Saturday, May 30, 2009

Time's Flying By! Noooes!!!!1!!

I've been catching up on some stuff lingering around my desk, a commish leftover from Acen that I finally got around to, Utena and Anthy from the anime Utena. Enjoy!

Thinking about my Bunny Sketchbook I wanted to get out for SDCC, but I probably won't be able to pull it off in time, so maybe I'll have to come up with some prints. Since it's PPG's 10th anniversary, I guess I can put together some new ones (the old ones are ooooold. :P) Maybe get a Yoko print done. And maybe a banner, skip bringing comics, cause we only get half a table now. :(

Other than that, still mulling over my pencils for my latest Samurai Jack 4 pager. He's not really in it that much, plus him and The Scotsman are in drag. It'll make sense once you get the context :P

Friday, May 22, 2009

Terminator: Salvation (Return of the Post Apocalyptic Action Flick)

I have to say that out of the first three Summer Blockbuster Films of 2009 I've seen, this one I've come away with as the most satisfying so far.

The problem I had with Wolverine was an overtly convoluted plot for an action flick with huge leaps of logic concerning certain effects when you shoot shoot a guy with adamantium bullets. Yes, Wolverine has a complicated backstory, but that film did nothing to make sense of it, just gave it all to us to, I assume, satisfy every fan who liked a given "origin."

Star Trek, for me, didn't feel like the Star Trek Universe. I accept that ST needed to be rebooted, but essentially to throw away 40 years of continuity, I don't accept. The new ST Movies goes on for a new mainstream audience, but it becomes a shallow bit of digital puffery, the characters shadows of their former selves. The only thing nostalgic for me in this film was Pike's Admiral's uniform remincent of Kirk's from ST:TMP.

So why does Terminator: Salvation work for me? Does it have a perfect story? Hell no! It's an action flick! So why do I let it slide when I rant on ST2009? Because it hits that Nostalgic spot. It's a sort of Prequel, but it feels like it's set in the Terminator Universe. We get a longer look into the post-apocalyptic world that we've only seen glimpses of in the first 2 Terminator films. Growing up with films like The Mad Max series, and other direct-to-video B films like Defcon-4, it tugs at the Nostalgia Strings in my brain. I think McG (the director) was probably paying homage, or maybe ripping off those films, but he did it well and wrapped it up in a pretty package.

So I like the setting, check. What also worked for me? The journey Marcus takes, finding Kyle Reese, and I actually liked the support
(literally) role the little girl, Star, played. Adorablely cute in her scenes. There was an obvious hostage plot thread they could have gone down ala Newt(Aliens), but I'm glad they didn't do it with her. It's still in there, and that's probably when you have to turn off your brain. :/

Christian Bale as John Conner? I wonder if Bale's gonna be typecast as the mumbling/gravel voice action guy forever more? I don't remember if he spoke this way in Equilibrium or The Prestige, but I guess he's just stuck in his Batman Groove. I do like that we get to see a bit more of John Connor's history that leads up to the Iconic Leader seen at the beginning of T2. If this is going to be a new Trilogy or if they make another one, I hope they'll expand his character from just relying on his Prophecy/Messiah complex, and actually flesh him out as a brilliant tactician. Because if all that he is, the guy following his mama's advice/knowledge about the future, Humanity's a lost cause.

The action scenes were easier to follow than the ones in ST and Wolverine, and much cooler cause it's got Giant Robot Killing Machines. :) Great Cameo to tie it too it's roots, too.

There are several Silence/Bam! moments to make me jump out of my seat, and they were mostly effective without having me question them; unlike the Stealth Subway Train in Underworld (I still have to finish watching that film). The plot twist when revealed throws everything that happened in the first 2/3s of the movie into a big plot convienence hole, and that'd be my biggest gripe about the film. But what ST2009 couldn't overcome for me, T:S does by giving me some devastated futuristic landscapes and Humanity driven to extinction and surviving like rats ala Road Warrior. Ahh... Good Times... :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Star Dreck 2009 (Purdy much Spoiler Free but Ranty)

The movie's been bubbling around in my brain since I saw it Monday with Hen Da Ne! guys Andrew and Chris at the Lincolnshire Theater (didn't see it in IMAX due to some unforeseen circumstances), and I gotta say I'm really not angry or rabid at the new film, just kinda Disappointed.

I had some preconceived ideas about what I was going to see, being a JJ Abrams production and all, and it's pretty much what I expected. I know it's getting 99.9% on Rotten Tomatoes, and everyone is getting wet over the movie, but I really don't see how this is a GREAT movie. It's not even a Good movie from a Story/Character standpoint. Yes, it's got great Special Effects (90% of the costs went to extra Lens Flares), but that's really a given in this day and age. Well, Wolverine is an exception with some pretty awful prosetetics on the Blob's neck and some funky de-aging CG on the actor in the end. But since we got nice pretty visuals, can we not expect to have the same for characters and plot?

Without those 2 things, the very foundation of a movie, it's like taking a bite out of a nice juicy apple, only to find a worm in it. Yeah, there may still be good parts that haven't been wormtouched, but the experience as a whole is ruined. Would you take a second bite?

There used to be Summer Blockbusters that had great characters and nice flowing plots: Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders, OT Star Wars, The Mummy, The Incredibles, The Hulk. But all we get are a bunch of Ultraviolets; a string of action sequences that they try to weave a plot into. If that's all you expect from a film, good for you I guess. But when the filmmakers have characters doing things that wouldn't be in character, or meet other characters just for plot convienence, it's a bad thing. Worse if it rips you out of the movie to think to yourself "WTF?? That's just really crappy writing" And that happened a bunch of times in Star Trek, one really big time on Delta Vega.

I'm not expecting to have a perfect film that has no plot holes, or ties up every loose end, but if there are good memorable characters, and I can quote lines of dialogue, It works for me. (the only bad quote I use is "Meesa" from Jar Jar if I want to play Stupid in chat. :P)

So to sum up, Star Trek 2009 didn't float my boat. Very showy (a given), but filled with lots of plot convienences, really no character, no chance for the hero and audience to breath and reflect (even Die Hard and ST:TWOK did that), and No Disintegrations! (c wut i did thar?) :P

Well, there was one disintegration... I realize I didn't talk about the movie much at all, I'll have to see if this thing can do invisotext...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Decompressing from Anime Central 2009

Yo! Finally getting around to putting up the pics and sketches from Acen in Rosemont this last weekend. Had a blast, got alot of multiple character/color commissions which can take alot of time. That means I can't get to as many ppl who would want one. Fortunately (or unfortunately for me) I didn't have to turn away too many ppl since my list was filled by early Saturday. I still have a couple to finish up at home, but it worked out well. I was planning on getting them done Saturday night in the Guest Green Room, but I got distracted by Rock Band. Yes, yes, woe is me. :P So here we got a couple of CoH characters (always fun to do), a swimwear ad featuring Christy, Etna, and Matoko, lastly a PPG sketch featuring MojoBubbles from Los Dos Mojos (might make a good print...hmm). I did do some other sketches, but they're NSFW.

Speaking of PPG, I was amazed at seeing not one set of PPG cosplayers but at least 4 different groups! And one of them a Him (always creepy ;P ). Maybe it's because PPG is back on Boomerang, CN's premium cartoon channel. Also suprising is that I sold more PPG prints and comics at this show than I have in a long time. Perhaps it's because ppl who used to watch the show now have some disposible income of their own and have a bit of nostalgia tugging at the pursestrings, it's welcome nevertheless. Guess I gotta make some new PPG prints. :p

Of course there were some other nice costumes, Elektra and Jessica Rabbit were some, along with a very sexy Haruhi Bunny, and alot of Gurren Lagaan cosplayers (these 3 just happened to be friends with cousin Stephanie attending her first con, ah start the corruption now. :P) Ryan Zanfei of her very own Tasty Peach Studios showed off her loli side and made a killing in Artist Alley selling all sorts of extremely cute prints and stickers. Nice design sense, she'll go far.

All in all, had alot of fun. Bought more than I should have, guess I'll have to hold off on that dining room table I wanna get. But at least I have another couple figures to decorate my studio and collect tons of dust, and I've increased my book collection by a little bit more. :) I did see Star Trek on Monday, I'll have to blog/gripe about that in another post, I'll just say for now that it isn't my Star Trek.