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B.P.R.D. - Still good.

Hellboy - Also still good.

Astro City - Actually got an issue of this, finally! I'm really hoping they just wrap up this arc... it would be nice if there were some kind of reboot of Astro City at this point, but that may be so pomo that it eats its own head.

Planetary - LAST ISSUE IN OCTOBER FINALLY I CAN'T BELIEVE IT HAS BEEN TEN YEARS FOR 27 ISSUES

Batman and Robin - New take on old characters by Grant Morrison. Grant and Frank Quitely did amazing work with All-Star Superman, and this new Batman stuff (with Dick Grayson as bats and Batman's son as Robin) is really really awesome. The feel is exactly what Batman should feel like, but it's a new story with new character development; I love it.

Top 10 Season Two - Haven't seen this lately, must be running late again... maybe it's time to put Top Ten to bed.

Red Mass For Mars - Watchmen-like uberfuture where humanity is doomed. I think this book is about done, it never really grabbed me so now I'm just getting it to be complete with it.

Walking Dead - Still reading this zombie soap opera, it keeps pulling me back in.

Anna Mercury - Alternate worlds and a boob-laden secret agentess. New story arc, looks promising.

Viking - This is a very moody, art-centric, historical fiction piece about Vikings. I like it, but we'll see how long it lasts.

Buck Rogers - Indy take on the classic character. Could be good; we'll see what happens.

Doktor Sleepless - Bio/Hacker superhero wants to end the world. Still wearing thin.

Gravel - Warren Ellis, John Constantine with a badass military twist. This series not only excels for Warren, it's setting up its next whole story arc with this great weirdo all magician super-team. A very very cool idea, Magic X-Men. I hope it takes off - I also think it would be great if Avatar did an omnibus collection of all the Gravel stories they've ever put out (as the character starred in a number of mini-series before getting his own regular series).

Ignition City - Where pulp space heroes go to die. Still good, thanks be to Warren.

Irredeemable - Superman-level hero runs amok. This is some good stuff - deconstructing the idea of an alien super-being living in human society, much further than anyone's ever dared to go with the idea before.

No Hero - Take a drug, become a superhero via a horrific biological transformation; just read the penultimate issue, and it should all resolve nicely in the last book. I'm reminded of Black Summer, which I did like, but it also felt a little shallow like No Hero does. Both story ideas could have been expanded more, but Warren is the million armed writer of the Apocalypse, he doesn't really have enough time to write every damn thing in the universe.

Incognito - Supervillain in witness protection regains powers and becomes a "hero". From Ed Brubaker, still loving this book, hope it goes for a while or continues exploring the continuity in other series.
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I've made some cutbacks on my comics lately - more because they've gone downhill in terms of writing and / or art than due to the economy (at least directly anyway; who can say whether they've gotten bad because they can't pay for good work any more?). Anyway, here's my list:

B.P.R.D. - Occult superheroes, keeps me coming back.

Hellboy - Always good.

Astro City - Do they even make these any more? Still on my pull list though.

Mysterius: The Unfathomable - Adventures of a piggy middle-aged magician and his spunky hispanic lady assistant. This is a fun book so far, reminds me a little bit of "Leave it to Chance" except that it's bawdy and isn't a kids' book by any stretch.

Planetary - THE LAST ISSUE IS COMING OH GOD OH GOD IT'S COMING

Seaguy: The Slaves Of Mickey Eye - Psychedelic superhero shit.

Top 10 Season Two - Not really too thrilled by this so far, but I do like me some psychedelic superhero shit.

Back To Brooklyn - This was a crazy ass "true crime" mini-series, very ultraviolent and over the top. Could see it as a Jason Statham action movie. Worth getting as a collection if you're into action and crime.

Red Mass For Mars - Watchmen-like uberfuture where humanity is doomed. Good for a laugh.

Walking Dead - Still reading this zombie soap opera, it keeps pulling me back in.

Anna Mercury - Alternate worlds and a boob-laden secret agentess. Not sure if this series is done? The first story arc is anyway. Good for the art - is Warren Ellis stretching himself too thin?

Doktor Sleepless - Bio/Hacker superhero wants to end the world. I'm not very happy with it, though I'm still getting it. Story seems to be worn thin.

Gravel - The one series where Warren Ellis is really excelling these days; it's his John Constantine with a twist (seeing as how DC/Vertigo never had the balls to let Ellis do Hellblazer).

Ignition City - The place where pulp space heroes go to die. I'm liking it.

Irredeemable - What happens when a Superman-level hero runs amok, really for real, how do you stop him? He is an alien after all, who knows what the hell is in his head. This is intriguing stuff (even though this story was already done in Powers).

No Hero - Take a drug, become a superhero via a horrific biological transformation. Warren Ellis, again; another series where he needs to improve pacing. Still I persevere.

Incognito - Supervillain in witness protection regains powers and becomes a "hero". From Ed Brubaker, an excellent writer.
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If you've never read the book, don't. Go see the movie, enjoy it (note that it's a drama, not an action film), absorb it, then go back to the book and get the rest of the story. It's a really well done movie... practically an art film really.

Don't bother going to see it in IMAX. It's NOT an action film.

Lie To Me

Feb. 23rd, 2009 02:30 pm
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Okay so... I'm not an expert here. And I don't credit myself as being more observant than the average person. But just watching this TV show has made me start looking for microexpressions on people, and I think I'm starting to see them. I was just watching an outtake from an episode of NOW on PBS, where the reporter is questioning a lawyer who's defending a sexual harassment suit, and when she asked him whether or not he believes anything wrong actually happened, he swallowed and made the "fear" microexpression.

This shit's kind of scary.
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In the tradition of "What Comics Mike Is Reading", I present - "What Shows Mike Is Watching". I won't use the word TV since I don't really rely on that medium for my media watching. Anyways, here's the list, alphabetically, with 5-star ratings:

24 *** (3)
Battlestar Galactica (almost over) *** (3)
Burn Notice *** (3)
Damages ***** (5)
Fringe **** (4)
House **** (4)
Lie To Me **** (4)
Lost **** (4)
Medium *** (3)
Sanctuary ** (2, may drop)
Testees *** (3)


BONUS: Will Start Watching:

Dollhouse
Kings (maybe)
The Unusuals


So far, 24, BSG, Burn Notice, Medium, and Testees are all the usual fare - good, relatively consistent, usually stimulating. Lost has recaptured my interest, House continues to be great, and Lie To Me is very intriguing; I love the concept, and I hope the show goes far, but it's pretty much another House-style-curmudgeon-Sherlock-Holmes-hero procedural. Which brings me to Damages: the coolest show I didn't watch at all last year but caught up with on Hulu just in time. Stellar talent on this show, and excellent writing, with a story told in a flashback/flashforward style that heightens the drama and keeps you guessing at what's really going on right up until the end. Highly, highly recommend it.

Heroes is garbage. Utter tripe. It had such a promising beginning to, but it clearly was a casualty of the writer's strike. Can't even talk about it any more, makes me so sad.
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Finally saw The Dark Knight.

You know what? It Capital S Sucked. Iron Man was way, way, way better. I really think the only reason Dark Knight got so huge was because of Heath Ledger's demise. I know Batman's a popular character, but Christian Bale's hoarseness grates on me, the direction and cinematography of this sequel sorely lacked in comparison to Batman Begins, and the story was a bit contrived (basically being a rehash of the concepts from "The Killing Joke" with a little Two-Face thrown in and thrown away for good measure). It really lacked all the excitement of Batman Begins, and had none of the zip that Iron Man did.

Iron Man totally got robbed last Summer.
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I purchased this stainless steel 2 quart bottle with the intention of enjoying seltzer and creating my own all natural, organic soft drinks.

The lovely, thick stainless steel bottle SPRANG A LEAK on my very first attempt at using a CO2 cartridge with it. I am somewhat horrified by this. The company, LISS, is based in Hungary, and they offer a 1 year warranty on the product... but now I'm a bit fearful that this thing, even with replacement, won't last me a year, if their manufacturing is bad enough that the damn bottle has no integrity. Maybe I should get a refund instead?

sigh.
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I bought "Back To Black" today, spurred by the Grammy win of Ms. W. And I like soulful female vocalists, so I figured: why not?

Turns out I don't care for any of the album beyond "Rehab". And listening to the other tracks makes me think that she doesn't really have that much talent - she's all hype and gossip. In fact, I'm half sure that her music and her entire persona is totally manufactured. Her sound is too demographically targeted... it hits R&B and baby boomer sensibilities, yet her antics also make her extra appealing to retro loving snort-coke-in-the-bathroom hipsters.

I'll take Fiona Apple over her any day of the week.
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"Oh look, a black squirrel."

"I've never seen one of those before! Holy crap!"

"Me neither. Oh look, it's going into the hair salon."

"Wow, he's just walking around in there."

[insert the screaming of a bunch of women, followed by chasing with a broom, and a squirrel plastered up against a glass window trying desperately to get outside]

Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn is a lot of fun, and not just because of squirrel terrorism. There's a bunch of adorable little cafes, bars, and restaurants of all stripes - including The Chocolate Room which I believe may be the best retail chocolate store in the city (I'm not counting boutique chocolatiers who sell their own chocolates). It's the first place I've found that actually sells Domori chocolate bars (sophisticated Italian chocolate from Venezuelan cacao) and also has the full line of Vintage Plantation chocolate bars from Ecuador and I believe elsewhere (not even Murray's or other gourmet stores I've shopped at carry all of these). Additional, TCR is staffed by an amazing pastry chef; kitteridge and I devoured a dark and dense chocolate cupcake that was impossibly moist and slathered with a pudding consistency ganache, and were entranced by the selection of other cookies and confections available.

Most of the cafes and restaurants there seem to be burgeoning businesses, and have extremely thrifty prices for the quality of food served. Luscious was a small take-out joint which looked as though it was just starting out; a comfort food establishment, where you can purchase meatloaf, stuffed chicken breasts, and a variety of sides like mac n cheese, corn spoonbread, tabouli, broccoli and such. I had a tasty cuban mojo with ham and pork on a ciabatta, and loved it dearly.

There's a street fair happening there on Sunday, May 20th, and I plan on attending...
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Who would have thought that the surprise guest star in the movie was Captain America??

Check out this review of the "pre-release" that was done in Turkey!

Nine Words

Apr. 14th, 2007 10:08 am
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Fried peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwich... with BACON.

Elvis wept!!! Washed down with a Welch's grape ice cream soda.

Many thanks to Sylvia for taking me to Peanut Butter & Co. last night! :D
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GRINDHOUSE made my teeth whiter. GRINDHOUSE is fortified with all essential vitamins and nutrients. GRINDHOUSE has a refreshing smell and gets out the toughest of stains, and is safe for your pets.

GRINDHOUSE made me a goddamn better human being.

GRINDHOUSE will be one of the best movies this year. I think even in my Top 3.

Go see it as quickly as possible, and avoid as many commercials and trailers as you can so you can suck the most juice from it. For it is a ripe and juicy fruit, my friends. Ripe. And juicy.
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Klaus Kinski's Death of a Salesman (except he's selling slaves).
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Located near East 4th Street and Avenue B, the E.U. takes good food seriously, yet still has a casual flair for its atmosphere. The cavern-like dining area is decorated sparsely, but creatively, with neo-industrial lighting and artifacts; a miniscule bar at the back of the establishment speaks to the recent acquisition of their liquor license.

Read more... )

A 300 Haiku

Mar. 6th, 2007 09:19 am
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heads soar through the air
blood spatters everywhere
that dude's leg came off!!
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This past weekend was extremely action-packed, and immensely enjoyable.

Of musicals, carousing, art, and movies )

So, currently coming up on the radar, we have:
- Finish the movie synopsis for the magazine
- Call a recruiter about a contract software assignment
- Interview on Tuesday with a small software firm
- This weekend: NY Comic-con! Sol Chinese New Year!! (did you RSVP??)
- Next weekend: Intercon? Mr. [livejournal.com profile] gower, we need to chat.
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I've enjoyed Starfox Command quite a lot, and really like playing it with my thumb on the touch screen. I highly recommend it, though I have not yet tried to play multiplayer on Wi-fi.

I just picked up Mario vs. Donkey Kong 1 *and* 2, and they are pretty awesome. MvDK is actually a GBA game, which I was able to pick up at Worcester Gamestop pretty easily. Both are really fun puzzle games (like Lemmings basically), but MvDK2 is actually even better with the stylus and touchscreen. It's also got a level designer, and you can share and play levels online, so that's something I'm looking forward to trying.

I also picked up Tenchu: Dark Secret, but have not yet turned it on since I'm liking MvDK so much.

Nintendo r00l, PS/Xbox dr00l

TV update

Oct. 10th, 2006 11:57 am
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Shark is about to get punted, purely in the interests of freeing up some of the time I spend watching TV. It's still a little interesting, but there isn't enough meat in the characters or stories there to really chew on... it's kind of like bad chicken wings, you eat them because they're 10 cents each and they're there, you know?

Grey's Anatomy also feels a little flat. Izzy was my favorite character, and she did some amazing acting last season, but she's been so destroyed that it's hard to even justify keeping her on the show.

On the other hand, CSI seems to have rebounded a little bit. I've been watching that through CBS Innertube, and the writing has definitely improved. I'm starting to think maybe I'm going to have to bump up CSI's season pass priority and stick Grey's below it and watch Grey's in reruns later. I'll give it one more week though.

Heroes continues to be interesting and cool, but it's so much like a comic book that it feels like there isn't enough in every episode - I'd almost rather just watch it all at once on a DVD than in episodes (like reading a graphic novel collection instead of the individual issues). Some stuff you just want to read/watch all at once.

Speaking of which... I just picked up all five volumes of The Walking Dead, a new-ish comic series collected in softcover trades. It's about day-to-day life and survival in a zombie world - it'd probably make a great HBO or Showtime series!

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