Friday, May 14, 2010

Weekend Plans of the Nerd Kind (May 14th -- May 16th)

WRITING: I would, of course, get sick on my vacation. Got over a thousand words done on both Monday and Tuesday -- but spent most of Wednesday in bed. Still recovering.

The weekend is devoted to family, since the wife is graduating this weekend with her PhD in Physics.

Got five pages left on the robot project and haven't even touched the comedy script yet. Still a good chance I'll get both done before the vacation is out.

TV and MOVIES: I had planned to put off watching last week's Doctor Who until I had both parts of this year's "Weepings Angels" story, knowing the naked hunger I would have for its conclusion. I gave in last night. One hell of an episode. Can't wait to see how it ends.

I haven't written about Matt Smith's Doctor or Stephen Moffat taking over the reins of showrunner from Russell T. Davies yet. So far, I'm extremely pleased with both. After a very strong opening episode, the next two felt a bit shaky, due to too many ideas and not enough time to sort them out properly, but last week's episode felt just right.

Again, can't wait to see how it ends.

GAMES: Spent my sick days in bed, playing La Pucelle: Tactics on my Playstation 2, the only game console I have in our bedroom. I've had it out from Gamefly for over a month, and just started playing it on Wednesday. Very, very addicting. I think I'm going to power through it over the weekend so it doesn't interfere with the writing next week.

Of course, Red Dead Redemption comes out next week. This is the first time I've ever hoped that Amazon is slow in delivering a new release game.

BOOKS: Finally getting around to Grave Peril, the third novel in The Dresden's File. Can't recommend this series enough.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


* Personally, I think it's shit. I've got nothing against EA making a shitload of money off of blockbuster titles like Madden, but I can only see this "ten dollar" initiative as a simple case of naked avarice, that could -- and should -- create a huge backlash from fans. I understand that you guys at EA are currently having financial difficulties, but seriously...

* are you constantly losing money? True, I'm an uninformed asshole just spouting off a poorly researched opinion here, but you guys publish Madden, Rock Band, and The Sims, for Christ's sake! Is there a giant mattress you forgot to look under? Has one of your employees embezzled millions of dollars from the company, transferred said millions into small change, and made his or her own Scrooge McDuck money pool in their basement? Are you paying ridiculous amounts of money in blackmail because someone has pictures of Will Wright standing over a dead hooker?

As I said above, I am uninformed as to the how and why here. I would love to be informed, if someone from EA has the time. Because right now, I don't think second-hand games sales and Farmville are your problem.

* True, I think this is crap. But it's a brilliant and cunning piece of crap -- if it actually is successful, mind you. Gamestop, the leading used reseller, sells new and in-demand titles at just five dollars below retail (which, to me, is also crap -- but that's a rant for a different time). Gamestop will have to lower the used price point on these games, cutting into their profits, or it will actually cost one more to buy a used EA Sports title and still wish to have the full experience.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Super 8 (Teaser Trailer)

I'm not sure exactly why I'm excited for this one, but I really, really am -- even if this turns out to be another "found footage" film like Cloverfield.

J.J. Abrams truly has become a major figure in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. I never got into Lost, but the friends I have that dig it are simply ravenous about it. I thought Cloverfield was just shy of greatness, but when it worked, it was truly scary and involving. And I don't think one can overstate how his direction of the last Star Trek film turned a pretty good script (a year later and I still have to say it: red matter?) into one of the best popcorn movies of the last twenty years.

And Abrams working together with Spielberg is a perfect fit. Here's hoping that Abrams can make the kind of movie that Spielberg used to make before he started taking himself too seriously.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Iron Man 2 (Quick Review),40953/

It wasn't too shabby, but it didn't do a lot for me.

There's an established pattern for the successful comic book franchises, which has stayed consistent since Christoper Reeve's time with Superman. The first movie is good, possibly great. The second movie is even better -- bigger budget, no origin story, and increased skill and confidence from the director, cast, and crew. Then, a few years later, everything starts to go wrong with the third movie. Each franchise has stumbled for different reasons, but there's been one constant for all of them: the second sequel introduces too many new characters and subplots, with no real idea how to tie all these elements together into a cohesive, enjoyable story.

Comparing Iron Man 2 to previous superhero films, it does just about everything the first sequel does right and just about everything the second sequel does wrong. It's probably better than Spider-Man 3, the best of "3's", but it's got nothing on Spider-Man 2, X-Men 2, and The Dark Knight.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (Finally Completed)

Five years later, I finally got around to beating this damn game. I started it twice over the years and, for whatever reason, I never finished it. The third time was the charm.

I celebrated afterward by going into the free roam mode and having the Hulk throw very surprised cows into what I can only assume were very surprised tanks. A good time was had by all -- except for the cows and the guys in the tanks...and the helicopters I took down after the tanks thanks to my endless supply of bovine resources...and the innocent bystanders I threw into the cows after that, because I finally grew tired of using cows as thrown projectiles but still wanted to keep them in the "Ultimate Destruction" process ... and, well, I'm assuming no one had a good time but the Hulk.

Damn fun game. One of the best examples of how to do a comic book game right, even if it is from the previous generation of consoles.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Weekend Plans of the Nerd Kind (May 7th -- May 9th)

WRITING: One more day of work, which isn't till Sunday, then I'm off for two weeks. The goal is to finish two comic book scripts on my vacation. The third issue of the big robot miniseries takes precedence, since getting the script done -- and getting it done right -- has been buggering me since last Autumn, while issue #2 of the geek comedy series has only been buggering me since early March.

Also, my partner in crime on the big robot miniseries is almost done with the pencils for issue #1. He will continue to ink and possibly color it over the summer. Our goal is to have the first issue drawn, inked, and lettered before shopping it around. While it might not be the finished product, I want it to be the comic book equivalent of a demo tape.

Also, I plan on taking these two weeks to start updating this site again proper. We'll see how that works out.

TV and MOVIES: Iron Man 2, obviously. Seeing that on Saturday with the game group. I'm still not excited for it. I haven't been able to put it into words, yet. So let's try now:

1) Too many new characters and actors for one sequel. And none of them are...

2) ...Jeff Bridges. He was the perfect foil for Robert Downey Jr. in the first Iron Man, thanks to his outward calm and forceful presence, and the only actor I know that has convincingly intimidated Robert Downey Jr. on screen. I don't think Mickey Rourke or Sam Rockwell will be able to fill that void.

3) I'm still against a Marvel film universe. Wasting even a minute in a film like this to set up another movie (that isn't Iron Man 3, of course) detracts from it. To me, that isn't telling a story, that's selling a product.

4) The fact that Scarlet Johansson never actually spoke in either of the film's trailers is not an encouraging sign. Also...

5) ...a note to the filmmakers: you save the "other girl" subplot for the third movie, when it's universally accepted that your franchise has run out of ideas.

GAMES: Might try to pick up Assassin's Creed 2 again. Gamefly finally sent it to me two weeks ago, and it has mostly failed to keep my intention.

The Halo: Reach Beta is downloading as I type this. I wasn't excited for it until I realized that it was something that I could play this very day. Hopefully, that won't eat up too much of said day.

BOOKS: Definitely in a Marvel superhero frame of mind, for obvious reasons. Will probably pick up one of the numerous graphic novels I have from the Marvel line, thanks to my Half-Price connections.