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Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Voice of Superheroes


This past Monday we lost another giant of comics, Stan Lee, co-creator of many of the world's favorite superheroes. To me, though, Stan will always be the voice that I heard while watching my favorite characters on Saturday mornings. Here are a couple examples:





Stan's is the default voice I hear as the narrator whenever I read a comic, whether it's Marvel or DC. He was a great talent that I'm sorry to say I never got to meet. If there's any justice in the universe, Stan is now reunited with his beloved Joan, who died last year, and with Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko, to create even more masterpieces. Excelsior!

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

What Happened With V'Ger?


A few weeks ago, someone on Facebook asked what movie has the highest death toll. I proposed Star Trek: The Motion Picture, because V'Ger digitized "planets, moons, whole stars" on it's way to Earth. At the end of the movie, when Decker, Ilia, and V'Ger merge, what happens to all of that data? Presumably, like Ilia, the patterns could have been used to recreate everything that was stored, down to the molecular level, essentially bringing them back to life.

My theory is that, like Spock said, "all of this is V'Ger". V'Ger wasn't a Voyager probe that collected enough data that it became sentient, it was a collective consciousness, controlled by the Voyager programming. So, when V'Ger, Decker, and Ilia merged, everything that made up V'Ger merged. That means that all of the stored data that made up V'Ger's consciousness, as well as the physical parts of the "ship", were all joined together into a new being.

Now the question is, what happened to that new life form? We don't see it after the flash of light that the Enterprise comes out of. Since the dialog in the movie includes talk of "Other dimensions. Higher levels of being" it seems reasonable to assume that this is where it went to, never to return. Why never? If the Voyager programming was still in control, as well as Decker & Ilia's Starfleet training, then the new being would want to explore the entirety of whatever dimension it found itself in. Once that was done, it would continue on to many of the other infinite possible dimensions out there.

What do you think? Am I way off the mark? Do you have your own theory? Please let me know, since this is one of my favorite movies of all time.

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Family Halloween Costumes

This year we decided we to do a theme with the Halloween costumes. Part of the reasoning behind this is that we would all be able to go out for trick-or-treating this year, so why not match? We watched the anime "Interviews with Monster Girls" over the summer, and the fact that one of the main characters is pretty much Kira (except for the character's bad grades) made the costumes a lock. It didn't hurt that there wasn't any outlandish clothing involved.

Kira went as Hikari Takanashi, a very sociable and bubbly vampire.



Michelle went as the math teacher, and succubus, Sakie Satō.



And I went as the human biology teacher Tetsuo Takahashi, who is the one doing the interviews.


I think we pulled them off pretty well, considering that we couldn't get an exact match to Sakie's track suit and the hairstyle that Hikari has is REALLY difficult to pull off. Also, I had to let my hair grow out and shave my beard for my costume, but if I was going to dress up I was going all the way with it.

Anyone else have some Halloween costumes they want to share? Put them in the social media comments.

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Claymation Comedy of Horrors

One of the staples that our family watches every year for the Holidays is "A Claymation Christmas Celebration" done by Will Vinton, who passed away earlier this month. In honor of his work, and because it's a tradition for me to post a video for Halloween, I present to you the "Claymation Comedy of Horrors". Enjoy.



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Thursday, October 18, 2018

What were the Lessons in The Nightmare Before Christmas?

25 years ago (geez, I'm getting old) the stop motion film "The Nightmare Before Christmas" came out. This is one of those films that I think everyone likes, and many of us love. It also manages to straddle the entire time between October and January, making it not only really re-watchable, but worth it for Disneyland to do a makeover every year on the Haunted Mansion.

One thing that isn't so obvious, though, is what the movie is trying to tell the audience. I have it narrowed down to two possibilities, one constructive and one destructive. Let's tackle the destructive one first, since it's quick and I'm less fond of it.

"Stay in your box with your friends and leave everyone else alone." Not a great lesson, but one that it pretty easy to see in the film. Jack tries to branch out of what he normally does and royally screws things up. Santa verbally slaps him down and goes on to fix things. We're left with Jack realizing that he should have just left well enough alone and focuses again on Halloween. Like I said, I'm not fond of that lesson, so let's go on to a more positive take.

"It's great that you want to learn new things, but don't ignore the input of others." This is a much easier pill to swallow, since we see Jack trying to figure out everything to do with Christmas on his own. Not only does he sneak around and not actually talk to Santa or anyone in Christmastown, but he ignores Sally's warnings. All of this results in Jack setting off on a quest without knowing everything that he should, and makes a mockery of Christmas. Santa reinforces this lesson by telling Jack to listen to Sally, which leads Jack to the realization that she means more to him than he thought. We end with a possibly good, possibly bad situation where the rest of Halloweentown are enraptured by snow the way Jack was earlier. Hopefully he's learned enough to know how to focus them and will work with Santa in the future.

Those are my takes on the "messages, morals, and meanings" (to steal something from Mission Log) of the movie. What do you think? Do you have an alternate take on the movie? Let me know in the comments.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sexy ... Michael Myers?

Did you ever come across something and you do the dog hearing an odd noise head turn? That was me when I came across this in a story by Otaku USA Magazine.

https://www.kotobukiya.co.jp/product/product-0000003086/
Yes, that is a sexy, female Michael Myers statue. I know that these statues exist for many anime and manga characters. They're not my thing (as all I see is dust gatherers) but I know some people are into that. When I saw this one, complete with the bloody knife, I just had to stare at it as my brain tried to decipher what was going on. Then I found out that the series also includes Ash from Evil Dead and Pinhead from Hellraiser, and I just gave up.

If this is what you're into, I'm happy these exist. For me, though, I'll continue to do this:

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Castlevania Requiem

Last week, the video game company Konami announced that it was updating two of it's games exclusively for the PlayStation 4. Here's the announcement trailer:



That's right, I will be able to play Symphony of the Night on the PS4! That is one of my all time favorite games, and one of two that were the reason I got an original PlayStation way back when. Plus, I will be able to play Rondo of Blood for the first time! SotN is actually a sequel to RoB, so it will be very interesting to see where some of the story elements come from.

The game is downloadable only, and is currently available for pre-order. If, like me, you're a PlayStation Plus member, you can get it at a 20% discount, which means that it's only $15.99! For two classic games, that's a pretty decent deal. The game drops on October 26th, which is the same day that Season 2 of the Netflix Castlevania series comes out. I think my plans for that weekend are set.

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Like what I'm doing here on the blog and podcast? Why not check out my Patreon Page to see how you can help me do more? http://www.patreon.com/TheHammerStrikes