Thursday, August 8, 2013

“Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.” ― Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

Since the live action movie of the popular book, "Enders Game", is hitting the theaters this summer, I decided to reread the book. Mainly to give myself a refresher before I go see the movie, so I can yell at the screen how inaccurate it is, and since it was one of my favorite books growing up. 

Also, I never read the 4 books following Enders Game, which I always kind of wanted to, but never got around to it.  The most prelevant reason being that I kept hearing that it got weird, and promptly followed by it wasn't written as well.  I always thought that these where good reasons to stay away from them. But lately I've been trying to take my reading habits and try to branch out a little so I'm not just retreading the same books all the time. 

I should've listened to everyone. The series is exactly what the plethora of people I know said they where. I think the main problem with them is that Card tries to wax philosophical way to much. To the point where the story becomes very monotonous. It really ruins the pacing for me. I'm not trying to say what he's trying to get across is wrong, Card just does it in away that I find really boring. If he would brake it up with some action, or really anything for that matter, I think my interest would be more engaged. But the series so far has felt more like a chore to read then anything else. 

Plus, I feel no real connection to any of the characters. They come across a little bland and boring. But since I hate not finishing a series more than it being badly written, I'm resolved to finish "Children of the Mind", the last book in the series. The older I get, the more I think Enders Game is getting "meh" on me. It's not horrible, but the last read through of it, it's gotten a lot more average then I remember. It's hard for me to think of it as the great and wonderful piece of literature that I once did. But that shouldn't stop you fromocing it all the more. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

"It's never as bad as it seems. You're much stronger than you think you are. Trust me." - from All-Star Superman

If you haven't seen the recent "Man of Steel" movie, the following ***Contains Spoilers***. You've been warned.

I've never been a big Superman fan.  The older movies aren't really that great (yeah, I said it), and the character always seemed to be to perfect and "goody two shoes".  I like my superheroes flawed and prone to making mistakes.  That's why I found the newest Superman movie, "Man of Steel" to be a pleasant surprise. Its not a perfect movie by any means, by I went back and watched it a second time, and wouldn't mind owning it when it comes out on DVD.

The movie isn't going to win any awards.  But it did some things pretty dang good.  Like  how they characterized Clark during the movie.  I enjoyed how they used flashbacks opf him growing up so we didn't have to spend to much time on a young Clark Kent (plus I've never been a fan of child actors, because they usually suck). Also, Michael Shannon did a hell of a job bring General Zod to life.  It was one of the best portrayals of a comic book villain I've ever seen. Because of all this, I thought the end of the movie was fan-freaking-tastic.

But I think Im in the minority in this.  I know of a few friends that didnt like it. And it seems some people on the internet are in some sort of nerd rage over it.  Because no one thinks that Superman snapping Zods neck at the end of the movie is, well, very "Superman" like.  But let me try and explain why its important.

The Superman we get in this movie isn't your Boyscout, a standup citizen of America. Someone that doesnt kill.  Instead of the confident, in front of the camera do gooder that everyone is use to, we now have an awkward, shy and somewhat of a loner Supes.  And he doesnt know his place in the world quit yet. But that comes to a resolution by the end of the movie.  In killing Zod, Clark firmly casts himself into the corner of the Humans. I think in that act he finds his place here in Earth.  But since he did have to kill Zod, I think you'll be seeing more in the other movies (if they DO more) that he wont be killing anyone.  Because Zods death is still going to be weighing on him, and he'll turn from any such acts in the future.

For future movies, I'd like to see the following.  Sadly, we're not going to have a Superman Trilogy without having Lex Luthor in at least one of the movies.  I think they can do the character right if they step away from the damn "wringing hands and a evil maniacal laughter" type of villain they generally type cast Luthor with.  They need to portray him as the super intelligent, arrogant egotist that he is.  Since he has a harder time standing up physically to Superman, it would be very easy to bring Luthors power armor into the picture.  He could've got his hands on the armor that Zod drops when he starts to fly, and Bam! Basis for Luthors power armor.

And for a third movie, Id like to see them bring in Doomsday.  Since he was genetically engineered, (I know this deviates from Superman Cannon), have Lex escape from jail ('cause he does that), and have him start tinkering with another "Acquired" alien tech, the Genesis chamber that got wrecked. Have Lex be the one that makes Doomsday. But that's just my rambling.  Im sure they're going to do something completely different, but one can wish, right?  Either way, Im looking towards more...

Friday, April 26, 2013

"Imagination is the foundation of reality."

YouTube Friday.  Huzzah! As I've mentioned a few times on this blog, I love me a good soundtrack.  If then can whip up a good one, I can listen to for hours.  Some of my favorite composers are ones you will most likely recognize, like Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Howard Shore and James Horner to name a few.  But some might not recognize composers that dont work directly on big budget movies.  One of my favorite off screen composers is Jeremy Soule. Hes orchestarted some of my favorite video games.  Like Guild Wars 1 and 2.  Skyrim.  Neverwinter Nights.  This song is from the Guild Wars 2, and I find it quite beautiful.  Sit back in listen.

Friday, April 19, 2013

"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.” - Samuel Johnson

After the some what of a tearjerker of a video I posted last week, today I'm posting something funny for YouTube Friday.  I swear I couldn't breathe for 15 minutes after I watched this one.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 12, 2013

"Nothing ever goes as you expect. Expect nothing, and you will not be surprised."

Its been awhile since I've done a YouTube Friday clip.  And as such, I have gathered a few more videos to share with you over the next couple of weeks. 

This weeks video is going to tug at your Heart Strings, but that's why I liked it so much.  So, please watch.  And try not to cry.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"There are no endings, and never will be endings, to the turning of the Wheel of Time." Wheel of time; A Memory of Light.

23 years. 11,575 pages.

I cant believe its finally over. What a ride.

I finally got around to reading the last book in The Wheel of Time series, "A Memory of Light". I can't believe how much I loved this series.  That's the only way I can explain how I read a 900 page book in 18 days.  I've never been a fast reader, but when a book grabs a hold of me, it doesn't let go.

Understandably, not every one likes the series.  Most complaints I hear is the size of the series.  Granted, its huge.  But that's one of the reasons I love it.  I don't like when series that I love end.  People also have said that they don't like his writing style or they cant connect with it.  And that's a fair criticism.  It actually took me a few attempts, spanning over a couple of years, to read the first book.  But its not a perfect series.  At times, it feels like the story got away from the author, Robert Jordan.  But I just love the scope of it.  The history of the world just seems epic to me. 

I can see myself rereading the Wheel of Time series.  Ive been tempted to see how fast I could read the whole series from start to finish.  Its most likely going to take the better part of a year.  I'm OK with this.

But until then, what do I read?  Luckily the series has made me a fan of a new author, Brandon Sanderson.  For when Robert Jordan died 5 years back, they got Sanderson to take over and finish the series.  I've read close to a half a dozen of Sanderson's books so far, and I got to say I'm pretty impressed with his work.  Especially with the book "The Way of Kings".  And apparently its going to be another huge series of 10 books.  Which just goes to show that there is no endings to the Wheel of Time.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Get your ass to Mars - Total Recall

I recently saw the new Total Recall movie this weekend, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not really seeing why it's received the negative reviews. Granted it's not the best movie ever to come out, but I didn't want my two hours back and I'll most likely buy it when it comes out on DVD.

After the matinee I went and rented the old "Classic" version of Total Recall. I've forgotten how cheesy it really is. It's campy, filled with classic one liners but overall not that great anymore. I don't think it's held up that well at all.

The new version, I feel, holds actually pretty close to the same story. Granted there's no Mars and no mutants, but thats the only really differences. It really adapted well without those. The acting is solid, but compared to Arnold that's not saying much.

There are those that are going to get there panties in a bunch when they watch the new one because they probably believe that they can't match the old one. But it's really wasn't that great to begin with.

I have a theory about this. People are going to love movies/tv shows/(insert favorite thing here) from there childhood and teenage years. For example, take the old G.I. Joe and Transformer cartoons. As a kid, you loved them. And if you want them to remember them with fondness and greatness, you should never, ever watch them again. Ever. Because they're awful. Truly. I watched a half a dozen of the old Transformers cartoon a few years ago, and I had trouble getting through them they were that bad. Nostalgia does weird things to you.

Granted some things from your past hold up and you can still watch/play/whatever with them on a frequent basis. And to be honest, usually when Hollywood execs remake an old movie it's just to make a quick buck and aren't that great. But sometimes the original movie isn't that great to begin with, that the new one can't help but BE better. So put your nostalgia aside and go see it.