Sunday, May 23, 2010

LOST Finale, Warm up

Tonight it all ends. I plan to write a “Post Game” review but for now, some thoughts. Our own Tracie has pointed out before on Twitter, that she gets chills each time she sees the LOST Finale promo on television, amplified by the background music from the Doors, “The End”. This is the end… In all cheeziness, in all sincerity, I’m totally going to miss this show. The ending is going to be a true event, but the ride was a relationship forged over 6 seasons, hundreds of episodes, and a cast that I felt like I knew better than any other show before.

First off, How I got into LOST? I caught 2 random episodes from the first season. I had seen the commercials of Charlie saying, “Where are we?” But I was sure this was going to be an expensive modern telling of Gilligan’s Island. It was about Walt and his father Michael, but it was so out of context, I never watched another episode that season. Until, The following Christmas, my wife saw LOST Season 1 DVDs on sale and over 3 nights, I caught up in time to catch up on Season 2. Since then I have only missed one episode. (Jacks tattoo episode from season three, which I have since watched) Otherwise, I have seen each episode in order and on the day it came out. No DVR, No VHS, No Hulu. It became that engulfing.

LOST was also special to me, because it was the first “geeky” thing that my wife truly enjoyed, that we could share. Most of the time, she would tolerate my nerd movies, television, and cartoons. Smallville was interesting to her, but she started to be annoyed by it, long before I was. LOST was the first time her and I had to do something together, that was a long term commitment. Her and I would talk after each episode, and speculate “What the hell was going on?” or “Who was going to die?” It really turned into “Our thing”. Tonight, we’ve been invited to 2 LOST parties, but we’ve had to decline both. We want to watch this one the way we’ve each one, together. (Shut up, I know its cheezy!)

Ok, lastly… Stop the LOST hate. I’m serious when I say this. LOST has been such a fun ride, when turn on it now that its ending? I think many feel entitled that their answer didn’t get fulfilled in the way they wanted, or maybe the strings aren’t as tied up as they’d like. I kind of understand. I look at it this way. There are somethings that I have to know and there are some things I’d like to know. I don’t think this was the writer’s design from the very beginning. In fact I know for fact it wasn’t The DVD commentary said Jack was suppose to die in Episode one, and Kate was going to be the focus originally. But the story evolved. It took a live of its own. And I don’t feel like the answers have been rushed or put in, just because they fit. With each piece that’s been revealed, the story has become richer and it makes me want to know more. In the beginning, the Lost writers did lay out some crumbs… If anything, we should commend the writers. for following their own crumbs left 6 seasons ago, because I feel the wait has paid off. The ride has been worth it. If tonight’s episode was just a dog licking himself for 3 hours, its still a success! This show has kept me riveted for 6 seasons, I’m still happy. What I’m saying people. Sit back, enjoy watching television history. This isn’t the Superbowl of Sci-Fi drama’s, no that comes once a year. This is the Haley’s comet of Sci-Fi Dramas… once in a lifetime.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Defending my position (some spoilers)

I've received a few balks since giving Ironman 2 a grade of "B". Since the whole Comicbook Crossfire crew has seen the movie, I feel its time to elaborate my stand. The original "Ironman" is on my list of top 3 comic book movies of all time. It was intense, full of action, a perfect modern rendition of Tony's origin. Truly a great movie. The cast was spot on, and the movie left me wanting more. Ironman is a close 2nd to Dark Knight and followed by Spider-man 2 as the reigning comic flick royalty.

Ironman 2 is the first sequel made by Marvel Studios and it picks up where the previous movie left off, but seems slow to explain who the "villains" is and ramp up any true action. We are in Russia and watching a man die, and then his son (played frightenly well by Mickey Rourke) begins to build his own Ironman. Immediately I feel like didn't we have this already? If you take the rich, entrepreneur character Justin Hammer, that Sam Rockwell played and combined him with "Whiplash" you have Obadiah Stane, the same villains from Ironman1. I was really hoping for something of a greater and more diverse threat. I know, its Ironman, he takes on technology villains. But Whiplash could easily been replaced by Iron Monger. (Since having written this, I've done some research on who Hammer is, and my opinion is a little bit softer, but why not go with a villain like Mandarin or a villain that might help set up the Avenger movie? Someone backed by Hydra or something?)

Also I was really, really disappointed with the "goofy" feel that Sameul L. Jackson used to make Nick Fury. Why did his personality change from the original? In the first movie, when he came out of the shadow, he was scary and serious. Very harsh and militant. In Ironman2, he was too light at the diner with Black Widow sitting next to him. I kept waiting for him to order a "royal with cheese". Why did they evolve him in that direction? Mace Windu was more intimidating.

Lastly, the lack of alcoholism from Tony Stark bugs me. Really, this has been a defining role of Tony's and I'm disappointed it wasn't incorporated more. This is minor, and I understand this is, in many ways, a kid’s movie too. And we can't have Hang over Ironman action figures with real vomiting action. Also I know you can't wrap up alcoholism in a 2 hour movie and be "okay" by the end of it. So I guess this doesn't bother me as much as I thought.

I know I'm being critical, but Ironman 1 set the bar so high, this falls a bit short.

Let me be fair, and go into what I loved about this movie. I have no complaints about the acting, with the exception of how Nick Fury was written. Tony Stark is a womanizer, a genius, a playboy, and ultimately… a hero. Within moments of his appearance in the film, I truly stop seeing Robert Downey Jr., the actor and all I see is Tony. He embodies exactly what I want brought to life before my eyes. The wit, the thought processes, the ego. Perfect. Also, the addition of Don Cheadle as "Rhodie", works well. Scarlett Johansson made an awesome Black Widow. And Gwyneth Paltrow was made to play the ego deflating, Pepper Potts.

I really like that the American government went after Stark to get his technology. That is something that would happen in real life, if this private citizen made this weapon that could take out a country's army. Downey's bravado and temperament towards the questioning was hilarious and very in character for Stark. Felt lifted right from the source.

I was impressed by the "Ironman Suitcase" armor. That’s something I've wanted to see. How on earth does Tony keep that suit in a brief case, but they did it. Tony's sky dive from the plane into the "Stark Expo" was awesome, even if it lacked the commercial "You complete me" line to Pepper. As he landed in the Expo, I just needed to hear James Brown's Living in America, to complete the package.

The humor was great. The banter between Pepper Potts and Tony was so funny and spot on. You kept waiting for her to just punch Tony in the gut or just kiss him. Paltrow is such a great actress. Also Gary Shandling as the "opposed" Senator was so funny. I loved his role and how he comes full circle at the end to have to award a metal to Tony. They little missile bouncing off Whiplash was hilarious too!

And let me not forget the “Geek out” moments, because there were a few. War Machine looked bad ass. The big fight between Rhodie and Tony was awesome. I loved them tearing up the mansion and beating each other. Seeing the "Shield" of Captain America used as balance, cracked me up. Also having Tony rejected as an Avenger… whoa. What’s that mean? We all know, Tony will be an Avenger, but what do they have in mind? The Avenger's movie is picking up steam. And the big Easter egg after the credits… "WOW"! Wow. The camera pan, the huge crater, and then Mjöllnir is there, in all its glory. Yes, bring on Thor! It’s funny, because, it wasn't a long seen. Just a flash and bam you see the hammer and you think… THOR is coming!

Ok, all in all, Ironman is a really good movie. But, like I said, when the first one was near perfection, you want more in a sequel. Is it too much to expect an Empire Strikes back, Spider-man 2, X-men 2, or Dark Knight? If you watch Ironman 1 and 2 back to back… I don't know if you'd have the same critism. But as 2 separate movies, Ironman 1 did it better. I say solid "B". Good movie… go see it!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Monty's IM2 Review (No spoilers)

Excited for Ironman 2!

Hopefully Tonight... I missed the midnight showing... I'm old, I work, and its not a Superman Movie. Cut me some slack. Oh, Monty is at the theatre now watching it... Did I mention, Monty sucks. No, well Monty sucks. BETTER NOT RUIN THE POST CREDIT EASTER EGG! I know where you live.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Free Comic Book Day!!!

So Saturday was great... My nephew has been infected and has the comic bug. (despite being scared and intimidated by the stormtroopers, War machines, and large sweaty comic nerds.) CBXF's very own Tracie was at Krypton, drawing for the masses and producing her usual awesome output! Hopefully she'll put up a pic or two! All in all, I was a little sad that I wasn't on the same side of the desk as Tracie, but lets face it... I'm super rusty. (working on it... working on it)

Well here are some pics of the event. Keep planting the comic seed.