Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Well, the title of this post is quite self-explanatory. It's that time of the year again (and at the mall and several stores it's been that time of the year for the last two freaking months, but hey), and Sunny Jhanna wants to join the celebration. And since all we know how to do is talking about irrelevant issues and posting silly pictures, here you have the best of both worlds combined: an exclusive Happy Halloween greeting card by yours truly, Master of the Useless! (Check out an alternate version here) Anyway, I hope everyone has lots of fun and gets into great costumes (not necessarily their own). And in this time of witches and wizards, remember what that great song from the DiscWorld taught us: a wizard's staff has a knob on the end! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

And The Spiders From Mars

Hay ocasiones en las que me duele inmensamente haber pagado cerca de seis euros por una entrada de cine. Por suerte, no sólo ésta no ha sido una de esas veces, sino que, de entre las pocas películas que he visto últimamente en el cine, Stardust me ha parecido la mejor en lo que va de año. Voy a decirlo bien claramente, así de principio, para que no haya dudas: Stardust mola.

La dirección y guión a cargo del hasta la fecha desconocido para mí Matthew Vaughn (ayudado por una tal Jane Goldman), no podría ser mejor. La película tiene un argumento sólido, aunque a priori parezca muy básico e infantil. ¿Y qué si lo es? Lo que es bueno es bueno, y donde hay calidad, hay calidad.
Los momentos mágicos, sorprendentes, divertidos, e incluso hilarantes se suceden, sin dar tiempo al espectador a coger aire. La película tiene un ritmo endiablado y las dos horas largas de duración se pasan en lo que parece apenas un instante. Te atrapa y no te deja salir. Muchas películas con argumento más solemne no pueden decir eso.

Los actores están inmensos todos, desde Charlie Cox en su papel de Elegido hasta Peter O'Toole y Rupert Everett en sus breves apariciones. Pasando, claro, por las bellísimas a la vez que sobradamente competentes Sienna Miller y Claire Danes. Sobre la narración de Ian McKellen, mucho me temo que no he podido disfrutarla. Las pegas de ver una película doblada.
Para terminar con el elenco de protagonistas, y parafraseando a nuestro querido Finn5fel (a quien nunca agradeceré lo suficiente que me evitara ver el tráiler antes que la película en si) en su personal crítica jhannesca del film: "a Michelle Pfeiffer y Robert de Niro hay que verlos para creerlos, creedme". Amén a eso.

Pero con lo que me quedo de la película, es con la magia que desprende. Esa magia que podemos encontrar en infinidad de películas de nuestra infancia ochentera, desde Willow hasta Los Goonies. No se me ocurre mejor comparación, ni mejor forma de terminar, que diciendo que Stardust es La Princesa Prometida de esta década. Que no es poco.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Organic #11

Bienvenidos una vez más a Organic, nuestro querido y revolucionario webcomic que, lunes tras lunes, amenaza con covertirse en la viñeta más leída en… Sunny Jhanna. Mientras discutían sus planes para acabar con el Malvado Científico, Tomatito oye la típica ramita partiéndose o una piedrecilla rodando y descubre a un espía del tarado experimentador. Ni qué decir tiene, él y Koori se apresuran a perseguir al ladino lagarto. ¿Apresarán al bicho antes de que sea demasiado tarde? ¿Logrará el Hombre Lagarto huir y avisar a sus compinches? ¡Esto es Organic, así que tú decides!

PD: Siento que no haya más criaturas con armas y tal en la caverna, pero tuvimos una huelga de extras y ninguno accedió a ponerse delante de las cámaras, así que tendréis que usar vuestra imaginación.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

October Comic Books II

Yesterday I was home and I was bored, so I thought I'd go to the comic book store and see what I had in my box. It was only three books, but they complement my earlier post.

Witchblade #110
I'm sorry to report this issue was disappointing. The story adds nothing to either Witchblade or First Born, of which this issue is a tie-in. And the horrible artwork by a Steve Sadowski would be better appreciated if seen with the lights off. It's a good think Stjepan Sejic's exclusive run on the book is about to begin.

Madame Mirage #3
An excellent read once again. Secrets are revealed (and I'm glad to say I was right in my suspicions) in a story that is both well written and beautifully illustrated. Both Paul Dini and Kenneth Rocafort knock it out of the park!

X-Men #204
The last issue before the well-publicized crossover Messiah CompleX hits the X-titles next month, this ish is drawn by the awesome Mike Choi, and it looks great. Also, it's heavy on Gambit, which can only be a good thing.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Segundas series

¿Son cosas mías, o es verdad que los creadores de series de éxito no suelen tenerlo con sus segundas creaciones? ¿Estamos ante otro ejemplo del síndrome sophomore slump, o es que la audiencia busca algo específico en dichas series (algo que la primera serie poseía) que no encuentra, y abandona el proyecto inmediatamente? Varios ejemplos, tanto antiguos como recientes, me han llevado a ponderar la cuestión. En orden alfabético tenemos:

Chris Carter: Se hizo de oro con The X-Files, pero su segundo intento, Millennium, duró sólo tres temporadas, más que los 13 episodios de The Lone Gunmen o los 9 de Harsh Realm.

Matt Groening: The Simpsons sigue renovando contrato temporada tras temporada, pero Futurama fue cancelada tras cuatro años en antena. Y sí, es cierto que está a punto de resucitar, pero le ha costado cinco años hacerlo.

Aaron Sorkin: Después de dos temporadas en la hasta ahora desconocida para mí Sports Night, el celebrado creador produjo siete temporadas de The West Wing, pero no duró más que una en su nueva serie, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Una lástima… supongo, pues jamás vi ni una serie ni la otra.

Joss Whedon: Supongo que es discutible llamar a Firefly su segunda serie, pues es en realidad la tercera. Sin embargo, dada la similitud entre Buffy y Angel, y dado que ambas se emitieron simultáneamente, no me parece descabellado considerar la saga espacial como segundo intento creativo. Y así salieron las cosas.

Y seguro que hay muchos otros ejemplos que ahora mismo no se me ocurren. ¿Estoy ignorando creadores de éxito constante como Aaron Spelling, o es verdad que el éxito de tu segunda serie es inversamente proporcional al de la primera? A comentar tocan.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Scarlettless No More

Y es que en febrero se estrena The Other Boleyn Girl, película basada en el libro del mismo nombre escrito por Philippa Gregory. No he leído el libro ni sé de qué va (supongo que podría leer el resumen en Amazon, pero bueno), aunque me imagino que la película tratará la relación entre el rey Enrique VIII (Eric Bana) y las hermanas Bolena, Ana y María (Natalie Portman y mi amada Scarlett Johansson, respectivamente).
No sabía nada de la existencia de la película hasta que vi el poster el viernes pasado, cuando salía de ver 30 Days of Night, pero ahora ya tengo algo que anticipar el 29 de febrero. ¿Chick flick? Probablemente, pero, ¿a quién le importa cuando la protagonista es mi belleza favorita? Go Scarlett!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

De nuevo, Temeraire

Desde que terminé Black Powder War, el tercer y excelente libro de la serie del dragón Temeraire, a principios de año, vuestro bloguero favorito había estado esperando ansioso y casi sin poder dormir la siguiente entrega de la serie. Naomi Novik, la autora de los cuatro libros, se está convirtiendo por méritos propios en una de mis autores favoritos, tan magníficas son sus novelas; y esta cuarta entrega, Empire of Ivory, no desmerece en absoluto.

De regreso en Inglaterra tras luchar contra las tropas napoleónicas en Prusia, Temeraire y su capitán, Laurence, se encuentran con una desastrosa situación en su madre patria que los obliga a viajar a África para tratar de resolver el problema. Como siempre, todos los personajes secundarios que conocimos en los otros libros (tanto los humanos como los dragones) aparecen a lo largo de esta aventura, y es ciertamente satisfactorio ver cómo sus historias personales y las relaciones entre ellos van cambiando y evolucionando.

La historia está plagada de sorpresas y giros inesperados; los personajes son, como ya he dicho, entrañables; y el libro está, como siempre, escrito de manera exquisita. Temas como el honor, la lealtad, y el deber impregnan las acciones de los personajes, y la mezcla de realismo histórico y fantasía es perfecta y absolutamente verosímil. (Una vez aceptas que hay dragones, claro.)

Pese a que ya hablé en su día -y con entusiasmo- de dos de los tres libros anteriores (His Majesty's Dragon y Black Powder War, pues parece que no comenté nada de Throne of Jade), todo lo que diga es poco y no puede hacer justicia a estas entretenidísimas y magistralmente escritas novelas. En la contraportada dice que el quinto libro saldrá en algún momento del año que viene, y después de ver cómo termina este cuarto episodio, la espera va a acabar conmigo. Así que, si estuviera en vuestro lugar, no lo dudaría ni un instante, y saldría para la librería más cercana -o Amazon- para hacerme con estas cuatro joyitas literarias. Un placer del que no os arrepentiréis!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Situación peliaguda

El viernes estrenaron 30 Days of Night, película basada en el comic del mismo título escrito por Steve Niles e ilustrado por Ben Templesmith. La verdad es que nunca he leído el comic, así que no puedo decir si esta versión cinematográfica es fiel a la fuente original o no, pero el mismo Niles ha colaborado en el guión, así que asumo que un cierto grado de fidelidad sí que debe haber.

30 Days of Night transcurre en Barrow, un pueblo situado tan al norte en Alaska que es el enclave americano más al norte del continente. La buena gente de Barrow está acostumbrada no sólo al frío más terrible, sino a otro fenómeno igualmente molesto: los treinta días de oscuridad que tienen una vez al año dada su peculiar situación geográfica. Desgraciadamente para ellos, alguien los ha descubierto este año, y se ha estado afilando los dientes para celebrar la ocasión: un grupo de vampiros salvajes que más que humanos con colmillos son bestias sedientas de sangre que resulta caminan erguidas. Partiendo de esta premisa ya os podéis imaginar el resto: suspense, violencia, brutalidad, y la blanca nieve tiñéndose de rojo víctima tras víctima.

La película está protagonizada por el amigo de Halagan, Josh Hartnett, y la atractivísima Melissa George, y sin ser nada del otro mundo, la verdad es que entretiene y está bien hecha. Originalidad hay más bien poca, pero pese a contar con elementos más que manidos, la película mantiene el ritmo y la buena ambientación y hace del conjunto un rato agradable (excepto para la chica que había sentada detrás de mí, a quien oí decir que le había resultado horrible y aburrida y execrable y otros floridos vituperios).

Las actuaciones son competentes, y el maquillaje de los vampiros es extraordinario, convirtiendo a los actores en verdaderos monstruos macabros. Los personajes, sin embargo, son algo arquetípicos: el sheriff valiente, la chica en peligro, el tipo que se sacrifica por el bien común, y la carne de cañón que se encuentra por doquier.

Las críticas en Rotten Tomatoes son de lo más encontrado: la mitad dice que está muy bien, y la otra mitad dice que es deleznable. Pero qué mejor veredicto que el vuestro propio, ¿no?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October Comic Books

Not that I got many on my last visit to B&M Amusement, mind you, but they were all fun reads.

First Born #2
After a long delay (First Born was supposed to be a summer event), the second issue of the three-ish limited series hits the stands. And once again, the story by Ron Marz is as great as Stjepan Sejic's artwork. Solid characters, awesome dialogue, nail-biting cliffhanger… Can Marz do no wrong?

Iron & the Maiden #3
Francils Manapul's cool artwork dazzles the reader once again, but just as much as the amazing colors. The story is fun too, but nothing to write home about. All in all, a satisfying read.

X-Men #203
Probably the weakest of the lot, but it was still a solid issue. The Blinded by the Light story arc ends here, so I might not continue with the series, even though it seems I'm always coming back for more, especially with the Messiah CompleX crossover looming over our dear mutants. Once again, Humberto Ramos's artwork is cool, but not as good as some (most) of his previous work. I'll be interesting to see how he fares on New X-Men and Runaways. Especially Runaways. Soon...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Organic #10

Bienvenidos una vez más a Organic, el webcomic con más bichos raros por centímetro cuadrado de la red. Tomatito el Encapuchado le ha dejado las cosas claras a Koori, y la intrépida exploradora espacial no tiene más remedio que unirse al grupo de mutantes si quiere preservar su belleza exterior (la interior ya se la conocemos todos). ¿Qué pasará a continuación? ¿Cuán cruenta será la batalla? Como siempre, tú decides!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Halfway Through

You guys already know I bought The X-Files in July, and I've been compulsively watching the show ever since. Well, I recently finished season four, which means I'm almost halfway through the complete series (there are nine seasons). Therefore, I think this is a good time to stop, take a look back at what I've watched so far, and highlight my four favorite episodes from each one of the four seasons. I'll be brief so as to elicit memories if you've seen the episode, but without spoiling too much.

Season 1
The X-Files: Pilot: in which our heroes are introduced.
Eve: Creepy little girls that look the same all over the country. It can't be good!
Tooms: the squeezable killer is back on parole!
The Erlenmeyer Flask: it's a conspiracy, baby!

Season 2
Red Museum: a creepy town with creepy people being creepy.
Die Hand Die Verletzt: Satan-worshipping kids and evil teachers.
Humbug: a town populated by freaks is being decimated by a crawling killer. I love this episode!
Our Town: is chicken all these people are eating?

Season 3
Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose: a psychic foretells Mulder's death... and a lemon pie.
War of the Coprophages: killer cockroaches and a scientist with a killer body named Bambi!
Pusher: a killer that's able to control people's behavior with his mind.
Jose Chung's From Outer Space: a funny, quirky episode with lots of humor, aliens, and a cover-up.

Season 4
Memento Mori: Mulder tries to find a cure for Scully's illness.
Synchrony: People frozen to death with an agent that hasn't been invented yet.
Small Potatoes: kids with tails are born and Luke Skywalker is to blame! Hilarious.
Zero-Sum: Skinner destroying evidence pits him against Mulder. Skinner is such an awesome character!

Only five more seasons to go, so look for the second post in this series in early 2008!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Five Favorites From Futurama Four

I finally got the last season of Futurama, and I spent last weekend watching all eighteen episodes. And you know what? I was pleasantly surprised to find out almost every single one of them was great. I guess I was afraid the last season would have lost steam, but I was (glad to be) wrong. So, while we wait for the new movie coming out next month, here you have my Top Five Favorite Episodes from this great show's fourth season:

The Farnsworth Parabox
Parallel universes contained in boxes: what's there not to love? Plus, alternate versions of our favorite characters, and Fry and Leela are married. Priceless!

The Sting
In this ridiculously moving episode, the Planet Express crew travels to the far reaches of space to get honey from the huge Space Bees, and Fry dies protecting Leela. An amazing, touching episode.

Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles
The Plane Express gang keeps getting younger and younger, and it's up to Professor Farnsworth to find a way to revert the process before they all become fetuses and die!

Bend Her
Bender becomes a fembot to perpetrate a scam and win a bunch of medals at the Olympic Games. But then Calculon falls in love with him, and chaos ensues (not to mention a bunch of jokes about women, mood swings, and being a tramp).

Less Than Hero
Fry and Leela get superpowers and become superheroes along with Bender (who has no powers but is cool). A silly tune, silly costumes, and Leela dressing in layers make this episode and instant classic.

So there you go. Do you agree? You thing I ignored some great episodes such as The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings, Bender Should not be Allowed on TV, Spanish Fry, or Three Hundred Big Boys? Then write a comment and complain about it!

Friday, October 19, 2007

My Super Ex-Girlfriend

I finally read the Ultra: Seven Days comic miniseries, that one Fel has been talking us about for ages now. With Revelations still fresh on my mind, this Luna brothers TPB it was going to have a very hard time trying to live up to my expectations. And I gotta say: I loved it. I loved it from the first to the very last page.

Of course we're not talking here about Ramos's incredible artwork or Leonardo Olea's spectacular colors. We're talking about regular basic drawings that do the job, and that's all. The artwork, by Jon Luna could indeed have been way better, that's for sure. But it does what it has to do, it transmits what it has to transmit, and, more importantly, doesn't hurt in the eyes. So, it's only okay, but, actually, I did't mind that at all.

On regarding the story and the dialogues, we're in a whole other league here. The Luna brothers have created this fictitious world full of superheroes (okay, this is a comic, duh!), with the twist that they're not prosecuted for being different, or frowned upon for destroying some bridge or any other kind of public property from time to time. They are superstars, cannon fodder for the mass media and the tabloid press. The Luna brothers satirize splendidly our actual star system and gossiping culture. And you can't help to laugh hardly with them.

But the greatest thing in this comic are the characters themselves. In a very whedonesque manner, all the characters, major or minor, got a life of their own, and the reader can find himself relating to them pretty easily. Their problems are the problems of everybody. Love, friendship, loneliness... You immediately find yourself caring for the characters, falling for them, turning page after page to find what will happen next to them. The plot is not hard to follow at all, but, although it may seem very simple at first sight, it's a very clever one, and one that's even with a message. You got to admire that, nowadays.

My own message, right here, right now, is also very simple. This is a must read, for all of you who like storytelling and character development. And I'm not talking only about all of you comic readers out there. I'm talking about everyone. Read this comic, cause you're not going to regret it. I promise.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Freaks in Color

Since nobody asked, Freaks United is back… and in color! And hey, it only took me a bit over two hours and fifteen minutes to complete. At least, I was entertained, since I was listening to SModcast (which is how I know exactly how long it took me, hahaha). Anyway, I hope you like this finished version of the most sought-after cover on the Internet (check out the pencils and the inks as well). Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Freaks United

Straight from the pages of fan-favorite webcomic Organic, here you have the cover for Freaks United #1, hitting stores everywhere soon- ish. Anyway, I was just bored and decided to draw this picture (check out the pencil version), which, in my mind, is kind of an homage to that absolutely amazing cover Jim Lee drew for X-Men #11 a long, long, long time ago. So yeah, Koori and her band of brigands throw their lot together and become a team of powerful ugly mutants (and aliens) in search of the Evil Mastermind that left them in this sorry state. Will they succeed on their quest? Will they defeat the evil scientist? Will they be handsome at some point? The answers to all these questions and more you don't even know you have will be answered in this incredible new series by Yours Truly (aka Finn5Fel). So go ahead and reserve your copy of Freaks United #1, cause you wouldn't want to be the only being in the universe who doesn't read it, now would you?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pun Intended

Twenty-four years later, I finally entered the lands of the Discworld, that bizarre world atop four giant elephants which are supported by a colossal (as in universe-sized) turtle called the Great A'Tuin. This was explained to me on the very first pages of The Color of Magic, Terry Pratchett's Discworld series first book. And I then thought it couldn't get weirder...

The Color of Magic is a terrific and delightful reading from beginning to end, and, although I was expecting it to have a lot more LOL moments, it still was a great book to start the saga with.
On it, we get to follow wizard failure and coward success Rincewind as he tours newcomer Twoflower and his weird luggage from Ankh-Morpork all to the edge of the Discworld itself. Fairies, tavern brawlings, giant monsters, plane (and dimensional) trips, high adventure heroes, cosmonauts, a sea troll... and many more weird things can be found on a book that is already a classic on my read books list.

This novel is undoubtedly funny, and as surreal as anything could be. Of course, I like surrealism, and when we're talking about humor, I can't help to love it.
Next stop, The Light Fantastic. I'm already feeling the Rincewind love.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Organic #9

Welcome to this week's panel of Organic, the ongoing webcomic everybody across the Internet loves… to ignore. The Mysterious Hooded Guy explains what's going on, but Koori's reaction is not what he was expecting. Or is it? Will he let her go that easily, or will she have to fight her way out of the cave? And most important of all, could Koori beat that huge mutant tiger? This is Organic, so you decide what happens next!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Jungle Girl

When Frank Cho drew the Shanna miniseries for Marvel a couple of years ago, his artwork blew me (and thousands of other fans) away. I guess the series was quite the success, since there's a new Shanna series out right now, but the great Cho has nothing to do with it. Instead, and in order to get his dose of hotties in fur bikinis stranded in the jungle, the cheeky author created Jungle Girl, which seems to be pretty much that: a scantily-clad hottie in the jungle. However, as soon as I discovered Cho was only plotting and drawing the covers, my interest for the project all but disappeared… until I saw issue #0 online on Newsarama. It's only eight pages, but you can see the artist, Adriano Batista, does share Cho's style and sensibilities. So hey, follow the link and check it out: you sure can't beat the price!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Chrome Dome

After making fun of Vin Diesel somewhere on this blog, I thought I'd give you guys a chance to defend the actor, even though I doubt you'll rush to do so. Actually, I didn't want to give you a chance to defend him, but to have you join me in ridiculing his movies. I'll write a post about it, I told myself. So I got to do a little bit of research… and I was shocked by the results.

It turns out Diesel's only been in fourteen movies (fifteen if you count his voice work in The Iron Giant), and I've only seen four out of those fifteen! That sounds crazy, cause I thought there were way more than just four, but several readings of his resume on IMDB confirm this fact: I've only seen Saving Private Ryan, Pitch Black, The Fast and the Furious, and The Chronicles of Riddick... and I like both Private Ryan and Pitch Black! How's this making fun of him?
TFATF and TCOR were rather horrible, but still that's fifty percent! The answer might be that both SPR and PB aren't really "Vin Diesel movies", but rather movies with Vin Diesel in them (a subtle but important difference), while TFATF and TCOR were Diesel vehicles --no pun intended. It seems most of his movies I just didn't like based on the previews: XxX, A Man Apart (with Julia Lee as the Spa Receptionist!) , and The Pacifier. But two of his three new projects don't look bad at all, at least on paper: Hannibal the Conqueror and Babylon A.D. Then again, they could (and probably will) be awful.

So what do you think? Does Vin Diesel rock your socks, or are his movies as stinky as said foot gear? Don't be shy! Tell us everything you feel we should know! We won't make fun of you… Much.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Yippee-Ki-Yay

La espera fue larga, pero al fin vi La Jungla 4.0 (Live Free or Die Hard) en todo su esplendor pantalla- granderesco. Y no puedo estar más contento de haberlo hecho.

Por supuesto le encuentro pegas a la película, y es sin duda la peor de las, hasta el momento, cuatro entregas de nuestro detective de acción favorito. Pero es muy entretenida, tiene un ritmo colosal, y hay disparos, peleas, persecuciones, coches chocando, helicópteros explotando, cazas volando... todo al servicio de una buena (aunque no excelente) historia. ¿A qué portador del cromosoma Y podría no gustarle semejante mezcla?

Len Wiseman, director de la saga Underworld, hace un buen trabajo detrás de las cámaras, cumpliendo en su labor de parir una secuela más que decente, lo que no suele ser la norma. Por supuesto, no es que yo exija que las secuelas de películas tengan que ser siempre mejor que sus originales, claro. No soy tan inocentemente estúpido. Pero eso no es razón para que cuando se rueda una continuación de una película de éxito, el resultado no alcance unas mínimas cotas de calidad.

Queja formal presentada, prosigo con lo que interesa. Bruce Willis se conoce el papel de McClane al dedillo, y cumple a la perfección, aunque debo reconocer que el de esta película es el McClane menos McClane de las cuatro películas. Quizá tenga algo que ver el hecho de los retoques hechos en el film para recortar el lenguaje ofensivo y así hacerla apta para mayores de 13 años en su paso por la pantalla grande. Desde luego, esta es la película en la que McClane jura menos (de hecho, no recuerdo si llega a hacerlo), y eso se nota. Se queja, sufre, se ríe en las situaciones menos apropiadas... pero no termina de ser el McClane de siempre. Espero sinceramente que nos den una edición en DVD sin los cambios en los diálogos, porque escuchar "yippee-ki-yay" sin su natural continuación, no es plato de gusto.

Justin Long is perfect as McClane's young hacker counterpart, and Maggie Q and Timothy Oliphant are just okay in their roles as baddies of the movie. One problem, though, is that I feel that the bad people are kind of wasted in this movie. They don't have any relevant or even important moments, and their interaction with McClane is, at best, scarce. I mean, what is Die Hard without John McClane walkie-talkieng with the bad guy? Here, he does it, but I couldn't feel the tension. Maybe because I really didn't get to care too much for Oliphant's weak character.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead does a good work portraying McClane's teenage daughter, but unfortunately she has not that much time on-screen. And Kevin Smith's appearance is... well, it seems he was born to play that role. Man, he is funny.

This last Die Hard installment is, all in all, a good movie which is just one point below its predecessors. That, though, doesn't deny the fact that... John McClane kicks ass!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dress Like a Pirate

This is a picture I drew last week. I think it was influenced by Kate Beckinsale's character in Van Helsing (it was on the other day, right before we started our D&D session), and by Missy Peregrym's look at the Reaper panel from the San Diego Comic Con I watched shortly after seeing Beckinsale in the aforementioned movie. Both looks kind of combined in my head, and all of a sudden I had yet another outfit for good ole Dae. I guess I was too lazy though, because I didn't ink it, hahaha. Anyway, I hope you like it!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Says the Dictionary!

The Heartbreak Kid opened last Friday, and I thought I'd go see it and have a good time. I don't know how long it had been since I had seen a movie directed by the Farrelly brothers, but I guess it had been long enough to forget their movies are rated R for a reason. I, of course, don't mind profanity or nudity in my movies, so I wasn't shocked or outraged (and, let's face it, most of the situations in this movie call for profanity). Also, if anybody goes to see a movie by the Farrellys, they have no business being outraged, because they should know what they're getting into.

The Heartbreak Kid is an update of an older movie I've never seen, and I don't know about the original, but this new take is funny as hell. Ben Stiller is the main character, Eddie Cantrow, a guy who, after being single for forty years marries hottie Lila (Malin Akerman). They go on their honeymoon… and it is then that Eddie meets Miranda (Michelle Monaghan), the woman of his dreams. There's just one tiny, almost negligible problem: he's just gotten married!
The story is entertaining, the dialogue is side-splittingly funny, and the acting is spot on. For some reason, I enjoy seeing Ben Stiller suffer, and the way he negotiates his way through his delitcate situation and the tales he spins in this movie are just amazing. Malin Akerman does an incredible job of being obnoxious, and you feel like slapping her most of the time ("Well, if it doesn't pay, I don't think you can call it a job." "Says who?" "Says the dictionary!"). And then Michelle Monaghan (whom I discovered as a blonde in the very humorous Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, even though she apparently was in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, a movie I own) is great as the outgoing cutie vacationing with her family. She's fun, adorable, and ridiculously gorgeous.

I guess you could say THK is a romantic comedy, but I don't think that description does it justice. There is love and romance, granted, but, just like previous Farrely Bros. movies, this is not your basic romantic comedy. It's wild and mischievous and over the top: a Farrelly comedy, in other words. I had a great time watching it, and that's what matters. So go ahead and give it a try. If nothing else, you'll laugh really hard, which is always a good thing.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Revelations (Escalation mix)

I've just read the TPB collecting all 6 issues from the great series Revelations, back from 2005. I've said this I don't know how many the times, and I'll need to stop complaining about it eventually, but for now, it's still true: I'm no comic expert, but I do know what I like.

Revelations, I did like. And very much indeed. I had to force myself to stop reading once and again, because, if not, I would have devoured it in no time. And I wanted it to last.
From Humberto Ramos' amazing artwork to Paul Jenkins' incredibly well-crafted story, everything in it shows how comics, when well done, don't have anything to envy to movies or TV shows as a narrative medium.
Revelations follows the story of Charlie Northern, a skeptic, foulmouthed, chain-smoking british detective who finds himself involved right in the middle of a Vatican mistery plot. Paul Jenkins does an excellent job in giving life to all the characters in the story all through their words and actions, and Ramos top-notches it all with the most beautiful backgrounds and character profiles, very appropiately colored by one Leonardo Olea, I've seen to date. Yes, I haven't seen much, I know. But still.

Anyway, if the story rocks, and the artwork rocks… Revelations is what you get. It just can't get better than this.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Organic #8

Bienvenidos a una nueva entrega de Organic (¡la primera en color!), el webcómic más popular de Sunny Jhanna y Filocómic, ese gran blog dedicado al arte viñetesco (o viñetil). El Misterioso Encapuchado ha llevado a Koori a su caverna secreta, donde el Comité de Bienvenida está listo para recibir a la intrépida aventurera y pedirle ayuda. ¿O acaso quieren cenársela? ¿Puede la sufrida Koori fiarse de esta panda de freaks? ¡Como siempre, tú decides!

Y dado que este post marca nuestro día de posteo consecutivo número 400, he decidido hacer algo especial para todos vosotros, queridos (cuatro o cinco) lectores. Debido a la complejidad de la escena de esta semana, y dado el largo camino entre el lago de los Hombres Lagarto y la caverna del Encapuchado, terminar la viñeta de hoy no ha sido tarea fácil. Así que, para que mejor apreciéis la dificultad de la labor, aquí tenéis unas cuantas tomas falsas que espero sean de vuestro agrado. Enjoy!
Toma falsa 01
Toma falsa 02
Toma falsa 03
Toma falsa 04
Toma falsa 05
Toma falsa 06
Toma falsa 07
Original a tinta

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Turn Off Your Cell Phone

An interesting piece of news. Now you can get a cell phone jammer disguised as a Marlboro pack of cigarettes. At $950, this is an expensive toy, but the little device does jam all cell phones in a 60-foot radius when you turn it on. Wouldn't you love to have one of those when some idiot won't stop messing around with their cell phone at the movies? I, for one, would like that very, very much.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Back From the Future

As we all know by now, Futurama is coming back from cancellation, but the format of the show is going to be slightly different this time around. The new Futurama will consist of four movies (Bender's Big Score, Bender's Game, The Beast with a Billion Backs, and Into the Wild Green Yonder) that will come out on DVD (the first one, Bender's Big Score, hits the shelves on November 27), and that will air on TV as separate episodes. In other words, each movie will be divided into four parts, so that the four movies will actually be sixteen episodes on TV. If you are confused by this, follow this link and hear Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, and Ken Keeler tell you everything about it. Keeler explains how each movie more or less works as four separate episodes, and how each part of the movie might go through slight modifications to become the separate episodes. This conversation happened at last July's San Diego Comic Con (it was the Futurama panel), and a fan quickly asked if the sixteen episodes would be compiled and sold on DVD as the show's fifth season. This would mean that the movies that are released on DVD and the DVD set with the TV version might be different, and David Cohen actually asks if the guy asking the question would be willing to buy both versions (laughter ensues). What does this mean? Will we have two very similar but not exactly identical versions of the story? Were they just joking? I don't know, and there's no definite answer on the panel. However, what you can see there is Billy West, John DiMaggio and Katey Sagal reading an exclusive script live in front of the audience, bringing Fry, Leela, Bender, Dr. Zoidberg and the Professor to life in front of your convinced ears but disbelieving eyes. Absolutely worth it!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Pilot Season: Journeyman

Supongo que no será muy sorprendente que diga que he dejado el mejor para el final. El tercer piloto de los tres que vi la semana pasada -el primero en emitirse pero curiosamente el último que vi- fue sin duda el mejor de los tres. Journeyman no sólo promete ser una serie excelente, sino que el episodio en sí me parecio magnífico.

El planteamiento de esta serie me recuerda, al menos en principio, a la sensacional novela The Time Traveler's Wife, de la que ya hablé aquí hace varios meses, y de la que me acabo de enterar están preparando versión cinematográfica. En Journeyman, Kevin McKidd es Dan Vassar, un hombre que empieza a viajar al pasado involuntariamente y durante espacios de tiempo impredecibles, lo que hace peligrar su trabajo, su cordura, y su matrimonio, especialmente cuando una de las personas con las que se encuentra con regularidad en el pasado es su antigua prometida. Poco a poco, Vassar va descubriendo cuál es el propósito de estos desplazamientos temporales, aunque por qué suceden o por qué tiene que ser él sigue sin estar nada claro. Y no digo más porque no quiero destripar nada.

Journeyman mezcla drama, romance y ciencia ficción de forma magistral, y el episodio piloto me pareció increíblemente satisfactorio, bien escrito, audaz, emotivo y emocionante. Si no fuera por los horribles cortes publicitarios, sin duda seguiría esta serie semanalmente, pero no lo haré. Sin embargo ésta sí es candidata definitiva a su compra inmediata en cuanto salga en DVD. ¡Altamente recomendable!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pilot Season: Reaper

Retomo la serie de posts Pilot Season para hablaros hoy del segundo episodio piloto de los tres que vi la semana pasada, y que ya anticipé aquí en julio. Reaper cuenta la historia de Sam, un perdedor que, al cumplir veintiún años, descubre que sus padres vendieron su alma al diablo antes de que naciera. El día de su cumpleaños, el diablo (Ray Wise) se le aparece y le dice que a partir de ahora debe ser su cazador de almas que se han fugado del infierno, una oferta que el bueno de Sam no puede rechazar.

Junto al vago de Sam (Bret Harrison) tenemos al aún más vago de su amigo Sock (Tyler Labine), que ayuda a Sam en su primera misión. Ambos trabajan en una tienda tipo Walmart junto al interés romántico del protagonista, la maciza Andi, interpretada por Missy Peregrym, a la que vimos con anterioridad en siete episodios de Heroes. (O la vieron quienes siguen la serie, que yo todavía no.)

Dado que Reaper combina humor con slackers con trabajos de pacotilla, tiene bastante sentido que las creadoras de la serie, Tara Butters y Michele Fazekas, se pusieran en contacto con Kevin Smith para que dirigiera el piloto. La temática le venía al director como anillo al dedo, y el episodio es cachondo y dinámico, aunque se nota que Smith no escribió el guión (nadie dice tacos o usa lenguaje… hmmm… llamémoslo pintoresco). Aun así, este primer episodio es divertido y la serie puede estar bien, aunque corre el riesgo de caer en lo formulaico si deciden seguir el típico planteamiento de freak of the week, algo que no sé si harán, pero que no me extrañaría que sucediera.

Al menos, Reaper triunfa sobre Bionic Woman en lo que a personajes se refiere, pues si en BW sólo Sarah Corvis me pareció interesante, en Reaper tanto Sam como Sock son graciosos, y luego tenemos al Diablo, papel en el que Ray Wise se luce de lo lindo. Aun así, es difícil comparar ambas series, pues una es un drama y la otra es comedia.

En resumen, que el episodio piloto no está nada mal, y la cosa promete. Sin embargo, y como ya dije sobre Bionic Woman, soy incapaz de aguantar los cortes publicitarios, así que, de seguir la serie, lo haré en DVD en algún momento del futuro. Y tengo varias series antes que ésta en mi lista de espera.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Reading List: September

I really haven't been reading a lot this month. The main reason, as I anticipated in August's list, is that my summer vacation is over, which pretty much reduces the time I can devote to reading by half. And then there's The X-Files that I keep on watching (I'm a third deep into the fourth season), and Stephen King's The Stand that I'm still reading on the side. Bottom line is, there's only four books this month, none of them too long.

El Lazarillo de Tormes
I had never read this Spanish Literature classic, so I decided to fix that. And the fact that I also had to read it for work purposes had something to do with my choice too...

Pyramids
Terry Pratchett's seventh DiscWorld novel was good but not great. I laughed out loud and enjoyed this Ancient Egypt spoof, but it wasn't as satisfying a read as, say, The Truth or Monstrous Regiment. I still liked it, though.

Napalm & Silly Putty
Written by comedian George Carlin, this book made me laugh so hard I was almost crying. Carlin likes to make people angry by telling them what they don't want to hear, which of course makes him an incredibly entertaining fellow. There are so many quotes I could share with you that I don't really know which one to choose. So, instead, I'll recommend you to just go and buy the book: it's seven bucks at Barnes & Noble, and we're talking hardcover here!

A Spell for Chameleon
It came as a shock that I liked A Spell for Chameleon as much as I did. I've had this book for over three years, and I hadn't read it because the only other book by Piers Anthony that I had read before, Split Infinity, was so awfully bad that I didn't want to have anything to do with the author ever again. And yet ASFC started to call me from the shelf, so I decided to give it a chance… and it blew me away. It is so imaginative, so fast-paced, and so enormously entertaining that I read it in like three days (which is fast for me, mind you). Amazingly enjoyable!

Young Avengers: Sidekicks
This book was actually way more fun than I had anticipated. The script by Allan Heinberg is dynamic and very entertaining, and the artwork by Jim Cheung is very good.

Young Avengers: Family Matters
However, the second volume of the series is not as good. While it was still fun and surprising, it felt like many other comics I've read through the years, so the tale felt a bit stale. In addition to that, the first two issues are not drawn by Cheung, but by one of those fill-in pencillers that I don't appreciate very much. And to add insult to injury, they included a Young Avengers Special that was just horribly, horribly illustrated.
PS: Por cierto, éste es nuestro post número 500! Go us!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Hombres lobo


Bueno para que el Finn se haga una idea de los hombres lobo que quiero que salgan en la serie he pintado estos bichejos, que ya hacia mucho tiempo que no subia nada.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Organic #7

Bienvenidos a la séptima entrega de Organic, el webcomic semanal más famoso de toda Jhanna. Parece que las cosas no han mejorado mucho para Koori, que está probando ser un auténtico imán para contratiempos de todo tipo. ¿Quién es el misterioso enmascarado? ¿Dónde se lleva a Koori? ¿Cuáles son sus intenciones? ¿Cómo narices escapará nuestra intrépida heroína? Esto es Organic, así que tú decides!