In an uncharacteristic change of pace… I think I’m going to be able to pull off this review, Spoiler Free*!
*Freedom isn’t free. There is one spoiler in this review… and it’s not really a spoiler, so much as a mention of the fact that a specific running gag that does not show up in the new season.
Arrested Development‘s long, long, long, awaited fourth season was released as an exclusive title to Netflix’s streaming service Sunday. 15 all new episodes, varying in length from 30-40 minutes. If you haven’t heard of Arrested Development, stop what you’re doing right now… right now…and go watch it. Start at the beginning.
Side By Side is a documentary that looks at the film industry’s gradual shift from film cameras to digital cameras. That simple summary makes it sound like it must be the most boring thing in the world. For many, I’m sure it would be. However, nearly all the industry’s top directors sit down with Keanu Reeves (Woah) and have a chat about their personal history with both old fashioned movie making, and their impressions of all the ways digital methods and computers have revolutionized the industry over the past 30 or so years.
My standard Documentary Disclaimer applies once again. Very, very few documentaries are interesting if you aren’t at least moderately interested in the subject matter going in. If you don’t enjoy dogs, don’t watch a documentary that delves into the learning patterns and behaviours of man’s best friend. If the behind-the-scenes processes of movies is less interesting to you than watching paint dry on growing grass… please, don’t think that a glowing endorsement from me means that this is the movie for you.
Published by Image Comics, Saga is a monthly comic book from writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, Dr. Strange: The Oath) and illustrator Fiona Staples. It tells the story of the early years of our young narrator, Hazel. Hazel’s mother is a former guard at a military prison. Her father was once a prisoner. Their two races have been at the forefront of a Galactic War that has raged on for longer than anyone can remember. Regardless, the two fell in love, escaped, married one another, and had a child. Now they’ve been discovered and are trying to escape the planet, Cleave.
This review is of the first volume trade paperback collection of issues 1-6. I could make it really short.
Abraham Lincoln lived a remarkable life. He worked hard his whole life, freed America’s slaves, and re-united his country.
Oh… and he was also a bad-ass motherfucker who cut down hordes of Vampires with a silver-coated axe.
Every once in a while, a movie comes along where everything you need to know is in the title. Snakes on a Plane, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Aliens… every one of those movies tells you exactly what you’re going to see on screen. Maybe there’s something more, maybe there isn’t. But you know going in that you’re going to see some snakes on a plane, a chainsaw massacre located in Texas, and a shitload of fuckin’ aliens, man.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is one of those movies.
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.