Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Who lives in a Pineapple under the sea?
According to Youtube user Vihart, the answer is not Spongebob Squarepants. She used mathematical equations to prove that everybody's favorite sea sponge can't possibly live in a pineapple due to it having bilateral symmetry.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Daredevil Noir

One night, Daredevil infiltrates a building where the Kingpin is expecting him. The two confront each other and discuss what has happened in the past week involving Orville Halloran. In his childhood, Matt Murdock was blinded by his father's assassin who brutally slammed his head into a brick wall, leaving him sightless. Though he did wish to become a lawyer, his impoverished lifestyle denied it, leaving him to be a performer instead, under the name Daredevil. 

Later he took to the streets as a vigilante, killing criminals to avenge those they killed. Matt now works with Foggy Nelson and was in his office until one afternoon a woman named Eliza entered the room and offered a way to bring down Halloran. When she left the office, Foggy has doubts and turns to Matt, but Matt convinced him that she's telling the truth and left the office to investigate. 

Meanwhile Fisk is with Halloran in a restaurant discussing about the identity of Daredevil being Jack Murdock's son.

Daredevil Noir was the first in a series of Marvil books that took current characters and retold their tales as if they were in pulp comics from the 1930's crime era. 

Matt Murdoch is on the iconic heroes of the Marvel lexicon, so when his back story was being drastically altered, I was a bit worried, but it was altered in such a way to make it much more believable to the audience, and I could only stop to wonder why he hasn't been busted down to a P.I.'s assistant or some other lesser job than lawyer for the very reasons he was in this book.

Basically his backstory is the same, except that he's not a lawyer, instead he's a lowly assistant with similar gifts to what we have come to expect from him.

The story in this book is one of love, of lust and learning to trust again after suffering a heartbreak. Who hasn't had to deal with all of those things at one point or another?

Matt Murdoch has to learn all of those things, while dealing with having never even known that he cold be lied to before. He has to learn to trust his own instincts, not another person, but either way he does have to learn to trust again.

His secret identity is not so secret in this world either, though the secret identity of his greatest adversary is a secret though, one that even Matt Murdoch struggles to figure out until near the end of the book.

In the end, it's an excellent story, set in an even more excellent alternate universe. Marvel needs to do a second run of these noir books. In the meantime though I'll just have to read the 10 other books in the series based on other Marvel heroes. Check back for reviews of those as I manage to source them.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Star Trek: Countdown

I didn't know that this four-part comic existed prior to the movie coming out back in 2009 (Feel free to take away a few of my geek cred points). I just learned of its existence last Thursday, and of course picked it up immediately.

OMG, it was amazing.

The absolute best thing to come out of the Star Trek Universe in several years. The story in this series not only sets up and explains what was going on in the 'verse straight before the re-boot movie came out, but it tells us what has been going on in the lives of our favorite Next Generation characters as well.

Captain Picard has since become an ambassador, Spock is still on Romulus, Data has not only been rebuilt (sort of) but is now captain of the USS Enterprise. Geordi LaForge is shown to be the one that built the ship that Spock pilots into the past when he is taken in by the artificial black hole he created with the red matter. Worf is here as well, the only major command character missing at least a cameo in this series. Sure I would have liked to see what he is up to, but at the same time I'm glad that he wasn't included as it may have seemed like they were just trying to get TNG characters in the book to capitalize on their popularity--it didn't seem that way the way it was written and for that I am glad he was omitted.

I really liked the re-boot of the franchise, it worked so well and the new actors fit the roles well enough that within the plot they were very believable to be the younger versions of the iconic characters. Now knowing that this story exists though, I can't believe that this wasn't the first movie of the series (maybe they just couldn't get all of the old actors back for one more run). The story involved here is far superior to the film.

Nero is more flushed out as a character, the crisis on Romulan is explained in much greater detail, and we see how Nero's ship, the Narada, went from a simple mining ship to the high powered warship that it was in the film.

We also get to see that while some things have changed between Vulcans and Romulans over the decades that Spock spent working toward peace, that at heart they still don't trust each other, despite their physiological similarities.

The better characterization of Nero is the most important part of this story though, we meet him before his grief has taken over his life and turned him into a madman. The reader sees him as a provider, a husband and most importantly a good person. It allows the reader to feel empathy for him when he returns just in time to see his planet engulfed in the exploding star, taking with it everyone and everything he has ever known.

Had movie audiences had these feelings for Nero, they wouldn't have hated him, but would maybe have seen his actions in a different light. Realizing that yes he is the "villain" in the movie, but he's not an evil man, just a man that was pushed so far that he snapped and didn't know anything other than to seek out vengeance on those that he thought had slighted him. This should have been the first movie in the series, it's unfortunate that film audiences will never see this acted out.

In today's world though, maybe it will someday become a motion comic or even an animated film. A fanboy can hope.

The absolute 10 best Groundhog Day movies

I didn't think it was possible, but I have come through for you once again faithful readers. Here are the 10 movies set on or around Groundhog Day.
10. Groundhog Day (1993) — Bill Murray and Andie McDowell star in this film.
9. Groundhog Day (1993) — A Pennsylvania weatherman is forced to relive Groundhog Day over and over again.
8. Groundhog Day (1993) — Harold Ramis directs this Bill Murray comedy that will have you rolling on the floor laughing.
7. Groundhog Day (1993) — Is reliving the same day over and over again a gift or a curse? Join Bill Murray as he finds out.
6. Groundhog Day (1993) — Will Punxsutawney Phil predict doom and gloom or clear skies ahead?
5. Groundhog Day (1993) — Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell star in a romantic comedy about the different guises of self-fulfillment and happiness.
4. Groundhog Day (1993) — Part dark comedy, part romantic comedy, this film is a roller coaster of funny, even when Phil (Bill Murray) tries, and succeeds to commit suicide several times.
3. Groundhog Day (1993) — Though only 38 days are depicted in the film, director Harold Ramis said on the DVD commentary track that Phil (Bill Murray) lived the same day over and over for about 10 years.
2. Groundhog Day (1993) — One of the few comedies, and the only film about Groundhog Day that was included on the American Film Institute's 100 Greatest Films list.
1. Groundhog Day (1993) — A film that has the rare distinction of being both a cult classic and a box office success.
There you have it, the 10 best films to watch this Groundhog Day. Enjoy!
The photo is a screen capture from the 15th anniversary DVD.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

84th Annual Academy Award Nominations: BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR & ACTRESS


Kenneth Branagh, "My Week With Marilyn"

Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"

Nick Nolte, "Warrior"

Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"

 Max von Sydow, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close."


Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"

Jessica Chastain, "The Help";

Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"

Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"

Octavia Spencer, "The Help."

84th Annual Academy Award Nominations: BEST ACTOR & ACTRESS


Demian Bichir, "A Better Life"

 George Clooney, "The Descendants"

Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"

Gary Oldman, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"

Brad Pitt, "Moneyball."


Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"

Viola Davis, "The Help"

Rooney Mara, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"

Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"

Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn.

84th Annual Academy Award Nominations: BEST PICTURE

A nine-year-old amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.


Stephen Daldry


Eric Roth (screenplay)Jonathan Safran Foer(novel)


A land baron tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident.


Alexander Payne


Alexander Payne (screenplay)Nat Faxon(screenplay)


Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.


Martin Scorsese


John Logan (screenplay)Brian Selznick (book)


A romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better.


Woody Allen


Woody Allen


The story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.


Bennett Miller


Steven Zaillian (screenplay)Aaron Sorkin(screenplay)


An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid's point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.


Tate Taylor


Tate Taylor (screenplay)Kathryn Stockett(novel)


Hollywood, 1927: As silent movie star George Valentin wonders if the arrival of talking pictures will cause him to fade into oblivion, he sparks with Peppy Miller, a young dancer set for a big break.


Michel Hazanavicius (scenario and dialogue)


The story centers around a family with three boys in the 1950s. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence.


Terrence Malick


Young Albert enlists to service in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and across Europe as the war rages on.


Steven Spielberg


Lee Hall (screenplay)Richard Curtis (screenplay)

'American Ninja Warrior' to return for fourth season

Let me just say to start off with, could this show have a better title?

It's coming back for a fourth season, but most of America has probably never seen, or even heard of this classic reality show.

The reason for that is simple enough, the the first three seasons have aired only on   the G4 network.

G4 is a network that attempts to pull in the youth and gamer crowd, so most Americans don't see the few really good shows that the network does have.

Well starting with this season, NBC, the parent network to G4, will air weekly episodes in an attempt to gain popularity for the show (or more likely fill space cheaply on the 'big' network). Either way this is a win for the American people. NBC aired the season three finale last year and was impressed enough by the ratings to decide to make an order for a fourth season.

Episodes will run on NBC first, and then later the same week on G4. It is unclear now how many episodes the fourth season will be, or when the exact premiere date is, but expect it in the summer.

The premise is relatively simple, like most reality TV shows, a group of people compete on a Ninja themed obstacle course and eventually one of them is named the "Ninja Warrior" for the season.

What's better than being a ninja? Being an American Ninja Warrior that's what.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Machine Teen: Reviewed

Okay, so granted it didn't cost me anything to pick this one up as I grabbed it more as an afterthought while at the library.

I overpaid.

The book has a decent story but it's very predictable, it has absolutely nothing in terms of originality or creativity for that matter.

The world's greatest computer programmer figures out that he works for one bad dude, steals his own research and runs off into hiding.

He turns the artificial intelligence into a robot that he programs with memories and has masquerade as his son.
Hijinx ensue and he is found out eventually. Absolutely nothing that I haven't read or seen before. Zero thought went into this one. I had high hopes that it might be a cool book, but in the end it just falls flat.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Black Summer

Admittedly I hadn't heard of this book before a co-worker told me of it a few months ago, and that's a shame considering how good it is. Warren Ellis is top notch, as per his usual and the art from Juan Jose Ryp was nothing short of spectacular.

Set in modern day, the story opens with John Horus announcing to the press that he had just killed the President and all of his top advisers.

Horus had previously been the leader of a team of hero's called the Seven Guns that had developed enhancements and became vigilantes in a fight to clean up their city since the police could no longer handle the job.

The real identities of the Seven Guns are never revealed, though since it's a limited series there really isn't time or the need to develop the characters outside of the one aspect that the reader gets to know.

After Horus murders POTUS, the team is torn on whether it was a good idea or not, but you get to see the immense loyalty they have for each other as the six other members of the team, despite their differences band together to protect each other from the military and the rest of the country as a whole as they are repeatedly attacked and sought out in conjunction with Horus.

I won't go to far into details, but I must insist that you go out and pick this one up. I read, and then reread the entire run in the space of an afternoon, and all I want is to know when there might be more. I'd love to see a series about this team set up with how they came about and the fight they took on originally. Even if only done in another limited series. There is definitely an audience for it.

The book has been optioned for a movie, but no new news on when it may come out since late 2009.