blood. Not crazy about that show either but she's just plain awesome.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Name is Bruce

Finally checked out this fun flick from Bruce Campbell, where he plays a sleazy version of himself who is summoned to help save a town from a Chinese god of war. It's campy and entertaining and there are plenty of beheadings to go around. Bruce plays himself almost as if he were possessed by the spirit of Ashley J Williams, with his self-serving and cowardly nature, along with the womanizing. Ted Raimi has a great turn in multiple roles and the movie is a quick and funny ride that you'll be happy you took. Check it out.

In other news, I can now build light sabers thanks to Joel and Amy. You guys rock. I'll have picture updates on that soon.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Also

Happy Anniversary to my wife and Happy Birthday to my bro-in-law Dean!

FOCUS!

The focus ring I had on pre-order for awhile from Irv Design finally arrived. It's a necessary addition to the HV20, as it allows more manual control over the...well...focus. You see, instead of a ring, the HV20 has a little roller wheel. Not precise or easy to get to around the LCD screen, unfortunately. This attachment has a little spoke that sticks out with a wheel attached that responds when you turn the ring around the lens, letting you do fun stuff like rack and rolls with ease. I love it. It also fits on close enough where you can use a step up ring and a lens hood without having to remove it. Very cool. Good job Irv.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sunday Soreness

Man, chalk up another reason for filing comics on time--the soreness that you get from kneeling in front of the boxes and sorting them when you have about 300 left. Ugh. I need a really long room I can just line the boxes up in instead of stacking them so I don't need to worry about lifting them either. Thankfully, the batches I'm on right now are ones I taped previously so I don't need to go through that pain in the ass while sorting them.

Watched the House Bunny last night. Not great but damn if Anna Faris isn't the funniest thing ever. She's just so earnest in her delivery and attacks it with such enthusiasm that you can't help but laugh your way through whatever scene she's in. Hef shows up and actually out acts a few of the girls in the movie just by being himself too, which doesn't say much for the cast. If you find it on tv somewhere, it's worth sitting through for free. Not sure I'd give it a full rental.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Heads and Guns

I got my package of new heads and guns from Viking Casting the other day, and I must say, they're awesome. Having never ordered from a caster before, I wasn't sure what the expect. I'm happy to reveal that the results are awesome. The heads are flawless and the guns are a fantastic addition to the Deadpool I'm doing. He even threw in some bonus heads and guns. Pretty prompt service for these creations and I'm happy to do business with him again.

Should you need him, you can find his stuff here:
http://www.freewebs.com/vikings2007/vike.htm

I'm planning on making a Kyle Rayner with the Sentry head I got and a Kraken with the Mystique once I do some mods to it. The others I got are a Deadpool and Kitty Pryde. Not sure what to do with them but they're good heads to have. I also got a Captain America for free, so I have that to use too. Maybe Deadpool holding Cap's head? Who knows? Pics to follow. Too tired tonight.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Checklist 2

[x] Finish shoveling the driveway
[x] Play Rock Band 2 with Jen
[x] Marvel at how Brick hires the lowest bidder to do the main roads in town, which look worse than the most out of the way side roads.
[x] Pick up a case of PBR.

Snow Day Check List

[x] Call out of work
[x] Shovel driveway (mostly)
[x] Play with Cassie
[x] Drink lots of coffee
[x] Play Rock Band 2

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Damn you Geoff Johns

I just finished Hal Jordan as a Red Lantern. I am NOT going to make a Blue/Green Lantern version of him now.

Ok, I probably will but I'll need to find some more Captain Atom bases now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ion Girl

Who do you go to when you need someone to hold the entire power of the Green Lantern Corps in case the Guardians all die? Well, in the comics, they go to a Daxamite. I say, why not a Kryptonian? Of course, Power Girl is from an alternate universe but she still has identity issues and what better way to welcome her into the fold than with a power ring or the Ion essence in this case?

The base figure is an Elseworlds Supergirl, who looked pretty damn close to PG physically, save for the head. Enter the spare head from the Nightwing Armor figure. I think it turned out alright and I can still use the head if I want to pose Nightwing in an unmasked scene. Please note that this is the Nightwing from Kandor, not Dick Grayson. That would be weird. Anyway, another entry into the GLC shelf, which I think I'll be focusing on in the future save for some side trips.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hal Jordan--Red Lantern


In the latest issue of Green Lantern (ok, last month's), Hal Jordan was engaged in combat with Sinestro and feeling mighty pissed off as that yellow-wielding bastard had just killed Laira, a former GL who had become a RL but was looking to change. In the course of this fight, Laira's red ring found its way onto Hal's finger and due to his great rage, he became a Red Lantern. It's a pretty cool issue and I love his costume and knew I had to make my own figure for him as waiting for DC Direct to make them is akin to waiting for a star to fall--it'll happen, but not when you expect it.

I used a Supes/Bats Captain Atom figure I got at NYCC last year and promptly got to work and priming him to make a new figure. It was basically a repaint, save for the sculpting on the rings. The only part of the outfit I didn't recreate was the belt area, which is three thin red stripes. I just used one as my hand is nowhere near steady enough to attempt that and it still looks good. The mask is painted on (a tip from Swass! Customs) and the symbol I printed out and decoupaged in place. Just have to seal him once the weather turns nicer and I'll be done. I've been busy finishing figures so expect more in the coming days.

Also, I finally got rid of that black border up top around the blog title. Turns out it was a rogue content div I had lying around that I saw on another page. Thank goodness for tired editing to help me out in the end.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Resident Evil: Degeneration

Taking place a year after Resident Evil 4, this RE movie is actually related to the game more than just in name and places and is good until the last drop of blood. In this CG flick, Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield are reunited when there's an outbreak of the T-virus at an airport and during the investigation, they find that terrorists may be trying to get hold of the virus to use and devastate the country with a zombie plague. Not a bad little plan. It's up to Leon, the ultimate badass and Claire to stop them.

The CG is good, looking a lot like cutscenes from RE4 and the voice acting is decent. It's a kick to actually get a story that ties into the games for once and it's handled rather well. It's not exceptional but it's a fun ride and even Hunnigan makes an appearance. I hear the outcome of this movie factors into RE5 a little bit, so it's nice to have a bridging film right before the new game gets released. I am disappointed that Leon didn't suplex or roundhouse kick anyone but he did use his intense macking skills on a new chippie in the film. Oh, that Leon.

Check it out.

Alien vs. Predator 2: The Crappening

I don't know why I thought the second AVP would be better than the first, which was a letdown. If at all possible, it was actually worse, which is odd when you think a movie such at this should be a slam dunk. You have Aliens. You have a Predator. You have them fight. The end. The part they all get hung up on is including humans for drama. Personally, I don't give a shit about them. I'm not watching Alien vs. Predator vs. Steve. I'm watching AVP. It doesn't help that you don't particularly care for any of them anyway. Look, a mom who just got back from war. A man who got out of prison and who is just trying to help his family. A sheriff who uses all the hair gel in the state of Colorado on a daily basis. Ugh. Stay away. Even the fights, which should be good, are terrible, mainly due to it being so damn dark when they fight in sewers and at night and in various locations where it is pitch black. If they do a third movie, they should do it right and ignore the humans. And include more than one predator for land's sake. I know they're a hunting species but it doesn't say much for their aptitude when they get wiped out in the first five minutes and their backup is a lone predator from a galaxy away.

Highlights of the film include an arming up sequence with the Predator as he loots weapons from a ship and then sets it to explode before he's even done loading up so he can run out before it detonates and jump and be all cool. Also, there's death by glaive, or the predator equivalent. It came as a surprise and I wish he used them more.

Lowlights include a cast you don't care for, save for little Shawn from Psych at the beginning. There's also changes to the Alien biology with how the Predalien reproduces. I'm pretty sure that while they take on some characteristics of their host when they're impregnated, it doesn't change them so drastically where they've evolved over one generation. It's mainly done for shock value but just comes off as lame. I think they also got some Predator history wrong, as the one in this movie skins a cop he kills. In the first movie there were some skinned bodies but I always thought that was attributed to the rebels, not the predator, who likes skulls instead.

If you're a fan of the movies, I guess you'll see this, otherwise, you might want to stay away and watch something that delivers the goods.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Signal

I finally finished this movie. Not because it wasn't any good, but because life and a wife who hates horror movies intervened. Great little flick though the vague ending hurts what is overall a strong movie with intense scenes of horror and some of the funniest stuff I've seen in awhile as well. For those unfamiliar with the flick, it's about a couple named Mya and Ben who are having an affair. Not usually a problem, however on this night after they separate, a signal is broadcast that drives the city of Terminus insane and turning everyone into killers, including Mya's husband, Lewis. This film is told in three parts, each leading into the next and wrapping up fairly nicely at the end. The middle scene is probably the funniest whilst the first and third contain the majority of the horror. Will Mya and Ben meet up and escape the town? You'll have to find out. It's worth checking out for the budget (500k) and the time it was shot in (13 days). Very cool film.

What's that? Take off that mask, Mya.

Are you listening to me?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Submit!

No, it isn't one of those DC posters from Final Crisis. It's what I did. Not to Mongul though. No, instead I submitted a script to the Netflix Find Your Voice Contest. It's a pretty fraking sweet contest, I must say, offering about 300k in prizes, of which about half is cash and the rest is equipment, which is more than enough to make your script into a film, unless you wrote the next Star Wars or something of that ilk. I have my hopes though my script isn't as polished as it could be because I finished it late. They required a lot of extra info that I had to write tonight as well, which didn't give me much time to proof. Then Celtx, unlike Final Draft, doesn't export the fucking title page when it saves as text or pdf, which means adding it later on, which is easy if you have the time but annoying when you're on a deadline. Still I made it, hopefully before 2,000 people threw in theirs, because that's how many they're accepting and if you show up after, you're done. Wish me luck.

If I don't hear from them by the time they announce the winners, I'll post it for your reading pleasure.

Just Another Day in Keyport

We had another Ginkers shoot last night, this time at Scott's hacienda in Keyport/Cliffwood Beach. It was a tight fit into the room, which was small and packed with belongings, but a fun shoot. The questions were great and Rob really delved into Scott's personal history and dug up some awesome stories. We're nearing the end of the shoot and soon it will be time to edit. Hopefully we'll get some more fantastic footage soon with a round of Scott on the town and really kick it up a notch. I can't wait to see how this all unfolds in Final Cut.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Brave and the Bold

Having just watched three episodes in a row of this show, I think it's safe to say it's my favorite Batman series ever. I don't know why it just clicks. Maybe because of the fun and retro feel and lighthearted tone. Maybe it's all the guest stars. Maybe it's just because it's pure awesome on the tube. JLU will still be my favorite DC show, but this is moving up there pretty closely with each episode knocking it out of the park in terms of content and characterization. Check it out on Cartoon Network on Friday nights, which is good for me since I'm always home with the baby.

Also, the new X-Men cartoon isn't bad either. I really haven't seen much of it but it's fairly good so far.

I've been working on some customs in the meantime too. Working on a Power Girl that's just pissing me off. I need some more sandpaper, I think, as I'm having trouble smoothing out the bikini on her so it doesn't look right when I paint over it. I might put that on hold for a hot minute too as I'm not crazy about the head and might just have to get some new castings done to use. Unless the head doesn't match, in which case I'll use a Marvel Legends body. I don't know. I'd paint now but I'm too damn tired and that makes me sloppy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hey Pretty

Does anyone else think it's a crime that the only place you can hear Poe lately is on a fucking car commercial? It doesn't even fit. Ok, so she says, "Don't you wanna take a ride with me?" I'm pretty sure that she wasn't talking about a car except in a metaphorical sense. It's a pretty dark song and doesn't make me want to buy a Honda. Unless Poe is in it. Then game on.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lighting Rig

I finished my DIY camera light today. It wasn't much in the way of DIY, as most of the work simply required a drill, as opposed to others that actually wire the damn thing themselves. Mine's made up of a Chicago Electric LED worklight, a flash bracket and that's about it. I just drilled a hole in the flash bracket and threw the screw that normally mounted the worklight to its base and added a nut I bought at the hardware store on Herbertsville Rd and I was done. It works pretty well, giving off more light than what you might find at a comparative price solely for cameras. It's a lot bigger though so what I gain in cheapness, I lose in micronizing. Heavy too, though the bracket is sturdy and offers a good grip in case I want to use that instead of the hand strap or if I don't feel like mounting it to my steadicam. I'll have pics soon. I just need to work out a balance issue too, I think.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year

Ahh, a new year and new resolutions. One of them I've made and been keeping is to catch up on my movie queue. I started with Juno last night. Can't say I'm a fan or saw what everyone else did to make it an Oscar nominee. Terrible dialogue and uneven characterization made me glad I had the DS nearby. Can't blame the actors as they did a good job with what they had, though I think Page is overrated in the role and outdone by the duo playing her parents and even the girl who was her friend.

I followed that up with My Bloody Valentine. A little slow but a fun slasher from Canada that makes me want to drink Moosehead beer. Good gore and a great killer. I wonder how the remake is going to be.

Congrats to the Hokies for winning the Orange Bowl too. Go VT!