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.