Thursday, January 06, 2005

Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta

It's been a while since I read V, but it really is one of comic scribe Alan Moore's most interesting comics.

Past Alan Moore adaptations have mostly missed the boat as to why the comics worked. From Hell managed to go from being a colossal character driven conspiracy and period-piece to a workmanlike serial killer "whodunit". And try as I might, I can't get past the awfulness of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as a movie. My dislike of the movie goes well beyond the distaste of the adaptation. I just think it's a bad movie.

While I think the timing would have been better two years ago for a V for Vendetta movie, it's really never too late. And while I am a bit confused why they aren't going for an all brit cast for the movie, I think the Wachowski brothers will probably be willing to put the necessary time and effort into the script and process in order to create a decent adaptation. The problem will be when the studio realizes they're making a movie supporting anarchy.

And how to cast a character who never, ever shows his/her face? I dunno.

Anyway, if all goes well, we'll all be blowing up Parliament in 2006.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Top Ten Things Which Were Supposed to be Important but failed to ping on my personal radar in 2004

I'm not saying I didn't notice these items at all, but these seemed to be items of some importance to people in the press and media in 2004. For good or for ill, The League sort of shrugged its chubby shoulders and said, "eh"...

10) Mike Nichols' "Closer"
9) Lindsay Lohann (I still have no idea who she is, but her father keeps landing in the pokey)
8) Boston Winning the World Series
7) NASCAR dads
6) The Apprentice
5) Music in general
4) The mounting mine field of dog poop in my back yard
3) Red states and blue states (I didn't know which was which until right up to the election)
2) the pain and suffering of others
1) bloggers

and a special honorable mention goes to ABC's Desperate Housewives, which I predict will be cancelled by the end of it's 2nd season once the novelty wears off.

I guess the question now is, what got a lot of hoopla but was unimportant to Loyal Leaguers in 2004?
Los libros cómicos pueden ser útiles

And you guys thought comics had nothing to offer!

Ah, hell... this is Arizona. These people don't know how lucky they were.

Utah fans get TASERED!!!!

In Texas, they execute as many folks as they can strap into the electric chair. But here in Arizona, the policy was just to kill them so they didn't need to mess with an expensive trial and all that justice broo-haha.

A while back they introduced the Taser to cops, and, damn... do they ever love tazing people. Somebody is always getting tasered. It's great fun.
Before I forget, Steven "Gee..." Harms has taken my irritation of McDonald's advertising and taken it up an RTF Criticism of Mass Media notch. I think it makes for an interesting read, and not just because I get a mad shout out.

Steven discusses a different McDonald's commercial, and it's aired for two or three weeks, so you've most likely seen it. I know I have.

Anyway, read some Steven "Gee..." Harms.

Madi H. might want to check this one out as she also plunged into the swirling depths of McDonald's advertising and racial stereotyping.
Frank Miller doing Batman & Robin for DC Comics... with pencils by Jim Lee. Brain. Melting.....

When DC makes an official announcement regarding the release and launch date of DC All-Stars, I'll post. This, Loyal Leaguers, is when you want to be thinking about picking up DC Comics.

The other folks involved include Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely on All-Star Superman.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Here's an interesting look at Superman's Pal: Jimmy Olsen

Thanks to Shoemaker, The League's Pal who is also always getting himself into scrapes.
Eisner dead at 87.

Will Eisner, one of American comics' greatest creators, is dead at the age of 87. Eisner is one of the great innovators in the medium of graphic storytelling, transforming both the style and substance of the American comic book in his career spanning the last 70 years.

Eisner's most famous creation was, no doubt, The Saint. His later work was both personal and universal, relating tales of life in depression-era New York.

His influence is so widely recognized that DC Comics maintains a completely separate imprint for Eisner's work under "The Eisner Library", and the most prestigious awards in comics are called "The Eisners".

I invite you read the full biography of Eisner at Newsarama.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Top 10

So, 2004 ended a few days ago. Where the hell are the Top 10 of 2004 lists? Seriously! Last year it was blog after blog Top 10'ing something.

So, here are the League's Top 10 of 2004 in no particular context.

10) New pants
9) Jim Lee on Superman
8) SpaceShip One
7) Spider-Man 2
6) The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
5) Jeff the Cat
4) Loyal Leaguers
3) Justice League Unlimited
2) Melbotis
1) Jamie

We welcome Mel's new friend to League HQ. This is is Mel's new friend, Bananas. Bananas is a toy given to Mel for Christmas by Jamie's folks.

Bananas is a yellow monkey. He is outfitted with a noisemaker inside. When he is squeezed, he goes "EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!"

It is very charming.

Mel loves to squeeze Bananas. This means that Bananas often gets to make noises.

Here is another picture Mel with Bananas.

Mel's great love of Bananas will pretty much doom the little monkey. Mel's last friend, Boo-Boo, now exists as two separate blue shreds Mel carries around the house.

Let us enjoy Bananas while we all can.

The latest death toll accorded to the tsunami is at 155,000. The number is absolutely staggering and I am certain it will rise in the days and months ahead as victims fall ill and some no longer have the strength to hang on. This is not to mention the years of rebuilding and social upheaval which will almost surely take place in the wake of the event, nor the economic issues and issues with rebuilding.

A planet away and shielded from the disaster, it's impossible to take it all in.

I was working on Wednesday with a pair of student workers who happen to be from India and happen to be siblings. I asked the older one, the sister, if any of her family was near any of the areas hit. She assured me they were not, and that her family was fine. Her brother (the baby of the family, I have come to believe) looked at me.

"What are you talking about?"
"Who died?" he asked.
"You really don't know..?"
"Know what?"
I looked at Surbhi, trying to figure out what I should say. She looked spooked, scared.
"How does he not know?" I asked.
"I don't know." And please, she didn't have to say, don't tell him.
For good or for ill, our coversation was broken up at that moment as someone else walked intot he room, but I still couldn't figure out why he didn't know, and why he wasn't supposed to know. It had been four days.

"So," my friend said to me on the phone today. He was driving back from a family cabin in New Mexico, having been out of cell phone range, having no TV, no link to the outside world. "I got here Sunday and they were saying 12,000 people."
"No," I said. "It's way worse than that."
"What is it-"
"The count was 140,000 last I checked."

And the funny thing is the way the press has been so damn slow to deal with the whole mess. The sketchiness of details is almost understandable given that communication and roads are severely damaged. But you have to guess that virtually every non-US news organization was better equipped to handle the events than US news outlets. If its not a Hollywood report or taking dictation from a press office, US journalists tend to get a bit weak in the knees. And given the US's usual level of interest in matters outside our borders (not to mention utter ignorance of geography and history, myself included) our news outlets tend to reflect that mode of thinking.

So a few days after the tsunami (which they weren't covering in great detail the first day out, if you recall...) CNN had up a big feature on a swim suit model and how this mess had affected her. "Bring it home," goes the mantra, "in a way people can understand." So use that Hollywood reporting/ morning show blather and somehow try to piece together a news story because we've forgotten how to collect facts and report them. And Americans have shown again and again how they don't liek to see poor people from overseas.

It took a few days, but they got their act together. The reporters in the field are using their "very important reporter" voice, but at least they seem to be trying. Although I've seen conflicting reports and details still seem sketchy, the local and the American press quit trying to find someone locally who has been affected by the tsunami. They seem to be trying to say "who, what, where, when and why" without trying to find something funny to say at the end of the report.

I remember that on September 12th, 2001. Stuck in a Las Vegas hotel room, watching Peter Jennings finally take a break and giving over the reigns to the local boys for what seemed to be the first time in 24 hours... and learning how the September 11th (not yet dubbed September 11th... no name yet for the horror then) was reverberating across America's Playground. But then, you were kind of left knowing goddamned nothing else was going to seem to matter a lot, so you were going to need to find a local angle on this atrocity, so it was probably best to dump the piece on the cat show.

So maybe tomorrow and the next day will be better. I certainly hope so. I hope that we don't lose interest completely in the next week. Our $35 million is only going to take us so far.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Saw Scorcese's latest flick, The Aviator. Pretty good movie. Luckily for us the audience was there to help us out, because otherwise we might have misinterpreted the movie. See, I thought it was a movie about a guy struggling with mental illness and still achieving great feats in the field of aviation.

Nope. It's a movie about how crazy people are funny! Thank you, Glibert WTC audience. You are there to help me. Oh, and it's totally appropriate to bring your very young children to a Scorcese movie. Especially a 3 hour drama. I must remember to do this.

Honestly, this has become a pretty major part of why I only go see action movies and comedies in the theater anymore. Either the action movies are loud enough to cover the sounds around me, or else straightforward enough that the audience can follow the plot. Same with comedies. That, and the fact that I can hear the music and explosions from the adjacent theater during any quiet scenes in dramas.

Ah, well. That's what the magic of home video is all about, I guess.

On the plus side, they did show the trailer for Frank Miller's Sin City, and, damn, if that didn't look exactly like a Frank Miller comic brought to life. Looking forward to that one.

They also showed a teaser trailer for Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. No idea if it will be any good. All I know is that I was the only person who laughed out loud in the theater when the words "Don't Panic" appeared on the screen. I am such a nerd.