Monday, July 31, 2006

Reason Number One for going to San Diego Comicon...


My friend Alex (right), with the Master, who was apparently strolling around Artist's Alley at San Diego Comicon incognito. Apparently, the Master doesn't do the convention circuit - too many fanboys. I wonder how he feels about fangirls?



The jig is up, Joss. We know you go to Comicon. Now to weed you out of the thousands of other geeks at Nerd Mecca...

If he really wanted to confuse people and go in disguise, he should wear one of these.

I am so going next year.

Good News Everyone! OR "Too bad you're made of meat"

My sister Fiona is about 2 months pregnant.

It was bound to happen sooner or later - I've been keeping my mouth shut for about a month now, but the cat's out of the bag, so I can post here.

Dunno what to feel exactly, except that I have plans for this niece/nephew of mine. To start with, I will be calling him/her Koh, The Face Stealer. If I have to register him/her for kindergarten, the teacher will assuredly be calling out, "Koh The Face Stealer Kwong", and he/she will have no choice but to respond "Present!"

As the parasite (thanks Carly, I'll never be able to call a baby anything else) grows and develops, I'll happily get to point and laugh at my sister whose belly will soon rival my own rotund and unimpregnated one (unless you count gas and fat as pregnancy; in which case, call me St. Vicki of the Perpetually Pregnant, Fat and Gassy.)

I suppose I am excited for the day a little Kwong is crawling around the house. Or lying around and being fed. Or something. As long as I don't have to deal with poop, pee, or snot, I'm happy. (Me + holding babies = accidents and bad).

Yeah. So Fiona's preggers. Way to get knocked up, sis!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

You know the economy has taken a turn when...

Twice over this past week, people have refused my money. Not because it was fake or because I wasn't wearing shoes or a shirt. It was because no one had a change for a $20.

My mom once said something that I've never really understood, but it's only really hit me now. She said you know the economy is bad when all you ever get is small bills and change. If that's true, what does it mean when all you get from the ATMs are $20 bills and no one has change and won't let you buy Tic Tacs?

All I know is the economy of my breath reeks...

And the Winner of the Scariest Movie of 2006 goes to Al Gore for An Inconvenient Truth

Went to see the critically-acclaimed Al Gore movie, An Inconvenient Truth, about global warming on Monday. It's taken me this long to get over the overwhelming guilt, dread and depression it heaped on me. I mean, honestly, who would have thought a slide show presentation with lots of graphs would freak me out this much?

Yes, that's right. Scary graphs.

I don't want to bore you with what went into creating this fascinating and life-changing documentary: that's for Dymaxion World to do. Suffice to say that if you really want a film that will make you think about what you do on a day-to-day basis, make you see how simply walking instead of driving will help you save the world, and why you should, then you should see this flick.

Roger Ebert had a great quote for it. He says:

In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film. If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to.
Now go see it.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Arr, Avast, and all other manner of piratey vernacular, arr

This is week late, but I thought I'd give my thoughts on the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

First off, I wasn't a big fan of the first flick. I thought it was a little over-produced, too long, and could have been edited down. It was still an awesome flick mind you because, hell, Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom as pirates! Arr, I covet their booty...

But I digress. The second film is equally as long, the plot just as contrived, and the film needed some edits around the edges, but it was still lots of fun, with great Deppravity on Captain Jack Sparrow's part, plus lots of gags brought back from the first film. Fun fun fun.

Davy Jones' performance is perfect. Even under two tonnes of makeup, Bill Nighy portrays the tormented octopus-faced Davy Jones wonderfully. His salty seafaring crew, made up of the catch of the day, is equally grotesque, and way cooler to look at than Barbossa's crew of the undead.

Overall, the movie builds wonderfully on the existing story, and will be interesting to see as a trilogy.

Er, can't think of what else to say about the flick, but it was worth the price of matinee admission.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Look! Up in the Sky!

Been a while, I know, but I've been preoccupied with other things. Besides, I haven't been up to much worth blogging about, so nyaah.

Went to see Superman Returns today. I wasn't too keen on a "new" Superman, what with all the different incarnations out there. To see someone other than Christopher Reeve on the big screen in the red and blue tights... well, it seemed wrong somehow.

Mixed reviews didn't propel me into opening night showings either. But, being a superhero blockbuster film, I decided I just had to see it on the silver screen, as it was meant ot be shown. Fortunately, going in with low expectations, I wasn't too disappointed. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the nostalgia I didn't realize I could feel for this particular series.

I was a bit too young to remember the first few Superman films, but as soon as the opening credits came on, I was all "Woo hoo!" and getting prickly goosebumpies all over. (I blame John Williams).

This flick does an admirable job of bring Big Blue back to the screen, picking up from where it left off after the Christopher Reeve flicks. It is well-casted, the effects are eye-popping, and I can't help but do a little sitting bum dance in my chair anytime Superman goes flying to the rescue to the loudly blaring theme song. PVP's Scott Kurtz aptly portrays the feeling here.

Where the film is really lacking is in the dialogue, and specifically in Lex Luthor's evil plot. Don't get me wrong: there are some great moments and a few inside-joke-type exchanges, but overall, it just wasn't dense enough to detail any of the reasons why things happened. Compared to director Bryan Singer's X-Men, which does a phenomenal job of explaining the whole mutant universe, Superman Returns left an empty feeling in me, both emotionally and logically. Of course, that only means there's room for sequels.

The other problem with the movie comes from an overall problem I've always had with Superman: Lex Luthor sucks.

Lex has never been my favourite villain. It's hard to make him into an appropriate nemesis for the Man of Steel because he's a very complex character, one who can't be explained away in one film, or even five films. Few portrayals have him as someone you can sympathize with: he is almost always the billionaire genius businessman megolamaniac with designs on world domination, and has no appropriate character foils that we can appreciate. I can name two good Lexes, though: The Justice League animated series (WB), which sees Lex "reform" after a near-death illness, and who seems to genuinely have the world's interests at heart*; and in Red Son, an alternative universe series where the infant Supe lands in the former Soviet Union, where Lex ends up as the hero of the piece.

*An oversimplification. I'd have to explain six seasons of the show in order to to Lex any justice.

No such luck with Superman Returns. Sadly, Spacey's portrayal of the bald billionaire genius is somewhat lackluster, if only because Lex himself wasn't written terribly well. His evil plot is just... weird. He's on the more mad side of genius, his plan neither vengeful or entrepeneuring or logical or profitable. Dude's been snorting kryptonite, or something.

Despite its flaws, Superman Returns was fun, and worth the afternoon matinee; from here, we can only hope that future Superman flicks will present us with more interesting villains and challenges for the Man of Steel.