Archive for February, 2010

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Review: The Spectre (DC Animation Short)

February 24, 2010

Caught this last night off the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths DVD.  That was fine, and you can probably find a nice review of that somewheres else (although William Baldwin doing the voice of Batman in my opinion was a waste of money – he brought nothing but his name to the table – go search John K’s blog on the link to the right for his opinions on casting a “name” actor instead of an actor with a distinct voice for a cartoon for some real snark on that subject).

What I really want to write about is the short that came in the set: The Spectre.

It’s animated in an almost-MadHouse anime style, which really set it apart from the house style DC Animation usually uses, and the director, Joachim Dos Santos, added an “old film” look to the whole short, giving it a kind of retro feel.  The only criticism I can offer up to this short is that it has a sort of tentative feel to the writing – for those who don’t know (and, I think, what the writer, Steve Niles, was going for) there was a period in DC Comics in the 70s (Wikipedia lists it between ’74 and ’75*) where The Spectre was a ghost who gave criminals poetic justice in a fairly grisly manner. One vivid one was where The Spectre turned somebody into wood and ran them through a sawmill (BOY would I like to read that comic someday!)

The characters who do wrong get killed here too, but nowhere as memorably as the comics did it.  I wonder if this was a pilot program to groom new talent/styles for DC Animation?  If so, I’d like to request The Warlord and Sergeant Rock if you please.

* Only trust a Wikipedia article so far on something in the real world (like, Nuclear Power as an example)  – trust a Wikipedia article implicitly when reading about comic books, SF movies, or Family Guy.

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“I’m mostly your fault.”

February 24, 2010

Via io9.com – a letter from Neil Gaiman to Michael Moorcock (both famous fantasy writers, in case you didn’t know) where Gaiman credits Moorcock for his inspiration…

http://io9.com/5477344/neil-gaiman-to-michael-moorcock-im-mostly-your-fault

Dear Mike,

I started reading your work thirty years ago. I was nine, and the book was Stormbringer.

At the time it was a little like having the top of my head ripped off and magnificent multicoloured ideas poured in.

I read everything I could find you’d written as it was published-several feet of books rapidly appearing on my bookshelves over the next couple of years. I even read everything I could find by people you mentioned, discovering authors like Mervyn Peake in the process.

I took it for granted that a good author could and should be able to write anything and write anything well in any genre or way, and bend and break genres and rules at will-after all, you did it.

Looking back now, the things that stick are the strange ones that don’t fit, from the Sex Pistols’ novel-newspaper (Irene Handl as Mrs Cornelius?) to the mysterious newspaper-wrapped packages of The Chinese Agent…
You’ve been an inspiration. Or to put it another way, I’m probably mostly your fault.

It’s good finally to have someone to blame-

Neil Gaiman

I recognize a lot of myself in this letter.  I can remember at the age of twelve, sitting amongst the monster magazines, comic books, and SF and Fantasy novels (Stormbringer being one of them) and saying to myself, “Yup. going to be like this forever.”

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The anger comes in waves

February 19, 2010

Via JPFO (link to the right)

Watch and prepare for your blood to boil…

http://eclipptv.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=7086&title=The_Largest_Street_Gang_in_America%20

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Ia! Ia!

February 15, 2010

The depth of the Mariana trench to scale. Too good not to PHOTOSHOP!

Via Balko (link to the right) the original is here   http://i.imgur.com/m3ZxZ.jpg

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Not the first to do this…

February 12, 2010

Via the Anarchangel – see link at right.

Not the first time this concept was done. There used to be a band called Big Daddy (I think out of MPLS) whose back story was a 50s doo wop band got caught behind the Iron Curtain for 20 years, and did 80s songs with 60s arrangements. They did a cover of “Eye of the Tiger” that was popular as a novelty record. My favorite was their cover of Rick James’ “Super Freak” done as an Everly Brothers ballad.

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Review: 9

February 12, 2010

No screen grabs for this – I watched this on Blu-Ray, and my compy doesn’t play Blu-Rays.

I really wanted to like this. The TV ads I saw made it look very mature for an animated film. Too bad the story lost me.

I can get behind the pacifist leanings of the film (big fight between Machines and Man leaves all the humans dead) but the introduction of the little toy robots being the last survivors of the world? Which, inexplicably, have genders? And have emotions granted to them by the scientist that created them by some sort of magic the scientist had found? By the time we are treated to the sight of the little toy robots’ ghosts appearing on screen, I had checked out.

No denying the film looks good – just save your money until you can see it for free.

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Huh!

February 12, 2010

Via WRSA (link to the right)…

http://www.scribd.com/doc/26645298/Increasing-Small-Arms-Lethality-in-Afghanistan-Taking-Back-the-Infantry-Half-Kilometer

Page 49 to 50 of this document discusses Battlefield Zeroing a m16 to 50 meters to reduce the possibility of a miss.  Does that work with 7.62 ammo?