Saturday, December 11, 2010

media round up december

I actually came here to write something else but I left the note book I need at home. In fact I left all my notebooks at home. As a result tonight’s writing activities will take a sudden shift to the left. I might go back and do all the things I wanted to write later, mostly because one of the things I want to write is time sensitive. However, that is for later. Right now I am going to write this. I don’t really have much of a topic in mind so I guess I am going to do a nice little media round up. Then I will take a shot at writing something for NA25 or I will go and get foods cause I totally forgot to nick some stuff from work. That is what happens when your need to leave your place of employment overrides your common sense. Maybe I still have some burritos at home.

Moving on MEDIA round up, it is like a comic book round up only different cause I am going to do movies and books too!

1) Brightest Day, continuing on from DC’s darkest night is DC’s Brightest Day. If I had to summerize darkest night briefly it would be dead people coming back and making fun of how shitty and stupid your life is. Zombies that feed on emotional trauma instead of just brains. I like it a lot. It is the first event that I aquired all the spin offs and side events to. That totals to 7 hardback comic books. Like I said though I liked it a lot. So naturally brightest day is catching my interest. There is a series of issues though. First of all the Darkest Night was primarily a Green Lantern event. I like the Green Lantern. I started picking up their stuff just prior to the Darkest Night and I promptly fell in love. I hopped on just after a significant reboot and I had a cursory knowledge of events in the DC universe so I was able to get up to speed pretty quickly. Once I was up to speed and waititng for new things to come out I started going back and looking around at things, I learned that while I love the Green Lantern side of things, the rest of the DC universe is not exactly my cup of tea. Like I didn’t really enjoy the crisis books enough to get them, and I didn’t like 52. II got through a volume and a half of 52 before I realized that I wasn’t really enjoying myself. Life in the DC universe is fucking hard man/. I’ll get to more of that in a second.

Now Brightest Day is primarily a DC event that the green lantern is involved with but only in a cursory fashion. So I read it with some curiosity and a head full of doubts. Like I said before life in the DC universe is fucking hard and Brightest Day isn’t shy about pointing this out. There is one point where there is a couple having a picknic just trying to have a nice little day and then a monster who is talking to itself comes out of the bushes and kills them. It kills them horribly too. There is a woman who beats her whole family to death, some of them with rock band instruments. I see the author has spectacularly over estimated how sturdy those guitars are but whatever. Then there is a moment where the Black Mantra looks bad ass. Black Mantra is working in a seafood store, hears that Aquaman is alive, kills everyone with a skinning knife and then stalks off. That moment was pretty epic, and I am glad it happened because seriously? Black Mantera is kind of one of those joke charecters.

The heroes involved are generally fucked up, and all of them being freshly resurrected means that they are fucked up even more. Some of it is due to the ressurection process and some of it is due to the fact that they are thrown back into the lives of people who have moved on. Some of them are welcome back with open arms and some of them are seen as unwelcome guests. Now this idea is fascinating to me and I kind of wish the comic just focused on this rather than the whole mystery of the white light and the mysterious perversion of their powers but whateva most people don’t read comics for hyper dense charecterizations so I don’t get what I want *cries*.

I’ve decided I am going to buy it though primarily because it did the thing. The while light listed a series of seemingly random events that each of its champions must preform. Some are esoteric like study more/study less, or burn it all. Others are faily obvious like one will have to throw the boomerang and someone else is tasked at catching it. All these things are going to connect into a grand tapestry which will result in something. Curiosity is peeked and now I am in it for the long haul. Bastards.

Incorruptable vol2: Irredeemable and Incorruptible are the two best comics out right now that I am not buying. I have a distinct feeling that it is because I am stupid. However, I think I plan on cathing up with my Christmas bonus money, maybe but I mean that is 7 volumes between the two of them but it is good. Incorruptible especially. The thing is that the writer did the first thing that has annoyed me over the course of the series. He got rid of Jail Bait. Now Jail Bait has got to be one of my favorite concepts in the history of ever. It has so brutally flaunted the boundaries of acceptable behaviour but unlike the horrible collapsing womb malarky this is actually good. Jail Bait for those not in the know is Max Damage’s side kick. Max is a man in his early 30’s maybe. JailBait is a 15 year old girl and she is dressed in skin tight leather that accents her wonderful cleavage, shows off her ass, and is completely inappropriate for a 15 year old girl. They used to have sex and from what I know about it, it was AWESOME. Of course Jail Bait isn’t really taking the end of the world and Max’s descent into super heroics very well. Things happen and over the course of the trade she is replaced by an acceptable 18+ college student who looks more or less exactly like Jail Bait except slightly taller. I am upset by this. I am upset by this for three reasons:

1) I am a decadent pervert and it was awesome
2) She was really well written. I mean this girl has problems, and running around with Max Damage didn’t help her at fucking all. When she cost Max his good shave and she threw herself on the bed having one of those “zomg you hate me and I am going to be super dramatic about it” moments it is totally believable. Her suicide attempt was really well written and by and large touching. The point is that the author managed to pull off someone who has seen and done a variety of things, and yet she is still someone who is fantastically immature.
3) Three ties into two. She wasn’t just a 15 year old girl who is being treated like an 18+ girl who has no problems or insecurities ie not hit girl. As a result there was fantastic opportunity for character growth. I mean this world is essentially post apocalyptic. Hyperion or whatever the hell his name is has seen to that. Half of the city is in ruins, entire countries have been wiped off of the face of the earth and everyone is essentially waiting for the hammer to fall. This is the world he has sent her out into because apparently that one is much safer than the one she is living in now. I mean he was going to steal a portal that lead to paradise and throw her through it to protect her. What was done instead was a half assed replacement job. Now maybe there were some behind the scenes editorial work that caused this. Not everyone is as comfortable with the sexual exploitation of a 15 year old as I am, even if all the exploitation happens before the book picks up. The point is that he cares about her and he should of learned to nurture her as he relearns to be himself. Oh well the book is still better than good. It is great but JailBait added this incredible dynamic that is gone now and I will miss it.


And now movies!

Gangs of New York:

This isn’t a new movie by any streach of the imagination but it is a fantastic movie that is largely overlooked by everyone ever. This is something I don’t understand because it really is a fantastic movie. It is pretty much the movie that caused the seperation of Leonardo DeCaprio being a pretty boy pretend actor into him being a real actor who actually has some skill in his trade. It is a three hour long Scorsesi work of art that has sort of bizarrely mixed message. I’ve seen the movie several times now and I’ve never been quite sure of what to make of it. At it’s heart it is a revenge drama. Leo’s dad is killed in gang fight to see who will control the 5 points area of new york. Leo’s dad just wanted to carve out a place for irish men to be safe and secure, and the butcher… well he really just wanted a good dust up. Leo grows up comes back gets in good with the butcher and this is where things start to get weird.

See the butcher, he is a pretty good guy as far as lords of crime go. He has nothing but the utmost love and respect for Leo’s departed father, to the point where he plucks out his own eye for the man. Every year they celebrate not the victory over Leo’s dad but rather the memory of Leo’s dad. Anyway things happen, things go right round baby right round, and eventually Leo and the Butcher face off along with several other blokes but the whole battle is interrupted by the rest of the violence speading through the city over the civil war draft, and the Butcher is actually killed by a piece of shrapnel caused by an artilary bombardment rather than anything else. The two gangs end up carrying each other off of the battle field and the conflict is never resolved, instead it is more or less abandoned for the larger more important conflict that ends up consuming everyone. I like this. This might be actually the thing I like the most about the movie. See instead of getting all preachy about the ideas and danger of revenge. Or how petty Leo’s vendetta is against the Butcher and how much more they all could of done together, instead it leaves you to ponder what could or should the right course of action be.

It reminds me of a volume of the punisher where three irish gangs were squaring off over a dead man’s large inheritance and one of the charecters who was sick of it all demanded that they stop fighting go get the money, get rich and leave each other alone. The big theme for both of these works is that they left Ireland to get away from all the shit that they keep doing to each other and that doesn’t make any god damned sense. It doesn’t.

I kinda wanna learn more about Ireland but I have a feeling it will just piss me off. The Gangs of New York is such a good movie though, and there is an elephant where there should be.

Warrior’s Way: So I saw this movie. AND IT WAS AWESOME! I liked it a lot. Before we continue lets get some things out of the way. One, the movie is fantasically low budget, cheesy, and it doesn’t take itself at all seriously in any way what so ever. This is important to know for people who choose to see it. The movie is basically about a Ninja who betrays his clan, comes to America, sets up shop in an old west town populated by circus preformers, and there he learns to enjoy life once again. Events happen. These events cumlulate in many many ninjas fighting many many cowboys. There is a midget.

Now on a purely visceral level you will either love it or hate it. Some people like myself love the action scenes and some people hate them. I have nothing but negative things to say about the people who didn’t like the action scenes so we will move on past them. What actually makes the movie though were its charecters. The movie could of just as easily sockted their town with stereotypical western folks and just focused on the main character and the love interest until the end of the movie action scene. Instead they made the citizens of that town matter. They had hopes, dreams, quirks, they were funning and they were an actual honest to god community of people who you learned to care about. When one of them sauntered onto the screen they brought with them life and energy instead of just some tiresome annoyance. There was more life and charecterization in any one of the side characters of Warrior’s Way than there was in the entire cast of Predators combined. So when the final battle started to take its inevitable toll on the citizens of the town I actually started to feel bad for them. Other people did to. For the first time in maybe ever I heard people go, “Oh no I liked him” when one or another character died. As I said some didn’t get it, and some didn’t want to. However, for the most part the side charecters didn’t necessarily steal the show, but they did most certainly make the show worth watching. It is great and I most certainly look forwards to adding it to my movie collection.

Annnnnd I am tired of writing this now. To be fair I’ve written the better part of three pages. It is disappointing that I can do something like this effortlessly while NANO was such a crucible. Oh well. I am going to eat and do other things and they will all be fantastic amen.

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