Real World Watcher New Orleans “Welcome To New Orleans”

So as some of you might have realized, MTV kicked off their 24h (!!) season of Real World by returning to New Orleans. I always forget how hard it is to live blog these first episodes, because I try to get everyone’s names and where they’re from while also keeping up with the episode and trying not to be a jerk to the missus (which I often fail at while trying to spell Jemmye’s damn name). Holy crap this was a crazy first episode. Lots of drama all from one epicenter. And no, I won’t just tell you who it is, you’ll have to hit the jump and read through to find out! Note that all the pictures of the cast members involve them leaning, as if they’re unable to stand on their own power, that’s a pretty good sign for a crazy season. If you like this post, check out next week’s live blog. Continue reading Real World Watcher New Orleans “Welcome To New Orleans”

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The Loft, Fortress Of Nerditude, Part 1

I’ve done a lot of talking about Man Caves on this blog, but I do have to admit that, at one time, I had a pretty rad Kid Cave growing up. My parents bought a cottage on a lake in Michigan an hour from Toledo. It was pretty awesome, but what made it even better was the barn-like garage across the street from the cottage that had a loft upstairs that my parents let me have the run of. I soon plastered posters over the walls, put up a dart board, scavenged some unwanted furniture and an old TV and had a pretty rad Kid Cave going on. One full wall had comics posters from all kinds of place and I figured I’d post the pics I have of said wall here for all to see. I used the few large posters I had as tentpoles and then filled the other spaces in with posters from the Wizard Poster Book and stuff from the free table at my local comic shop. Also, there’s the Death Of Superman poster I mentioned in this week’s Roseanne Comics Cavalcade! I can’t even say that I liked most of these books, I just thought the posters looked cool. For instance, I dig Gen 13 and Superman and Amalgam, but couldn’t care less about Spawn or Nightcrawler. Note the use of those black and white inserts DC used to put in along with their subscription comics, hence the Supergirl and Aztek pieces. Any questions about what’s what, just let me know!

News Of The Day: New Wonder Woman Duds

There’s a crazy amount of digital ink being spilled about the new Wonder Woman costume, from the official announcement on the New York Times’ site, to it being ribbed on sites like Topless Robot, to a surprisingly positive vote of confidence from fashionistas Tom & Lorenzo. Does anything else need to be said? Probably not, but that’s never stopped me before.

The outrage over the story (the gods went back and changed Wonder Woman’s origin) and the new costume (designed by Jim lee), seems a little crazy to me, especially from the comics fans out there. You guys know it’s comics right? Nothing stays changed for more than a few years. Have you never read the kind of story where a character’s origin is changed and she doesn’t know it, only to eventually realize it, fight the bad guys and give up her new old life for her old old life to show how she deals with sacrifice? It’s pretty standard for comics/sci-fi/fantasy.The costume’s whatever. I’m sure we’ll have the classic look in no time, especially if the flack the book has gotten online so far translates into poor sales.

As a fan of Gail Simone’s take on the book, I wasn’t too excited to hear that J. Michael Straczynski was taking over the book. He hasn’t exactly lit up the world at DC with his Brave And The Bold stories, which is a shame, because there were some really good ideas (Legion and Doom Patrol!). That being said, I’ve always been a fan of characters getting shaken up. I started reading comics with the death of Superman. Then Batman got broken, Green Lantern went insane, Wonder Woman got demoted. All those things got me reading those books. And, much as I hate to admit it, Heroes Reborn got me reading Marvel comics. So, hey, take it easy gang. If you don’t like the story, don’t buy the comic. If you’re curious like me, give it a shot and judge the book after it comes out, not before.

Just Watched Toy Story 3 (2010)

This is the conversation I have with the missus every single time a Pixar movies comes out.

HER: Hey that new Pixar movie’s out.

ME: Eh.

Weeks pass.

HER: Let’s go see that new Pixar movie.

ME: Fine.

We see the movie.

ME: HOLY SHIT THAT WAS AMAZING, WHY DIDN’T WE SEE THIS SOONER.

She glowers at me, deservedly so.

I’m not sure what it is about these movies that I always forget how damn good they are when the next one comes out. I remember begrudgingly going to see Finding Nemo with some friends when I was visiting Columbus one time and coming out loving it. Same goes for Wall*E, though I think I was more interested in that one cause it had robots. Another reason I wasn’t really excited about Toy Story 3 is that I don’t think I’ve seen the second one all the way through. All I remembered was that they added the girl cowboy and the horse.

But, damnitall if Toy Story 3 isn’t one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. Yes, best MOVIES, not best CGI movies. It’s that good. The thing that Pixar does better than anyone else in the movie making industry is taking the time to perfect the scripts. This one took something like two and a half years between script and storyboarding. That’s a lot of time to perfect a script and I’d say this one is as close to perfect as they come. Not a moment is wasted. And even when there seems to be a moment that IS wasted, you find out by the end it isn’t, so stop being such a negative Nancy.

For the record, we saw the 3D version. I’m not sure if it’s really necessary. It looked much better than Alice In Wonderland did, but it didn’t really add a whole lot aside from depth of field. I still think the Disney 3D is better than any of the other ones out there, including whatever Avatar used.

As you probably know by now, the story follows Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Hamm, Rex and the gang (paired down over the years between the second and third installments thanks to yard sales) as they deal with Andy going away to college. They end up on all kinds of crazy adventures which take some of them to a brand new house with a brand new kid and others getting the stuffing knocked out of them as the new bloods in a daycare ruled with an iron fist by a cuddly-looking teddy bear. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but the new toy characters both at the house and the daycare are a nice addition to the cast of characters without taking anything away from our heroes.

For those of you who might be thinking “But this is just a kid’s movie and I hear the ending is really sad, I don’t want to see it,” I say “See it anyway!” Yes, the ending is sad, but it’s a good kind of sad. Plus, there’s a ton of action in the last act of the movie that reminded me of how Peter Jackson’s King Kong didn’t let up for like 30 minutes (there’s the dinosaur stampede, then the bugs, then King Kong fighting T-Rexes, possibly not in that order, but it’s all intense). There’s also a great deal of comedy in the film that had me laughing out loud in spite of myself.

Oh, also, as far as I could tell the moral of the movie is “Never, ever get rid of your toys,” but the missus begs to differ. I think it’s because she’s sick of my He-Man, Ninja Turtles and Transformers toys taking up space in the storage unit.

Roseanne Comics Cavalcade: Death Of Superman Poster

It seems pretty clear to me that the comic book fans working on Roseanne were huge fans of the Death and Return of Superman stories (for more evidence, see David’s Death of Superman T-shirt), which is great, because Superman’s death is what got me into collecting comics. The Death of Superman T-shirt over Darlene’s right shoulder is an interesting piece of memorabilia as it looks like a cropped version of the black-outlined poster seen below. It’s hard to tell from the crummy picture I took, but it looks like, in addition to missing the black border and words “The Death of Superman” Darlene’s poster cuts out a good number of the assembled heroes and villains attending his public wake (I love the Darkseid and Morpheus both showed up). As a kid, I didn’t buy many comic book posters because, for the longest time I didn’t have anywhere to put them. That didn’t stop me from buying the occasional Wizard poster book or grabbing a poster or three from the JC’s Comic Shop free table. Eventually, my parents bought a cottage that had a garage with a loft that they let me decorate and hang out in with my friends so I plastered the walls with those posters. This Death of Superman poster was one of two or three that I actually purchased and hung up. I think it got some water damage when the roof leaked, but I’ve got some pretty amazing pictures taken before that that I’ll dig up and post. Man, I love Dan Jurgens.

Toy Commercial Tuesday: Visionaries

After watching a few of these Visionaries commercials on YouTube, I think you can expect to see some more in the future. They mix everything awesome about 80s toy commercials: epic jingle featuring the name of the toy over and over, a setting to play with your toys that no kid ever had, enhanced visuals to make the toys seem WAY cooler than they actually are and kids having an awesome time playing with them. The Visionaries’ claim to fame was that they were action figures with holograms worked in. I don’t think I ever had any of the toys growing up, I was more of a Super Naturals fan, but I’m sure I watched the cartoon. There was also a comic from Star. Anyway, I like how, the commercial goes from kids playing with toys to a stop motion battle that looks more like a dance fight. Plus, I guarantee the holograms never even approached the levels of vivid coolness seen in the commercial.

Songs Of Summer “Like You Do” by Angel Taylor

I’m not sure how big this song really is as Angel Taylor is one of VH1’s You Oughtta Know artists. That means they push her pretty hard in their rotations and on their countdowns, but I don’t know how that translates into radio and charts and whatnot. But, let’s be honest, how can you go wrong with a cute girl playing an acoustic guitar on a jazzy little tune like this. It’s both sad and upbeat which is always an interesting combination. She’s dating an ass, but the music and vocals don’t get bogged down in sadness. Plus, there’s a slow build to an all out dance number. Can’t go wrong with that.