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Archive for November, 2007

Legos, Batman, What’s not to like?

12

Nov

Posted by Steve

I’m not much of a gamer.  I admit that openly and freely.  I enjoy some RPGs.  I will try anything Star Wars.  Every now and then, I’ll break out some other games.  However, I played and loved the Lego Star Wars games.   A few months ago I posted an article regarding several things, among them, the Lego Indiana Jones game.  That’s one I will definetly pick up.  To add to my excitement though, today I saw this over at Superherohype. 

That’s right, Batman is getting a Lego video game.  I won’t lie to you, I’m pretty stoked about this.  If Indy and Batman are half as fun as the Star Wars games were, they are going to be great. Just click here to see the teaser trailer for the game. As more trailers are posted, I will try to have them here as well.

Enjoy…

Geek Out Loud Episode 6 – Aunt Petunia’s Favorite Podcast

12

Nov

Posted by Steve

This week on the podcast we have our usual Heroes and Smallville discussion.  There is a bit about the Writers’ Guild strike, and Marvel’s upcoming slate of movie projects. 

Here are a few things I realize:

- I call the most recent episode of Smallville “Lara”. It’s really “Wrath.”

- I’m talking kind of fast.  At recording time I was hyped up on coffee. 

- You’re listening.  I really appreciate it. 

For more on Smallville, check me out along with Derek on Starkville’s House of El or head over to Kryptonsite.

For more on Hereos make sure you listen to The Tenth Wonder Podcast.

To read more about the writers’ strike, click here.

Finally, for that International Iron Man teaser click here.

Smallville Review – Season 7 Episode 7 “Wrath”

9

Nov

Posted by Steve

For all intents and purposes, I was expecting Wrath to be a bit of a filler episode.  I “filler” is an episode where the overall story arc isn’t really progressed, and the episode seems to be there simply because it has to be.

While I was a bit creeped out in the opening moments of the show, I was overall pleasantly surprised…check that…I really enjoyed Wrath. 

Without doing too much of recap, the main plot points of the story are these, Clark’s powers are transferred to Lana via a lightning/kryptonite mixture.  Either because the lightning initially hit a windmill and traveled to Clark or because Lana was throwing the kryptonite away, Clark retained his powers.  Lana of course goes power crazy and decides to go after Lex.  Through her batcave behind Isis, Lana sees Lex talking to a doctor in his employ about a project called Project: Scion.  The doctor shows Lex a container with kryptonite on top and some black liquid that apparently used to be dust.  It is sentient and wants out.   Lana breaks into the mansion, rips up a safe and steals the hard drive with information about Scion on it. 

Lex confronts Clark about the missing hard drive.  Lana beats up Lois and Grant to get a story defacing Lex published.  Lana then attacks Lex to get him to take her to Scion.  While there we find out that Lex is basically preparing for an alien attack.  He is convinced that more kryptonians are on the way.  He also does a bit of playing with Lana’s head and tells her that she still loves him. As he kisses her, she chokes him and throws him to the side…of course knocking him out…Clark shows up.  He and Lana have a quick little fight and the container with the kryptonite liquid rolls toward Lana effectively weakening her.  Clark smashes the container releasing the black ooze, takes an electrical cord holds it to himself and the kryptonite to regain the power from Lana.  In the end, Chloe lays the law down, Lex gets inside Clark’s head, and Clark doesn’t respond when Lana expresses her need for Clark to love her no matter what.  Oh yeah, and the ooze?  Oozed into a lab tech…

This episode is one of those “set-up” episodes where a lot happens, but nothing happens.  While that sounds negative, it isn’t at all.

Lex showed how adept he is at getting into people’s heads, especially Clark’s.  Lana finally snapped.  Went right over that precipice Lionel warned her about.  Chloe stepped it up and reaffirmed her loyalty to Clark.  And Brainiac’s loose.

This episode could have gone either way, and early on I was afraid it was going to go bad.  The whole attempt at humor by having Clark and Lana’s…uhm…physical escapades cause tremors in Smallville came across more offputting than funny.  The real humor of that whole situation was when Clark realized exactly the kind of things that Lana and Chloe confide in each other.  After that though, it was on.

Lex is truly the ultimate villain. He is still looking into the whole spaceship thing, preparing for an invasion.  And if he can line his pockets while looking out for the world, well, saving the Earth has to have it’s benefits.

Chloe is the most steady of all of our mains even in the midst of dealing with her krypto power.   Her unwaivering devotion to Clark, not out of some personal motive of feelings she has for him, only serves to reaffirm my television crush on her and it makes her one of the most noble characters on the show right now.

Lana, as I said, has snapped.  It may be that the only way for her to find her way back to some type of goodness is to lose Clark.  It is interesting the episode ended with him not responding to the “love me no matter what” comment.  Two or three years ago he wouldn’t have hesitated to say that he does.  Now, because of what Lana has become, he’s not so sure.

I don’t think Lana is evil, I just think she’s tired of being the victim.  Let’s face it.  She was the ultimate victim at the hand of Lex.   The two most evil things he has done (and possible will ever do) is to twist Lana into the woman who felt she had to become what she is just to survive and to cause her to believe she was pregnant only to make her think she lost the baby.  To cause anyone that kind of heartache and pain just because you want them to be in a relationship with you is the most psychotic, twisted, evil thing you could do.   Lana is who she is now because she will not be the victim anymore.

Then there are the things she said to Clark while she had the power.  Things that only served to stab at his self doubt and the foundation of his convictions and feelings.  She expresses a lack of understanding that many posess.  If he can do all that he can do, why isn’t he more proactive in changing things.   Even if it means getting his hands dirty.  Honestly, if Lana can’t come to the point that she understands the why to Clark, she can never truly love him and be with him. 

So this episode provided many cracks in the relationship that Clana fans have been hoping for all along.

The wedge between Clark and Lex was driven even deeper, and it’s interesting to see them on screen together.  While we are getting Clark and Lex moments still, they are very sparse and seldom anything but two guys dancing around the issues between them.  Conversations like the ones they had in Wrath reveals just how much these two no longer like each other.

Before I wrap it up, I need to mention the Lois/Grant relationship.  Shall we call it Grois.  Don’t like it.   Haven’t liked him since he came on board.  There’s something about his line delivery that always seems forced.  Also, I don’t understand Lois’ interest in him. 

What I really don’t understand is how Lois could miss the hard drive on his desk hooked up to his computer.   I guess she was only interested in snogging with the guy.  (That’s for all of my friends across the pond.)

I give this episode a solid 3 out 5 whatever I give 5 of.  The reason I knock off a couple of points comes down to the sexquake early in the episode and the use of music that sounded like it belonged in Nightmare Before Christmas and not Smallville.   Oh, and that cheesy horse ride at the beginning.   It’s not the horse riding that’s so cheesy, but the song that belonged in a seventies Barbara Streisand romance movie.  

Next week could be very interesting as we get the return of Helen Slater as Lara in “Blue.”

Writer’s Guild Strike – What’s a Geek to Do?

8

Nov

Posted by Steve

Heroes has been retooled to close out in December.

 Smallville’s season finale is now set for February.

 Lost, Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, Grey’s Anatomy.  All up in the air.

Superman sequel?  Nothing.  Marvel just released it’s slate of upcoming films, and one can only assume that some in the search  for wirter’s have to be put on hold.

Then there’s that pesky live action Star Wars television show that we hear about intermittingly.  Yep.  All of us Star Wars geeks are gonna have to wait a bit.

And what about the Trekkies who are greatly anticipating J.J. Abrams Star Trek prequel/reboot?  Don’t hold your breath.

The WGA is on strike, and at the time of this posting has been for four days.   The last time something like this happened was in the 80′s when the strike lasted for 22 weeks.  That’s almost six months of no new scripted television coming from the networks.

Why is the Writer’s Guild striking?  The internet…and DVD’s.  That’s the simple version.

Basically, studios are refusing to pay residuals on the money made from DVD sales and shows that are watched or downloaded on the internet.  

Let’s define some terms before moving on:

Residuals -payments made to the creator of performance art (or the performer in the work) for subsequent showings or screenings of the (usually filmed) work.

Writers – People who write.

Writers Guild of America (WGA) – The name for the two orginazitions WGA- East and WGA- West, The Guild acts as the collective bargaining agency for the two factions.  It’s kind of like a Union.

Studio Executives – I really can’t define this term without being a bit derogatory right now.

Basically, what has happened in Hollywood is the realization that the digital age is here to stay for a long time.  Many people are watching their favorite television shows by downloading them at their convenience via the internet, or waiting to buy entire seasons of shows on DVD.  Studios make their money in two main ways from the television shows they air and the movies they release.  One way, the traditional way, is advertising.  Hence, commercials and corporate sponsorship, and the reason that you’ll see a Pepsi can in a movie every now and then. (Or some other product.)  The other way, and more recently (when it comes to television shows), is the selling of films or TV shows on DVD (or VHS as used to be the case.)  Enter the internet.  Many networks are offering the option of downloading television shows for a fee on the internet or streaming the episodes mere hours after their release on TV.  The writers for these shows have seen no money from the use of this technology.

Honestly, it’s only fair that they should. 

The problem?  The studios don’t want to come off of that money.  At this point, the WGA is probably asking for some type of retroactive compensation.  That may be the sticking point, because honestly we’re talking pennies.  Seriously, residuals amount to pennies on the dollar earned going back into the pocket of the writer.  The problem is that if you look at just the numbers, the studios will probably see hundreds of thousands if not millions , in the instance of some television shows and movies, being paid out.  However, the percentages aren’t that big at all.

The saddest part of this situation is that it’s not the fan who suffers the most.  It’s not the viewer who is invested in these shows that is hurt.  It’s the little guy whose name you’ll never see in the credits who works paycheck to paycheck because he’s trying to break into the the business or because he just loves to be around it.    However, if you ask the little guy, he says, “Go writers.”  Becuase he knows what it means to him and everyone else that these people are treated fairly.

I saw a video on YouTube that will not give the dignity of posting here or even linking to that asks the writers to end the strike because of all the shows that are being hurt.  Obviously the individual who made the video isn’t well informed.   This isn’t about greed on the part of the writers, it’s about being treated fairly, and it’s about those whose feet are seldom held to the fire being pressured to do what’s right.

So hang in there, break out your old DVD’s and get ready for a barrage of sports you don’t care about and reality television.  Because if this thing isn’t resolved soon, then that’s what we have to look forward to.

How can you help?  Go to www.unitedhollywood.com and check out the latest on the strike, sign the petition to make your voice heard, and then go sit down and write a letter to a studio exec or two to let them know what you think. Just google it, you’ll find a way.

Remember, for the regular guy, it’s just entertainment. For the people of the picket line it’s a living.

Think I’m a bit crazy?  Check this out….

Geek Out Loud Episode 5 – The Podcast Strikes Back

5

Nov

Posted by Steve

After two weeks, Geek Out Loud returns.  On the show we talk about the new Captain America, Heroes, Justice League (again) and a litle bit about the recent happenings at whysoserious.com and Rory’s Death Kiss dot com . There is also a little Smallville talk with a huge shout out to Derek over at Starkville’s House of El for letting me sit in and guest host on their most recent episode.