Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sir Terry on Religion.

Terry Pratchett is the funniest man in the world. He may also be one of the smartest. More>>

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cameron's New Clothes


I'm going to be perfectly blunt: Avatar is not a good movie. It's not necessarily a bad film either, but it's very bland and plays it safe on almost every level. How does a film that cost nearly ten times the amount of District 9 have visuals that pale in comparison? Why do all the characters look like cartoons? Why is there so much out of place cursing? Why is Michelle Rodriguez playing herself yet again?

It's never a good sign when I can't name a single ancillary character's name one day after seeing a movie. The only reason I remember the protagonists name is that it's repeated ad naueseum. My brain is throwing up a 404 error with every concurrent review that I've read. Are these people seeing a different movie than I am? What, besides price, is Cameron revolutionizing in cinema?

I am seriously wondering if we are experiencing a Phantom Menace style mass delusion with this movie. We have convinced ourselves that this movie is so game changing that we see much more than is actually there. I think there is a very strong possibility that in a couple of weeks people will start realizing that this movie is not very good, and start attacking it ala Phantom Menace.

Spoiler Warning !!!

Ok, here's the gist: Jake Sully's brother is killed on the planet of Pandora. Jake is recruited by Evil corp to take his place in the Avatar program. Jake uses his Avatar to interact with the Na'vi while feeding intel to Colonel Scarhead. He is accepted instantly by the aliens while continuing to spy on them for Crazy Colonel. Jake falls in love with female protagonist alien and mates with her to the sound of incredibly cheesy music ripped off from Enya. The humans attack the Na'vi whilst they are cuddling and rips up a magic ancestor tree. Girl alien protagonist finds out that Jake has betrayed them and never wants to see him again. Jake jumps on a flying Deus Ex Machina and is suddenly the leader of the Na'vi. He unites all of the Na'vi tribes in twelve minutes and they mount a defense against the humans who are now gunning for their other magic ancestor tree. There is an epic fight where stuff blows up and alien dino chickens fight fat airplanes and bugocopters. The battle. of course, evolves into a one on one melee with Jake and Colonel Badguy climaxing with Alien girl protagonist perforating Badguy with arrows. The humans are kicked off of Pandora and the magic tree sucks Jake permanently into his Avatar. The end.

I just saved you thirty bucks.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Solomon Kane

Whoa. Where the hell did this come from? I love and devour almost everything Robert Howard has ever done, ditto on Lovecraft. Solomon Kane influenced almost every "dark" hero in some way. This movie looks like it could in fact do him justice. I'm sure it will be better than Arnie's abysmal Conan films which dumbed down the character exponentially. Crossing my fingers on this one. More>>

Best of 09: Top Films

4. Coraline

This is the book that first made Neil Gaiman a household name. American Gods brought in critical acclaim, Sandman won every award possible, but Coraline placed him on countless bookshelves young and old. Why does this book resonate so? I think that Coraline's too busy parents make her quite easy to identify with. Most of us have been in her shoes (or felt like we were) at some point. Gaiman mixes this angst deftly with a classic dark fairytale equal parts scary, funny, and thrilling.

How would all this translate to the screen? Exquisitely. Coraline had a second great visionary attached to it in the person of Henry Selick the stop motion visionary. The colors and movement bring this fairytale to life, and the dark humor translates fantastically to the stop motion medium. The voice work is top notch, specifically Dakota Fanning as Coraline and Keith David as the wuss-puss. Add to this an ethereal faux French soundtrack by Bruno Coulais and you have an absolute classic.

Note: This is one of the best 3d films I have ever seen. Unfortunately the same can not be said of the 3d process at home with the old school red and green glasses. You still get the movie which is quite amazing on its own. More>>

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shut Up Woman Get On My Horse

This is insane. It will also insert itself into your brain and never let you go.

Sweet Lemonade!!! More>>

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tron Legacy reveal.


The first released image looks really good, kind of cyberpunky. The helmetless look is pretty interesting, I wonder if they'll don them when in a game? Hit the jump to see the poster.


Best of 09: Top Films

5. Zombieland

How is it possible that two excruciatingly funny movies about zombies exist in the same Universe? Will this cause some sort of personification of entropy to descend upon Earth and reap the souls of the living? Perhaps it just means that zombies are inherently funny. Although putrification can be quite humorous, I have a feeling that intelligent writing and a love of the genre may be the reason behind this phenomenon.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Zombieland succeeds in every facet as a comedy and a horror film. It's the filmic equivalent of finding extra fries at the bottom of the bag....a real treat. Not too mention one of the best cameos in recent history.

Don't forget the rules of Zombieland:
1. Cardio
2. Double Tap
3. Wear Seatbelts
4. Beware of Bathrooms
5. No Attachments
6. Cast Iron Skillet
7. Travel Light
12. Bounty paper towels
17. (Don't) Be a hero
18. Limber Up
22. When in doubt, know your way out
29. The Buddy System
31. Check the back seat
32. Enjoy the little things More>>

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Short and Angry Reviews

The newest Avatar still.

Flashforward (The Book) : Oh noes! We screwed up the world! Now I am a robot in the future!

Flashforward (The ABC Series) : Oh noes! I'm an alcoholic! ZZZzzzzzzzz

V (The Revamped ABC Series) : Dammit, they weren't called V's. They were the visitors. Do we call the enterprise crew Star Trek's?

Family Circus: I'm convinced this is some sort of avant garde humor. The art of the non joke.

And Another Thing: If I believed in the devil this would be his handiwork. Leave. The. Hitchhikers. Guide. Alone.

Karen Armstrong: You put your wishy in. You take your washy out. You put your wishy in, and wave your hands about. More>>

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I.M.P.S. The Relentless Chapter 2

I.M.P.S. The Relentless Chapter 2 from Blacksheep Productions on Vimeo.

Whoo hoo! Better late than never. More>>

Reach for the Starman


The Starman Omnibus, Vol. 1
DC Comics

Real emotion. Real emotion is a rarity in any sort of fiction. One of the things that separates a classic story from merely a popular one. It's a double rarity for said fiction to create living, breathing characters who nearly step off the page and speak to you. James Robinson and Tony Harris's Starman is one of these rarities.

The mid nineties were a bleak time to be a comic fan. Over muscled mono-syllabic buffoons carrying guns the size of a small Balkan nation were the rule. Some of the leaps made in the eighties by cutting edge books like Sandman and Watchman had catapulted the medium into the public eye, but speculation had reared it's ugly head and pumped hundreds of vapid "collectible" comics into the market.

This glut, while ultimately very harmful for the industry also ushered in a handful of truly remarkable titles that probably wouldn't have been released in the previous decade. James Robinson and Tony Harris set out to revamp a third string hero, A Justice Society of America old timer named Starman. However Robinson and Harris's Starman was much different than his Golden Age counterpart, who just happened to be his father.

Jack Knight had absolutely no ambition to become a hero, a fact that he makes plain throughout the entire book (which collects the first seventeen issues of the comic). Jack just wants to run his junk shop and leave the heroic exploits to his father and brother ( David Knight, who took over the mantle of Starman after Their father Ted retired). Unfortunately, Jack's idyllic existence isn't meant to last and David is assassinated while patrolling Opal city and Ted Knight is attacked and hospitalized.

Jack Knight may not want to become a hero, but unfortunately he IS one. He has to wield a backup cosmic rod as necessity to save his own hide and gradually falls in to becoming a full time hero. Much like Peter Parker before him, Jack is a real person with real motives and problems. Also like the Webslinger, he has an amazing cast of supporting characters that nearly jump off the page.

James Robinson's dialogue is whip sharp and Tony Harris's beautifully realistic and expressive art brings a wonder to the series that is not present in comics very often. Starman is a fantastic series and I give it my highest possible recommendation.

The Specs
I think I like the format of this book a bit more than the behemoth Absolute editions that DC has solicited for a couple of years now. This volume adheres to more of a standard Hardback size while retaining the high quality paper and color separation that makes the artwork really pop off the pages. The price is also considerably lower than the absolute editions which is also a big plus in my book. The standard DVD style extras are also included with sketches, a cover gallery, and commentary.

All in all a quite superb package.


Friday, December 4, 2009

All New, All Different!


As you may have noticed, there have been very few updates here within the last few months. I originally started this blog to speak on a variety of issues pertaining to secularism, theistic criticism, and scientific discovery. I began to feel as if this ground has been tread by several excellent blogs and that mine was essentially just repaving the same highway. So from this point on Society of Heathens is going to be experiencing a rebirth. I will still speak about the topics of science and secularism, but SoH will become much more based upon my stream of consciousness. I'll post more about this and the upcoming Project: Yellow in the coming days. Excelsior, True Believers! More>>
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