Friday, January 14


GORGEOUS. Simply breathtaking.

I saw it last night, and I was totally blown away. I totally recommend it to everyone.

Easily, THE best T-shirt I've bought at Comic Quest yet. The art, by Bill Sienkewicz (Damn is that spelling correct?), even surpasses the first Elektra shirt I got. My black comic book T-shirt collection is growing well. DAMN great T-shirt.

Unfortuntately, I can't really say the same thing for the Elektra movie, starring Jennifer Garner. I'm already pretty biased against the film for not capturing the visuals from the comic- yeah, Garner's in red this time, but it's still basically the same costume as in Daredevil, just lacey and red. Yes, a red body swimsuit and cloth wraps may not be the most practical in terms of covering up someone, but then again, how practical are HIGH HEELS for a matial arts fighter? Eh? Where the hell is the bandanna? Elektra has NEVER been seen without the bandanna. All we get is Jennifer Garner's brown hair flowing about like in some shampoo commercial.
Anyway, yesterday I saw the first 5 minutes of the movie downloaded online, showing Elektra's assassination of some guy played by Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter). There is comic book babble about how good Elektra is, like how she fought a group of The Hand's finest... and how she "cut them down like wheat". Though he also says, it took "ten to fifteen minutes, max" as well... that must have been pretty tough wheat.

If the first five minutes are to reflect the rest of the film, it doesn't look good. The mediocre fight scenes and action look just as unimpressive as in Daredevil- shot too close and uninspiringly done. How she takes out Isaacs' character isn't anything special as well. Me and my officemates watched it and afterwards we all went, 'That was it?' Not good.

I could tell months ago that the Elektra movie would pass like a ship in the night. At best, it will be at least as good as Daredevil (which was, as a friend described, was a 'slick piece of dogshit'. At worst, it is yet another example of how Hollywood can take a great license and character and force-fit it into mundane, TV movie-grade crapola.

Damn, Elektra would have made a great movie. If it had a decent budget, someone who actually read the comic, and a director and designers who have vision. But noooo... Crap. Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap. Yet another lovely femme fatale given a disservice, joining the likes of Barbwire and other B-movie queens. Sigh.

Thursday, January 13

Streetfighter Bible

No true-blue SF fanatic should be without this.

Last night, I made my first really satisfying blood donation of the year at Comic Quest. I only purchased one thing, but it was a doozy. It was Street Fighter: Eternal Challenge, a thick, softcover volume and the first english translation of the uber-cool Capcom Streetfighter art and material collection straight from Japan. The book is mostly in color and printed on high-quality paper, and contains pretty much EVERYTHING there is on Capcom's flagship fighting game. From the classic Streetfighter II to the latest game, Streetfighter 3: Third Strike, it's all here.

Inside are a treasure trove of some of the best videogame art and character designs EVER, with all the SF art from artists such as Bengus, Akiman, Shoei, Edayan and my favorite, Kinu Nishimura (who did my favorite artworks from SF3) and more. But this isn't just an art book- it's a historical archive of possibly the most important title in the fighting game genre. There's info and material on all the games, characters and even exclusive interviews with the artists, producers and designers of the games. Of course, the best stuff for me is the art- I've been searching in vain for a way to import these Capcom SF design and art books for years, and now I have the best of them, in one excellent translated volume. WONDERFUL!

If you're a Street Fighter completist or real fan, hie on to Comic Quest for your copy (and get 'em fast since I've been told the demand is high), or at least order if they run out. It's pricey, but darn worth every centavo. This is the only Street Fighter book you'll ever need.
Suikoden IV

The latest installment of Konami's Suikoden RPGs has been released in the US. Suikoden 4 for the PS2 once again puts players in the boots of a young hero who must gather together the 108 Stars of Destiny and battle a great evil. The latest Suikoden is set many years before the events in previous games, and will not be supporting any game saves from previous chapters. Set primarily on the high seas, Suikoden IV is about the adventures of a youth cursed with the mysterious Rune of Punishment. Players will have to gather allies, set up a stronghold, battle conspiracies and evil enemies while enjoying fun minigames like fishing, dice and other non-killing activities. Hmm.

I'll probably pick this up when I see it, though I have to admit I didn't finish Suikoden III, and this holds even less interest for me. No Viktor or Flick, most probably. Bah.
Heihachi's Demise

Famitsu of Japan has just posted part of the cool CG intro movie to the PS2 version of Tekken 5. The movie picks up seconds after Jin Kazama takes off at the end of Tekken 4, leaving his father, Kazuya, and grandfather, Heihachi, lying out cold. As the two older Mishimas awaken, a fleet of helicopters arrives over the temple compound, ejecting a small army of Jack robots to attack the leaders of the Mishima Zaibatsu. At first, father and son fight together, making mincemeat of the first wave of mechanical attackers. However, as more Jacks pour in, Kazuya betrays Heihachi at the last moment, hurling him into the throng of Jacks as he himself makes his escape. Heihachi curses as he is held down by sheer weight of numbers, as one of the robots' faces suddenly pops open, revealing an ominous timer counting down to zero...

The resulting explosion takes out the entire temple in a blaze of fire. Some distance away, the mysterious, Blade-lookalike Raven watches the events unfold. He whispers into a communicator the words "Heihachi Mishima... is dead." At which point, he turns and slices an approaching Jack robot into pieces the way only a ninja can.

Wanna see all this action yourself? Download the movie from here.

This is apparently only the first part of the PS2 version's intro movie, and just the first movie of a whole bunch of CG eye candy to be featured in the home release of Tekken 5. Each of the more than 20 available fighters will have a CG intro and ending to their Story Mode game. Something to watch for, when the game hits shelves in the next month or so. WOOHOO!!!
Commuter Constipation

One of the biggest things which makes riding the MRT irritating are the fucking bastards, assholes, bitches and sons of bitches who root themselves near the doorways, thus preventing people from getting into the usually spacious and roomy interiors of the cars. These good-for-nothings just stay there as if their worthless frickin' lives depend on being near the door, perhaps fearing that the MRT will derail so they'll be the first ones to escape. Blasted idiots.

If I had my way, I'd have guards with CATTLE PRODS to force these shambling mounds of crapola to make way for civilized passengers. Or maybe just plain and simple bamboo spears. The ones that the zombies used on Vilma Santos in her old Darna movies. The ones that make those neat 'Chk' sounds when they sink into some victim's back. Yes.

Obviously, I had just encountered these monsters on the way to work just now. Bah. VANISHING RAAAAYYY!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 12

Ultimate Evil

It seems that Resident Evil 4 is THE survival-horror game to get. Major gaming sites such as Gamespot, IGN and more have given the latest chapter of the RE series high marks, with comments such as 'the best survival horror game ever' being heaped on the game. The reviews cite RE4's realistic graphics, memorable enemies, gripping moments of non-stop, white-knuckle suspense and incredible gameplay. Resident Evil 4 has players controlling RE hero Leon Kennedy as he enters a bizarre world of murderous, enraged villagers and inhuman beasts in order to rescue the President's daughter. Sounds like lots of bloody great fun.

Too bad the game's on Gamecube, or else I'd probably be rushing to get a copy. Anyway, the good news is that a PS2 version is in the works, so maybe I'll be gunning down crazed villagers and hooded cultists gleefully by mid to late 2005. Yay!

Tuesday, January 11

Burger Commercial Movie

Last night I watched the buddy comedy Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle. The movie stars John Cho (American Pie) and Kal Penn (Malibu's Most Wanted) as the titular characters. Harold is a young Korean-American who is working as a junior analyst/investment banker, while Kumar is an Indian (from India) med student. Unlike most buddy team movies, neither of the pair is brain dead or comically inept. They're actually pretty normal guys, not deficient or repulsive in any spectacular way, other than perhaps being ethnic. Of course, this being a comedy they do have their share of stunts and wild moments, mostly having to do with smoking pot and getting laid. They also have their personal issues- Harold being that he lets himself be manipulated by his white officemates and can't seem to open up to the gorgeous girl next door; meanwhile, Kumar is rejecting his future as a doctor despite having natural medical talents.

While sharing a joint in their pad, the two find themselves getting the munchies. An incredibly coincidental commercial for Whitecastle hamburgers implants an undeniable craving in the two, and they set off on an epic quest to satisfy their rumbling bellies with a pile of the tasty burgers. On the way, they encounter a variety of characters and situations, and learn about life, love and overcoming white trash put-downers. Will they ever get to eat at Whitecastle? Can they exorcise their personal demons? Would you care?
Well, actually, the movie was an pretty funny watch, and I did find myself watching it through without touching the Fast-Forward button. It's my first time to see an ethnically-angled buddy comedy. The movie really piles on the terrors of discrimination along with the laughs, so it was pretty interesting to see and cool to have the Asians and Indians get back at the evil White Trash at the end. Oh, and there's also a liberal amount of flesh onscreen, the occasional gross bodily-function gag and a pretty out-there appearance by Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, M.D.) as himself. Right...

All in all it was a funny little diversion, though the best that I can say is that I really wanted a burger or two at the end of it. Good thing that I heard from someone that Whitecastle burgers taste just like Jollibee regular Yums, so I don't have to go through my own MADman goes to Whitecastle experience to satisfy my craving. Mmmm...
Finish Her!

Work on K.I.A. is still progressing, little by little. First of all, I've pegged down the final page count at 160, if all things work out (read: If I can afford it). I've finished the inking for a story written by Dean, and now I'm moving on to something I've always known I've had to do but delayed... the book's prologue and epilogue. Basically, the prologue will tie the special in with Angel Ace Next, while the epilogue will give readers a cause to look forward to in future K.I.A releases. But really, it's just my way of giving myself a bit more presence in this book, since pretty much 75 percent of the art featured is from contributors and guest artists. All things considered, I am still hopeful for a February production date, so we're still shooting for release by March. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
K.I.A. is an anthology starring Kai Mishima, the lovely femme fatale from Angel Ace. After being apparently liquidated while protecting her best friend Angel's secret, Kai is reborn as Agent K, a seemingly unstoppable super assassin. With no memory of her past and a ruthless new commander sending her on mission after deadly mission, can Kai survive long enough to regain what she has lost?

The first K.I.A. release, with the subtitle Daughter of K.A.L.I., will feature a list of contributors that include Taga-Ilog, Gerry Alanguilan, Arnold Arre, Wilson Tortosa, Jennyson Rosero, Dean Alfar, Nikki Alfar, Jeremy Arambulo, Elbert Or, Jon Mallari, Karen 'Katch' Cheung, Michael Seludo, Joel Chua, Honoel Ibardolaza, Chad Cabrera, Michael Banting, Carlo Vergara, Anthony Yap, Marvin del Mundo and Edgar Tadeo.

It still boggles my mind when I think of the numbers, but if I somehow pull it out, K.I.A. should be something to see when it's finally finished. Wait for it.
Valentine Treats

The home version of Tekken 5 will be hitting shelves in the US on February 22 (A Japanese release has been slated for March 31). Wow! This really is exceptional, for the home version to come home so quickly after the release of the arcade game. Just goes to show how important the home console market has become.
The home release of Tekken 5 coincides with the series' 10th Anniversary, and a bonus remake of the original Tekken will supposedly be included on the disc (YAY!). The game will include unlockable characters, the ability to customize the look of your fighter, a mini-game featuring hero Jin Kazama and more CG movies than ever before in a Tekken game. Coolness.

With Tekken 5, Champions: Return to Arms and Frank Cho's Shanna the She-Devil coming in the month of hearts, I should be well occupied enough to totally ignore the February dating crowds. Heh.

Monday, January 10

Weekend Warriors

The gang (well, mostly just me and the Alfars, with Vin bringing up the rear halfway into the movie) watched Kung Fu Hustle at The Podium on Saturday. This was the second time I saw it, though the first time I watched it from beginning to end (I missed the Axe Gang's dance number the first time around). The movie just rocks.

Love the story, simple as it was. I love the concept of the kung fu masters in hiding. I love the casting of the various characters, from the "Warriors Three" - Coolie (Xing Yu), Tailor (Chiu Chi Ling) and Donut (Dong Zhi Hua) to the damn cool strumming assassins (Jia Kang Xi and Fung Hark On), The Landlord and Landlady, Ice cream lady Fong (newcomer Huang Shengyi), the venomous Axe Leader, Brother Sum (Chan Kwok Kwan) and the disturbingly powerful Beast (Leung Siu Lung).
The fight scenes and action in KFH kick arse, both parodying and surpassing the masturbartive fights in the Matrix sequels and even the Showdown in the House of Blue Leaves in Kill Bill Volume 1. The CG works great, in all its overblown craziness. And of course, the laughs come fast; not as fast as in some of Stephen Chow's earlier films, but when they come they come great.

I'm getting a DVD of this classic as soon as I can. But I actually still wanna see this baby in theaters again, one more time. And anyone who hasn't seen it yet should make it a point to see it in a theater, and not on the small screen. This is meant to be enjoyed big time. Do the hustle, people! Heh.