Friday, January 28, 2005

Hodgerton McPodgery

"Oh Bill," say the ladies (and some of the more flamboyant chaps), "you're so zany and irreverent!" Ahh, how true you are, ladies. But you missed the part where I'm socially relevant and just damn incredibly sexy. ...maybe not that last one, but I'm sure I can improve with copious amounts of plastic surgery. Yes. Copious amounts. I bet you're excited now.
Anyhoo, this episode of our irregularly-scheduled program is, as the name implies, both wacky and a mix of miscellany. We'll have the usual raves, reviews, and ramblings and all that other swill I keep feeding my imaginary audience. You know, the usual.

Starting off, I'll mention that I just purchased the film Shaun of the Dead, though I purchased it used, and I haven't put it in the machine yet, so God knows if it actually works. I rented this a few weeks back and thought it was just like me: zany, irreverent, and oh-so damn incredibly sexy, or would be with copious amounts of plastic surgery. And this makes sense, as it is a romantic zombie comedy that is written by, directed by, and starring some comics/movies/video game geeks who say "bollocks" a lot. I'm sure I'd get along great with these chaps. And yes, it's bloody (and bloody great) film. You won't even mind the gore and strong language because it's all in good fun and everyone's got a British accent. I give it a 9/10. It makes an excellent addition to my growing collection of horror comedies. It's right up there with the Evil Deads and Bubba Ho-Tep and the like. (By the by: Best line in the film? This one's a toughie, but I'll give it to "Oh, he's got an arm off!")

Mental note: Buy the Sky Captain DVD.

It's also a good time to read comics. Picked up nine books from the shop the other day, considering I'd been MIA since November or so. I would've/could've/should've bought more, but I don't want to bankrupt m'self. Also didn't even notice till I'd left that AXM #7 hadn't appeared in my pull box. Not sure if I actually care yet, as I wasn't in love with the title.
To be a bit different this time, I've decided to relate the comics I've read to different colors, from which you'll attempt to discern some type of meaning. Plus maybe I'll be nice and throw in a few words of actual content. Go!

Fantastic Four #521-522: Aquamarine. 7/10. (The book's back on track, but a little too late for that.)
Gotham Central #26-27: Periwinkle. 9/10. (Spectacular set of issues, here. Also, note the improved paper stock that accompanies #27. Will this be soon joined by an increased price?)
Human Target #17-18: Burnt sienna. 7/10 & 9/10, respectively. (It's a shame this has been cancelled. I love it. Note the guest-art by Seaguy's (and Barbelith's) Cameron Stewart in #17. Also, #18 is the best issue since, oh, somewhere around #9 or 11.)
JLA Classified #2-3: Day-glo orange with neon pink polka dots. 9/10. (This is pure comics magic, baby! Joycore pop, and a bunch of other fun buzz words. Super-hero fantastico!)
We3 #3: The color of heartbreak! Of rain! Of tears! Of sorrow and joy and hope and misery and life! Life itself, baby! I guess that's battleship gray, or cadet blue, or off-white or something. Beats me. We3 is easily the best comic I've read since Seaguy though, which is fitting, as the same guy wrote them. We3 is what comics are all about, kids. 9.2365/10.

You'll notice I've never given anything a 10/10 in a review yet. I'm saving that for the perfectest thing in the world, and I haven't found it yet. A 10 is perfect, and I don't want to throw out too many perfect grades. Hell, Flex Mentallo's my favorite comic ever, and sure, I'll give it a 10, but I'd be tempted to give it a 9. I think Watchmen deserves a 10 as well. And a good six or seven episodes of Buffy. Not sure if I've ever seen a 10 movie, though. Maybe one day.

Monk's on tonight. Give it a watch. Sure, Sharona's gone, but the new girl... Natalie, or whatever, played by Traylor Howard from Two Guys and a Girl, my officially favorite sitcom (MASH is not a sitcom, dammit!), is the new assitant, and I'm interested to see where it's going to go. It probably won't be the same... maybe it shouldn't be.

Celebrity of the Moment (#1): A new feature here at Lithium Age, which may not continue from this installment, but, what the hell... LeVar Burton, ladies and gentlemen. The guy from stuff like Star Trek and Reading Rainbow, and, yes, Roots, where he got whipped, and stuff. If I ever meet the fellow I'll have to apologize. He won't understand why, but I will. So many whipping jokes... but it's all in good fun. So thanks, LeVar. You made me read! You wore that cool visor-thingy! And you got whipped. Kunta Kinte!

I bet you Bill fanboys and fangirls will be able to predict who future CotMs will be. So we'll see if you're right! You probably will be. I'm quite predictable. Ahh, well. Too bad.

Until next time, you groovy cats and kittens. Over and oot.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

2005: A Preview Prevue

So we're not even one entire month into 2005, and already it sucks. And here I thought things couldn't get any worse, but clearly reality hates me. Anyway... 2005 might break its promises, but to me, it looks like a good year for pop culture. There's a couple decent TV shows on the air, some interesting movies on the horizon, and a mountain of good comics that look worth reading. Let's leap into the fray and talk about what we know.

TV: Yeah, so, in the film arena, there's more episodes of Boston Legal coming. Yay! And Arrested Development. Yay! And Family Guy's coming back. Yay! And Seth McFarlane's other show, American Dad. I'll at least check that out. There's also Monk, which just came back yesterday. The new cast member, Traylor Howard (the girl from Two Guys and a Girl) is alright, but she's no Sharona, at least not yet. Yes, I'm still bitter about that.

Movies: Lots of good stuff. I'll go see Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Batman Begins, and Serenity (Joss Whedon's Firefly movie), at least. Tim Burton will have a nice year, with him and Johnny Depp teaming up for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as well as the Corpse Bride, a feature animated the same way Nightmare Before Christmas was. There's Sin City, which looks amazing but might not be amazing, but it's got help from Rodriguez, Tarantino, and Frank Miller himself. Um... there's also... well, a lot of stuff that's not jumping to memory right now. ...Fantastic Four! Yeah. But the trailer sucked. Um... never mind.

Now for the stuff I actually know a lot about. The comics. I'm seriously going to go broke this year, and that's just from buying Grant Morrison comics. There's Vimanarama!, there's the massive 30-something issues of Seven Soldiers, and there's All-Star Superman with Frank Quitely. And I'll be buying all of it.
Then we've got some nice JLA Classified with Giffen and DeMatteis returning, as well as the same team's take on Marvel's Defenders. Warren Ellis and JH Williams bring us Desolation Jones, which sounds good enough for me to check out. Frank Miller and Jim Lee will sell, probably, 300 thousand copies of All-Star Batman & Robin, but I probably won't be buying it.
Unfortunately, Human Target has been cancelled... but Gotham Central is still alive.
You'll notice everything mentioned here is DC, except for Defenders. I'm apparently falling away with Marvel, due to them pumping out a zillion crappy books, none of them with any imagination or good stories in them. Just a few years ago, Marvel was a smart and experimental company, and now it's watered-down fanwank crap.

Er... anyway, there's 2005 for you. I'm kinda tired of writing this now, as I only wrote this one just to update the damned site, and because I'm bored to death. You'll notice the get-to-the-point-iness of all of it, majorly lacking my trademark wit. Ugh.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

2004: A Space Blogyssey (The Year in Review Revue!)

So that's the end of that chapter. Hi. I'm back, again, and, like everyone else who has one of these talky-boxes, am going to talk about the year that has just passed, 2004. It was the best of times (well, not really), it was the worst of times (like always). As far as I can remember, and I have a very spotty memory, 2004 sucked. A lot of crappy stuff happened, and once again, I let the year end with regret. But I've forgotten everything before September, anyway. Still, let's discuss the ups of the year, and then maybe I'll throw in a few downs if I don't forget by the time I finish typing this baby up.
Cutting to the chase, this is my own personal awards show, for everything I can think of at the moment. So we'll talk all of pop culture, and jam to the Lithium Age beat, you crazy cats and kittens.

Movie of the year: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
This was a very close call, actually; I was going to give it to Spider-Man 2, but... well, I really loved that movie too, and it was very much neo-silver-age-y, but I'm giving this to the Captain anyway. In case you missed it, it was a little film with Jude Law (Sexiest Man Alive, or so says some magazine or whatever) and Gwyneth Paltrow (who likes fruit so much she named her kid after one), with quick appearances by Angelina Jolie and Sir Laurence Olivier, who, yes, has been dead for years. It's got giant robots, dogfights in the sky and underwater, sci-fi kung-fu, and everything else you can think of, except, unfortunately, monkeys. The reason I've given it top honors is because it was one of the two movies I actually saw in the theater this year, and because it was just flipping great. The whole thing, sans most of the actors, was done with CGI, yet it retains a brilliant 30's/40's sepia-toned joycore pulpy movie serial feel. It was, in fact, neo-golden-age, and it pulled it off excellently. Sure, it's cheesy and a bit popcorn, but baby, it's great that way. And it's also chock full of old movie references. The DVD comes out sometime this month (January, in case you've been asleep), I'm thinking the 25th or so... Check it out.

Comic Book of the year: Seaguy
You've probably heard me prattle on about this three-issue mini-series from DC's Vertigo imprint that came out over the summer, by Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart. I'll just skip all the formalities and tell you that those two gents win Best Writer and Best Artist, respectively, and that Seaguy #1 ties with We3 #1 for Best Single Issue of the year. Seaguy was a story about a world that doesn't need heroes anymore... but Seaguy needs to prove the world wrong, but that world, run by an all-seeing corporation called Mickey Eye, doesn't want that to happen. It's a wild, wacky, surreal and fugue-like comic, and it's very good. The trade paperback collection should be out this month (once again, it's January, dammit!) so you should all go buy that so we can get the sequel.

TV Show of the year: Angel
You all saw this coming, too. Sure, Angel was cancelled this year by those WB gits, but it had never been better. The final run, what with the puppets and the regular cast members dying and the ancient demon goddesses and all of the fascinating characters, plus the almost-perfect finale made it the show's best season. It's out on DVD in February. Buy it, damn you!

Album of the year: Has Been
Yes. This *is* William Shatner's album I'm talking about. I know hardly anything about music, and I wasn't going to add this, but hey, Shatner's getting Best Actor honors too, here, kiddies, mostly for the excellent Boston Legal. But this album of his is mostly spoken word, and ranges from hilarious (like the title track) to sombre and poignant (like the track about his late wife). And you should never ever ever pass up the chance to hear a Shatner rendition of a classic Pulp song.

Video Game of the year: Halo 2
What did you expect? Even mildly disappointing as it was, it was still very good. Only on Xbox.

Anyway, let's just wrap this up...
Best Actress: Amy Acker (The characters of Fred and Illyria on Angel)
Best Director: Sam Raimi (Spider-Man 2)
Best Politician: Barack Obama
Website of the year: Barbelith (link over in the sidebar thingie)

That's all for now, as my mind's starting to draw some blanks. I'd list stuff like "Best Novel" and "Best Screenplay/Teleplay" but I can't even remember a single book I read, and I'd probably end up repeating myself with the script stuff. True, I missed a lot of good movies this year, and, well, I would do a "Worst of" list, but I blocked most of the crap from my memory.
Until next time, I'm Bill Reed! Stay cynical, San Diego... and San Demas... and all the Sans and Sans-Sans.