Well, I just got finished watching Disney Pixar's Up. First and foremost, I would like to say, John Lasseter and crew, you sneaky sons-a-bitches, you did it again. As the menu screen slowly burns into my TV, I sit here wiping my eyes (equally from tears of laughter and from other squishy emotions) and pondering what makes a Pixar film so great. I don't want to say that their works are formulaic, but they do have a rhythm and rhyme that is distinctly Pixar.
Most are aware that there is no great story without great conflict. Hamlet, The Divine Comedy, Porky's Two: The Next Day; they all shared this ethos. Pixar has taken spinning tragedy into a wonderful plot to an art form, though. Let's run down a quick list. Toy Story 1 and 2 (soon to be 3) all dealt with loss of some kind. With Monster's Inc., it was a loss of home for poor Boo. A Bug's Life, well, you have me there; maybe going through changes, metamorphosis, and what not. I don't really remember that one well. Touching, but not to say so tragic that one feels the immediacy of the loss. Childhood playthings, the home and friends you grew up with: these are the things that we look back on with nostalgia and ennui. Moving on.
Ahhh, where do I begin? I should start by saying that I was in no way all that excited to see this movie. My first beef was that Cameron had a bit of a dispute over changing the name of his movie, so that it wouldn't be confused with the live action Avatar: The Last Airbender movie. Cameron, of course, got his way; his name stuck, and theirs needed to change. So, already this dude is rubbing me the wrong way. Not only that, but when I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with the Titanic. I had read so many books on the subject, it could make your head spin. But, did I see the movie? Nope. Looked lame to me. I did catch parts of it on TBS sometime this past year or so and wasn't impressed. Terminator 2 was the last flick of his that I enjoyed.
When my Twitter was blowing up about James Cameron's motion picture epic Avatar, I just kind of rolled my eyes and said, "Whatever." I can't be fooled by super amazing CGI. I need story! Why is it that we can't have a visually-brilliant movie with story to back it up? Because the general public doesn't care about story anymore. This is really sad. I get grief for liking the Star Wars prequels sometimes. Fine! I will be a Star Wars geek until the day I die. I hope my friends fulfill my dying wish to be cremated and my ashes scattered across the Tunisia Desert.
Created By Scotty Mullen and Michael Troy
Who is Rocketboy???
Created by Scotty Mullen and Michael Troy, the Rocketboy blog showcases the covers for Rocket - the comic book chronicling the adventures of this mighty muscleman who will load up, ride hard, and blast off into your heart!
A clueless party boy zapped up into a rocketship orbiting the earth, Rocketboy must save the planet from his evil mother, Queen Cherry, while still finding the time to shop, workout, and date.
Take a ride on the Rocketboy Blog here!!!
The Boy Who Loved Magnificent Woman
Story and Art by Michael Troy
Michael Troy offers a short web comic that deals with childhood bullying, inspired by his own youthful obsession with Wonder Woman.
As a little boy I was a huge Wonder Woman fan after falling in love with Lynda Carter. I was definitely made fun of for liking Wonder Woman. I think a lot of little gay boys relate to strong women. My brother introduced me to comic books and I loved the art. It inspired me to start drawing and eventually making comics of my own. I often wondered what kind of Wonder Woman story I would tell. I came up with The Boy Who Loved Magnificent Woman a few years back and wasn't sure what to do with it. After coming out with a few books (Homo-Hero's Big Book of Fun and Adventure and my current project The Blonde Squad), I decided to write and draw TBWLMW, because, creatively, I had to get it out of my system. After completion it sat there for a while and I wasn't sure how to get it to people. With bullying taking a spotlight in the media, I decided to put my story on my blog just to get it out to people. It is a moving, powerful story that I want as many people to see as possible. Eventually, I would either like to expand it into a longer graphic novel or turn it into a film or short cartoon. I think it has a message that many people, especially gay men, can relate to.
The Blonde Squad
Story and Art by Michael Troy
BLONDER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET!
Fledgling comic book publisher Lethally Blonde Productions is proud to announce the release of its flagship title, The Blonde Squad!
The Blonde Squad was created by writer/artist Michael Troy (Rocketboy, Homo-Hero's Big Book of Fun and Adventure, and The Exceptionals). Part comedy, part comic book soap opera drama, The Blonde Squad is a bi-monthly, 24-page, full color comic retailing for $2.99. The Blonde Squad is available for order online through Prism Comics and in comic shops and speciality stores later this year. (1-888-COMICBOOK)
What happens when shallow, blonde super heroes join a super team just to be famous? Nothing good. The Blonde Squad is a feast of pop culture satire that follows the exploits of four ditzy, blonde heroes that mean well. The team consists of resident muscle and eye candy from a different world - "BLONDER MAN," a famous for nothing socialite that can suck the energy out of anything - "DRAIN," "Drain's" closet-case cousin and team speedster - "SPEEDBUMP," and is rounded out by nordic beauty and team psychic - "PSIGHT." Under the wing of their founder and mentor, power publicist to the stars Kandi Kramer, will The Blonde Squad soar to new heights or face the public humiliation that fame an infamy can bring? And, just what secret is the faithful publicist hiding? Is there no such thing as bad publicity or will that be the ultimate downfall of The Blonde Squad?
Visit Michael Troy’s Blog To Get Even Blonder!!!
First, I should say that the act of condensing the (god, I feel stupid using this word) epic comic series into a three-hour movie must have been a daunting one. Nevertheless, Zack Snyder managed it admirably. The action scenes are masterfully done. The acting, with a few exceptions, was great. The attention to detail helped bring the world to life.
The movie hits all the key points of the comic. In fact, it treats the source material with extreme reverence. Now many, if not all, of the reviews that I have seen and heard have treated this as a negative thing. Let me be clear, they are not wrong. For the uninitiated, this rigidity must seem odd. For one thing, the comic was set in a fictional 1985. This is understandable, as it was published in an actual 1986. The movie might have attempted to create an alternate 2009, in order to make it more accessible. There is a real danger in making a movie set more than twenty years ago that is further influenced by events another decade earlier. For many people, especially younger viewers, the references and jokes might be lost. Furthermore, the film cut many of the scenes that help set the stage for much of the later action. This is understandable, as the prospect of an eighteen hour Watchmen might have been a bit intimidating.
Sorry for the slight ruse, Rocky Horror Fans (of which I am one), but this post will not be about a young Susan Sarandon getting it six ways from Sunday by everyone except the dude in the wheel chair. That post may be coming soon though.
No, this post is about that great American institution known far and wide as the Drive-In. These bastions of celluloid hearken back to days-gone-by, when teens would pile into a car, have an orgy during a B-rated horror film, and then go to a malt shoppe - all for under a nickel! Drive-Ins took a big hit in the '80s and '90s with the advent of VCRs and DVD players, but they are making a come back; partly because of the kitsch factor and cheap prices and partly because if you wanna see someone going at it, by themselves or with a partner live, chat roulette is a pale comparison to the Americana that is the drive-in theater.
It’s almost here! Thor opens this Friday, May 6th (Pacific Standard Time) and we, here at Sam’s Wednesday Slog Corporation International, couldn’t be more excited. Over the past two weeks, we’ve looked at Thor, his family, and his enemies, and now it’s time to learn about his Asgardian warrior pals, The Warriors Three! After all, what would a Norse thunder god be without a little bromance in his life? These colorful gents fight alongside Thor and are willing to die in the name of Thor and Asgard! They have journeyed with him to the furthest realms dispatching foes and bravely facing evil for their friend and master!! They are even there for him when he needs to just vent about work or whatever!!!
Fandral, played by Josh Dallas
Fandral the Dashing, as he persistently refers to himself, is a brave swordsman who accompanies Thor on many of his adventures and is one third of the trifecta that is The Warriors Three! Based on the persona of Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, Fandral’s bravery and nobility are matched only by his relentless optimism, whimsy, and super sweet facial hair. No matter what the odds or how many foes Fandral faces, he unfailingly fights fearlessly and never flees (this sentence was brought to you by the letter “F”). His skills with edged weapons are unmatched even when compared to other Asgardians, and Thor refers to him as “the best of us with a blade,” thus explaining the killer facial hair.
So, I am sitting down to write a review of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, and I don't know where to begin. I could start with the script (fairly strong, but not very Doyle-ish) or the acting (almost universally great), but I think I will begin with Ritchie's direction.
From the beginning, the direction was impressive. Ritchie managed to show Holmes' intellect and keen faculties of observation in a unique and economical manner. The audience is occasionally allowed to see Holmes' thought process in the moment, but generally, as with Doyle's stories, the explanation comes later.
One of the things that Ritchie is known for is his too-cool-for-school camera work and flashy editing. Both of these were toned down a lot. In fact, the direction never seemed to upstage the story or characters, which, as far as I can tell, is a first for Ritchie. I should confess that I have only seen Lock Stock, Snatch, and the horrible Revolver. In this movie Ritchie adapting himself admirably to the story he is telling, rather than adapting the story to his style. So overall, high marks for direction.