Tag Archive: movies

March 17 2016

11 things Hollywood still hasn’t learned about comics

I’m going to keep this one short, since my last post was over 5,000 words long.

 

1. Stop spending so much time on origin stories.

Telling part of a hero’s origin story is usually necessary, especially if they’re not a well-known character, or if they have a particularly interesting origin. However, most hero origin stories follow the same plot, and as a result we’ve had some very predictable movies. Do we really need to watch yet another comic book movie where a hero gets their powers, goes through a comedic routine where they get used to their powers, and then finally gets the courage to be the hero they’re destined to be?

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July 20 2015

What I’d like to see in the next Green Lantern movie

The first Green Lantern movie didn’t do very well, either critically or financially (it broke even). I know it had a lot of problems, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

Now that Warner Brothers is planning on making a new Green Lantern movie focusing on the entire Green Lantern Corps (which is the intergalactic peacekeeping force that Hal Jordan and all the other Green Lanterns belong to) I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to see in the next movie – besides a 400-part epic retelling of Geoff Johns’ entire GL run.

Supposedly, the new movie isn’t going to follow the same continuity as the first GL movie. However, that doesn’t mean it has to contradict it either; there’s not much to contradict. The Eric Bana Hulk movie isn’t necessarily in the same “universe” as the Ed Norton Hulk movie, but they don’t contradict each other.

But anyway, here’s what I want to see:

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March 21 2010

Avatar and the future of 3D (Part 2)

For a few years now, 3D has been making a slow comeback. In the past, it’s been little more than a gimmick, and was hindered by issues such as poor image quality and clunky glasses for the audience to wear. But with Avatar, 3D proved itself to Hollywood as a great way to make money. But has 3D finally moved into the mainstream, or is it still too soon?

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March 8 2010

Avatar and the future of 3D (Part 1)

I’m not going to apologize for all the time that passes between posts anymore. I write when I have the time, when I have something to write about, and when I feel like writing. Just subscribe to the RSS feed so you don’t have to keep coming back. I do have plans for making this blog a little more active, but it’s a still too early to say when that’ll happen.

Have you heard about this movie called Avatar? Have you? Really? It’s a science fiction thing with blue people and…oh, you have heard of it. What a surprise.

I’d like to give a quick mini-review of the movie, and then talk about something that’s perhaps much more interesting: the 3D tech behind the movie, and where that’s going.

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May 13 2009

Conflicted feelings about Star Trek

Spock would be cool in a 70's-style cop drama

I’m going to talk about the new Star Trek movie. I will be using spoilers throughout. So go see it if you haven’t already, then come back and read this.

I saw the new Star Trek movie last night, and I thought it was pretty good. It was great to see so many familiar people and places, and I didn’t realize how much I missed seeing new adventures in this amazing future that Roddenberry created. However, despite how much I enjoyed it, I’m still conflicted.

First, let’s look back a couple years. When I first heard that they were going to do another Star Trek movie I was happy but wary. I assumed that it probably wouldn’t be another Next Gen movie, since everyone was aging too much, and they killed my favorite character in the previous one (and it was pretty ridiculous that they kept having to toss Worf in there somehow when he should’ve been on DS9 or Qo’noS). Probably wouldn’t be about the DS9 or VOY crews either, since both of those shows had pretty definite endings that split up the crews…and making a movie of either would probably be a bad move from a business standpoint anyway.

I was hoping that the new movie would have a new ship and a new crew, and take place after all the other movies and shows, and maybe have a new villain or some other big threat to deal with, since the Federation didn’t have too many big threats to deal with anymore: the Klingons were allies, the Cardassians were crushed in the Dominion war, the Dominion was crushed in the Dominion war, the Borg were…just not a threat anymore…hell, even the Romulans were much less angry than they were before (and are destroyed just moments before this new movie starts). At that point, they needed an interesting new challenge to face, and an interesting new bunch of characters to face it.

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March 12 2008

Saving money, the Bevans way

I am, by most accounts, the brokest person most people know. But being as broke as I am, I’ve learned a few key ways to save money that many people may just overlook.

1. Use the library.

This is moronically simple, but many people I know just don’t use the library. And why not? It’s free. They have nearly every book you’ll ever want, although you may have to wait a bit if the book you’re looking for is checked out or at another library. But the nice part is, they’ll hold it for you once it’s in, and if it’s at another library, they’ll bring it to the library of your choice for you. And it’s still free.

And it’s not just books. They have magazines, DVDs (new releases must be rented, but they’re far cheaper than Blockbuster), CDs, audiobooks, and shockingly enough: comics. I was very surprised to find out just how wide a selection of comic trade paperbacks the Ramsey County library system has. I quickly grabbed up the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books (far better than the movie) and picked up Watchmen on a whim (which is fucking phenomenal).

I’m one of those people who likes to have my own personal library, so I can lend books and movies and stuff to anyone, whenever I feel like it. And I do still buy books and movies sometimes, if they’re something really special. But there’s just no reason to buy most books if you can just get them at the library. They’ll probably always be there if you want to read them again or have a friend read them.

And the best part about the library is, if you see something you think you might like, it doesn’t cost you anything to just grab it and try it.

The downside? The more popular books can get kinda worn out, and if you’re not careful you can start to wrack up late fees (which are quite reasonable). Fortunately, you can renew your books online (at least in the Ramsey County libraries you can).

2. Get a Netflix subscription

There’s really no reason to buy most movies. You watch them once, maybe twice, and then you don’t think about them for years. And thanks to Netflix, you don’t even have to go to a rental store anymore. What is Blockbuster up to now, $4.00 for a 3-day rental or something? 9 bucks will get you a month of Netflix, where they’ll send you one movie at a time, and send them back to you as fast as you can watch them. If you rent or buy one or more movies each month, it’s worth the cost.

Also, they let you download some movies onto your computer whenever you want, so you don’t even have to wait 2 days for the next movie to come.

I must admit, I miss having a constantly-expanding, ever-current DVD collection. But keeping a collection costs a hell of a lot of money. 9 bucks a month is much more manageable.

3. Play World of Warcraft (or some lesser MMOG)

Sounds crazy, I know. How do you save money by playing a game that costs 15 bucks a month? Well, for starters, you spend less because you’re not buying as many OTHER games. A new game will cost you 50-60 bucks these days, and let’s say you get an average of 25 hours of gameplay out of them before you beat them. Well, WoW never ends. Even if you get a character to 70, you can still hit the battlegrounds and fight other players, duel it out in the arenas, hit the dungeons, join a raiding guild, start a new character, or just sit around and talk with your guildmates.

Also, Blizzard is constantly creating new content for the game. Major patches feature new quests, activities, dungeons, areas, and so on. They also release an expansion pack ever 1.5 years or so, but those only cost $40.

The downside, of course, is that you wind up missing a lot of good games. But if you’re having fun with WoW, who cares? You can’t play everything, and the games that REALLY stand out will be $20 in a year.

4. Buy second-hand

Half-Price Books is my store of choice for buying used media. They’ve got tons of great, cheap books, CDs, DVDs, games, and even some collectibles. If you really want to buy something rather than just use the library as mentioned earlier, just about everything you’ll want can be found second-hand. There’s no reason to buy anything for retail price, unless it’s brand new and you absolutely MUST own it.

5. Buy online

You know what traditional stores are good for? Physically checking something out before you go and buy the item online. You can find EVERYTHING cheaper online. Let me repeat this. You can find EVERYTHING cheaper online.

For example, I and some friends (you know who you are) were looking for a boxed set of 3 large, hardcover books. The store we went to was selling them for about 90 bucks. But I found it online for $41. Brand new. Last week, I decided I needed an HDMI cable. A 15-footer at Best Buy or Target costs about $80-90. I bought one online for nine dollars. NINE. Brand new. Very nice.

Of course, the trick is knowing where to look. Personally, I always check PriceGrabber first. You’ve gotta be a little bit careful though; always choose a seller with at least 4 stars, and over 500 votes. Read the reviews too.

6. Quit your bad habit

I used to go down to the local gas station at least once a day for a big-ass Mountain Dew. It was only $1 each time, but that’s $30/month, or $365/year.

I don’t even want to think about what smokers pay.

It can be hard to quit, of course. I love my delicious Mt. Dew, and I like being caffeinated. But you’ve gotta make sacrifices. And not only are drinks, coffees, and cigarettes expensive, but they’re not exactly good for you either (and cigarettes are, of course, basically poison). So you’ve gotta drop the habit. You’ll probably backslide, but don’t feel bad; just stop again. Maybe try cutting your intake by half at first, then half again and again. Special occasions are ok.

7. Buy from the fountain, not the bottle.

Ok, I know I just told you to stop drinking soft drinks. But if you must, buy from the fountain. A 20oz bottle of Dew will cost about $1.40 these days. You can usually get a 32oz fountain drink for $1.

8. Only buy fast food at Taco Bell or Wendy’s

It’s usually cheaper to cook your own food of course, but if you need to eat out, Taco Bell and Wendy’s are cheapest. Wendy’s has a pretty good dollar menu, and most Taco Bell combo meals will cost less than $5. Mind you, this shit’s not very healthy.

9. Carpool

This sounds like a cliché, doesn’t it? Well, it works. You can’t save money on gas, so you need to find ways to use less of it. It’s nice to be able to come and go as you please, and listen to your own music and all that, but if you can work something out, do.

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May 6 2007

Spiderman 3 Review – 6.5/10

Apparently, Sony is planning Spiderman 4-6 right now. If they can keep them as interesting as this one was, then I might as well give them my money now. Actually, they’ll have to be satisfied with an IOU, because I’m broke. That’s if they were actually accepting money for the next 3 movies right now. Oh, but I’m rambling.

So yea, I liked it a lot, despite its flaws. I’d say it was better than #1 but not as good as #2. But maybe I’m biased, since Doc Ock is my favorite Spiderman villain and they got him PERFECT in the movie.

It’s really hard to go over what you like about a movie, and really easy to go over what you didn’t. So I guess you can assume that I liked everything that I didn’t like.

So what didn’t I like? For starters, there was just too damn much Mary Jane. Kirsten Dunst isn’t exactly my favorite actress, and she was exactly the same as she was in the previous two movies: boring boring boring. We have characters in this movie who can shoot webs from their hands, turn into sand, and fly. Why did they have to stick so much “struggling actress” into it? I didn’t pay $9.25 for a Hallmark Channel special. Fortunately, the parts that aren’t about MJ are a blast to watch. Supposedly, Dunst doesn’t want to do any more Spiderman movies, and for that I’m glad.

What else didn’t I like? Sandman. The actor was great, the sand effects were great, but they basically turned him into a lumbering Frankenstein monster that kills without thought. His “I just want to help my daughter” story isn’t exactly believable when he’s smashing people by the dozens.

The fact that the movie had three villains to try to juggle when they weren’t advancing the insipid love story meant that they had a lot of story to tell, but not enough time to tell it. You can tell by some noticeable gaps in the story, as well as a couple too-convenient duct tape-style segments that tie things together, that a lot of content got left on the cutting room floor.

I wish they had just focused on Harry, Sandman, and the black suit, and just left Venom as a cameo at the end so they could focus on him in the next one. Why did they feel like they had to jam three unrelated villains into one movie? Hell, even TWO is too much sometimes (I’m thinking of the Batman movies, pre-Bale).

Aside from those problems, it was still a blast to watch. The fights are great (though they use too much CG in them) and Spidey is still a great character. There were even some surprises to ME, and I thought I knew what was going to happen since I know the source material. It had the action, the characters, the humor (oh Bruce Campbell, you’re just too awesome for words), and the suspense that the previous movies had.

Basically, I’m saying that if you liked the other Spidey movies, you’ll like this one. I give it an 6.5/10.

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