Wednesday, December 28, 2011
You survived the most dreaded time of the year: the holidays.
Whether it was Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza or whatever-the-fuck-you-all-are-celebrating-these-days, you survived. And now, there’s one more day to survive folks…
New Year’s is always a rough time, usually because the actual New Year’s Day should be officially renamed “National Hangover Day”, but this upcoming one could be especially rough because, well…it could be the last New Year’s Eve ever.
Yes folks, 2012 is coming, and if you believe in that Mayan calendar bullshit, the end of the world is coming and we’ve already begun our last year on Earth. Will the oceans rise? Will the cities fall? Will the sky be set ablaze? Will Cuba Gooding Jr. ever go back to feature films instead of direct-to-DVD shit-fests? These are the questions that will be answered within the next year as that pesky Mayan calendar comes to a close.
So what should you do during your last year on Earth you ask? Anything you fucking want to, that’s what! Quit your job, go on a week-long bender, bareback a cheap transsexual hooker, stick your finger in a urinal and put it in your mouth, bet your life savings that the Blue Jackets will win the Stanley Cup, masturbate with sandpaper, watch Cannibal Holocaust and eat a pizza, touch penises with your neighbor; go fucking apeshit! And why not? You’ll be dead in about a year so make like Peaches and fuck the pain away!
Or…you could listen to reason and come to the realization that the world is more than likely not coming to an end within the next year. Events depicted in Roland Emmerich’s “2012” is probably not going to happen, including John Cusack saving you in a limo as the city around him is crumbling to the ground. Just like this past May (and October) when it was predicted the world would come to a violent end…it didn’t (for those of us that weren’t Macho Man Randy Savage anyway), nothing is going to drastically change in the world by the end of next year…except for the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and some other ass hole getting elected or re-elected into the White House to continue to put the dick to those of us that weren’t born with trust funds.
Personally, I do kind of hope the world does come to an end. I personally have accomplished just about everything I’ve wanted to do in life (minus playing the asses of multiple girls at once in a row like bongo drums) and have become jaded enough to not give a shit if everything goes straight to Hell. And hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the world is going to come to an end when 2012 draws to a close. If it does, I’ll see you on the shores of oblivion folks…it’s been nice knowin’ all y’all.
HAPPY NEW YEAR ASS HOLES!!!!!!!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Over the past few days there’s been a shit ton of internet chatter and theories regarding “The Dark Knight Rises”. After the unveiling of the slam-bang six-minute prologue that premiered before the new “Mission: Impossible” flick, a second trailer was released that showed more footage, including the massive destruction of a football field and Batman (Christian Bale) getting his ass handed to him by Bane (Tom Hardy).
One thing that’s gotten a shit-ton of smack slapped on it is the fact that understanding any of Bane’s dialogue is ass-fuckingly hard. I’m not sure whether it’s the voice Hardy is using, or if he’s just muffled by the mask, or a combination of both. Either way, director Christopher Nolan has heard the complaints of the masses…and is probably going to do nothing about it. He’s gone so far to say that he likes Bane’s voice the way it is, and will more than likely not make any post-production alterations or re-dub Hardy either.
So basically we’ll have to wait until “The Dark Knight Rises” comes out on DVD and turn on the closed captioning option so we know what the fuck Bane is saying.
But hey, considering the fact that Bale’s Batman voice is pretty over-the-top in itself, well…what the hell. As a side note, back when I was bartending, “The Dark Knight” was on HBO on one of the TV’s with the closed captioning turned on. During the interrogation scene as Batman walks out and Gordon asks him if he’s going after Dent or Rachel, Batman growls “Rachel”, and the caption came up *inaudible*.
In other words, that was only a taste of things to come apparently.
Though I’m poking fun and pointing out early flaws, all that bullshit aside I can’t fucking wait for this movie. It looks to be every bit as epic (and possibly even more so) than “The Dark Knight” was, and appears to truly be an epic conclusion to Nolan’s Batman films. People are psyched for “The Avengers”, and rightfully so (I am too), but “The Dark Knight Rises” takes precedent over it for me personally, and I’m dying to see how it all winds up coming to an end…
…even if I can’t understand half the shit that the film’s main villain is saying.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Paul Verhoeven films are seemingly becoming ripe for the picking to be remade these days. We’ve got a sure to be shit-tastic remake of “Total Recall” coming out next year from the crew behind the even more shit-tastic “Underworld” franchise, plus the much talked about remake of “Robocop” is gaining steam as well. Both films are regarded as genre classics and two of the best films of Verhoeven’s career, but they aren’t the only films of his that can’t escape the clutches of greedy, unoriginal Hollywood executives…
…because they’re remaking “Starship Troopers” too.
Let that sink in…
Now I know the first thought going through your head is probably something like, “wait a minute, that didn’t come out that long ago did it?” The answer is no, not really. Released in 1997, “Starship Troopers” is adapted from the classic Robert A. Heinlein novel of the same name, and is injected with plenty of Verhoeven’s style of social satire with buckets of blood and CGI effects that were state of the art for their time. The film was a hit and spawned two direct-to-DVD sequels over the years, and while the original film was definitely flawed and nowhere near a classic sci-fi/action flick, it was nevertheless enjoyable and fun.
Now, here we are in 2011, and they’re talking about remaking it. A film that isn’t even 15 years old now stands a chance at being remade…do you think the suits out on the West Coast are just completely bankrupt in terms of coming up with their own ideas or what?
Saying this would be a needless remake is saying it lightly, because it seems like every remake (regardless of genre) to come out in nearly the past decade has been absolutely fucking needless. However, a majority of them are remakes of films that are at least 20 or so years old, so you can kind of understand why a film that old would be ripe to be chosen to be remade…but “Starship Troopers”? Really? This is just fucking stupid.
I’m saying it right now folks, this upcoming “Starship Troopers” remake will wind up in the scrap heap with the shitty, needless remakes of flicks like “The Hitcher”, “The Stepfather”, “Prom Night”, “The Fog”, “Amityville Horror”, and countless, countless others. I mention those because most of those remakes were PG-13 rated shit-fests that didn’t retain any of the balls or edginess of their predecessors, in the effort to earn a PG-13 rating to make just a little more money at the box office. Chances are this new “Starship Troopers” will probably follow the same blueprint.
To close out my ramblings here, let me just say that if they want to remake any more of Paul Verhoeven’s films, why don’t you try remaking “Showgirls”? That glorified trashy train wreck of a wank-fest would bring the audiences in like stampeding horses, whether it was rated NC-17, R, or PG-13 because a majority of American movie audiences are dumber than shit, almost as dumb seemingly as the powers that be that decide what to remake in the first fucking place, almost. If/when said remake of “Starship Troopers” happens, I’m just going to stick my head up my ass and pretend it isn’t there.
Next thing you know they’ll remake “Hollow Man” just to complete the Verhoeven filmography of remade and regurgitated bullshit.
Friday, December 2, 2011
I would like to take the time to say something that is from the depths of my heart and soul.
Fuck you Frank Miller.
In the most sincere of ways, fuck you Frank, fuck you right in the ear.
For those of you that don’t know who Frank Miller is, saying that he’s a comic book legend is saying it lightly. A writer and artist for longer than most comic book personalities have the right to work in the industry, Frank Miller is responsible for legendary and classic comic stories including a historic run on “Daredevil” that revolutionized the character and followed with other works “The Dark Knight Returns”, “Batman: Year One”, and the “Sin City” books among others. His most revered work has always been uncompromising, hard, and incredibly gritty given the source material, but these days, Frank isn’t quite Frank these days.
He recently went on a rant about the whole “Occupy” movements happening in cities across the country, going so far as to label the protestors “losers that should go home to their parent’s basements and play more World of Warcraft” (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s pretty much what he said). Anyway, Miller sees these protests as attacks on everything that “true” Americans hold dear. “True Americans”. You know, the kind of “True Americans” that believe the middle class and below should keep getting fucked in the ass by the 1%.
So in those regards, with this stance he’s taken on the subject and how he’s lampooning the protesters, there’s only one thing to say to good ‘ol Frank at this point…
…fuck you (again) Frank Miller.
Call it a hunch, but I’m pretty sure that a decent amount of these protesters have read some comic books in their times, and more than likely they read the work of Frank Miller at some point, more than likely because he was recommended to them because his work has been so revered for so damn long…but in that respect, it’s been a while since Frank has done anything worth writing home about.
After achieving Hollywood fame when adaptations of “Sin City” and “300” struck box-office gold, Frank decided to take Will Eisner’s classic character “The Spirit” and direct a movie based on it himself. The result was a catastrophically horrible piece of shit excuse of a comic book film that felt like a watered-down “Sin City”. He also decided to write numerous shitty comics that sold only because his name was on the cover, including “The Dark Knight Strikes Again”, “All-Star Batman & Robin” (which featured the immortal line of dialogue, “what are you retarded? I’m the goddamn Batman”), and the recently released “Holy Terror”, which is probably the most blatantly racist piece of conservative propaganda to ever be published in the last fifty or so years. In other words, Frank Miller went off his rocker a while ago, so his recent bout of shit-talking shouldn’t come as much of a surprise at all really.
No matter what though, seeing Miller take this stance is disheartening. I wonder if he forgets what it was like getting into a tough industry like comic books and scrapping and surviving to do so. His raw talent is what got him noticed (even as his pencil work deteriorated in quality over the years) in the beginning of his career, a career which is now on the other end of the spectrum where he’s becoming more widely recognized as an over the hill hack, and that’s exactly what I’m acknowledging him as now, and probably forever more from this point forward.
So once again Frank Miller, fuck you. Fuck you right up your quasi-fascist ass. You’re a shell of the man you used to be, and you should just hang it up now to preserve what little legacy you have left. Do that, and the comic book world, and the entertainment industry as a whole, will be all the better off for it.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
What the fuck happened here?
That’s the real question that permeated throughout my brain, when the real question I should ask instead is just simply, “why?” Why did these two fuckholes decide to collaborate together? Why did Lou Reed and Metallica decide to make this fucking train wreck of an album called “Lulu”?
Let me start by saying that despite all the negativity surrounding Metallica over the years (most of it deserved), I remained a huge fan throughout my youth. There's no denying the impact the band has had on the metal genre, bringing it to mainstream audiences like no band ever could before, and in all honesty, no band has really been able to do since. Acts over the years like Korn, Disturbed, and countless others have achieved great deals of mainstream success, but didn't have either the staying power, or the mix of raw talent and songwriting ability that Metallica had all throughout the 1980s to the late 90s. Well, okay, it was the talent that these groups of assclowns were completely devoid of.
Now, here we are.
The most legendary metal band other than Black Sabbath uniting with legendary singer/songwriter Lou Reed to bring us "Lulu"; a collaboration of two distinctly different acts that could either be a smashing success or a complete and utter train wreck. Well folks, "Lulu" is possibly the biggest train wreck of music I think I've ever heard. With the Metallica boys in the background and Lou on vocals, "Lulu" is an unimaginative mess. Every single track on this album sounds so disjointed and just plain ugly that you'll be plugging your ears from the get-go. I'm not exaggerating here or kidding either, "Lulu" isn’t just plain horrible, it’s a musical abortion.
The real tragedy about this is these two legendary acts combining to make this. It wasn't a match that made sense to begin with, which is kind of what honestly made me look kind of forward to it in the first place: it was something different. Well, it is something different alright, it's just plain garbage. It's a shame too; "Lulu" could have been something that at least warranted a listen for fans of either, or any, music genre just for the sake of curiosity alone. Instead, this is what we're left with: a gaping black hole of an album that makes me want to shit my pants in utter amazement and overall sadness. Sadness because Lou Reed is a legend in his own right, and Metallica was the pioneering thrash band that came out of the Bay Area and took the world by storm.
No matter what these acts do from this day forward, their legendary status cannot ever really be questioned by anyone but their respective haters.
But no matter how legendary their status is and possibly always will be, they can’t ever deny that they crafted “Lulu”, which is the equivalent of that red-headed kid you conceived that night when you cheated on your husband with the bartender and tried to abort it with a wire hanger, only to fail miserably, scar its face, and eventually give birth in the office basement and keep it hidden with a steady diet of peanut shavings and Robitussin.
In other words, it’s a mistake that was known upon its conception, went through with anyway, and now is hated and despised by all that encounter it.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Ah yes, it’s that time of year. The time of year where we all gather around the dinner table with a various assortment of relatives that we usually do everything we can to avoid being around. This includes but is not exclusive to, your narcoleptic father who has managed to make it away from the couch and watching football, but still managed to bring his trusty beer cozy to the table. Your whore of a cousin and her current boy-toy of the month that decided to wear a Pabst Blue-Ribbon t-shirt to the gathering. Your aunt that goes on and on about her awesome son that owns property in Manhattan. Your other aunt that creepily goes to great lengths discussing how proud she was when her daughter (i.e., your whore of a cousin) got her first period and graphically detailing the monolithic event while you choke on your cranberry sauce. And who can forget your weird Uncle Steve, who even though you’re all grown up now, are still not allowed to be around alone, so say your parents.
Ah yes folks, it’s Thanksgiving. A holiday in which we give thanks for everything we have. A holiday in which images of gatherings between pilgrims and Native American Indians pop up in your head. A holiday in which we give thanks to those pilgrims and our forefathers for wrestling and taking this land we now live on from its native people and slaughtering them in the process. Were it not for that eventual act of genocide in the name of God, we wouldn’t be here today, because remember folks, as long as you’re white (and maybe a little bit of brown), God loves you and looks out for you always.
Let me cut my shtick for now and get on to just what all I’m thankful for today. In this crazy world we live in where we’re teetering on the brink of economic collapse and people are “occupying” public places just to try to get in the pants of (or at least get a handy from) that cute hippy chick they know from their poetry class, we should all have at least one or two things to give thanks for. So, without further adieu, here’s a list of just what I’m thankful for. Strap yourselves in folks…
Shit I’m thankful for:
High definition hockey
Getting laid on a semi-regular basis
The NBA lockout (because the drama here is more entertaining than basketball has been in a long time)
LeBron James still not having a Championship ring
That there’s no debtors’ prison
Free internet porn
Catholic high school girl uniforms
Sylvester Stallone making an “Expendables” sequel
That I didn’t have to pay a dime to hear the Metallica and Lou Reed collaboration by illegally downloading it, so I didn’t get mad when it almost brought me to tears by how ungodly horrible it is
That George Romero isn’t dead yet
That the remake of “The Crow” looks dead in the water
That there aren’t all that many daycares around Penn State University
The birth control pill
Hearing the words “you are not the father”
Not being a father
Anything that gets me out of being a father
Well folks, that’s pretty much it in terms of what I’m thankful for this year. Didn’t think any of it was funny? Think it may be a little too much? How about you let me come over and stuff your turkey good and proper then? Yeah, that’s what I thought…
HAPPY THANKSGIVING MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
First things first here, I’m really sick and tired of hearing about Joe fucking Paterno. Over a week later and people are still “up in arms” about the legendary Penn State football coach’s firing amidst the revelations of some ass hole on his coaching staff having his way with various young boys over an extended period of time. Paterno himself did nothing wrong, other than not following through after initially reporting it to the athletic director and whoever else. Upon news of Paterno getting shitcanned, along with a lot of other people for basically doing nothing but sitting on their hands, Penn State students protested and rioted. And now, here we are.
It’s been a long time since I’ve watched college football and generally enjoyed it, but when I did, watching Penn State was usually always an entertaining endeavor. Paterno was the iconic man on the sideline, the coach who had been there for nearly 50 fucking years and setting records across the board along the way. Now, he’s practically a disgrace. In the wake of Paterno’s firing, the one thing that pisses me off more than anything are all these people calling Paterno’s shitcanning a disgrace and a tragedy…
…no, you stupid fuckers, the tragedy and disgrace isn’t what happened to Paterno, it’s that Paterno and everyone else involved that knew something bad was happening didn’t do anything about it. You can say all you want that they did their jobs by reporting it up the chain at Penn State, but why the fuck didn’t anyone call the cops at the very least. The guy who actually heard this Sandusky cocksucker doing shit to these kids should have interceded at the very fucking least. If it were me in his shoes, no matter who I saw or heard doing these horrible things to a fucking kid, I swear on everything I hold dear I would have run straight in and beat the mother loving shit out of the scumbucket with no fucking mercy. Instead, this kind of shit went on for YEARS. More victims are coming forward every other day, victims that wouldn’t exist if SOMEONE WOULD HAVE FUCKING DONE SOMETHING TO PUT A STOP TO IT IN THE FIRST FUCKING PLACE.
And while Paterno and company may have lost their jobs, these kids are fucked for life and scarred for all time. That is the tragedy and disgrace, not an 80-some year old man not coaching a college football team anymore.
Get your shit straight people, and please, shut the fuck up about Joe fucking Paterno. His legacy is now forever pissed upon, and he has no one to blame but himself and his crew.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
When it comes to hard science fiction films, they rarely get better than Blade Runner. A 1982 film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” the film was directed by then up-and-comer Ridley Scott, who was hot off the success of the original Alien and starred Harrison Ford in the role of cyborg hunter Rick Deckard. Though it ultimately failed at the box office when originally released, over the years that followed the film gained a cult following, which blossomed into Blade Runner being renowned as a classic of the genre.
Now, here we are in 2011, and Ridley Scott, who in the years since directed such films as Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Hannibal, Kingdom of Heaven, and Robin Hood among others, has announced his intention to direct a full-fledged sequel.
Yes folks, nearly 30 years later, and we’re getting a sequel to Blade Runner…whether we want one or not.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see more of a look into the dystopian future that Scott adapted from PKD, but for the life of me I can’t imagine a sequel in this day and age that could really carry the flame of what the original film was all about, even if it was directed by fucking Ridley Scott. Personally, I just think Scott’s gone crazy since he decided to direct the upcoming Alien prequel Prometheus (due out next year, and so far it looks wicked) and now he wants to return to the well so to speak by revisiting the genre and films that helped him make a name for himself in the first place.
Yet somehow, I kind of do want to see a Blade Runner sequel. As great as the original film was, it wasn’t quite all that faithful to the source material. I’d love to see a more faithful look at the world PKD visualized, and with what Scott was able to accomplish back in 1982, the sky is literally the limit as to what he and his crew could craft today.
No matter what happens, as of right now this is all hypothetical and only in the planning stages at best. This may never happen, and there’s a strong possibility that it may not. For all intents and purposes, Blade Runner is a cult classic that doesn’t have a gigantic following, even though it is a beloved film now and forever. If anything I always figured someone would get the bright idea to remake it…and now that I’ve said that, watch Scott drop out but the studio decide to go ahead and green light a remake…probably starring a douche bag from Twilight and be directed by Brett Ratner.
Shit…sorry for jinxing it folks.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I was told recently that I should write a blog going over some of my own publishing follies and offer up some advice to aspiring writers…
…well, here the fuck I am.
It isn’t until you create something and try to market it that you realize just how difficult it is to get your shit out there and make something off of it.
What’s that? Create something for the sake of profit instead of just letting the creative juices flow for the sake of creativity? I’m selling out?
You’re fucking right I’m selling out, and I’ll tell all y’all why: because when you’ve been pounding the pavement for so damn long to get your work and name out there and get some kind, ANY KIND, of recognition; you really stop giving a shit about creative credibility after a while. Case in point, I’ve been an aspiring comic book writer/artist since I was 16 fucking years old. Here we are now, eleven years later, and what’s changed? That’s right, I’m still an aspiring writer, though at this point the medium I want to dabble in has expanded to just about anything I can get myself into.
Getting published is a crapshoot to say it lightly…but to put it bluntly; it’s a fucking crapshoot with AIDS. You can shop around your work as much as you can, but no matter what you’ll get the door shut in your face more often than not. Nobody gives a shit about your idea or a story you wrote, no matter how good you think it may be, and no matter how good it may in fact be after all. You know why most publishers don’t give a shit? Because they get bombarded with material from every other douche bag that fancies themselves a writer. Most of these types of people can be found in Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, or any other chain store that offers free Wi-Fi and the chance to let others see you with a laptop in front of you trying to look busy and interesting.
Since nobody gives a shit about you and your work and whatever you can compose with a pen and paper, what the fuck do you do? Well, truth be told there isn’t a whole lot you can do. You can either keep shopping your work around; hoping against hope that it piques the interest of someone, or you can go another route and just publish it yourself. That option is far from being cheap, but more often than not, if your work really is good that damn good, someone will notice it. It happens to comic book writers all the time. So many independent writers and artists alike have crafted independent comics that would catch the attention of big name companies Marvel and DC. In the literary world, it doesn’t happen as much in today’s day and age, but it does occur.
Anyway, back on point. I’ve shopped around something for so damned long that it’s starting to seem like the most fruitless endeavor in the history of ever (and no, I’m not talking about my cock being shopped around either, hardy fucking har). I wrote a short story in college as a joke more than anything, and called it “Hillbilly Holocaust” (and yes, I copyrighted the title). It’s a story that features inbred hillbillies, zombies, and a bit of the old ultraviolent revenge type of thing. After getting a surprising response from various students and faculty on campus, I decided to take it more serious and streamline it a bit, taking out the comedic elements and making it more straight-forward horror and suspense…which led to me getting an even bigger and better response from people. Since then, I’ve re-worked it (yet again) with the intention of making it into a full-blown graphic novel…something I’ve dreamed of doing for so fucking long. So I shopped it around to smaller-market comic publishers like Dark Horse, Image, Avatar Press, and a few other indie labels I’ve never heard of…
…and subsequently had the door slammed on my face in the process.
It really is a hard industry to really break through into. While Image and Dark Horse showed a surprising amount of interest, it just isn’t something they believe would work right now. Maybe they’re right…but I’m going to prove to them that they’re not right about it at all. So, I’ve decided to publish the short-story version of “Hillbilly Holocaust” to Amazon’s Kindle. I learned from a friend (and fellow aspiring author) that Amazon offers the chance to publish your work to their electronic reading device.
Hey, it’s something.
It’s also something I recommend any aspiring writer to do just to get a start. After that…well, it’s really just a matter of selling yourself. You really have to flat-out whore yourself out to get anywhere, and even when you do, you’re still not guaranteed to get anywhere. No matter what though, and this is something I learned after quite some time, don’t give up. No matter how shitty the situation seems and no matter how much someone tells you how shit your ambition and/or work is, give them the finger and keep your head up (and possibly fuck their girlfriend/wife just to get your point across) and don’t give up on what you want to do.
That’s really all the advice I can offer up for the time being…
…and oh yeah, go download “Hillbilly Holocaust” from Amazon. Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can download it straight to your computer and read it from there. And it’ll only cost you 3 American dollars, so what the fuck is your excuse?
What’s my excuse for making a shameless plug? Well, I’m a whore…and I often act as such, that’s why.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Remember when Facebook was fun? When you would look at your friend’s statuses and laugh your ass off at some ridiculous things, and come up with some ridiculous things yourself for your own status just for shits and giggles and to give your pals a good laugh as well?
Yeah, Facebook isn’t like that anymore. Didn’t you get the memo?
I don’t want to pick on anyone here, I really don’t, but can’t anyone come up with anything better than re-posting statuses that deal with shit like “supporting the troops”, or “if you have a great mom”, or “God says it’s his will my wife fucked my neighbor”, or some other crap for fuck’s sake? And when did everyone become so fucking sensitive? If you make a joke or say something that’s remotely biting humor in regards to anything involving religion, abortion, bestiality, or anything outside the norm; you’re an insensitive scumbag that gets reported to Mark Zuckerberg’s underlings and you get the digital equivalent to forty lashes with a wet noodle. Case in point, some time ago I posted a link in regards to discussions of the government pulling the plug on Planned Parenthood, and made a joke regarding abortion…and holy fucking shit did I get lampooned for it in return. I had no idea that I was Facebook friends with so many people that take life and all its unintentional hilarity so damn serious, so many that in fact I got deleted, blocked, AND reported and had said link removed.
On another occasion, I made a joke about homeless people being thrown bottles of booze to play a game I lovingly called “hungry hungry hobos”. After getting quite a few laughs and funny reactions, I was subsequently called ignorant and told that I should watch that shitty Will Smith movie “The Pursuit of Happiness”, which is allegedly proof that not all homeless people are alcoholics. Keep in mind that said douche bag is himself ignorant of the fact that “The Pursuit of Happiness” is not as true a story as was advertised (and is largely known that the man Smith played was in fact a drug-raddled boozer himself) and also has little to no sense of humor…except when repeatedly posting statuses talking about being a “gangsta” in the “streets of Reading, PA” (which if you are not familiar with, is a shitty excuse of a city that’s surrounded by farm land) and hilariously enough can’t seem to read and spell above the third-grade level.
If it’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that life is not worth living if you take EVERY little goddamn thing so seriously. What’s the point of living if you can’t enjoy life and have some fun? Is it really necessary to live life with a stick shoved up your ass and take it out on everybody by raining on their parade? If you do that in real, everyday life, that’s one thing…but being like that on Facebook is something else entirely. It’s the internet for the love of fuck; it’s the absolute least-sacred place in the history of the fucking planet Earth. When people aren’t participating in Facebook-fuckstickery, they’re downloading internet porn. That’s the internet, that’s what it’s designed for: fucking around, jerking off to porn, and being an outlet for those that have to live boring lives. The wankers and fun police shaking their fingers at everything they deem offensive need to take a long look in the mirror and realize that not only does the everyday, real-life world not revolve around them, but the digital world doesn’t either.
In other words, take the sticks out of your collective asses and lighten the fuck up.
Or get laid.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
So I finally got around to seeing “Green Lantern” since I missed it when it was in theaters…
…and I really wish I didn’t.
Despite all the critical disdain that this big budget, big screen adaptation of the DC Comics character had gotten, my overall reaction is that it isn’t nearly as bad as so many have said it is (in all honesty, I found it way better than say, “X-Men: First Class”, which I still feel only received positive reviews because it wasn’t the shit-fest that so many had anticipated it to be), but what really pissed me off to no extent was the fuck-stickery that happened with the character and the source material in general.
Hal Jordan, played here by a miscast Ryan Reynolds (who I was never that fond of in the first fucking place), is a fearful pilot in this movie. Yes folks, Hal Jordan is a bit of a sissy. Anyone who has read their share of Green Lantern comics with Hal as the main character knows that if it’s one thing Hal isn’t, it’s fearful. That’s the whole point of being a Green Lantern, is having NO fear. I understand how this is changed here for the film’s script to tell an origin story and make Hal look like an underdog, but for fuck’s sake did they have to make so pussified here?
As far as the mythology goes, it was hit and miss. Having Tomar explain the ideas of willpower and the history of the Guardians was cool and relatively faithful, but the fact that there is so little included of Oa, the other Lanterns, and that there is little to no explanation or reasoning of Sinestro’s intentions, that most of the story comes off as being plain old fucking retarded. Oh yeah, and Hector Hammond annoyed the living fucking shit out of me too, and the alterations to the story of Parallax make me want to shit myself in frustration.
All those flaws aside, what I did enjoy about the film was the designs of alien Lanterns Sinestro, Abin Sur, Kilowog, and Tomar; while Oa looked spectacular and the ring-powered constructs designs and effects were really cool to see animated in live-action. The action scenes themselves were mostly well-done, but there’s just this emptiness about the film as a whole that just makes the whole thing come off as being little more than a missed opportunity.
It’s a shame too, because out of all of DC’s characters that aren’t Batman, the Green Lantern mythos is not only the most interesting, but it features one of the most well-crafted characters and heroes in Hal Jordan. Like I said before though, most of this nerd-rage of mine is coming from the fact that I’m a diehard Green Lantern fan, and seeing a mega-budget adaptation of my beloved GL has always been a dream of mine to see. It’s just such a shame that the end result is such a mammoth disappointment.
But hey, it’s still better than any X-Men film since 2003, or “Superman Returns”, so I guess there’s that.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Wow. It’s really hard to believe that is my 100th blog. Where did the time go exactly? Fuck if I know.
So what will I be discussing for my 100th blog spectacular? Comic book bitching? Movie bitching? Comic book movie bitching? Hockey? Horror? Nope, none of that this time around. For my 100th blog, I will be discussing something very near and dear to me, I will be discussing my dick.
Yes folks…my dick.
We’ve been together a long time, often hand in hand, with one usually acting as the singular brain between the both of us. More often than not though, we’ve found ourselves in trouble and some relatively dire straits, usually because my dick acts like an asshole. So, in a retrospect of sorts, I’m going to sort through a list of things I solely blame my dick for getting me into, only in an effort to illustrate to you, the reader that has a dick of your own, when you shouldn’t let your dick act as your dictator.
Things not to let your dick tell you to do, or do with your dick:
Go door to door asking bored & unhappy housewives if they require hot beef injections
Attempt to conduct a symphony orchestra with your dick (though it is fun)
Showing up to a Comic-con cosplaying as a toilet with your dick made up to look like Mr. Hankey
Trying to work the Xbox Kinect by swinging it around…doesn’t work at all
Make shadow puppets with it by the campfire…parents don’t find it all that funny
Try to prove that “Puppetry of the Penis” is a sham by using rubber bands…it’s difficult
Banging the hot neighbor even though you can smell the Chlamydia a mile away
Banging the neighbor’s hot babysitter even though you can smell the “jailbait” charge a mile away
Banging your best friend’s girlfriend because she gave you a sympathy blowjob back in the day and she’s currently unhappy and you’d like to return the favor
Tell yourself that 20 bucks for a half & half is a good, safe deal
Tell yourself that you only watch re-runs of “Charmed” for the interesting story elements, not the fact that it’s an hour-long jerk-off fest for pre-teen boys
Literally try to put a hole in the wall with it because you’re impressed with its hardness…it never works
Write a blog discussing your dick at length (or in short)
Hell of a 100th blog huh? Hope you at least got a laugh or two out of it. See ya soon folks! My dick waves hello to you all (and goodbye to some others).
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Do you remember "The Ooze"? It was a surprisingly good Genesis game released pretty late in the life of the console, but it garnered a bit of a cult following due to the game's originality and punishing difficulty. You should check it out if you want a fun exercise in pulling your fucking hair out. Here's the uncensored review of the game I wrote for Sega-16:
THE OOZE (1995)
Published by Sega
Developed by Sega Technical Institute
Ah yes, Sega Technical Institute. At one time probably the best development team within Sega (along with Sonic Team naturally), Sega Technical Institute was responsible for awesome Genesis games like Kid Chameleon and Comix Zone, while varying members of the team also had their hands in games like Sonic Spinball and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. They were also behind The Ooze, an inventive and surprisingly original action/puzzle game that was released in the waning days of the Genesis’ lifecycle.
The story of The Ooze goes something like this: Dr. Caine is a scientist that discovers his employers are going to release the toxic gases he himself created on the population, in an effort to get filthy rich since they hold the cure (i.e., they’re practically the American government). Upon being discovered, Caine is seemingly killed by said toxic waste, only to be reborn as a moving, functioning puddle of puke green slime (yes, you read that right). Now he’s on a mission to get revenge on his former employers, as well as try to find a way to bring himself back to his human form in the process. He’s not Swamp Thing, he’s THE OOZE THING MOTHERFUCKERS!
You control Caine as this sentient puddle of green slime and traverse some dangerous areas and solve some puzzles. You can attack enemies by either stretching a slimy limb to attack, or spit little slime pellets which decreases your size. The size of your Caine-puddle also depletes as you get hit or otherwise take damage, which will happen quite a bit on your journey. Yes folks, The Ooze is one challenging game to be sure. In all the years I’ve played this game off and on, I have only ever beaten it once, and I didn’t get the good ending either. And once again, yes folks, there is a good ending, and a bad ending to this game. To get the good ending you must collect all 50 strands of DNA sprinkled throughout the game’s stages if you have any hope of being returned to your normal self. I didn’t get that ending because I just didn’t pay enough attention to what all was going on around me. That’s the key to getting far in this game, you have to pay attention to everything going on around you, and if you don’t, you may as well just pop the cartridge out because you’re not going to get very far. Environmental hazards pop up aplenty, from falling off the edge of a ledge or getting sucked down a drain, you must constantly be aware of your surroundings, this game is no joke, and can be frustrating as fuck to boot.
Graphically speaking The Ooze looks good. A number of late in life Genesis games featured some great graphics that surprised many, ranging from Comix Zone, The Lost World, and more besides. The Ooze is one of these games as well, offering colorful characters and sharply defined environments throughout. The game also features some great music and sound effects as well, which was really a staple of the games that came out of Sega Technical Institute at the time. In fact, a lot of what The Ooze has to offer are staples of what made Sega Technical Institute such a beloved inner-division of Sega at the time. Games that featured quality graphics and even more quality gameplay that kept gamers coming back again and again. It was because of games like The Ooze and the aforementioned Comix Zone and other Sega Technical Institute gems that helped extend the life of the Genesis probably longer than it should have gone on for.
While The Ooze isn’t quite a classic of the Genesis/Mega Drive library, it is one of those not-so-well-known little gems that can be found if you look hard enough. The game is easily found enough on eBay and other places online to warrant checking it out for yourself, which you should wholeheartedly do. Keep in mind however that this is one challenging, and occasionally frustrating, game that really does deliver the goods in terms of what we all look for in classic 16-bit Genesis gaming. It’s a shame that Sega Technical Institute as we all knew it didn’t stick together for too long as the years after the release of The Ooze crept along (I for one would have loved a sequel), but this game alone is just a sample of the impact that they had not only on the Genesis, but on Sega’s legacy as a whole.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Ah yes, it’s that time of year again…it’s fucking Halloween time folks! And what does Halloween time mean exactly? Horror movies folks, and if you know me well at all, you know no one loves this time of year and everything included with it more than me. One thing I don’t necessarily like about horror flicks in general however, is that we have horror movies remakes. Just closing my eyes and letting my mind drift, I see flickers of the ridiculously shitty remakes of classic (and even not so classic) horror remakes to have been unleashed upon us in the past decade or so. “The Wickerman” (“NOT THE BEES!!!”), “The Fog”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, Rob Zombie’s abortion that was “Halloween 2”, and so on and so forth. However, every now and then, we get a horror remake that isn’t only surprisingly good, but in some cases even outdoes the original it was based upon. So I’ve listed my top five of the best horror movie remakes to have seen the light of day. You may not agree necessarily, but regardless, these are the best horror remakes available that you could ever hope to see. And here…we…go!
THE THING (1982)
Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley
Remade from the classic “The Thing From Another World” and owing more to the story that that film was based upon (“Who Goes There”), John Carpenter’s “The Thing” featured masterful suspense, genuine shocks, and legendary effects makeup that not only still holds up today, but helped revolutionize the makeup special effects world in the process. A group of researchers in Antarctica comes across a crash-landed alien that can assimilate and duplicate other life forms it comes into contact with, resulting in a gore-fest of suspense and the crew playing an increasingly desperate game of cat and mouse trying to figure out who’s human and who isn’t. Everything about “The Thing” is nearly pitch perfect, from the superb acting to the grim and nihilistic conclusion, this remains one of my all time favorite films of any genre, and in my opinion Carpenter’s best film ever. There’s an upcoming remake of this remake (you read that right) that supposedly serves as a prequel, and features a young cast with CGI effects aplenty. I can already guarantee how THAT flick will turn out. No matter what though, you must see “The Thing”, it’s a horror classic.
THE FLY (1986)
Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz
Remade from the Vincent Price classic, David Cronenberg’s “The Fly” is a gory tale of science gone mad. Jeff Goldblum stars as a brilliant scientist that accidentally crosses his genes with that of a fly during a teleportation experiment, and what results is a nightmarish examination of “The Metamorphosis”, with hefty amounts of blood and guts tossed in for good measure. At the heart of the film however is a surprisingly deep and even more surprisingly emotional examination of human nature and subtle metaphors for disease and the transformation one goes through during a relationship; topics that you very rarely see taken on in any remake, 99% of which are done as quick cash-ins. A box-office hit and Oscar winner for makeup special effects, “The Fly” spawned a relatively lame sequel a few years later, but apparently David Cronenberg himself has scripted a purposed sequel to this film that he claims will probably never see the light of day. If said sequel would even only be half as good as this film, it would be a crime were it to never be completed.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1990)
Director: Tom Savini
Starring: Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, Tom Towles
George Romero produced this remake to his legendary shocker, which was directed by legendary makeup effects guru Tom Savini, and unlike most remakes that change things around in the script for the sake of changing things around, this remake doesn’t come off as being the worse for it. This take on “Night of the Living Dead” transforms Barbara from a terrified, screaming shell of a woman into a tough, hard-nosed survivor as she and a group of others board themselves up in an old farmhouse as ravenous zombies surround them. For what it lacks in gore, the “Night of the Living Dead” remake offers some great acting and inventive takes on the classic shocking scenes of the original. Some fans actually consider this remake better than the original, and while I myself am not in that camp, I can see why they may feel that way. You’ll rarely find a remake as good as this one.
LET ME IN (2010)
Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins
An Americanized remake of the modern classic “Let the Right One In”; “Let Me In” is an unexpected treat. When news of the remake first broke, I had a shit-fit and was adamant in the fact that it would be pure and absolute shit and never measure up to the original. Well, I was completely wrong in every regard. “Let Me In” tells the story of a bullied, neglected young boy that learns the girl that just moved in is actually a vampire, and the two develop a bond as everything around them starts to go completely to shit. While “Let Me In” doesn’t quite have the same amount of heart and soul as the beloved original film, it still manages to stand on its own and pay wonderful homage to the original while keeping its spirit and message intact.
THE BLOB (1988)
Director: Chuck Russell
Starring: Kevin Dillon, Shawnee Smith, Jeffrey DeMunn
There are plenty of people that didn’t like this film for whatever reasons, but I personally love this remake of “The Blob”. Dated as hell but loaded with some eye-popping effects and deliberately tongue-in-cheek moments, I even prefer this remake over the Steve McQueen-starring classic original in some regards. Mostly because it’s just a fun, over-the-top gorefest that takes no prisoners and makes no apologies for what it is, and that’s the kind of filmmaking you’ve just got to appreciate. Plus, it has Kevin Dillon with a mullet, and that chick from all the “Saw” flicks as a cheerleader; what’s not to love?
“And Soon the Darkness”
“Dawn of the Dead”
“Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”
“The Hills Have Eyes”
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978)
“Piranha 3-D” (fuck you I dug it)
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Personally, I'm not that much of a fan. I've just never really been able to get into the sport, just because to me it's just plain fucking boring. Being an avid hockey fan, I've heard from tons of people that my beloved sport is too boring as well, but how in the hell can such a fast-paced game be considered boring compared to fucking football? Maybe it's just me, but a sport where you're flying up and down the ice slapping at a puck while beating the shit out of the guy trying to knock you over sounds a lot more fun to watch than a sport where you line up over and over again for a couple seconds of guys grabbing and falling all over each other to grab what's basically a dead pig and run with it.
Okay, that was a big rant that came out of nowhere. Now where was I? Oh yeah, I wrote a review of the surprisingly good "NFL 98" for Sega-16, so here's the uncensored review for your reading pleasure...and I think I need a zanax...enjoy!
Published by Sega
Developed by FarSight Studios
Ah yes, it’s that time of year. The time of year when guys across the nation get their recliners, easy chairs, and couches set up to watch good old fashioned NFL football, plus set up their fantasy leagues and even fire up the latest edition of the Madden franchise for good measure (also known as “tools”). When it comes to football video games, Madden has pretty much always been the first football video game franchise to come to mind whether they’re a fan of the sport or not, and for good reason considering the Madden franchise has been around seemingly forever. Back in the day though, before Electronic Arts scooped up exclusivity rights to make games featuring the NFL and its players (and actually have to put out good games to stay competitive in the marketplace, instead of shoveling out the same goddamn game year after year with little minor changes and tweaks), EA had some competition, and one of their best competitors was none other than Sega, who released their own NFL games for a long time, going all the way to having Joe “I fucked your mother” Montana as a spokesman to eventually just using the NFL moniker.
Since the early days of the Genesis, there was football. From the original Joe Montana-brand that would evolve into various Sports Talk-branded installments, to the more commonly-titled NFL 95 and Prime Time NFL Football, Sega always seemed to have their collective heads in the football arena. The franchise would skip a year with NFL 97 hitting the Saturn, with this last hurrah being a swan song of sorts. Yes, NFL 98 marked the end of an era in many ways. NFL 98 wasn’t just the last official football game to be released for Sega’s aging 16-bit juggernaut; it was also one of (and I think maybe the) last North American games to get released for the Genesis period. EA had already released their last football hurrah for the Genesis with Madden NFL 98, and it wasn’t long before Sega followed suit. Despite the long running Sega brand of football that had become a staple of the Genesis, NFL 98 really doesn’t do anything new or truly different at all than any of its predecessors, but what really shocks the shit out of me personally here is that isn’t necessarily a bad thing here either.
One of the things that always made Sega’s football games so accessible to me was the ease of being able to pick up the controller, fire up the cartridge, and just have fun on the field. You didn’t need to be a football expert or necessarily know what a Nickel play is or the pros and cons of lining up your offense in the Shotgun formation. Yes, there is a little bit of a learning curve for those who don’t know all that much about what all goes into playing on the grid-iron, but the accessibility of a number of games in the franchise don’t really hamper the overall gameplay and enjoyment out of Sega’s NFL games. NFL 98 follows the same kind blueprint, almost to a tee.
The football plays themselves come off as being a bit smoother than in the previous iterations of NFL 95 and Prime Time, with throwing the ball, running it, and running defensive plays just feeling simpler to do and pull off. Granted playing 16-bit football isn’t necessarily fucking rocket science, but with NFL 98 it just feels like this just feels plain right to put it bluntly. With the Sports Talk games themselves, I always felt like something was missing from them, and while the previously mentioned installments of the series improved on what had been lacking, NFL 98 feels the most authentic and complete of the whole bunch.
Graphically speaking, there isn’t anything in NFL 98 you haven’t already seen plenty of times before. The graphics engine by this time was really starting to show its age, but it still manages to work for what it is without coming off as archaic. Sound effects are pretty much the same recycled crowd cheers, grunts, and hits that have been around forever in the franchise, which isn’t such a bad thing really as it all still sounds relatively good. Game modes are typical including the Exhibition, Playoffs, etc., all of which was pretty much standard at this point when it comes to the football video game world.
All things considered, for every little thing in NFL 98 that we’ve seen and played over and over again before, this is probably the best iteration of the franchise to hit the Genesis. Holding a place in 16-bit history as one of the final American Genesis games to hit the legendary console makes NFL 98 worth checking out alone, but once you get past the aged aesthetics and recycled presentation, you’ll find yourself with a surprisingly deep football game that you’ll keep coming back to for a while. You can find it pretty cheap on eBay, and there are even groups of people all over the internet that have made numerous mods to the game to include updated players and teams. That in itself serves as proof that one way or another, Sega football left as much a lasting impression on gamers all over the country as EA’s Madden games leave on gamers and jock wanna-be’s wallets.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
In case you haven't noticed by now, I fucking love hockey. Everything about it, to actually strapping the skates on and making an ass out of myself, to popping in a good old hockey video game and playing as the video game versions of NHL players. "NHL 98" marked the end of an era, as it was the last 16-bit hockey videogame ever, and surprisingly one of the best. Here's the uncensored and unedited review of the game I wrote for Sega-16, so check it out!
NHL 98 (1997)
Published by Electronic Arts/T*HQ
Developed by High Score Entertainment
One thing that I noticed growing up owning a Sega Genesis was that for some reason, fighting and sports games generally always wound up being better on Sega’s console than they were on their 16-bit rival, the Super Nintendo. Hence my love for EA’s NHL series, which seemed to always deliver the goods in terms of 16-bit hockey action, even if the different yearly variations of the game didn’t appear to offer many differences from one another. NHL 98 is no different, as it helped send the Genesis off to the video game console afterlife by being the last hockey-themed video game to ever hit the system.
As I’ve already said, on the surface it appears that not much has changed cosmetically in terms of this edition of the series, and you’d be right to think so too. However, one thing that NHL 98 includes is a full-season mode, something that hadn’t been included before on previous games in the NHL series thus far for the Genesis. While playing throughout a whole 82 game season followed by the playoffs is the most standard mode of gameplay in hockey video games (or sports video games in general for that matter) today, seeing it unfold here back then was a 16 fucking bit revelation of sorts.
Other game modes include typical features like Exhibition, Playoff series, and a Penalty Shootout mode in addition to the Regular Season, plus NHL 98 also features the first appearance of the Carolina Hurricanes, who had relocated from being the Hartford Whalers of years past. Also included here are international teams which are spectacularly fun to play around with, albeit they aren’t the player rosters that were featured in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano since Midway managed to swipe the video game rights before EA could even attempt to. Despite that though, the international teams are a nice little bonus regardless, even if we’re relegated to having to use Darren “who the fuck am I” Turcotte as the starting Center of Team USA.
Graphically nothing has really changed from previous releases in the series, but there are other changes and improvements made here that really help make NHL 98 so good. There’s “on-the-fly” style coaching tactics during gameplay which was a whole new feature at the time, and really enhances the overall gameplay mechanics instead of the usual “shoot, pass, hit” style that gamers had grown so accustomed to by this installment of the franchise. This also involves a bit of a change-up with the game’s control scheme, which includes the removal of the usual “double-tap” that was necessary to perform certain actions in past installments. All of this adds up to being the fastest and most refined installment of the NHL series on the Genesis, which is kind of fitting considering that this was the last hurrah of Genesis hockey.
The game’s overall presentation has been slightly improved as well, offering a fairly decent representation of a television-based broadcast. Various player and game stats are provided during stoppages in play, rounding out the overall package. The commentating has seen a bit of an upgrade as well this time around, and there’s even some all-new dialogue to boot. Even the arena crowd seems to have gotten a bit of an upgrade in terms of exuberance; with louder and more frequent cheers and jeers to go along with the typical crowd chants and rhythms of yelling “defense” and clapping along with the arena music.
Also debuting around the same time on higher-powered consoles the Playstation and the Genesis successor the Sega Saturn, NHL 98 was sort of seen as an afterthought by Electronic Arts for releasing on the Genesis and its 16-bit rival, the Super Nintendo. So much so as an afterthought that EA decided to employ THQ with the task of distribution rights for both systems, as well as doing the same with the 16-bit 98 editions of Madden and NBA Live as well. Personally, I always kind of found it ironic that the hockey coda on the Genesis would be one of the very best sports games to grace the console. NHL 94 will always be my favorite installment of the series (and to this day the best video game take on hockey ever in my humble drunken opinion), just based on the fact that it was the very first hockey video game I ever played and truly fell in love with, but make no mistake that NHL 98 ranks a very, very close second.
As mentioned before, the graphical drawbacks of NHL 98 fail to detract from the overall superb experience to be found here. Even though it was released in the final days of the Genesis’ lifecycle, this installment managed to take what had already been done so well, and only improve on it. What’s really disappointing though is how few people know about this overlooked gem of a 16-bit sports video game. Newer, fancier, more powerful consoles were out and making an impact on the video game industry, so it really isn’t any surprise that the Genesis edition of NHL 98 got lost in the mix, but the good news is that the game can be fairly easily found to this day, usually with a cheap price tag. That in itself only sweetens the overall deal, especially if you’re a hockey loving Genesis enthusiast, and if you are, NHL 98 deserves to be in your collection.
Monday, September 12, 2011
What’s there to say about “Star Wars” that hasn’t been said a billion times already. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the franchise, casual viewer, or aren’t even a fan of the films and everything involved therein, you at least know a bit about the “Star Wars” saga. That’s because it’s become so ingrained in our culture and held near and dear by so many people that it’s practically become two steps away from being a fucking religion.
Oh yeah, the whole “Star Wars” saga is also being released on Blu-Ray for the first time ever…and creator George Lucas is making more changes and updates to his cash-cow in the process.
Now the fact that Lucas is making changes to the films themselves is little surprise, he’s been doing it for years. Way before the stink of his prequel films was ever smelt by anyone, Lucas already toyed around with the original film by altering the title of the opening scroll from simply saying “Star Wars” to “Episode IV: A New Hope”, along with famously altering the scene with Han Solo and Greedo by making Greedo shoot at Han first before Han blows his alien ass away. Over the years Lucas would release the original trilogy in “special editions” that would add new digital effects that he always wanted to do, but was limited by the technology of his time when the original films were first made.
When the original trilogy would hit DVD for the first time, Lucas made even more changes to the films. Most famously being replacing the actor playing the deceased Anakin “Darth Vader” Skywalker with a shot of actor Hayden Christensen in the closing moments of “Return of the Jedi”. We all figured that maybe this would be the end of Lucas tinkering with the finished products…but alas, we were wrong.
Among the new alterations to the original films are Vader ridiculously shouting “Nooooooo!!!!” when tossing the Emperor overboard in “Jedi”, Ewoks having moving eye-lids, Obi-Wan making a different sound to distract the Tuskan sand-raiders in the first film, extra rocks around R2-D2 (seriously), and Jabba the Hutt having a massive front door…yeah…what the fuck? Even the prequel films aren’t safe either, with Lucas removing the puppet-controlled Yoda from “Phantom Menace” and replacing him with an all-CGI take on the character, which is what he would opt for in the following two sequels…but still, why George, why?
It’s bad enough that Lucas has made so many alterations to the original films, but why the fuck must he keep on doing it for fuck’s sake? His reasoning is that these are “his” films, which undoubtedly they are, he created them and created a whole new franchise that has been cherished for decades now, but why must he keep on fucking tinkering with something so many hold so near and dear? With creating something to beloved, these films have become the publics to an extent. We love them, we love the mythology they spawned, and all the pop-culture resonations that popped up in the wake of them being released. In other words, stop fucking with our shit George.
When the films were first released on DVD, fans clamored the same sentiments that I am, with many begging for the chance that we’d get to see the original, unaltered cuts of the films we love so much. Lucas granted our wishes, more or less, by releasing them all separately in Letterbox format DVD’s that looked and sounded like they were recorded or burned from old VHS tapes. Yes folks, no matter what, George just keeps putting the dick to us, and he seemingly always will in one shape or form or another.
I’m not a die-hard “Star Wars” fan in the least, but I adore the original trilogy and hold them in an incredible high regard. All I can really say to the real die-hard “Star Wars” fans is to give Lucas the finger by not laying down the cash for the upcoming Blu-Ray releases of the “Star Wars” saga. Maybe if he sees how low the sales are for these altered takes on the films, he’ll take a fucking hint and really give his fans what they truly want. Then again…this is George Lucas we’re talking about, and he’s probably too damn busy counting all his money to really give a shit about what his fans want in the first fucking place.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Ever hear of a Genesis game called "Generations Lost"? Yeah, I never did either until really late in the life-cycle of the Genesis, but it managed to stick out in my mind for some fucking reason...that and I reviewed it for Sega-16 due to the fact that there aren't that many Genesis games left available to review, so I figured fuck it...and well, here we are.
GENERATIONS LOST (1994)
Published by Time Warner Interactive
Developed by Pacific Softscape
The Genesis/Mega Drive offers a plethora of platformers that we all know by heart at this point. The Sonic the Hedgehog series, Vectorman, Ristar, and plenty, plenty more besides. Most of them are beloved titles that have stood the test of time and define Sega’s classic 16-bit juggernaut to this very day. In between all those beloved games however are a few that manage to slip in between the cracks of the console’s library and for whatever reason didn’t seem to attract much of an audience. Some are better left unnoticed, while some are real diamonds in the rough…and then there are one or two that don’t really fall into either category at all. They’re not that memorable, but they’re not flat out shit either. Generations Lost is one such game, as it doesn’t offer anything new to the platforming genre, nor does it do anything particularly bad either.
In Generations Lost, you assume the role of a warrior named Monobe, who is on a quest to “search for the past of his people”…or something…I don’t know, nor do I really give a shit either, let’s just get this show on the road. Your real quest is to dodge various environmental hazards and take on an assortment of blood-thirsty creatures and assorted baddies to make it to the end of each level. Along the way is a healthy amount of brain teasing puzzle elements that keep the game from getting too stale too quickly, and offers a nice change of pace to the usual platforming and taking out enemies elements. There’s also a healthy amount of locating secret switches, which in itself ends up becoming more fucking monotonous than need be.
Graphically speaking, Generations Lost offers some pretty decent graphics. Monobe himself is nicely detailed, as are the enemy creatures. They make up for the otherwise bland level visuals, which look like a hodgepodge of designs from past platformers, including an opening jungle stage that looks like it was ripped straight out of the first level of the first X-Men game on the Genesis. Things don’t really change much from that point forward though throughout the game’s six levels, as even though the stage location changes, yet somehow they all seem to manage to look like one another. This sort of betrays the somewhat awesome opening cut-scene of the game, which seems to promise some sort of futuristic action/adventure game, yet judging by the majority of the locations, we get anything but. Still though, the level design itself is solid and offers some pretty good platforming action as well.
Graphical flaws and shortcomings aside, Generations Lost does offer some tight controls. Monobe can do a variety of movements, including run, shoot energy projectiles, and swing and move from platform to platform with relative ease using an energy rope. Yes, Monobe is like Spider-Man but with energy-based technology and armor, and without any whiny musings about his troublesome red-headed bimbo girlfriend or his two-steps-away-from-being-a-fucking-mummy Aunt May (that’s right I said it). Using all these abilities and movements is surprisingly tight and responsive, albeit it takes a little getting used to at first, but after a while it becomes simple to do and pull off, and almost being a little reminiscent of Capcom’s classic NES game Bionic Commando in the process, which is not a bad thing to be compared to in the least.
The game’s difficulty however is a different story. Generations Lost has a steep learning curve, as mentioned before in discussing getting used to the game’s controls, but it doesn’t help matters when the game goes from being easy to increasingly difficult as the game progresses. Once you get through some the hardest parts in the game, things get easy again, before once again getting even fucking harder than before. This can range from the amount of enemies you encounter, to environmental traps popping out of nowhere, to some frustrating puzzles. I’m all for difficulty in a game and getting a good challenge, but when it keeps moving from one end of the spectrum to another and back again and again and again, you’ll be pulling your hair out and shitting your pants in frustration. Even if the game is only six levels long, you’ll be glad it is by the time you reach the end.
All its flaws aside though, Generations Lost still has a lot to offer for Genesis/Mega Drive owners. It has an intriguing enough story that is fairly original for a game of this type and era and a somewhat interesting protagonist on top of that, plus some appealing graphics and tight controls. Its difficulty fluctuation and visually bland levels end up dragging it down, but not to the degree of being unplayable. With all that being said, Generations Lost is a worthwhile enough endeavor to pick up and play. You can find it simply enough on eBay or even download it from a few different places on the internet, so there’s really no harm in giving Generations Lost a whirl.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Those are the names of three NHL players who have all died during this summer. Three NHL players that all have something major in common besides the fact that they were professional hockey players: they were all fighters, otherwise known as “enforcers” or to use the old time hockey term, “goons”. They were all paid to go out on the ice for a few minutes of ice-time to do little more than rough up the opposition, to punch out opposing teams’ tough guys and get things going for their own team. Sheriffs of the ice in a way, and no matter what, always having a leadership impact on and off the ice.
Now all three men are dead, and the circumstances of their deaths are something else entirely.
Boogaard, in the first year of a four-year contract with the New York Rangers, died from a lethal combination of pain killers and alcohol, and was suffering from post-concussion syndrome and sat out most of his single season with the Rangers due to the injury.
Rypien, who had played parts of multiple seasons with the Vancouver Canucks and their minor league affiliate before signing with the newly resurrected Winnipeg Jets at the start of the NHL’s Free Agency period, had been said to have been a long-sufferer of depression, which is what is believed to have lead to his suicide only a few weeks ago.
Belak, a longtime and beloved pugilist who had announced his retirement from the Nashville Predators a few months ago in mid-season, was found dead last night in his condo. Belak, a husband and father, was known throughout the league as being a great guy in the locker room and outside of hockey, which makes his apparent suicide all the more baffling for the time being.
What the hell is going on in the NHL with its enforcers? All three players had varying degrees of injury history, with Boogaard being the only one that had major concussion issues, but the fact that all three died within such a short time of each other just makes things all the more heartbreaking, and all the more head-scratching as well. Does living the life of being an NHL goon take a toll on a person that no one can ever really know?
Only a few months ago, legendary tough guy Bob Probert passed away as well. Probert, who had substance abuse issues while he played in the NHL, desired that his brain be donated to science to be studied for the effects that concussions have on the human brain, after suffering a few himself during his career, a number of which being undiagnosed. Even before Probert passed away, and before any of these three players’ lives were cut short, the NHL was finally starting to take a serious look at the issue of concussions in the sport. Just this past year alone, we’ve seen players like Marc Savard (whose career looks like it’s over) and Max Pacioretty (who was the subject of a past blog after being almost two steps away from getting assfucked by Zdeno Chara’s hockey stick) suffered major concussions, as did league superstar and NHL poster child Sidney Crosby, who is still suffering lingering effects months later and is unknown when he’ll be able to play again after suffering what may be multiple concussions in a short amount of time.
The concussion issue is one thing the NHL needs to handle, and believe it or not, so is substance abuse. American football is certainly a brutal sport, but there is no other major North American sport that sees its players down painkillers like the NHL. It’s understandable, it’s not like many regular people could survive and absorb a hit from a guy like Shea Weber without feeling a little tingle, but the link between massive injuries that go undiagnosed and the use of painkillers is something that needs to be handled right the fuck right now by the NHL. Don’t believe me? Ask Eric Lindros or Paul Kariya what it’s like to get multiple concussions and still keep coming back. Look at Theo Fleury’s career often playing better drunk than his teammates could sober. It’s a problem that’s always existed in the league in one form or another; it’s just now that the situation is finally coming to light.
It’s just a shame that it’s come to this to make people and the league finally take notice as to just what the fuck is going on here.
Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak; R.I.P.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
When it comes to the medium of comic books, one man is the King. It isn’t Stan Lee, it isn’t Frank Miller, it isn’t Alan Moore, and it even isn’t Will Eisner. The man I’m talking about is Jack Kirby; a creative mind that contributed more to the medium than probably anyone else ever had in the years before and since his passing. Today is August 28, 2011; which would have been King Kirby’s 94th birthday, but alas, the King isn’t here to celebrate it himself, so out of respect to the legendary artist/writer, let’s have a chat about just what all the man contributed to the comic book realm.
What Kirby is most notarized for is helping shape the Marvel universe as we know it today. He created Captain America with Joe Simon, and later with Stan Lee helped create other Marvel icons like Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom, Black Panther, Uatu the Watcher, the Inhumans, Nick Fury, Ant-Man, the Wasp, Galactus, the Silver Surfer, Magneto, and the original X-Men lineup just to name a few. He also made numerous contributions to other characters like Spider-Man and Daredevil among others, before leaving Marvel after feeling he had been treated unfairly and poorly compensated.
In 1970, Kirby joined rival comics publisher DC Comics in a much publicized event, and immediately began churning out characters and stories that, like he did with Marvel, made a profound impact that still resonates to this very day. He created the “Fourth World” saga, which introduced The New Gods, including classic characters like Darkseid, Orion, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Metron, and plenty, plenty more. He took Superman in new and different directions, while also creating a new take on the Sandman character, as well as other titles including “The Forever People”, “OMAC”, “Kobra”, “Kamandi”, and my own personal favorite, the character of Etrigan the Demon in “The Demon”. Most of these titles were fairly short-lived, as Kirby still didn’t get the degree of creative control he had yearned for, which led to a return to Marvel after only a few years with DC.
While back at Marvel, Kirby returned to writing and drawing “Captain America” and “Black Panther” while also creating the classic “The Eternals”, as well as the short-lived series’ “Devil Dinosaur” and “Machine Man”, before once again giving Marvel the finger due to the fact they didn’t want to provide him with a little something called health insurance. From that point forward Kirby dabbled in TV animation, book covers, and more besides while occasionally returning to DC for a “Fourth World” revival in the 80s, and created his own characters for Topps Comics in the early 90s, before passing away at 76 in 1994.
While big comic industry figures like Neil Gaiman, Alex Ross, Kurt Busiek, Grant Morrison, and plenty more openly acknowledge and pay homage to Kirby’s works, mainstream audiences sadly don’t know all that much about him. Stan Lee gets all the credit in the world for the Marvel icons we all know and love, but were it not for Jack Kirby, half of those characters would have never existed and the industry as a whole would not be what it is today. The sad part is that Kirby’s name doesn’t resonate with people like Lee’s does and sadly never has, making it all the more heartbreaking to know that Kirby died practically penniless. While Kirby’s family and estate have taken Marvel and various film companies that own the film rights to Marvel properties to court in an effort to regain control of various characters, Marvel as an entity pulled through victorious like they always do, and continue to make money off of Kirby’s name anytime they release a collection of his work (not a penny of which is seen by his family or estate mind you).
With all this in mind however, today is a day to celebrate the life of a legendary comics author. Jack “King” Kirby, you were undoubtedly the best in the business by far, and those of us who love and respect your work appreciate you all the more with each passing day. So happy birthday Jack, and it’s a shame you’re not here with us today, and if you were, you’d still be the greatest talent the medium would ever have…and you still are the greatest and most missed talent the medium has ever had as well.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
NIGHTMARE CIRCUS (1996)
Published by Sega/Tec Toy (Brazil)
Developed by Funcom
I remember way back during the waning days of the Sega Genesis’ lifespan that I was still managing to somehow get the most out of my ever-aging console. Thanks to the awesomeness that was Sega Channel (something that was way ahead of its time) I got to play a huge library of varying Genesis games month after month. Most were of the well-known variety to Genesis owners, including games like everything from the Sonic and Ecco the Dolphin franchises to other Genesis stalwarts like Eternal Champions and Altered Beast just to name a few. Now and then though, Sega Channel subscribers would get a little something extra in terms of content, mostly rare import games that we wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere else at the time. I remember games like Mega Man: The Wily Wars, Garfield: The Lost Levels, Battle Frenzy, and Golden Axe III among others, but there was one game that I remember more so than any of the previously mentioned…a game called Nightmare Circus, and I remembered it based on the fact that it was an abominably bad piece of horseshit in the disguise of a Genesis cartridge.
First and foremost, Nightmare Circus has a bit of an interesting history behind it. Developed by Funcom (who were responsible for games ranging from console ports of NBA Hangtime to the more recent MMORPG Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures) and originally set to be published by Sega in the final releasing run of titles on the Genesis, Nightmare Circus was advertised on Sega Channel as to soon be seen in stores and such…and such a day never ever occurred, at least here in America that is. It was completed, but as far as I know was only released in Brazil by a company called Tec Toy, who were responsible for the distribution of many (and perhaps all) of Sega’s consoles in Brazil and a good chunk of South America as a whole. If there was ever an American Genesis version of the game to exist here in North America, I’ve never been able to find or hear about it (thankfully), so without further ado, let’s get to actually talking about the much maligned Nightmare Circus.
The game is a beat ‘em up/side scroller, putting you in the shoes of a generic-looking Native American-ish type hero named Raven, who looks like a cross between Apache Chief from “Superfriends” and the Indian dude from the “G.I. Joe” cartoon. Raven finds himself traversing the most evil circus on the planet apparently (yes, more evil than Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey could ever hope to be) as you take on various undead circus folk. That’s pretty much the whole gist of the game, and offers nothing more and nothing less either. You can pick which level (out of a whopping FOUR) you want to start at, ranging from a rollercoaster to a maze to a big wheel to a “big top”; with the sole goal remaining the same: beat up everyone in sight. This wouldn’t be all that bad were it not for the fact that the action is incredibly monotonous and more flaccid than my dick gets after a round of whiskey shots.
The game’s stale action elements are only hampered by the fact that Nightmare Circus possesses perhaps the most sensitive controls I think I’ve ever gotten my hands on in my whole life. Want to turn around to go the other direction? Too fucking bad, because instead you mysteriously end up ducking instead. Want to punch an opponent? Once again too fucking bad, because the ultra-shoddy hit detection pretty much negates any and all ability to actually hit someone. Yeah, Nightmare Circus is as frustrating as it gets, and guess what folks? There’s even more fucking frustration to be found!
Beyond the shoddy controls and sloppy hit detection, let’s talk about the game’s previously mentioned FOUR levels of gameplay. The rollercoaster stage features constantly respawning zombie enemies that come at you packing, and the level seems to apparently have no end to it either. I’m serious, you can find switches to flip but I don’t think they do anything, because THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENING HERE ANYWHERE IN THE FUCKING STAGE!!! Yes, I think we have a bit of a problem here. Then we get to the maze stage, which also seems like it’s never ending and is so ungodly confusing that you’ll lose interest in it within the first five or ten minutes. The big wheel stage is practically a carbon copy of the rollercoaster stage, while the “Big Top” stage is pretty much a big room with a never-ending amount of enemies coming at you from all sides like a drunken frat-house gangbang gone wrong, although I think that would be more fun than playing this goddamn thing.
So with all of what I’ve already said in mind, you may be asking yourself if there are any saving graces to Nightmare Circus. The answer to that is pretty much one big no to say it lightly. The game’s graphics aren’t bad, despite the generic and never-ending supply of look-alike enemies that you take on throughout, and some of the circus backgrounds and environmental features are actually kind of creepy, plus the music score isn’t bad either. However, none of that can save this wretch of a game thanks to the just plain broken gameplay and beyond shitty programming. With that in mind, we should all take the time to thank Sega for wisely not releasing Nightmare Circus here in the states. I know that it’s a very rare game to track down and is highly collectable but please, for your own good, no matter how hardcore a collector you may be, do not soil your Genesis/Mega Drive with this game, it just isn’t worth it. Save yourself, and you can thank me later…probably with cigarettes, considering I think I went through a whole carton while playing this in one sitting. No menthols please.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Remember when you were a kid and stuck with your parents at the grocery store or the drug store or the whatever the fuck store that you didn’t want to really be at, but you made the most of it because you always managed to find the section where they had comic books? Those were the days, and that was pretty much partly my introduction to comic books too come to think of it, since there wasn’t an actual comic book shop around where I grew up. Still, I made the most of it regardless (in case you haven’t been able to tell for whatever reason).
Those days are long and gone now though…and even more dreadfully, the days of the comic book as we know it may not be far behind. Digital reading hasn’t just taken off for the typical print and prose crowd, but now it appears that the realm of digital comics may have some life to it as well. It’s something that hasn’t always worked so well in the past couple years, but more recently, digital comics seem like they’re slowly taking off…which may in fact spell doom for the traditional print comics we all know and love.
Let’s face facts here, comic book sales are in the toilet. Despite the frequent superhero movies and comic adaptations that seem to now forever be part of Hollywood movie-making, the amount of people that actually lay down the 3 or 4 bucks for a comic book or more for a collected edition or trade (or “graphic novel” as they’re more frequently called, fucking hipster cocksuckers) are the lowest they’ve been in the long time. Generating big sales now is what the big two comic publishers, Marvel and DC, are scrambling to do…and fanboys are having a shit-fit at the methods of which they’re doing.
Marvel, frequently known for killing off major and minor characters at the drop of a hat to generate sales and then resurrecting them months down the line, is now doing just that at a record rate. Captain America, the Human Torch, the Ultimate version of Spider-Man, Bucky, and now it appears Thor as well, have all either been killed and/or resurrected as a means to draw in readers and sales. No superhero comic experiences better sales when a character is either killed or brought back from the dead, and Marvel is taking that notion to an unbelievable degree these days, so much so that they’ve managed to alienate the shit out of their audience.
DC is taking things to an even more extreme, by cancelling just about all of their titles and re-launching them all with new issue numberings and rebooting practically all of their characters. Flagship characters like Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman (yes Aquaman), Swamp Thing, and even John Constantine are all getting rebooted (to a degree) origins, backstories, and histories in a real last ditch effort to draw in new readers. Marvel leads them in sales (even though DC features finer writing and artistic talent with its various books), and has for a while now, making DC’s attempt to draw in new readership all the more desperate. It worked in 1985 when they used “Crisis on Infinite Earths” to effectively reboot their whole universe, but what they’re doing now is way more beyond that.
Other comic book publishers, namely Image, IDW, Dark Horse, Avatar, and more besides continue to soldier on and weather the storm (granted Hellboy did just get killed off, but that’s another story for another time) and are doing just that…but if Marvel and/or DC fell apart, there’s little chance that any other comic company would be around to pick up the pieces. The aforementioned comic publishers also have little, if any, digital publishing domain as well, which is pretty much the nail in the coffin for them if the printed comic book would ever go the way of a dinosaur. Keep in mind that Marvel and DC are also owned by mega-conglomerate corporations (Marvel by Disney and DC by Warner Bros.) so the likelihood of them legitimately tanking is fairly unlikely, but hey, you never know.
Legendary writer Alan Moore, who penned such celebrated works like “Watchmen”, “V For Vendetta”, “Batman: The Killing Joke”, and “Saga of the Swamp Thing” among others, had stated in an interview that he personally hopes the comic book medium does swallow itself into oblivion (he’s plenty bitter, but who could really blame him?) as he predicted it would some years ago, and that the digital reader realm wouldn’t be of any help to it at all either. I can see his point, because quite frankly, if someone doesn’t want to lay down the cash for a comic they have to hold in their hands to read, then why would they want to download it to their hard drive to keep dragging and clicking to magnify and turn pages?
While there’s been plenty of doom-saying about the future of comic books, one thing I can say is that there is still a ways to go before things get as bad as they did in the mid-90s. Marvel was this close to bankruptcy and permanently closing their doors due to some ungodly bad marketing decisions and ultra-oversaturation of product and their characters (namely anything featuring the X-Men). They managed to pull through (barely) as did DC who didn’t have quite as big a financial crisis, before flourishing in the late 90s and the turn of the century when we experienced a comic book renaissance in terms of product and sales.
Even if print is truly dead and digital reading becomes the norm, I think that that may be pretty much it for me. I don’t own a Kindle or whatever other reading devices are out there, nor do I ever desire to, because to me a book isn’t a book unless I’m actually fucking holding it. The same goes for comic books for me, so in essence, digital reading can suck my balls. As for the death of the comic book as we know it…well, I’ve already been alienated enough from Marvel and DC as it is and primarily stick to indie comics and stuff from DC’s mature-themed Vertigo imprint, so maybe seeing them falter would be a bit enjoyable…but at the end of the day, anything that hurts my beloved medium is just plain bad for business for everyone involved, myself included.
See y’all in the funnybooks folks…somehow maybe…