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Bullet Sunday 630

Posted on September 22nd, 2019

Dave!I can't believe the weekend is already gone! But all is not lost, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• FAKE FOOD! Like many large cities, Tokyo has several districts which specialize in various goods. If you want to see electronics, head to Akihabara. If you want Western fashion and high-end restaurants, you need to go to Ginza. That kind of thing. One of my favorite places to look around is Kappabashi Street, which specializes in restaurant supplies. Pots, pans, dishes, utensils... and a staple of Japanese restaurants... fake food. Because most all restaurants have their windows filled with representations of the dishes they specialize in so people will get their mouths watering and want to come inside. Most of the plastic foods you can buy here in the US are crap, whereas in Japan it's a true artform...

Yes most of the stuff has a bit of a high-gloss sheen to it, but once it's wrapped in plastic to keep it from getting dusty it's pretty darn realistic. The above video is a fascinating look at how it's made.

   
• Goose. After a long time of reading about it being "released in early 2019," Untitled Goose Game is finally here! The object of the game is to be a complete asshole, which is something I can totally do...

I blazed through everything in just one morning, which is disappointing, but it's a pretty fun game otherwise. Nintendo's eShop has it on sale for Switch at 25% off for a limited time.

   
• Drugs are Bad, Mmkay? This commercial where the girl takes off her seatbelt and runs her car into a dumpster so she can get more Vicodin? More disturbing than any horror movie I've ever seen...

   
• X-Pan I had no desire... none at all... to see X-Men: Dark Phoenix. For one thing, it's the capper of a slew of shitty X-movies, after which Marvel will be bringing the X-Men to the MCU and completely rebooting it to (hopefully) something that doesn't suck. So it's essentially a wasted effort and makes no difference. And, if this hilarious "honest trailer" is anything to go by, it's a pile of shit anyway...

Maybe if it shows up on Hulu or HBO or Disney+ or something I'm already paying for, I'll invest my valuable time. But buying or renting it? Not even a little bit.

   
• Name. An interesting article: Names That Are Unfamiliar to You Aren't "Hard," They're "Unpracticed"

My first "real" international trip was to Japan in the late 80's for work. In Japanese, the "V" in my name doesn't exist as a sound. The closest they have is a "B." And yet they made an effort to say the "V" as best they could, even though it was a struggle and unnatural for them. That kindness has never left me, and I feel incredibly blessed that I learned how important a name can be so early in my travels. Which is why I try my very best to listen when I hear names and put my every best effort into pronouncing them correctly.

So many times I've had co-workers, friends, and people I meet who have "difficult for English speakers to pronounce" names who will say their name... then follow it with "But you can call me..." and give either a completely different "English" name... or some butchered version of their name. Whenever I can, I've asked about their actual name, worked with them to get an acceptable pronunciation, then ask if they mind that I use their real name. And the result is always the same appreciation that I felt that first trip to Japan so many years ago.

Your name... whether it's yours by birth or the name you've chosen for yourself... is key to your identity. Endeavoring to respect a person's name by listening, working to pronounce it, and saying it with your best effort, is such a small thing, really. But it means so much.

   
• Emmys. I do not watch the Emmys. The television I like is rarely represented, so I just don't bother. That being said, I do read the results the next day and have some thoughts...

  • DRAMA: The fact that Game of Thrones can take the big prize seems odd given what a pile of shit the final season ended up being, but okay.
  • SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA: That being said, Peter Dinklage 100% earned that Emmy for his performance in the final season. He elevates any material to new levels, and this was no difference.
  • LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA: This was kind of an absurd category because winner Billy Porter from Pose was about the only one who I felt deserved it. Maybe Jason Bateman from Ozark, but Billy owned this and I'm glad he won.
  • COMEDY: I would have taken Fleabag, Barry, Russian Doll, or Schitt's Creek... but was secretly hoping for Schitt's Creek. Yet... not the least bit upset that Fleabag took the prize.
  • VARIETY: I am really torn here. Yes, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver deserves tons of recognition. But overlooking The Daily Show with Trevor Noah is really a tough pill to swallow. Trevor is killing it every night.
  • LIMITED: I would have liked if When They See Us won because A) It deserves awards, and B) It deserves attention. But Chernobyl was incredible. So good. I ended up watching it all the way through twice because it's such a powerful story.
  • DIRECTING: That being said, Ava DuVernay should have gotten the Emmy for best director when it came to When They See Us. Oh well.
  • COMPETITION: I was very happy to hear that RuPaul's Drag Race won this. It is, by far, the most entertaining of all the nominations.
  • LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY: While I would love for Catherine O'Hara and Natasha Lyonne to get recognition for the incredible work they do, Phoebe Waller-Bridge earned this one for Fleabag.
  • LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY: I'm thrilled that Bill Hader took the Emmy for his work on Barry! The show is 100% bananas in the best possible way, and his work there is just above and beyond.
  • SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY: I simply do not get the appeal of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, as I find it neither funny nor entertaining. But Alex Borstein definitely does a fantastic job in the show, so I'm kinda torn on this one. I would have preferred that Kate McKinnon won for Saturday Night Live, however.

   
• SNUBBED! A few nominations that should have been made...

  • Ricky Gervais for acting and/or writing After Life. I am still a bit shocked he got no recognition at all for this one.
  • Tracy Morgan for The Last O.G.. That show is hilarious, and his performance is fantastic. For either to get some recognition is not out of left-field.
  • While I'm not sure The Good Place deserved all the nominations it got, I am sure that D’Arcy Carden should have gotten nominated for Supporting Actress, Comedy... AND WON IT. This is criminal.

   

And... I'm spent. See you in a week with more bullets.

   

X-Men: Apocalyptic Cinema

Posted on September 10th, 2016

Dave!X-Men: Apocalypse was utter garbage. Fairly decent special effects couldn't save the beyond-stupid plot that featured one of the lamest villains in movie history (a complete 180 from the awesome comic book original). As usual, Bryan Singer can't direct his way out of a paper bag, and continues to randomly assign super-powers to characters and rearrange history just because he needs to fix his crappy "story." So sick of people who obviously don't give a shit about honoring the source material continuing to make comic book films that suck...

X-Men Apocalypse Poster.

The X-Men has perhaps the best potential for a comic book movie that is continuously squandered... over six films now. Seven if you count the beyond-shitty first Wolverine film. Of the entire X-franchise, only X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, and Deadpool gave us a glimpse of what's possible.

I didn't think any modern comic book film could suck worse than the last Fantastic Four abomination, but here we are. It's incredibly frustrating, and one can't help but wonder how amazing an X-Men film could be in Marvel Studios' hands. We may never know.

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Class

Posted on June 8th, 2011

Dave!Work managed to crush me today, so I decided to step away for a while and recharge. The plan was to go back to my hotel room and read a book, but I knew if I did that I'd just end up checking email and getting sucked back into work all over again.

So I decided to go to a movie.

And despite my raging hatred of the first three crappy X-Men movies, I went and saw X-Men: First Class.

I thought that the "first class" in the title was referring to the first class of students in "Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters" from the comics... but it would seem it's actually referring to the movie itself. Because this film was one classy affair from start to finish.

I loved it.

From the retro 60's styling and amazing cast to the cohesive story and terrific special effects... this movie has it all...

X-Mex First Class

The plot revolves around the formation of the mutant super-hero group, The X-Men, and the initial friendship of Charles Xavier and Erik Leshner, who would eventually become deadliest of enemies as Professor X and Magneto. The story begins with Xavier working with the US government to help mutants help humans so they can be better accepted by humanity. Along the way he meets Leshner, who is tracking down the Nazis responsible for the death of his mother in a Polish concentration camp. This eventually leads to a confrontation with The Hellfire Club, who is attempting to kick-start World War III during the Cuban Missile Crisis and rule the earth.

Awesomeness ensues.

What made the previous three X-Men films fail so stupendously, was that there was ZERO attempt to make any of the characters kick the copious amounts of ass that the X-Men are known to do in the comics. They were just pathetic dumbasses who wandered around in lame stories and not really doing much of anything.

In the original X-Men, there are minor scuffles between the team and Magneto's henchmen, but the only real "fight" the X-Men get into is fighting army men. Lame. In the sequel, X2: X-Men United, the filmmakers make a half-assed attempt to start up the "Dark Phoenix Saga," but failed on every possible level. Even worse, the only real "fight" the X-Men get into this time is with water. Yes, fucking water! Super-lame. After watching the previews, I thought that finally things were heading in the right direction with X-Men 3: The Last Stand. They hinted that there would be an all-out battle between mutants, which would have kicked all kinds of ass... if it would have actually happened. Instead they pussed out again and gave us a watered-down fight with mutants mostly just running around. Not only did we get no fights worth watching, but there wasn't a decent story either. Hella-lame.

X-Men: First Class isn't overwhelmed with the mutant-on-mutant special effects battles I was hoping for, but it does do something we've never seen before in an X-Men film... have compelling characters and a good story. And when it comes to ass-kicking, Michael Fassbender's brilliant portrayal of Magneto delivers the goods. I can only hope that if (when we get a First Class sequel that they continue with the brilliant set-up in this film and add tons of cool action sequences that will finally depict the X-Men the way we see them in the comics.

That would be a movie worth waiting for.

In the meanwhile, there are a lot of potentially awesome comic book films in the pipe, so it's a really good time to be a fanboy right now.

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Bullet Sunday 225

Posted on March 27th, 2011

Dave!Back to reality for a super-hero-fashion episode of Bullet Sunday! But, before we get there, I need to remind everybody that the best podcast on the internet you're probably not listening to is now on iTunes! Cannot recommend it highly enough: Hey! That's My Hummus on iTunes. And for baseball talk, don't forget Just Talking to the Cornfield on iTunes.

   
• Wonder Woman! I've had very strong reservations over the whole David E. Kelley Wonder Woman television pilot from the very beginning. From everything I've read, it seems as though he's dead-set on putting his personal stamp on the material, which means we're not going to get Wonder Woman... it's going to be Ally McBeal in bad latex. The first episode's villain is perfume company CEO Veronica Cale (WTF?) which is being played by the incomparable Elizabeth Hurley (who arrived in L.A. a while back to film her scenes)...

Liz Hurley arrives in L.A. for Wonder Woman shoot
©2011 Michael Wright/WENN (from AceShowbiz)

Since Elizabeth Hurley is in it, I'm pretty much obligated to watch the show now. Which is a shame, because the official Wonder Woman costume photo looks like crap...

Shitty New Wonder Woman Costume

In all seriousness, I've been to comic book conventions where the fan costumes looked better than this cheap-n-glossy joke. She looks like a badly-dressed dominatrix or something. Such a horrible departure from the classic Wonder Woman uniform that was worn so perfectly by Linda Carter in the original TV show...

Linda Carter as Wonder Woman.

Call it cheesy if you want, but THAT'S what Wonder Woman is supposed to look like. COSTUME GRADE: F

   
• Spider-Man! And speaking of truly terrible costumes... I loved the first two Spider-Man movies. The third one was awful story-wise, but had really good action sequences. Still, I was hoping for another Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire installment because I liked the "feel" they gave the character. Alas, it was not to be. So now we've moved on to something new which could be good or could be bad. And if the costume is what we have to go on, this is going to be as bad as it gets...

New Spider-Man Movie Costume

Even if he didn't have an inexplicably black crotch, this would be a horrible interpretation of an iconic costume. COSTUME GRADE: D

   
• Captain America! The modern-day Captain America comics have never interested me very much. Sure there are good stories that pop up from time to time but, overall, it's a one-note concept to me. But I have to say, everything I've seen for the upcoming Cap film looks flawless. First of all, they set the movie in World War II, which is faithful to the character's origin. Second of all, it seems as if director Joe Johnston is going out of his way to make it a fun and entertaining film to watch...

Chris Evans as Captain America

Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull

Captain America Film Still

What's so killer about Cap's costume is how you can see they're clearly building up to his modern-day outfit by starting with a WWII era interpretation. He was designed to be a symbol for the guys in the trenches, and its coming across perfectly. And just look at the Red Skull! Cannot wait for this movie. COSTUME GRADE: A

   
• Thor! Other than Walter Simonson's brilliant run on the character in the 1980's, I've never been a big fan of Thor. He just never seems to work in the context of the super-hero genre very well. But this film has Kenneth Branagh directing, and the trailers look to be pretty epic in scope, so we'll see...

Thor Costume

I am the first to admit that translating Thor's costume to the big screen is no easy task... but this looks all cheesy and plastic to me. I'm guessing it's supposed to be metal (maybe it is!), but I'm still not impressed and think it would have looked better with a brushed metal? This is probably going to appear much better on-screen when lit properly, so it's hard for me to be too critical. It is, after all, pretty faithful in "feel" to the original. COSTUME GRADE: C+

   
• Green Lantern! This is the hardest movie of all to figure out. I think my hetero-man-crush Ryan Reynolds was flawless casting for Hal Jordan, but the movie is looking like a George Lucas CGI party instead of a film of any substance. The special-effects generated costume in the preview trailer looked so bad that I couldn't fathom how the movie could possibly work...

Ryan Reynolds in Bad Green Lantern Costume

But then I saw this shot of Mark Strong as Sinestro and thought "maybe"...

Sinestro Movie Costume

Green Lantern was one of the first comic books I ever read, and so I continue to hope that everything comes together. Out of all the super-hero projects underway, it has the most potential for greatness... or disaster.

Ryan Reynolds and the Ring

It's pretty hard to get a feel for how the costume works from still images. On Hal Jordan, all the crazy lines look just plain stupid. On Sinestro, they look awesome. I'm guessing that when they're in-motion they'll be all glowing and stuff, which will probably look cool. Or corny. I have no idea. I do think it would have been better to not go with 100% CGI though, which seems like a recipe for disaster. COSTUME GRADE: Wait and C

   
• X-Men! I should probably get this out of the way... I loathed all of the X-Men films. They were SO BORING. The X-Men were never really given any battles. Sure there were some silly little scrapes here and there, but they didn't have any scope. Everything in the movie seemed so much smaller than life. And while the costumes weren't anything to write home about, I thought they were okay. Sadly, the costumes weren't the problem. And so now we're re-booting the franchise with a prequel...

X-Men First Class Photo

X-Men First Class Photo

From what I can tell, the costumes here are pretty good. They are a faithful (albeit upgraded) interpretation of the "original" X-Men costumes, which was no easy task. All we can do is wait and see if the movie has the scope and story to make any use of them. COSTUME GRADE: B

   
That's a lot of super-heroes. And it doesn't even account for the new Superman movie reboot, the third Iron Man film, the third Batman film, The Hulk reboot, The Avengers, and whatever else that's coming up. I hope that people don't get burnt out on comic book movies.

   

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