1.30.08 ~ It’s that time again!

January 30, 2008

So, I realize it’s been some time since I posted. I’ve been busy adjusting to my new school schedule, work, etc. I’ve watched a few new movies in the last week or so, and plan to do posts about them in the coming days. I have a pair of webcomics I’d like to review and get out there to you, my small, hopefully loyal reader base. I’m on the verge of finishing not one, not two, but three more books on my way to that fifty books business – I know that three seems like a lot, but I have one book I keep in my backpack for at school. I keep one at work. I keep one on my nightstand. Seems like a lot, I know, but it keeps me reading and working towards my goal. The next thing to do is to get back to writing regularly.

Tonight’s post, though, is going a different route…

WE HAVE TO GO BACK.

As some of you may well know, the Lost Season 3 finale aired on ABC tonight, complete with a little popup bar at the bottom running a ticker of info, in case the viewer’d forgotten anything in the break. And rewatching it (in HD, no less), really reminded me of how much I love that show. I don’t think I’m out of line when I call it a masterpiece of American television. It was, when it was on during a normal season, nearly a religious event for me. My WoW Arena 3v3 team is named “Not Pennys Boat.” The numbers, the monsters, the hatch, the Others (both sets), and just how absolutely hardcore Rousseau is…

Expect a post tomorrow night.


1.20.08 ~ Good Night, and Good Luck.

January 20, 2008

Today’s Music: “Remember Me As A Time of Day”, Explosions in the Sky
(This song, for whatever reason, really makes me think of Brad.)

TODAY’S TOPIC: Review of Good Night, and Good Luck.

Got this from Netflix with Pan’s. I had wanted to see it when it was out in the theaters, but that was back while I was in wretched Downers Grove and it just didn’t work out. >_> The film is a “docudrama” about the battle between Edward R. Murrow and Senator McCarthy, back during the whole Communist scare. I will be the first to admit it was not at all what I expected.

That didn’t mean it wasn’t excellent.

First things first, the film was black’n’white. Considering the kick I’m on now, this was a huge turn-on.

At an hour and a half, the movie runs at average length, but I’ll tell you, it definitely felt too short. I could have done with another hour. Superbly acted, the entire piece just sorta sucked me in and wouldn’t let go. Engrossing is a good word. The sparse soundtrack had music in all the right places. The acting was tight. Jeff Daniels is Jeff Daniels. I love Robert Downey Jr. – I think I might pick up A Scanner Darkly and try watching that again. What am I saying, the entire cast did a damn fine job.

What I realized, as I was watching the movie, was that a.) it is fantastically relevant to current affairs, and b.) it’s a movie meant to speak to today’s viewers about the role of the news media more than it’s meant to inform its audience about the Red scare from so long ago. I need to start taking notes during some of these – there were lines Murrow delivered that were things I know we’ve all thought during the course of this Bush administration debacle and the election circus that’s going on. About how it’s the media’s responsibility to be fair and honest and to give voices to everyone. To rise up against the politicians, not be controlled by them. To become a strange version of a shining beacon of hope when the government is trying to use fear tactics and propaganda to control and subvert a nation. Sound familiar?

Anyway, make an hour and a half and watch this film. This was a good Netflix weekend.

Pros: Amazing ensemble acting, fantastic cinematography, awesome sound, excellent storytelling and seamless integration of historical material.

Cons: It was too short. I could have easily watched three hours of this, if the quality could be maintained.

***** out of *****
Five out of Five.


1.14.08 ~ Webcomics You’re Not Reading

January 14, 2008

Today’s Music: “0 – 4”, The Notwist

TODAY’S TOPIC: Webcomics You’re Not Reading: PVP, by Scott Kurtz

So, since this blog is recently finding it’s feet again, every now and then I’d like to do this little bit, “Webcomics You’re Not Reading”. And maybe some of you are, my soon to be loyal readership, but maybe some of you aren’t.

Today’s featured strip is PvP, a typically-four panel black and white comic drawn by Scott Kurtz. It has been around for something like ten years now, and maintains all the charm it had the day it started. I’ve been reading it daily since 2003 or so – it has become a staple of my daily internetting. The strip features characters who are all employees of an independant gaming magazine, “PvP”. Run by friends-since-forever Cole and Brent (the H.O.M.O.), it employees a handful of writers, including the girl gamers, the teenage gamer fanatic, and a troll. No, not the forum kind – an actual troll. With a mass of unique supporting characters, this comic is sure to offer at least one character each reader can relate to, and more whom the reader can say, “I know someone exactly like that!” (Ask me about any of my Mac friends and I will find Brent in all of them, and become Francis in my rabid defense of PCs.) Nor is the comic entirely about video games – it offers homage to tabletop RPGS, Star Wars, Star Trek, Starbucks addictions and all other things ultimately geeky. Kurtz even throws in the occassional non-gamer plotline.

While the script offers no daily, years-long storylines that must be followed religiously, a story arc will sometimes span a week or two. The beauty of it is that even in these story arcs comic strips stand alone with their own punchline. Take, for example, this comic. This gem from just last week or so really stuck out to me. Boy, you see, had quit WoW and was glad of it. While I never -quit-, we had a conversation very similar to this one. And, like Brent and Jade, now we too are playing together. It’s strips like that that keep me tuned in daily, even in the presence of one of my less-favorite characters, Shecky.

You’re probably thinking, good lord, ten years of comics is a lot to read all on a monitor. Won’t my eyes start on fire? Ah, I would say, yes it is, too bad, if only he was published. You’re in luck! Mr. Kurtz has the good fortune of being published by Image Comics. If you follow the comic for a while, and decide you’d like to read back, you can find issues of PvP in your local comic shop. You can also order them online directly off the PvP site.

There are very few cons I can identify with this comic. While it is a gamer comic, many references are easily accessible to most crowds. The comic is littered with pop culture references from nearly the last thirty years. So even if you’re not a rabid fan of video games, there will most probably be something for you in the comic. There are obviously some characters who are more (or less) likeable than others, and the occassional plotline that doesn’t QUITE make you laugh like another, or a comic where the punchline falls flat. Mr. Kurtz is the first to point these out, usually, with the attitude of, “Hey, one comic in one hundred isn’t bad.” And we, as always, forgive him with hopes of another laugh. He is a man who adores his readers and does his best to please him as frequently as he can.

In short, PvP is a gem of the internet, and definitely one worth adding to YOUR daily internetting. The perfect little pick-me-up to brighten that day that you’ve already ruined at 8 a.m. by spilling your Starbucks latte all in that shiny MacBook Pro.