Archive for the ‘ Movies ’ Category

Nerdtacularlicious

Hey all, welcome back!

Allow me to start off by saying, Nerdtacular 2010 was absolutely amazing. I’ll admit I walked into it with a good degree of trepidation. For a lot of reasons, I didn’t have as much of a good time at Nerdtacular 2009 as I did in 2008. The big reason was that I spent it fighting off the remnants of a chest cold, but there were others. I attributed it somewhat to the greater increase of out of towners, and there being too many of us to really get to spend good quality time with each other, and given the sharp rise in out of town attendance in this year’s event, I expected that problem to increase

I was wrong, for certain. I had so much fun meeting new people, meeting folks I had only previously spoken with online, and seeing old friends again. I can’t tell you how many awesome folks I met just in this year alone, because I’ll likely forget someone, and then I’ll feel like poo. Suffice to say, we had a truly awesome crowd this year.

That really is the reason to go to Nerdtacular. It’s not about the film, not really. Scott calls it a fan appreciation event, and it’s as much about him showing appreciation for his fans as it is the other way around, but it’s also about the fans appreciating each other. You meet incredible folks each year, and hopefully get to see them again year after year. It’s always a loss for everyone if someone that has previously attended is unable to. Randy and Samantha were, to everyone’s sadness, among that list. All of us were crazy-excited to meet the new member of their family, to say nothing of the joy that comes from seeing them again as well.

Let me say this about the film….it’s not perfect, and I would not call it near as epic as the previous two year’s films (Dark Knight and Star Trek), but it is very enjoyable. The special effects are amazing, especially for the combat scenes, and the acting was especially good. Gwyneth Paltrow once again nailed the character of Pepper Potts, and I was very surprised by how much I loved Don Cheadle taking over the role of Colonel James Rhodes. When I heard that Terrence Howard had been replaced, I was rather outraged, as I thought he did a spectacular job in the first film, and I really was looking forward to him donning the War Machine armor in this one. Cheadle did a perfectly good job with the role in his own right though, and I didn’t find for a moment that I missed Howard. I also really loved Sam Rockwell’s portrayal of Justin Hammer. If you’re not aware, in the comics, Hammer is supposed to be an older man, and an industrial rival to stark. His conservative business style and personality clashes with the younger and more flamboyant personality of Tony Stark. The film, however, had Rockwell portraying Hammer as about the same age as Stark, and contrasted their business styles as being more akin to the whole “Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates” feud. Hammer’s character acted exactly how you might picture an evil Bill Gates; still completely nerdy but also utterly ruthless and willing to do anything to destroy his competition. It was really fun to watch, and I think he did a great job, especially his scenes with Mickey Rourke (who played the film’s other villain, Whiplash).

In short, go see the film. If you liked the first one, you’ll love the second. You might groan a little bit at the strange pseudoscience if that sort of thing matters to you, but you’ll get over it pretty quick once you get swept up in the awesome action. Or how lovely Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlet Johannson look, that’s always a possibility! I mean, not for ME, I’m dating the most beautiful woman on the planet, but for the rest of you guys who can’t quite have that, you might enjoy that part!

I didn’t take a whole lot of photos from the event, but I WILL link you to this awesome set of photos on flickr, being compiled by Scott Johnson. It’s going to continue to expand as more folks send Scott photos, so keep checking back once in a while!!

http://bit.ly/drPVMZ

All attendees of the film got a sweet bag of swag. In it were 5 photo-sized prints of some of Scott’s artwork, a few stickers he has for sale, and some other goodies, but he also did a massive raffle for all sorts of door prizes at the after party. One of the items he gave away was this

It’s a statue of Illidan Stormrage, the main villain of the first WoW Expansion, the Burning Crusade, in his demon form (Don’t mind the Obey Henry sticker, that’s just there cause it’s funny) . And it’s freaking amazing. I love the detailed craftsmanship put into this, and how there’s absolutely no cut corners, especially with the painting. I’ve seen so many similar statues with other franchises that had some very sloppy paintwork, colors where they shouldn’t be, and it always made them look cheap. Not this. Thank you very much again, Scott!

I had a great time, and can’t wait for next year’s. Because I’m truly hopeful that next year, the woman I love more than anything else on this world will be joining me. I kept thinking how much Karen would truly have enjoyed the event, and with any luck, she’ll see it herself.

Catch ya’ll soonest!

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Mass update!

Hey guys. Wow, it’s been way too long since I blogged last. I’m a slacker.

So, here’s the triple skinny. First up, for those wondering how our music project from last month is going, It’s getting closer and closer to being done. According to David he’s got 2 more songs to mix, then he probably has to take care of the album artwork and then start mass-producing. So we’re not far off at all.

By the way, if you’re wanting to hear what our FIRST project, This is Love, sounds like, there’s a rumor goin’ around that you’re going to be able to get BOTH projects bundled together as well! I can’t say that for certain, but keep an eye open for more news on that.

But, I do have something for you. If you’ll head over to Facebook, you can find that David’s uploaded about 60 pictures from the event on there. You should be able to scroll through my wall and find the starting point. I’m not sure if you can view the full album if you aren’t David’s friend, let me know if that’s the case and I’ll rehost them in my profile. The pictures turned out really good, and I think you’ll enjoy them.


So…I have an iPhone now. Yeah. My contract was up for renewal this past month, so I was eligible for the cheaper prices. I didn’t want to just keep my old phone (had a few too many problems with reception on it) so I decided to upgrade. This thing really is phenomenal. I’m sure you’re all aware of what the thing can do, but let me mention a few things I’ve noticed personally just playing with it this weekend.

1. The camera on this thing is a LOT better quality than I expected. Maybe it’s just because I was used to my old phone’s camera (which wasn’t terribly good) but I’m shocked how clear the pictures on it have come out.

2. The GPS doesn’t do turn by turn directions (although that IS forthcoming from what I hear) but it does locate you and map you to your destination very well.

3. The SMS-as-a-sort-of-chat-window interface, and Visual Voice Mail, are very cool features for keeping track of the coversations you’ve had. And I love that I don’t have to go through AT&T’s stupid menu system just to change my Voicemail greeting.

4. The Internet. Wherever (well, almost) I want. And not filtered by some stupid corporation. BRILLIANT.

5. The reception, at least in the house, has thus far been AWESOME.

So, yeah, I like it. It doesn’t quite have the storage capacity the iPod Touch I have does, but I can work within that easily.

Speaking of which…I do have a perfectly working iPod Touch that I do want to sell now. I also have an older (but still working very well) 5th Gen iPod to sell as well (the 5th gen, if you recall, was the first iPod model that did video). So if you’re interested in purchasing either of them, let me know, we can talk about price then. If no one is interested, I’ll probably just put them on eBay. You’ll be getting the actual player, headphones, the USB cable, and a case with either purchase, by the way.

It is FREAKING HOT in this house. Our cheap-ass landlords stuck us with an undersized air conditioner a few years back that does NOT adequately cool this house down during the hot months, and ESPECIALLY not this month. It’s been record highs all week, and this weekend was the worst. I really pray it gets cooler soon, because I’m not sure how much more of sweating during the afternoon I can take…blech.

Okay, last minor tidbits:

1. My shaman alt is FINALLY level 40. Which means he can wield a weapon in each hand, wear mail armor, and…well, that’s it. But still, it’s a big deal. Being able to Dual-wield means he hits at a much faster rate, and can pound through enemies a lot quicker. And the mail armor I had been saving up for him looks sweeeeet!

2. If you STILL have not seen the Dark Knight, you need to remedy that. Like…now. In fact, if I come down to Waco this weekend (which is looking more and more likely) I will happily take anyone who wants to see it one random night, on me. It’s totally worth it. And once that’s done, if you’re an anime fan, you should give the DVD animated film Batman: Gotham Knight a try. It’s basically a series of 6 animation shorts that form a cohesive storyline with each done by a seperate animation team. They’re all very different, but still very cool. And the special edition DvD comes with 4 episodes from the old Bruce Timm Batman animated series that was on when we were all younger. I loved that series. Oh, and a double-awesome point: they have the same voice actor doing the voice of Batman in Gotham Knight as well. AWESOMENESS

3. The LORD REIGNS!

Okay, I have to go now and find someplace cooler in this house. My room, for some reason, is hotter than the rest of the house. I don’t know why. Later guys!!

It ain’t happening.

Hi again guys.

This past weekend, I had a chance to see THREE films, two in theatre, and one that I should have seen a long time ago on DVD.

Let me tell you about the DVD one first: It was Serenity, the movie continuation of the FOX-network-canceled-but-became-a-huge-DVD-hit TV series, Firefly. If you haven’t given Firefly a real honest shot, you need to. It really is good, even if you don’t like Sci-Fi, although it’s just as easy to see it as a Western. Whatever your perspective, the show is brilliantly written and acted, and should never have been canceled, if the massive DVD and film sales have any say in the matter. Serenity more or less wraps up the outstanding plotlines that developed over Firefly’s abruptly ended single season, but still manages to feel very epic in the process, especially if you’ve seen the series. There’s not much in the way of “reintroduction” of everyone, but it’s enough to get you to understand who everyone is and their outstanding relationships. Still, you’ll get much more out of it having seen Firefly first. I recommend both.

The Incredible Hulk is Marvel Studio’s attempt at redoing the big Green Guy (they’re the film arm of Marvel Comics, creator of Hulk), and after the other recent Hulk film, which was directed by Ang Lee and starred Eric Bana, I had some reservations about this one. You might as well. I have a message for you all: DON’T. This film is LIGHT-YEARS beyond that first one. It stars Ed Norton and Liv Tyler, both of whom deliver great performances. The CGI of the Hulk and Abomination both look great, and their battle really feels visceral and brutal, like the animated character have real weight to them. There’s also plenty of references to the original show from back in the 70s, and lots of sly comic references for fans to spot. The ending appearance by…well, actually, not gonna say it, topped the proverbial cake. This film is good, and if you were a fan of Iron Man, check this one out too…it won’t disappoint.

Finally, I saw the newest M. Night Shyamalan film: The Happening.

It was atrocious. Really really bad. I am seriously warning you all not to waste your money

I could go on and on about how utterly STUPID this film’s plot was, how bad the acting was, and how horrible the direction looked, but I’m not. Because Christopher Orr of The New Republic has already done so. His review explains EXACTLY what is so awful about this film. It does have spoilers, but trust me, you WANT to read this if you’re thinking about seeing this film.

Click here to read it. Please.

Aight guys, that’s all for now. I’ll see you around. Be well, blessed, and watched over. Love ya’ll

I am Titanium Alloy Man! Hrmm….just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Hey again gang. Late update, I know, but there’s a lot that’s been goin’ on.

First of all, from this past weekend, I had an absolute blast in Waco, as usual. I saw Iron Man (more on that later), played a rousing good session of D&D (and got myself two extra players in the process!), got new Star Wars comics (and the first two Outsiders TPBs which are awesome), set a new record on Justin’s copy of New Super Mario Bros (specifically the “Wanted” minigame, 116 in a row, baby!), and in general had an awesome time hanging out with everyone.

I did start getting a little sick before I left, but it left me before I got home. Managed to keep my lunch down the whole drive, heh heh.

Okay, so, Iron Man. I saw it on Saturday with Chris and Justin. Holy crap was it awesome. It is becoming very evident that comic book movie caliber has gone WAY the heck up. Robert Downey Jr was, as I predicted, the PERFECT choice to play Tony Stark. He’s got the look, the attitude, the charisma, and the mannerisms that make it work. With some characters, the actors chosen to play them feels more like “Wow this person does a pretty good interpretation of so-and-so.” Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in the X-men films is kind of like that. He’s good in the role, but it doesn’t quite look natural. Downey is the opposite. He’s a natural Stark. You really get the sensation that he IS the man come to life, and you’re watching a documentary about him or something.

The Iron Man armor special effects were absolutely amazing, very well done. Stayed very close to the classic look, while adding in some new things that we hadn’t seen before, like the flare launchers, or the repulsor rays as flight stabilizers. You get several scenes of him testing out various aspects of the armor, such as the rocket boots, or the repulsor rays as weapons, all of which are very cool to see. Probably one of my favorite scenes in the film is his first actual mission in the armor, where he flies to Afghanistan and defeats a terrorist camp that was stockpiling his own company’s weapons. Really shows off what all the armor can do, and at the same time, really gives you the sense of “this is the modern day, and Iron Man is in our world”.
Another example of this is early on in the film, where they do kind of a montage shot with Tony Stark appearing on several magazine covers. Jon Favreau (the film director) made a point of not just using the magazines everyone knows, like “Time”, he made a point of using less popular, but no less good ones like “Wired” or “Popular Mechanics”. Little details like this really cement the feeling that this could very well be reality.

My only real complaint about the movie is that it could have used more action, especially during the last fight scene with the Iron Monger. The sequence in Afghanistan was great, but the Iron Monger fight seemed too short, and with far too much emphasis on brawling. I think maybe a little bit longer sequence, with both of them showcasing a little bit more of their respective weapons capabilities, would have been perfect.

Luckily, I’m going to get to see it again this Sunday, with David, Holland, and Truett.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m going to see them this weekend. Takin’ a 4-day trip down to Houston to hang out, and maybe make some music as well. I’m super psyched. I haven’t seen them since their wedding! Plus I love making music with the Butler guys. “This is Love”, on the whole, was one of my favorite experiences, and I think the resulting album turned out great.

All right, I think I’m going to end this one for now. I’ll see ya’ll surely.

Oh one more thing, who the CRAP is drawing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: Legacy now?? The most recent issue for both of those comics has been just UGLY compared to the initial issues.

A real American hero!!

Hey again folks.

Kat’s wedding was this past weekend. She’s now Mrs. Kathryn Morgan. I vote we all call her Cap’n Morgan now. Wedding venue had an absolute GORGEOUS view of the lake. However, there were a lot of steps leading up and down to the gazebo, I think a lot of folks had trouble with those. Actually, given that i was an usher, I know they did. But if that’s the worst possible thing that you have at your wedding, you probably had a really good one, right?

Some of you may not have heard this, but they’re making a GI Joe movie. A live action one. They haven’t released much in the way of details yet, aside from some cast photography that’s leaked out on the Internet. Which I’ll conveniently link for you right here. I’ll admit, I have some reservations upon seeing these photos, but that’s because I’m a complete GI Joe freak from my younger days, even moreso than for Transformers. So I’ll definitely be more opinionated on this one the more details we get.

Starting off, most of the cast looks like solid choices, especially Dennis Quaid as General Hawk. The only one I’m not sure of is the actress playing the Baroness. She’s way way too young for the role. Baroness is supposed to be a classic beauty, well into her adult years, but still gorgeous, and very evil (complete with eastern European accent!). I don’t think this lady really LOOKS like Baroness to me. And if she can’t do the accent, she’s gotta be replaced.

Now, the uniforms. Supposedly these are some kind of advanced battle suits with high tech features such as cloaking fields and the like. Frankly, they don’t look horrible, but I’m not sure if I like them all that much. I’m just wondering why not put them in their classic uniforms that everyone would recognize, especially Scarlett and Duke. Snake Eyes uniform looks almost dead-on with his old toy/comic appearances (plus he’s being played by Ray Park, aka Darth Maul, so you can’t go wrong with that), i’m just wishing they’d gotten closer with the others as well. Storm Shadow…he appears to be wearing something of a cross between a white business suit and a white ninja outfit. It’s very strange, but I wouldn’t call it bad at this point.

I’m still eager to see what Cobra Commander and Destro look like. Hopefully, very faithful to the originals, which is Blue Hood, and Steel-coated head, respectively. And are we going to get any of the classic G.I. Joe vehicles? We’d better. If I see a Cobra H.I.S.S. Tank live on the big screen, I just might explode from geeking out.

Now, about my iPod Touch. This little bugger is extremely cool. Most of you have no doubt seen them by now, so I’ll refrain from going over all the features it has. Instead I’ll just quickly list off some good and bad things in my personal experience.

1. I don’t know WHY it’s doing this, but Apple really needs to fix this bug. Basically, my organization of songs in iTunes is not directly matching with what is in the iPod. For example, in iTunes, I have no problems organizing Five Iron Frenzy’s “The End is Near” album. When I move over to Cover Flow, it shows the cover ONCE and lists all the tracks underneath it. However, in my iPod, it splits the two, and shows the album TWICE, with half the songs in each. I don’t get it, but it’s very annoying.

2. The on-screen touch keyboard is VERY very accurate for a touchscreen. I rarely hit a letter that I didn’t mean to. I more often select the wrong artist or track when scrolling through my music, strangely enough.

3. Maybe this is just me, but I wish that when you were searching for videos on YouTube, you could turn the device on it’s side so you can see the whole video title. This seems to be the only place that this doesn’t work, and a lot of times you’re forced to guess at what the title is. If nothing else, it should scroll back and for for video titles. Actually I’d like this for podcasts as well in the music player. Both tend to have longer titles.

4. Timing and volume sliders need to be a lot bigger, or more sensitive in their “catching” of where your finger is. It’s very hard to skip to a certain area in the track, or to precisely adjust the volume, without “jumping” due to your finger not going to just the right area to “hold” it for dragging. Actually, I’d even recommend a touchscreen version of the clickwheel from the other iPod models for this purpose, that you could activate with a couple of quick finger taps. That’d work MUCH better, given that it feels familiar to previous iPod owners already.

5. I LOVE that the headphone jack isn’t recessed like it is on the iPhone. That was a horrible problem, and I’m glad it’s not one I have to face.

As a media player, it works absolutely great, and I’m very happy with it overalll.

I’ve also gotten a few new Trade paperbacks recently, the best of which has been Batman: Hush. What initially drew me to this book what that the art is done by one of my all-time favorite pencilers, Jim Lee. The work he does in here is classic representation of his style, and it’s absolutely phenomenal. The plot by Jeph Loeb really hooks you in, and lets you explore Batman trying to deal with extending trust to people, especially in the arena of romantic love, all while bringing in a host of classic Batman villians (and one very new one) in a twisting scheme and a very suprise ending. I like this book a lot, and I recommend you pick up both volumes.

Aight, I’m way overdue for bed. Ya’ll take care.

Wolverine and The X-Men

Hrmm, another new X-Men cartoon, but this one from a very different perspective. The telepaths (Professor X and Jean Grey) have all vanished, the X-Men disband, and Wolverine has to put the team back together while keeping them on the run from what looks to be a very agressive new round of anti-mutant sanctions.

The animation style looks nearly-exactly like X-Men: Evolution, though the voice cast looks to be completely different, which isn’t bad. No idea if this is supposed to be a follow-on series to X-Men: Evolution, either. I highly doubt it’s the same universe/timeline, though.

I’m really not keen on the idea of hem turning Cyclops all emo/depressed (one the stupidest things X-Men: The Last Stand ever did) or the idea of making Rogue evil. Unfortunately, like many have said, Cyke HAS to be all depressed and unwilling to fight for Wolvie to have any reason to be the leader, and thus the focal point of the show. I suppose we’ll see how it goes. Might be good. Probably would be an excellent DVD to own, especially if they make it an ongoing serial storyline like it appears to be.

On the other hand, the Iron Man movie trailer, which hopefully you saw during the Super Bowl, looks freaking FANTASTIC. Can’t wait for that film.

Ain’t seen it yet? Go here!

Golden Compass apparently lost it’s way

You know, even with all the controversy surrounding the author and his anti-Catholic/religious/what-have-you beliefs, I still on some level thought I might see the Golden Compass. Just to see if it really WAS as negative about Christianity as everyone seems to think. (Not about to get the book though, too many other things I’d rather read that I haven’t yet.)

However, I don’t think I’ll be doing that either. Since it apparently is terrible

Just wondering what you guys thought of the film, or the book if you’ve read it. Comment away!