Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why SDCC Doesn't Excite Me

There are a few reasons that I really don't care about what happens at San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) doesn't hold much meaning for me. First of all, I'm not reading any current comics, so hearing all about these panels and such where the latest news on comics titles break really doesn't appeal to me. It's great that people are excited for the new Bunnyman ... sorry, I mean Batman, but they lost me with that character a long time ago, and DC just keeps reinforcing that.

Second, while the name is "Comic Con", it's really more about all media. Oh, I watch these movies & TV shows, but if I watch them anyway, I don't care about reveals outside of the show. Much like Andy Leyland of Hey Kids, Comics!, if I've already made up my mind to see something, seeing trailers is probably going to spoil more of it for me than add to my excitement. Heck, I'm the guy that stops watching when the TV show says "Next Time on ...", because I plan on watching it next week, so I'll see it during that episode.

Lastly, and this is from an actually visiting there point of view, I'm not huge on crowds. It's not that I have a fear of them, I just get annoyed when I want to get from Point A to Point B and the people in front of me decide to stop in the middle of everything and point over somewhere. In a place like Walt Disney World, that is unavoidable, kind of like strollers, but at least there the good far outweighs the bad. At SDCC, I would be annoyed at trying to get somewhere to hear news that I didn't care about.

Take all of that and add to it the time and expense to get to San Diego, or just the time to watch the videos, etc, and I can honestly say that I really don't care about SDCC. Much like Major League Baseball, for which I also have no interest anymore, I prefer the smaller conventions. You know, ones that I can actually buy comics at. Or at least the ones that have an identity and don't try to be the end all, be all of every possible media type & genre.

OK, rant over. Now get off my lawn!

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Siege of Lothal

Our family finally got around to watching the Star Wars: Rebels between seasons movie, "The Siege of Lothal" a little while ago. The reason it was delayed was due to the fact that we do, in fact, watch Rebels as a family, so we all have to be in the mood to take the time. (That's never a problem for me, as I'm always in the mood for good Star Wars, but the other two need some convincing now and then.)

Below there are spoilers, so be warned. Also, a lot of what I'm going to say was echoed by Ryan Daly over on "Dead Bothan Spies", but I would still recommend listening to his episode on this movie. And, while you're at it, why not listen to the whole shebang? He's got a great show going on over there and I enjoy listening.

So, what did I take away from this movie? First off, both my wife and I had chills when we heard James Earl Jones as Darth Vader. He's still able to be menacing with only his voice.

Speaking of Vader, we all had a "Holy Crap!" moment at the end of season one, when Vader appeared to take care of the Rebels. This movie definitely pays that moment off. From Vader taking on two (OK, really one and a half) Jedi at once, to Vader in his TIE Advanced taking on a Rebel Fleet, and WINNING! Darth Vader show just how much of a bad ass he is in this movie and he succeeds in driving the Rebels off of Lothal, through a combination of his own efforts as well as making the public turn against our heroes by framing them for the death of the Imperial Minister.

I think that's the most important point of this, really. Vader wins. The Rebels are out classed and they know it. If Vader was to be defeated here, it would take all the menace out of him for the movie. What this does, though, is show just how competent he is, which makes Luke holding his own against him all the more incredible.

Something else that happened was that Vader and Ahsoka felt each other's presense through the Force. Vader is made aware that his, or as he says Skywalker's, former apprentice is still alive. What Ahsoka knows is left unsaid. She either was shocked by the amount of evil in Vader, or she recognized Anakin's mind. Either way, she's now got a mission of her own, and it involves Vader.

A side effect of watching this is now we have gone back and started watching The Clone Wars, which we had seen for awhile but then dropped it. Since Rebels builds on that, I think we're going to try and catch up on the old episodes.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Some Changes
You might notice a few changes around the blog, some cosmetic, some not. First of all, I've changed the layout around a bit, getting rid of some things and adding others. Nothing too earth shattering, though, just trying to streamline things.

The big change, however, is that I'm now on Patreon. What does this mean? Well, quite simply, I'm trying to shake you down for money. Why would I turn this friendship we've built into a buisiness relationship? Why would I throw your trust away? Mainly, to try out some new stuff. No, this blog and the associated podcast aren't that expensive to do, but they do cost money. Hosting fees, owning the URL, computer & recording equipment, etc.

So, before I try branching out into new things, I want to get some funds together. If you've enjoyed what I've done here, I would appreciate it if you could give my Patreon page a look. I have a few milestones out there, some of which I think are achievable, and you'll get rewarded for your donations every month.

Thank you for your support.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Daredevil - Late Thoughts

I suppose you're wondering about the title of this post. Well, due to it's nature, I refused to watch the Netflix Daredevil show if my daughter was in the house. It wasn't even something I was willing to pause if she came by, I didn't want her exposed to it at all. So, it wasn't until recently that I was able to finish watching it.

I'm not a huge Daredevil fan. Oh, I had some comics when I was growing up, and I enjoyed his appearances in other titles, but I just never "got" the character. I have come to appreciate Daredevil in no small part thanks to Dave's Daredevil Podcast, but it wasn't until I sat and watched this show that I felt like I knew the character.

Putting aside the fact that I haven't seen a performance by Scott Glenn or Vincent D'Onofrio that I didn't like, I thought everyone in this show did a great job. All of the characters are fully fleshed out with backstories that inform their actions. No, we don't get to see all of these, but it's obvious that they are there, and that's just darn good writing. Each actor seems to relish sinking their teeth into the roles and enjoy being in a street level superhero show, which gives me hope for the rest of the Marvel/Netflix shows due to come out.

One problem I had was with the cinematography, mainly the lighting. OK, I get that the main character is a blind guy that fights crime at night, mainly in a black suit. However, I would still like to actually see what's going on. It seemed like this got better as the series progressed, but it was never good enough, in my mind. When you have the camera focusing on a sign, but that sign isn't lit enough to where I could actually read it, then you have failed as a visual storyteller.

That being said, and as annoying as it was, this show was really well done and I'm looking forward to the next season. Hopefully we'll see some crossover of events, other than just an occasional line of dialog, with the Marvel movies and Agents of SHIELD. I don't see it being high on their priority list, but I can dream, can't I?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

TIE Fighter

Not much to say here, except that I would watch the hel out of a full length movie, or even a series, done by this guy.