It was really jarring yesterday to hear about the death of one of my childhood icons. Throughout the 80’s and early parts of the 90’s, it was hard to find a kid who didn’t think Michael Jackson was the greatest thing ever. I mean, come on – the guy was a gangster, a zombie, and a giant killer robot in his lifetime. And in spite of all the controversy and terrifying tabloid photos as of late, he was once the embodiment of pure awesome and inspired people’s work for decades to come. It’s a lot like the passing of Elvis, if Elvis had a monkey named Bubbles.
Something that gets me is how almost no one (including myself) ever spoke out about him like this recently. Up until now, it seemed like the only people in the media who treated him fairly were the creators of South Park. And yet all it took was one heart attack to get thousands of people calling in to radio stations so they could reminiscence about their favorite pop star – without a mention of him ever being “Wacko Jacko.”
Anyway, in remembrance of the guy, here’s something really kick-ass he made.
By the way, I went to a TV market research thing yesterday and pitched a bunch of ideas on the sheet they gave me. If Jack Bauer fights a bear anytime soon, that was my idea.
I saw a lot of movies in the theater over the last couple of months, and as requested from a very awesome friend, I’m doing a quick recap of them.
Dragonball: Evolution The Good: Babes, bombs, kung fu, slapstick comedy, over-the-top special effects, and the first half of the movie was actually really cute and funny and made me forget that it was ignoring 97% of the source material. All 12 people in the theater were laughing. The Bad: Horribly ridden with massive plotholes, resorts to terrible dialogue, and has a painfully short and incoherent final battle, landing the finished film at barely 80 minutes. The Final Word: DB:E represents what happens when a studio avoids the source material, tries to profit off of “Spider-Man,” “Transformers,” and “Power Rangers” all at once, and then cuts out 10 minutes to get a PG rating. Has a lot of MST3K value though, so I enjoyed it.
Fast & Furious The Good: The only good things I remember from this movie are all the cool shots I saw in the trailer, and those wicked awesome CGI tunnel sequences. Defiance of physics are always awesome. The Bad: I had no idea what this movie’s about. Every five minutes, they’re doing a drug deal that goes wrong. And then just as I’m finally getting into the story, the credits run. The Final Word: Why is a movie about fast cars, hot chicks, and Vin Diesel wasting any of it’s time trying to tell a serious crime story? This movie goes against everything I loved in “Tokyo Drift.”
Hannah Montana: The Movie The Good: I watched this movie with two beautiful ladies and got free sweet potato fries out of the deal. The Bad: There is a scene in this movie where Hannah’s brother, Jackson, is attacked by a crocodile. While children and adults point and laugh, he screams in terror and is violently dragged down to his bloody, watery death. The movie then continues for 30 minutes without acknowledging this scene or telling us whether Jackson survived or not. From the audience’s point-of-view, he was LEGALLY DEAD. Then he randomly shows up alive and well, only to fall off a ladder. This is considered bad screenwriting. The Final Word: Those were some good sweet potato fries.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine The Good: There is a fight scene every ten minutes, and they even pull out random mutants just so Wolverine can fight somebody. Hey, even Deadpool’s in it! He’s my favorite superhero! The Bad: Ah!!! They ruined Deadpool!!! *cries in the shower* The Final Word: The whole movie is just Wolverine going from one fight to another, and all the fights are loosely tied together with a basic revenge plot. It’s the superhero equivalent of a typical martial arts movie. So I like it.
Star Trek The Good: Holy crap; this movie rocks. There’s babes, bombs, and kung fu all over it, and even the special effects blew my mind. Extra points to Uhura’s sleeveless top. The Bad: Three weeks after it’s release, I went to go see it, but it kept being “sold out” by the time I got there. I took me three tries just to see it. That’s crazy, considering I was able to see the last Batman movie on opening weekend without reservations. The Final Word: Despite the absence of whales, this is a bloody awesome Star Trek movie. In fact, in a weird and unexpected twist of fate, this might be one of my favorite movies of the year. Well done, Mr. Abrams. You’re slightly forgiven for Cloverfield.
Angels and Demons The Good: Much better paced than the “Da Vinci Code,” has a lot more running, cooler effects, does a better job of handling the story than the book does, and even gives Tom Hanks a haircut. The Bad: Nothing bad, really. It’s just your usual suspense-thriller with a Vatican theme. At the very least, it’s not ground-breaking and it’s full of historical inaccuracies. The Final Word: Okay, okay, okay! I liked Hannah Montana! Leave me alone!
Terminator: Salvation The Good: Dude. All the special effects, all the camera effects, and all the action sequences really, really rock. This movie can’t go five minutes without something elaborate and explosive happening. The Bad: Anybody remember that leaked audio clip of Christian Bale going nuts? I couldn’t pinpoint the part of the movie where it happened because he looks like he ready to snap from beginning to end. This guy needs to be isolated from society for a while. The Final Word: Awesome movie.
Up The Good: The whole thing. The Bad: Nothing. The Final Word: The day Pixar makes a bad movie, is the day a piece of me will die forever.
About five years ago after graduating Dev, I did some freelance work with a small animation studio downtown (small as in closet-sized.) I wasn’t able to share it with anyone due to a non-disclosure agreement, but now that the director has put it up on Vimeo after all these years, I think it’s safe to say I can show it off.
Have I mentioned how much Telltale Games rocks lately?
From all the same guys who made the originals comes the Tales of Monkey Island! Just like “Sam and Max” and “Strong’s Bad Cool Game for Attractive People,” it’s five new mini-adventure games released in episodes for the PC and Wii. The only guy who isn’t back is the creator Ron Gilbert. He’s making a game called “Death Spank” right now.
As an added bonus: LucasArts is re-releasing a Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition for X-Box with new graphics, voices, interface, music, and the ability to switch between graphic modes during game-play.