That Guy… Who Was In That Thing sits down with 16 recognizable “character actors”, talks about their lives and times, and the ups and downs of trying to carve out a living in Hollywood. It is quite possibly the most aptly titled movie I’ve ever seen.
“Character Actors” are the guys that play the lawyer, doctor, politician, cop, business man, middle manager, prisoner, guard, stooge or lackey in pretty much every movie or TV show ever made. Maybe they have a role or show that most people remember them from, maybe they don’t. Sometimes a That Guy has appeared in enough stuff, you might even remember his name when you see it in the credits. Most of these guys aren’t those guys, but you’ll definitely remember their faces. When the movie’s over, you’ll likely also remember their stories.
Since the advent of YouTube, there have been videos about video games, made by fans & reviewers of all types… professional, amateur and asshole. In recent years, a type of video called “Let’s Play” videos have become increasingly popular. These videos generally feature gameplay of the game, and overlapping commentary from the player. They could be intended as humourous, critical or as a walkthrough of the game. No one seemed to care very much about them for a long while… until YouTube started allowing video creators to monetize their channels and videos using ads. It’s been a while now, and all hell has started to break loose.
Recently, YouTube has pursued video game companies like Nintendo, Mojang, Microsoft, Sony (and presumably all the others out there) to get them to cash in on the advertising revenue of videos featuring their games. I haven’t exactly got my finger on the pulse of gaming news any more, but now that a company as big as Nintendo has jumped into the fray, with a seemingly heavy handed, Big Brother-esque stance on the issue, it’s gotten my attention. Nintendo has apparently claimed all rights to any advertising revenue generated by a video featuring gameplay of their games. At first glance, depending on where you stand on copyright issues, it seems either pretty shitty, or perfectly understandable. But like everything else in life, it’s never quite so black or white.
I’ve often wondered how I should handle the “bathroom stuff” when I’m flying solo with Charlotte out in the real world. When she needs to go, obviously I need to drag her into the men’s room with me. Do I let her solo the stall right out of the gate? Obviously I should close the door, right? Could she fall in? When do I let her handle the ladies’ room on her own? What if she wants me to go in with her, but insists on using the ladies’ room? All of these questions have been floating around in my head from the moment I realized that there was at least a 50% chance that I could be fathering a girl. They popped up more and more in recent months, as potty training became more and more of a focus.
One question I hadn’t ever considered, though, was what I should do if I needed to go. That’s what happened about 5 minutes into our retail excursions one evening a few months ago.
Apparently these two Japanese exclusive figures are entering a re-release phase that will have them end up at North American distribution houses.
If you’re wondering, these are two iconic Nintendo characters. That’s Link, from The Legend of Zelda series on the left, and Samus from the Metroid series on the right.
Stuff like this is precisely the reason I try to never follow toy-related news. I end up seeing pictures of amazing things that I do not–and probably never will–have. I should try to get a hold of a couple of those Samuseses. (Sami? What’s the plural of Samus?) One would look fantastic in a box on the shelf, and Charlotte deserves to have a Samus, even if she’d certainly destroy it in minutes.
So in addition to it being Star Wars Day, May the 4th was also Free Comic Book Day, a day designed to get folks out to their Local Comic Book Store (LCBS for the nerdier among us) and get free stuff. The major publishers put out a few reprints, and the odd original work. The LCBSes usually run all sorts of sales to catch the wallets of the patrons like bottom trawlers. Every year I swear I’m not going in, because I hate crowds, and I always buy something I probably don’t need. Every year I end up there anyway.
Finding this series was one of those fated moments. I was only in the LCBS because my brother wanted to see what sales they had on their used video games. After torturing him and his wallet by drawing his attention to two normally overpriced ATLUS titles, I headed over to the longboxes to avoid making a $40+ purchase myself.
Now, Dr. Strange is a character I’ve always been interested in, but never enough to seek out a title where he’s the head-liner. I hadn’t even heard of this series before I saw it in the longbox that day. What caught my eye under his name, though, was the name of one of my favourite writers working in comics today, Brian K. Vaughan. I haven’t read his entire body of work yet, but I haven’t come across a title written by him that I haven’t enjoyed. At $1 an issue, the trawlers had caught my wallet once again.
Writer Brian K. Vaughan and penciller Marcos Martin’s Dr. Strange: The Oath is a 5 issue limited series from 2006, featuring Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme as he attempts to find a mystical cure for his cancer-ridden Apprentice/Butler/Manservant, Wong. Along the way, they meet the Night Nurse, a young doctor who has made a name for herself by running an exclusive after hours clinic to patch up costumed vigilantes. The trio track down a mysterious thief who has stolen Wong’s one chance for survival.
Robert Downey Jr. returns to the big screen again as Tony “Iron Man” Stark in Iron Man 3. It’s the flagship title of Marvel Films “Phase 2″, kicking of another series of movies leading up to Avengers 2. In the wake of the events of The Avengers, Tony finds himself having a hard time adjusting to his experience fighting of a legion of aliens, lead by an angry Norse God. Acknowledging his own mortality, and the fact that he’s just “a man in a can” has left him sleepless and reclusive. Adding to the troubles is the appearance of frightening cultural Hodge-Podge of a terrorist, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who’s been linked to 9 mysterious explosive attacks on American interests around the world.
Distracted and distant, Tony is once again at risk of losing the one thing he fights so hard to protect, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), when a man from their past, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) returns with a business proposal. Between blowing up all the bad guys, Tony once again has to set himself on a course of learning personal responsibility and what it means to grow up.
My head’s rolling around after this one. It really is. By all rights, this movie should be fucking terrible, and I should hate it. I don’t know how to write this review without spoiler-upon-spoiler, but I’m going to try. I want to rip it apart and then explain why none of it matters. I’m bordering on making another Red Pill/Blue Pill set of reviews here. Instead, I can only say what I feel: I had a fucking blast watching this movie. If you can turn off your brain, and just enjoy RDJ being Tony Stark, and like watching big explosions, then this is the show for you.
…and the award for Least Thought Out Licensed Product goes to…
For me, it’s the cup-holder clenched fists that turn this from innocent to kinda creepy. Maybe… maybe… if they hadn’t chosen a character that has faced horrible, creepy allegations for almost 60 years–Nope, it’d still be a kid sitting on the likeness of a super-dude’s crotch.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the product itself. If you want–or already have–one, I’m not making any judgements at all. It’s probably more of a comment on me that the first place my mind went when I saw this was straight in the gutter.
Here’s a review I wrote on Epinions.com 13 years ago today. It’s for a fantastic party game from a time when I attended parties, Worms: Armageddon. The Worms series had been around for a number of years, even back then. Now the franchise is a staple title of the downloadable game market.
“Worms: Armageddon” recently crawled on to my Playstation. I played the original “Worms” game for the computer about two years ago for the first time, and fell in love with it. Basically, the series is a mixture of the classic games “Lemmings” and “Scorched Earth“. You and up to 3 friends have a team of 4 worms, who try and blow the living daylights out of one another. The last team standing wins the war.
Released to festivals in 2008, and in limited showings across Canada in 2009, One Week was written and directed by Michael McGowan. It’s one of those inspiring movies meant to teach you to seize the day and live life on your own terms and whatnot. This is not normally the type of thing I go for. But there is one sure-fire way to get me to watch an inspiring soul-searching road movie…
Make it Canadian.
One Week stars Joshua Jackson as Ben Tyler. It opens with Ben in his doctor’s office. Ben’s told he’s got Stage IV cancer, and even with treatment… he’s probably done. On his way home, Ben sees a motorcycle being sold by the guy from Beachcombers. As he rolls up his Tim Horton’s Coffee Rim, it tells him to “Go west, young man”. He tells his fiancée (Liane Balaban) he’s doing just that, bails on treatment and heads out looking for an adventure.
Time for another Review Grab Bag. Continuing with last month’s theme of having absolutely no theme, we’ve got a classic animated feature from Disney, a classic 80s toy, a debatable modern sci-fi classic film, and a relatively middle road, forgettable graphic novel.