Monday, August 24, 2009

Well I haven't been posting my reviews lately, and they are piling up. I haven't stopped reading, just haven't been writing. At least I haven't been writing reviews.

What I have been working on lately is story. The story revolves around the Mirrorman aka Stanley Robinson. In the story he is attempting to rescue a young girl that was sold to the zombies. So far his obstacles are getting into the zombie zone, which is present day Compton, CA, and then into the zombie tower. Once in the tower he must confront the zombie lords. The zombie lords are too powerful for the hero, that is Mirrorman, so he gets help from an unlikely source, I haven't quite decided what the source will be, but that is part of the fun of writing.

Anyway I'm about half way through the rough draft and I'm pretty happy with it so far. Here is the opening paragraphy.

"A shadow stretched across the city like the head of an axe cleaving the breast of a bloated beast. For the vigilante that stood watch over the city it loomed like an ancient threat portending doom and destruction. The building rose from the cityscape like a jutting spear out of a rotting corpse, the upper reaches of the tall tower reflected the final rays of sun, while the lower levels were already bathed in gloom."

I'll review some comics and stories soon.

I did go see "The time travelers wife". I was surprised and enjoyed the movie, I went in with some apprehension since I'm always leery of science fiction that has been written by someone who is not a fan of the genre, they just use it because the vehicle works. I liken it to someone who detests gambling but win a big jackpot and doesn't give it away. Anyway the movie was much better that G.I. Joe a true spit on America movie if I ever saw one.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Movie Review - G.I. Joe Rise of the Cobra

Directed by Stephen Sommers

Weapons expert James McCullen, played by Christopher Eccleston, has created a nanotechnology-based weapon capable of destroying an entire city. He sells the warheads to NATO, and then attempts to steal them from NATO. Duke played by Channing Tatum and Ripcord played by Marlon Wayans were responsible for protecting the warheads when his team is wiped out by the Baroness played by Sienna Miller, who is also his Duke?s ex-fiancee Ana, and her team. Duke and Ripcord are rescued by Scarlett played by Rachel Nichols, Snake Eyes played by Ray Park and Heavy Duty played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. They take the warheads to the G.I. Joe command center in North Africa, and are met by General Hawk played by Dennis Quaid. Hawk takes command of the war-heads. Duke reveals that he knows the Baroness, and is retained by the Joes for the time being.
From the beginning of the movie I was disappointed, particularly with Tatum?s portrayal of Duke. The scene that sets the tone of Duke, he is addressing his troops before leaving on the mission of protecting the warheads. He calls his group to attention, in one of the most leisurely ?hey guys lets go drink some bears?, way possible. Right off the bat this guy does not have a command voice and acts like he really doesn?t want to be there. But this was just a precursor to the rest of the movie which was just a lifeless and wishy washy as Tatum?s portrayal of Duke.
McCullen is revealed to be using the same nanotechnology to build an army of soldiers with the aid of the Doctor played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, planning on using the warheads to bring about panic and thereby a new world order. McCullen locates the G.I. Joe base and sends Storm Shadow played by Lee Byung-hun and the Baroness to retrieve the warheads with assistance from Zartan played by Arnold Vosloo. After the fight, Storm Shadow and the Baroness retrieve the warheads and take them to be weaponized, after which they use them to destroy the Eiffel Tower in order to send a message to the world. The Joes pursue them through the streets but are unsuccessful in stopping them from launching the missile. Duke manages to hit the kill switch which stops the nano-mites from destroying Paris, but in doing so he is captured and taken to McCullen's base under the Arctic. The rest of the Joes are arrested by the French. G.I. Joes put up their hands and surrender to the French. All I want to know is; how much did the French government pay Stephen Sommers to put this scene in, or is it that he just hates America so much he wants to make the G.I. Joes look like a bunch of G.I. Jokes. Perhaps he is on the same apology tour as obama is and he just wanted to show that Americans know how to roll over and show their throats. As Sommers said in an interview this is an obama world, I guess that is synonymous with pathetic.
Back to the twisting plot. G.I. Joe locates the secret base and fly there as McCullen loads three missiles with nano-mite warheads. After Snake Eyes takes out one, Ripcord pursues the remaining missiles in a prototype Night Raven jet while Scarlett and her group infiltrate the base. Scarlett and Snake Eyes attempt to shut down the Arctic base, Heavy Duty leads an attack on Cobra's forces, Duke learns that the Doctor is Rex Lewis, the Baronesses brother believed to have been killed on a mission led by Duke four years ago, when he was trapped in a bunker with Doctor Mindbender played by Kevin O'Connor, disfigured in the blast which everyone presumed had killed him. The Baroness tries to free Duke but the Doctor reveals he has implanted her with nano-mites which has put her under his control for the past four years, he is amazed that she is resisting the programming. While attempting to kill Duke, McCullen ends up being facially burned and flees with Rex to an escape vessel. Duke and the Baroness pursue him while the Joes fall back when Rex activated the base's self destruct sequence.
Rex then heals McCullen's burned face with nano-mites, encasing him in silver as he christens McCullen "Destro" and assumes the identity of Cobra Commander before they are captured by G.I. Joe soon after. On board the supercarrier USS Flagg, Baroness is placed in protective custody until they can remove the nano-mites from her body. Afterwards, the Joes are shown walking with General Hawk to a waiting troop transport. Zartan, having been earlier operated on by Rex, infiltrates the White House during the missile crisis and assumes the identity of the President of the United States.
At the beginning of the movie you think McCullen is the head bad guy out to bring about a new world order but in the end it turns out to be Rex, the doctor that had been working for McCullen. So was Rex behind McCullen the entire time, or is Rex going to take off on a different attempt to take over the world? I?m confused, and you will be to.
I used to think that I could get through any movie no matter how bad the story, plot or acting, as long as there was a lot of action and good special effects. This movie proved me wrong. G.I. Joe had great special effects, awesome gadgets, and plenty of action, but the movie fell badly. It is a movie I truly felt I lost two hours of my life I?ll never get back. The story was horrible, unless you like seeing movies where America is shown in a negative light.
My recommendation is stay away, see Harry Potter for the second time, or catch a Chick Flick. The action isn?t worth it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Review - Conan The Cimmerian # 3 - Dark Horse Comics

Issue # 3 of Conan The Cimmerian by Dark Horse Comics written by Timothy Truman, the artist is Tomas Giorello and Richard Corben, colorist Jose? Villarrubia, letterer Richard Starkings and Comicraft, cover artist this go around is Frank Cho, Dave Stewart as the cover colorist.

A young Cimmerian woman Caollan and Horsa cross paths with Conan as he makes his way across the frozen mountain passes en route to his homeland in Cimmeria. During the flashback section of Conan?s grandfather, Connacht, we see how he rescues a wealthy merchant from thieves and for a reward he is employed as a blacksmith. It appears Connact is happy with this life in the city and catches the eye of a young slave.

Moving at a dynamic pace the story pits Conan against nature as much as it does the enemies he encounters. The relationship between Conan and Caollan has sexual tension and hints of unrequited love.

The cliff hanger ending of both stories hint at sacrifice and Black magic. Conan faces a evil witch that is preparing to cast a spell, and Connacht sees the young slave he fancies being led to stake prepared for burning.

The artwork by Tomas Giorello is top notch shows the intricacies of the story line in detail. As the story goes on, I?m becoming more comfortable with how Giorello draws Conan, and his presentation is beginning to take hold as the quintessence of a Conan caricature.

I really enjoy the artwork of Richard Corben, where Tomas is fluid and evocative. Corben hits you like a left to the stomach and a right to the jaw. You know you have been hit by something powerful, but you aren?t quit sure where it came from. The pictures tell the story in a two fisted way, that Robert E. Howard would have been proud of.