Saturday, November 30, 2013

Listmas 2013: Eight Crazy Nights - Fourth Candle

My music list last time was way too confusing, so this time I'm going to try and simplify it. The truth of the matter being: my music tastes are just too confusing.

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid!

You know, I wanted to give this its own space because it deserves it. But you know what?

It's a Christmas Story. It turns 30 this month.

We all know it. We've all seen it (if you haven't, what's wrong with you? Either go out and get it or wait until Christmas and turn on TBS where they play it all day). We all love it. Even though it takes place obviously in the late 40s/early 50s, it's pretty much most Americans' childhoods in some form or another.

Honestly, 'nuff said.

What's the Pedulum of Doom Doing There?

I don't get people sometimes.

Many people remember fondly the film "Space Jam", a movie that nearly destroyed the image of the Looney Tunes by making them basically do a two-hour basketball commercial.

Yet when a good director captures the essence of the classic Looney Tunes nearly perfectly, while updating it for the modern age and adding some of the better (though admittedly not quite best) live-action/animation mixing since "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," it not only flops but goes down as a synonym for "bad Looney Tunes picture".

It's not fair.

"Looney Tunes: Back in Action" turns 10 this month.

November Anniversaries

Just to reiterate.

A) I'm doing mostly just movies this round. Next round I'll be more diligent with things like TV shows and Video Games (I'm upset I missed Animaniaces back in September...ah, ten more years, if I last that long).

B) I'm doing mostly movies I've seen or know enough about through popcuktural osmosis. If there's a movie you love that I've left out, shout it out in the comments! However...

C) Wait until the end of the month if you can, since sometimes I do special single anniversary posts, as I will do in just a few minutes.

With that out of the way...

Friday, November 29, 2013

Listmas 2013: Eight Crazy Nights - Third Candle

Stop the presses folks!

My list of Top Star Wars Characters? My Order of Preferred Films? The ones I've referenced in dozens of articles? The things I was set on?

Well, I'm changing them!

That's right! I've changed my mind about how certain things are ordered in these lists! Bet you never expected THAT!


(Originally Written for Jedi News)

One of the more contentious aspects of Revenge of the Sith is the fate of Padmé, specifically her death. Many viewers felt that, especially after the strong woman we’ve seen through Phantom and Clones, her dying after having “lost the will to live” was a major cop-out for her storyline; sweeping her under the rug once Anakin went dark and the twins were born.  I used to feel the same. I’ll admit when I first saw Sith, after spending pretty much the rest of the movie on the edge of my seat, the whole sequence at Polis Massa had me raising my eyebrows. I may have audibly said “Really?!”

"! *ghrrrk*"

Begun, The Clone War Has

Ten years ago, George Lucas and Cartoon Network conspired to tell stories from the fabled Clone Wars, taking place between the recently-released Episode II and the in-production Episode III.

They tapped Genndy Tartakovsky (of "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Samurai Jack" fame) to make a traditionally animated micro-series. The result was simply "Star Wars: Clone Wars."

Now, I'll admit to only having seen bits and pieces of this special over the years, but its lasting legacy is felt. Asajj Ventress, one of the more popular EU characters, made her debut here inspired by rejected concepts of what would become Count Dooku. General Grievous also made an early bird cameo, and became more of a player as events lead up to the Battle of Coruscant. And though I find its CGI spiritual successor a far better show overall, it's obvious that the character designs were greatly inspired by Tartakovsky's (and they work better in traditional animation as well).

Like any expanded universe story, much of it is not quite canon and from what I understand some of it was contradicted in the later series. While this is probably for the best, one must pay homage to this first and pretty decent attempt to tell of this legendary time.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Listmas 2013: Eight Crazy Nights - Second Candle

This is going to be so short I'm not even doing a page break.

I've updated my list of favorite Tolkien characters to reflect characterizations seen in the first installment of Peter Jackson's new Hobbit trilogy, even if they're...err...expanded from Tolkien's original writings.

Top 11 Favorite Characters from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
11. Bofur
10. Bilbo Baggins
9. Treebeard
8. Peregrin "Pippin" Took
7. Grima Wormtongue
6. The Great Goblin
5. Radagast the Brown
4. Saruman the White/Many-Colored
3. Smaug
2. Gandalf the Grey/White
1. Sméagol of the Stoor strain/Gollum

I was going to list the films to date in the order I liked them, but it occurred to me that, as it stands, I like each film better than the last. That is, Unexpected Journey is my favorite so far, followed by Return of the King, followed by Two Towers, followed by Fellowship of the Ring. Hopefully next year's Listmas will see both the remaining parts released, and perhaps them I can do a proper ranking.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Listmas 2013: Eight Crazy Nights - First Candle

One of my more profoundly aspie traits is that I have a great love of lists and listing things. I love seeing the correlative order. It's why I stay until the end of the credits in movies even if I know there's no stinger. It's why I read and/or watch Top [X] Lists even though I hate how arbitrary they can be.

It's why, last year, I made posts on the Twelve Days of Listmas, listing my favorite things by categories.

Funny thing about personal tastes is that they can change based on new information and the growing of a person. Hence I wanted to check back in once a year to do it all over again. At this point, however, I don't have quite enough changes for twelve.

But I can push it to eight.

Thus, with Hanukkah coming early this year (yes I'll still blog my loot, but it'll start a day or two late due to Thanksgiving), I'm revisiting some of my lists over the next week.

First up: Pokémon!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Creating Life

(Originally Written for Jedi News)

When George Lucas first conceived of the Force, he was drawing heavily from eastern philosophy, especially the concept of Chi or Qi. However, he added a bit of a twist: a biological component.

This was for two reasons. The first was that he didn’t want to turn into another L. Ron Hubbard and wanted to head off people trying to make a legitimate Jedi religion by making sure everybody knew he knew those telekinetic feats of the Force were strictly fantasy. Secondly, and perhaps much more importantly, he became fascinated with the idea of mitochondria, how an entire separate species of bacteria not only resides in all eukaryotic cells but is essential to that cell working. Lucas thought, what if in the galaxy far, far away, a strain of mitochondria evolved that allowed people to channel their life force, THE Force, to magical effect?

Lucas would call this strain Midi-Chlorians.

"The reading's off the charts! Over 20,000! Not even 'Twilight' has a hater count that high!"

Saturday, November 2, 2013

You Finally Watched WHO?

Well, about a week ago, after years of everyone on the internet going gaga over it, I finally gave in and decided to give the long-running British TV show "Doctor Who" a chance. With 50+ years of canon and 11+ Doctors, where's the best place to start?

Well, going off of certain beginner's guide sites, I opted to start with the 9th Doctor at the beginning of the 2005 revival series, since that one was meant to bring in new viewers in the first place and it's easier to catch up to the present (at which point I can peruse the best of Doctors 1-8 at my leisure).

This post was meant to be a lot longer, giving my first impressions, but I'm going to hold off on that for now. I will say upfront that I very much enjoy the show and am looking forward to catching up. However, there's a disconnect I'm experiencing, and I want to get a few more seasons (or series, as the new ones are called) under my belt before I go off and talk about it.

These nagging thoughts aside, which will be discussed at a future date, I again must state I am officially a fan. I don't like it quite as much as other things - yet - and it's not one of my favorite shows - yet - but I am enjoying pretty much every minute thusfar.

More to come. If you don't want to wait, there's always the TARDIS...

....*whur whur whur*

Okay, so I wrote this earlier, and I'm coming back to edit that apparently the show turns 50 this month so...Anniversary! Bye now.

*whur whur whur*...

Friday, November 1, 2013

We All Wear Masks....

So for years, I've been dying to dress up as my all-time favorite comic-book character, but nobody sold ready-made costumes and it would be so time-intensive that it was hardly worth it for several years.

Well this year I finally did it. I was the Green Goblin last night for Halloween.