Friday, June 17, 2011

John Carter No Longer Of Mars

Here's the not so great first poster for Disney's upcoming film John Carter formally titled John Carter of Mars.  I suppose that after the Mars Needs Moms debacle, Disney marketers felt nervous about how to sell another Mars related movie.  Yet it seems that no one told the poster designers that the title had changed since there's a great big M at the bottom of the image.  Another problem with this poster (as far as I'm concerned) is that when your leading man looks like this:
My Vagina is Crying Right Now...
then you're making a massive error by not displaying Taylor Kitsch's obvious attributes front, center and as gratuitously as possible.  Yes, I realize that it's a Disney movie and they're not big on the selling with sex angle but I'm pretty sure that this isn't going to be a G rated movie and I'm expecting shirtlessness for at least 90% of this movie because in the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter didn't even wear pants...
And Another Thing, Ummm...What Was I Talking About Again?
Oh yeah, the movie.  It also stars Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong, Bryan Cranston and human doorstop Lynn Collins.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oi! John Constantine: Hellblazer Will Not Reboot In September!

Despite the return of Vertigo Comics longest running ongoing title (and apparently, the longest running uninterrupted title in comic history) to the DC Universe, Hellblazer won't be rebooting from issue #1 in September.  As a long time fan who has bought ever single issue of Hellblazer since it was first published in January of 1988 I'm glad to hear it but I'm not sure what to make of DC's new series in which Constantine will become part of a team, Justice League Dark:
The rest of the league will include the characters of Deadman, Shade the Changing Man, Madame Xanadu and what looks like Zatanna but what I'm wondering is how they are going to intergrate a character like Constantine, who is, at many times, a total asshole who doesn't play well with the other kids.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hey DC Comics! What's Going On With the Super Knees?

Why On Earth Would  Superman's New Costume Need Knee Pads...

And Yet Supergirl's New Boots Don't Have Any Knees At All?

These are the covers for the Superman & Supergirl reboots and that is some seriously dumbass costume design going on there.  At least Superman's got some action going on in his cover and is actually doing something as opposed to just lazily floating around in space and trying to look cute.  Seriously, that Supergirl cover is a mind numbingly dull concept and I wouldn't be the least bit interested in even thumbing through the book if I saw it on the shelf.  Covers are supposed to be the promise of an exciting tale inside, not of posing like you're struting down a red carpet!  Yawn...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

McFarlane Toys Walking Dead Action Figures Actually Articulate!

McFarlane Toys has recently unveiled their upcoming Walking Dead line and surprisingly, it looks like these figures will actually have some points of articulation.  Pictured here is Michonne: the sword swinging, Governor hacking, mega-bad ass biatch who will not hesitate to cut off your fap hand if you make the mistake of fucking with her.  I haven't bothered to post any images of the other figures because I really just don't give a damn about them.  It goes without saying that she's my favourite character in the series and if she doesn't show up on the AMC series, I will stop spending any time watching that show...period!
Who Wouldn't Want to Watch This Every Week?
 As a black woman (don't let my pasty profile photo fool you) I lament the dearth of black female characters in comic books, both super powered and non-super powered. I know there's more than the characters I'm about to list, but only these few came off the top of my head and it should be noted that none of them have their own ongoing series:
Storm: Marvel Universe

Vixen: DC Universe

Amanda Waller: DC Universe

Martha Washington: Dark Horse Comics
 Martha Washington is my favourite of this lot. She was created by comic book bigshot Frank Miller and was featured in six story lines/miniseries starting with Give Me Liberty and ending with Martha Washington Dies and for a black female character, that's a hell of a lot to have.  Martha was a ghetto born misfit who defied her environment to join the army and becomes a world saving, sword swinging, Surgeon General hacking, mega-bad ass biatch who will not hesitate to cut off your fap hand if you make the mistake of fucking with her. 
I spelled "where" wrong!  Oopsie!

Well maybe I have a little thing for bad ass black women hacking off fascist fap hands!  Anyways, here's my two cents of artwork to go towards black girls in comics, this is a detail from a larger piece I created as a gift for my cousin:
Yeah, I Know She Has Dreads.  Artistic License, Man!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yet Another Wonder Woman Reboot...

But if this will be the artwork on a regular basis, I can live with it. Her previous reboot lasted how long?  Just over a year I believe and yes, I realize that DC comics is rebooting everyone (but does that include John Constantine: Hellblazer?) but frankly, I'm this close to changing the name of this blog to Wonder Woman Complain-a-thon if they keep changing things as often as I change my nail polish.  And I change my nail polish a lot!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I Liked Thor!

Superheroes!  They’re literally falling from the skies these days!  
Hey Babe! Did It Hurt When You Fell From Heaven?
My sister and I went to see the latest Marvel superhero film Thor.   He’s never been a character I’m that familiar with since I’m a DC girl at heart but since I’m expecting that the demand for Superhero films may wane soon just because of the recent hero glut in the market, I sort of want to see most of them before they fall out of vogue.  But one thing helped to catch my interest is that Thor looks like this:
My male cousin asked me what I thought of this movie while we were watching its trailer a few weeks back and the first thing that came out of my mouth was “He’s a hot piece!  That’s what I think!”  Even though usually, blue eyed blonds are not my thing...Damn!  You’ll need a ladder to get on top of that!

But putting my bunched up panties aside, the other thing I thought was that I still hadn’t forgiven director Kenneth Branagh for 1994’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which would easily be in my top 10 worst movies of all time (if I had ever bothered to make such a list) so I was not really excited when he was hired. If I had to sum up Branagh’s work in one word, it would be inconsistent.  Well, all is forgiven because Thor turned out to be pretty good!

I liked that the filmmakers took a chance in making Thor a less than likeable character with a lot to learn about being a leader.  In the first half of the film, he’s an egotistical jackass so full of himself that he spends the early part of the film bragging, fighting and not listening to anything anyone has to say because he’s Thor and he’s got the hammer. 
And Two Tickets to the Gun Show...
Displaying a personality trait typical of the Y Generation, Thor's sense of entitlement is as massive as he is.  Fully expecting that he’s going to be King of Asgard soon, he just does whatever he wants, regardless of the consequences or anyone else’s feelings and just shows up on the Frost Giants doorstep (The Asgardian mortal enemies) to kick some icy ass, despite the fact that the actual King told him not to. I almost cheered when Odin kicked Thor to the curb for essentially being a spoiled brat and reducing him to a powerless hobo who’s nearly overwhelmed by his new surroundings where people think he's crazy:
The Mighty Thor Has No Need of This Lithium of Which You Speak!
But to my surprise, I actually found myself on Team Loki. I understand how Thor’s little brother and nemesis would be considered as being Machiavellian but at least his deceptions take time to be revealed in comparison to Thor’s me, me, me, in your face attitude.  Thor’s disrespect towards his father’s peace keeping efforts and outright rebellion are just as bad as Loki’s trickery.  

 I’m far from an expert on Niccolò Machiavelli’s work but Thor is a rightful Prince (by birth) and as such his friends follow him because that’s what’s expected of them. Loki doesn’t have this kind of advantage and because of this, he has to establish himself as ruler by defiance of custom or more bluntly, by being one sneaky motherfucker!
And Deliverer of Cuteye!
What really helps the film is how the filmmakers avoided portraying Loki as moustache twirler and depicted him as a man with real internal pain at having to stand in Thor’s big ass shadow despite his own efforts at trying to maintain Odin’s sense of propriety.   
Everybody Hurts...
Loki gets no reward (or even much of a reaction) from Odin for trying to reign in Thor’s impulsiveness and at different points during the film, both brothers find themselves as princes without kingdoms: Thor is banished and impotent on Earth (he can’t use his Hammer!) 
And by Hammer, I Mean His Penis.
and Loki finds himself a victim of deception with no real sense of place. 
Unless That Place Is in This Dude's Wake!
I really liked was the actor playing Loki.  I had never heard of Tom Hiddleston before and now I want to see everything he’s ever been in. If he’s this good this good in his other roles, he’s going to give Jeremy Renner a run for his money as my favourite actor and I love me some Jeremy Renner but look at this guy’s face...
He's Trying to Make Off With My MAC G3!
I also liked a lot of the little things that characters did like Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster giddy giggling when Thor would court her:
You May Swoon as Mighty Thor Returns to Asgard!
Any scene involving Thor being tased, run over, hospitalized or stuck with needles:

But mostly, this awesome hat! 

If Loki ever wants to take a bride, I have a suggestion:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Insidious: Things That Go Bump In the Light

I’ve seen a lot of horror movies.  Hundreds of them actually, I’ll watch most horror movies even when I know they won’t be scary (because at the very least, it might be unintentionally funny) and I can absolutely say that I have been legitimately scared by 8, maybe 10 films in my entire life.  I don’t get frightened by vampires & werewolves (who does these days).  Slasher movies always seem to follow the same pacing and repeatedly kill the same kinds of people over and over to the point that some viewers seem to enjoy the predictability. The haunted house subgenre lost a lot of its impact thanks to the overuse of CGI that demanded that the viewer a good, long look at the thing that goes bump in the night because the special effect shots cost millions of dollars. 

That This Cost Millions of $$$ is Horrifying!
 An abundance of gore invokes disgust for me but never does it create a sensation of approaching dread that makes your stomach feel shrunken and cold inside. To very loosely paraphrase author Stephen King:  not knowing what is behind a closed door is more terrifying than actually opening the door, because what you see in your imagination is worse than what a film maker can create.  In short, the suggestion of the unknown gives you the creeps.

The last film that gave me the creeps was Kairo, a 2001 Japanese film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (which was remade, poorly, for North American audiences in 2006). It was one of the lesser known and slower moving of the j-horror films that were so popular in the 00’s but it kept me up at night, surprisingly, by opening the aforementioned closed door and showing us what was behind it.  At first, you’re struck by the commonness of the surroundings until she appears: 

It took me nearly two weeks to watch that scene to the end.  Yes, that’s right, two weeks in the daylight and I haven’t watched that scene since. I looked over my shoulder just linking that damn clip. Now, I’m pretty sure someone has stumbled across this blog looking for pictures of Grace Park in a bikini and is thinking “That’s not scary”.  To you I say, get the hell off my blog right now.  What makes this scene so unwatchable is how it doesn’t meet your expectations.  You expect a monster, a jump cut with a screeching noise or a headless torso when the door opens, but what’s actually seen is quite banal: a woman walking down a hallway. It’s only as she gets closer to you that you realize that something is wrong, really wrong.  I couldn’t count how many nightmares I had where I found myself running from some nameless thing only to find I couldn’t get away since time itself seemed to have stopped and every step away from unending fear took a lifetime to complete, just like this scene.

Insidious found a way to tap into my nightmares as Kairo did: by tapping into my nightmares. I’m a lifelong sleepwalker and I also suffer from night terrors: a sleep disorder in which the sufferer experiences extreme terror and the temporary inability to regain consciousness. When I have a night terror, I think I’m wide awake but I’m not.  I have tried to break out of my home and jump out of a second story window while experiencing night terrors.  During one of my most memorable episodes with this disorder, I saw a man with pitch black skin, a blood red face and filthy yellow eyes crawl out from underneath my bed and then he screamed right in my face.  I was so terrified; I jumped out of  my bed and ran right into my 4 shelf bookcase.  That woke me up.  It happened over 10 years ago but I still remember it as if it happened yesterday.  So you could imagine what my reaction was when this happened:
My Dream Man...And Patrick Wilson
After nearly bolting from the theatre convinced that he had finally come to claim my immortal soul, I was proud of Red Face Guy for working his way up from just horrifying me to causing millions of other people to crap their pants too.  What got me about this scene wasn’t just the physical resemblance to my old nightmare man but the similarly mundane setting.  In my nightmare, I thought it was morning, the sun was shining in my room and I thought ever thing was normal.  Then I rolled over and BAM! Right into the bookcase! In Insidious, the characters are merely sitting at a kitchen table during the day and recounting past events when that thing starts leering over Patrick Wilson’s shoulder. Maybe there is a collective subconscious after all.  It’s unexpected and effective to show the thing that goes bump in the light and much of the film’s better scares occur during the day, over in a corner so that one may not even notice something is off.

Insidious isn’t a perfect horror film, but it’s a pretty good one that was much better than I expected it to be. What makes it even more notable is that Insidious was made for around $800,000, a mere fraction of what Mars Needs Moms cost and will most likely end up out grossing that costly failure by its second weekend.  I bet that thought makes movie producers wake up screaming...