Friday, June 20

Potty Training

I don't consider myself a Harry Potter fan, though I did attempt to get the books a year or two ago. I bought and read the first one, then bought the second one, which was promptly borrowed by a friend but never returned. I have seen the movies though (Not horrible, not incredible but good) and the general consensus is that the second volume of the Potter series isn't too hot. Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire are supposed to be a lot better, and with the excitement over the release of the latest book, Order of the Pheonix, I am intrigued. I am actually considering getting myself the Potter library en masse, so I don't feel out of the loop when the Potties (Vin and Gig, I think) start talking about the latest Hogwarts Hullaballoo.

If I have cash left over after my Greenhills forays, we'll see...
Weekend Odds and Ends and an Odd Ending...

Watched the last two episodes of the Charlie's Angels animated shorts online. The whole series is really pretty comical and ridiculously over the top and Saturday cartoon-simple... imagine my surprise to realize that instead of being just based on the movies, the cartoons are an actual, literal prequel to the movie. Yep, the last episode of the Animated Angels ends hanging with a 'To Be Continued in Theaters Everywhere' message. Those crappy cartoons are actually directly linked to the Full Throttle movie! This does not bode well... is the movie as cartoony as the prequel?! AAGH!

Anyway, I was also able to finish the requirement for our group's little writing workshop. I can enter the weekend with the prospect of inking pages for Angel Ace, starting the "Buffy" project, getting some much-needed oversleeping and a trip to Greenhills. Still intend to keep spending down though. I've actually collected a huge pile of comics that have as yet gone unread: Marvel's The Ultimate Avengers 1st TPB and all the 2nd story arc issues, about ten or so issues of Elektra, the latest Blade of the Immortal, the 3-issue New X-Men 'Murder at the Mansion' story, The Thundercats Return limited series, Powers: Supergroup TPB, the first two issues of Demonslayer: An Eye for an Eye and the first Chobits Graphic Novel. Whew! Gotta start reading these goodies soon... If I can tear myself away from Baldur's Gate II, that is...

Thursday, June 19

At long last, a Food Post

Had a late lunch at The Green Tomato, the resident pasta place here at the office. They ran out of my favorite Sausage Special (you get a pasta dish of your choice with a BIG German sausage on the side), so I opted for the Pizza combo. I ordered my usual Bolognese, and was pleased to get it with Heaps of meat sauce. YUM. It was so savoury and filling that I just had to stroll over to the nearby Favorito ice cream stand and get some dessert. Strawberry. Mmmm.

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

I rediscovered this RPG gaming gem and reinstalled it onto my new HD recently. Ever since I have been playing it nightly, sallying forth in various quests and battles to find my destiny in the AD&D world of the Forgotten Realms. Haven't finished this actually, and I am really set on finally completing the game and then moving onto the expansion set, Throne of Bhaal, afterwards. I have to say BG2 is probably the closest to being the perfect D&D party-type non-anime based RPG game there is. Playing this game is bliss. And a bane to my comic book projects' completion... Argh...

Wednesday, June 18

Hulk Smashed!

Ang Lee's Hulk is the latest Marvel Comics' movie adaptation, and I had the displeasure of watching it with the gang (sans Dean and Gig, who opted to enjoy each other and family instead). From the get-go I really don't care about the title, the comic or the character. This film interpretation by the acclaimed director of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon doesn't help my dislike any.
The Hulk as a character is slow and ponderous, big and bulky, but capable of awesome action and destruction when angered. That pretty much sums up this movie. It's SLOW-paced to the extreme. While other Marvel movies can't wait to get their 'power origin' plot points over and done with, Hulk wallows in agonizingly LONG, brooding, quiet and utterly BORING build-ups and establishing scenes that never do pay off. The script takes tons of liberties with the source material's simpler and less baggage-filled start to the Hulk's rampage, heaping on a dark, sinister father figure named David Banner (Nick Nolte, whose scratchy voice grates immensely) who is the source of all of his son's torment later in life. Bruce (played blankly by Eric Bana) gets a new name and life as a scientist and boyfriend to gorgeous Betty Ross (played by a Demi Moore-esque Jennifer Connelly, she of the incredible bangs). Unfortunately, thanks to a lab accident with gamma rays, Bruce's hidden assets are unleashed in the form of a green giant (no, not Shrek) whose immense strength gives way to some impressive but ultimately bloodless destruction. Of course, monsters attract the military, led by a driven General Ross (Sam Elliot). Lots of carnage ensues.

The good points in Hulk are things I thought would be liabilities; the CG is excellent and much improved over footage in earlier trailers. The action is vicious, kinetic and true to the comics, with sights of the green goliath jumping miles in a single bound, battling tanks and helicopters, and failing to bust out of his purple pants. However, these sporadic moments of glorious violence can only be reached after seemingly endless amounts of overlong drama, a repressed-memory mystery that is ultimately underwhelming, and a plot that never seems to come together well enough.
The boring pace is exacerbated profusely by the truly ridiculous "comic book" style transitions, and the penchant for the screen to break up into 'split screens' to emulate comics. There's a reason why this works in graphic novels, and why movies should NOT do it. IT SUCKS. It looks stupid, and hurts the eyes. And the gimmick just doesn't jive in such a plodding movie.
Not even the presence of The Absorbing Man as an end villain can save this one. Without a doubt my least favored of all the recent Marvel Movies. Boring.

Oh, and Hulk also probably has the most blatant Stan Lee cameo so far. So blatant it's sickening. Oh well. Gimme X3. Anything. Please.

Sunday, June 15

Post-Birthday Splurge

Well, not really. I've been treating people out all weekend that I thought I'd spend some money on myself. Got some trashy R-rated DVDs at Greenhills (which I rediscovered), plus the Warlands: Age of Ice TPB at Comic Quest. Vinnie also gave me a couple of comics including a Spyboy issue (Thanks, Vinnie!). I think though that my self-gifting includes the new Hard Drive and memory upgrade for my PC. Nowhere near as extravagant as a new gaming console (and with no new consoles in sight, I won't be spending any big amounts soon).
It's been an exhausting weekend. Gotta savour the last day and take a rest today. Work starts again in the week. Oh well. Another year lies before us. More jobs, more comics, more life. What else can we ask for? Heh.