Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Best Educational Game Goes to: Naughty-bits Shooter!

So yeah, BAFTA just awarded their best-educating game award to this FREE shooter which takes place inside the human reproductive system. Over the top? Please!


I admit this is not entirely relevant to this class, but it was just too awesome not to share.

Hero Cyborgs in the Bedroom

No I'm not being pervy. Check out this article on a kid whose parents decorated his room, and their bathroom, after the game "Portal":


Enjoy.

A New Twist to Spiderman


I am not a huge comic book reader so this might be old news to some of you but I was quite surprised. It appears that there is a new spiderman in town and
he isn't the one that we are all used to. His name is Miles Morales, a half-black half-hispanic teenager living in downtown Manhattan.

It is very nice to see a change for the superhero genre. Instead of the geeky highschooler we all love, we will be seeing a webslinger with a different background. He still has the aptitude for science and extreme intelligence like Peter Parker, but was born and raised in Brooklyn, living with his parents. This change could bring new motivations and conflicts for the character. He will be taking over Parker's duties as the Spiderman (in a slightly altered costume) after Parker was killed off of the Marvel comics.

What will this change bring to the Spiderman comics? Is this an improvement? Let me know your thoughts...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bane




Found this article featuring Tom Hardy and Christopher Nolan talking about the character BANE in the The Dark Knight Returns. Anyone have any ideas as to what to expect from this character, I really have no idea who he is, I never read the comics. Will he have much of a personality or is he pretty much just a physical presence?

Lego Super Heroes

http://www.brickheroes.com/2011/11/lego-dc-2012-les-images-officielles/

I have always been a fan of legos and I am surprised that Batman and Superman are still popular among today's youth. Superman hasn't been very relevant in media lately and Batman cartoons are not being made every year like they were when we kids. Does anyone know what the popular heroes are for kids today are is it still the usual suspects?

Super Heroes Marketed in the 20's

http://www.retronaut.co/2011/11/art-deco-superheroes/

I stumbled this and it is pretty cool. The second to last one of Batman is awesome

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The End of Batman

In a recent interview with Gary Oldman, Jim Gordon from the Batman series, Oldman reveals that there will be an 'ending' to the Nolan trilogy. Nolan has said that this will be his last Batman and Oldman alludes to the fact that the story will tie together in the end even though he didn't reveal much more than that. In his interview, he even goes on to say that the first movie of the trilogy will be tied in. He even goes on to say "it is epic." So what do you think is Nolan's ending to the Batman series? He has been known for twists in the past, such as Memento and Inception, so will that be true of The Dark Knight Rises as well? Could Batman possibly die in the end? You tell me...

Here is a link to Gary Oldman's interview : Click Here!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Long Distance Relationships Just Got That Much Easier!

This kind of goes back to older concepts of virtual reality and etc. but still relevant to the class.

Long distance can be difficult for a relationship to endure. Not only are your conversations limited to the internet or phone but you lack physical contact. With the Japanese "kissing machine" you are one step closer to having that connection as if you were together. You put the straw like devise in your mouth and move it and then the other straw devise moves along with it. You can check out how the device works here!


Now even relationships that start over the internet can move to the next level. Something we have all been waiting for. Watch out though because you never know who you are actually kissing for sure.


If all of this isn't enough to attract you all, Kajimoto Labratory, where the contraptions are made, they plan to make it possible to download your favorite celebrities' kisses! Make sure you check this ASAP! Click here to find out all the details.

Arnold and Commentary

Total Recall is my favorite non-Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger movie (I chalk it up to Verhoeven and the awesome special effects), and this commentary by Arnold makes it so much better:

http://filmdrunk.uproxx.com/2011/11/arnold-schwarzenegger-is-the-reason-dvd-commentary-tracks-were-invented

"Watch this. The sweat running down."

Schwarzenegger's character is neither superhero nor cyborg, but the film itself has a lot of similar anti-corporate ideas as does Verhoeven's Robocop, so I thought this would be a good place to share. Enjoy; this is seriously hilarious.

Gandalf the Great


Git some Ian Mckellen.


It would be absurd for me not to dedicate at least one post to my favorite movie character, Gandalf. He is, without question, a badass. Is he a superhero though? He has superpowers, fights for the innocent and defenseless, and wears a "costume" of sorts. One could make the argument that he has no alterior identity, but is this really a necessity of being a superhero? Your thoughts.

Here's another lil' somthin to keep you salivating.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2m2x8qJcGQ

In a hole, in the ground......there lived a hobbit.

Halo ~ Aeneid/Superheroes for Theory

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_66/384-Bungies-Epic-Achievement

What's interesting in this article, besides the comparison between Halo and the Aeneid, is the point of heroes being beyond humanity because they are constructs we send to externalize dealing with our societal worries.

There's my excuse to tie Halo into this blog.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The importance of symbols


I thought this was really amazing, and wish I would have been there to see it. This is in no way a political post, I have no strong or passionate feelings regarding the Occupy Wall Street Movement, but reading this interview gave me something to think about regarding the importance of symbols as a way of giving people hope and a sense of purpose. The comparison of the "99%" projection on Verizon Tower to a kind of "bat signal" got me thinking that in a way, the symbol or idea of the superhero is more important than the hero himself. Then all this internal talk about symbols and messages got me thinking about V for Vendetta, and how awesome that movie was. Speaking of which, is V technically a superhero, or just a freedom fighter? I remember talking about this in class but forgot what the consensus was.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Iron Man and Patriotism

In Vicki Karamina's "No Capes!" Über Fashion and How "Luck Favours the Prepared:" Constructing Contemporary Superhero Identities in American Popular Culture, she took time to stop writing incredibly long titles and eventually got around to analyzing the costumes of our culture's dominant superheroes. She had this to say about the role of superhero costumes/suits in conjunction with patriotism:

"...entire people are simply embeded in their national symbols. Their flags flutter as adornments to public buildings; the news categorizes events as home affairs or foreign reports; the weather-forecast reinforces the awareness of political geography and boundaries; sporting heroes embody national virtues and mobilize collective loyalties; moments of crisis -- especially war -- produce patriotic addresses from political leaders and national languages and historics, through their transmission constitute a sense of community."

"...the contemporary positions signalled by the red, white and blue outfits of Captain America, Superman, and Wonder Woman circulate in a network of signs, where the garments themselves are transformed into the signs of America."

This is something I was thinking about a lot while screening Iron Man. The politics of this movie sort of puzzle me -- I'm still trying to work them out in my head, so maybe blogging through them will help.

How does Iron Man's costume stand as a symbol in the time of crisis in which the film was made? Does it, like the "red, white and blue outfits of Captain America, Superman, and Wonder Woman" become a prized American image? The film's wild popularity, as well as the success of its sequel and the franchise's merchandising craze seems to suggest that iconography has definitely been achieved.

But Iron Man definitely isn't the all-American hero.

Tony Stark's playboy lifestyle may be the appeal for adults (I forgot just how perfect Downey Jr. was in this role), but for the younger crowd, the sleekness and simplification of extremely advanced technology has to be the attention-grabber. Through this mastery of tech, the film makes a couple of statements (and exclusions) that both champion and undermine America. Firstly, other countries are represented as being lightyears behind American tech development. America is -- apparently -- the technological hub of the universe, specifically Tony Stark's basement. But muddying the issue is the fact that Stark Industries' long history of war profiteering is fine and dandy with the US Government, and everyone involved in the corporation outside of Tony. So, America is the best at technology and the worst at moral values.

His suit itself is conflicted and reflective of his personality; (relatively) small, sleek, and sexy, the Iron Man suit is built not for consumerist purposes, but reflects American consumerism. Its "hot rod red" and gold create an aesthetic of wealthy excess, and seeing it fight the clunky, bulky model that The Dude uses in the film's third act shares a lot of the same consumer trends of "smaller and sharper is better" that we're seeing in televisions and automobiles.

This feels in no way wrapped up. But, that's a wrap. It's 3:00 AM, after all.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Stomach of the Superhero

I came across an interesting blog post on a topic that is rarely discussed, What do superheros eat?

http://toysandbacon.blogspot.com/2011/11/what-do-superheroes-eat.html

I find it weird that superheros are on countless cereal boxes and appear in kids meals, yet we never know what they truly like to eat. I'm curious what every one thinks someone like Darkman favorite meal would be.

The Amazing SpiderMan

A lil Andrew Garfield for ya.

Ok, I get the appeal to remaking the superhero movie, but it seems a little obnoxious to do it this closely together. "The Amazing Spider Man", trailer here, seems to be geared towards exactly what Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" did for the Batman series, providing a darker, more mature image of the story. To me, it seems odd to kickstart the series when the third Spiderman came out less then 4 years ago.

Also, is anyone else getting sick of reliance on superhero films as a guaranteed blockbuster? I feel like we're going to see the trailer for "Ant-Man" any day now.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

1954 Comics Code

http://www.comicartville.com/comicscode.htm

I found this today. It was a moral code the comic book industry self imposed to keep crime as evil in comic books. Basically, all the most popular names in comic books would not have a job. Well, at least Frank Miller and his re-imagination of Batman and a lot Alan Moore's work.

In class we talked about the evolution of the superhero into the flawed superhero over time. This code obviously no longer enforced (some thanks goes to Stan Lee), but I think this code is a testament to what superheroes were created for in the USA: to defeat juvenile delinquency.
Go America?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Robocop Remake News

Jose Padilha, director of the Elite Squad series (none of which I've seen, but #2 is tracking at 100% on Rottentomatoes!), did a little bit of talking about his upcoming Robocop reboot/remake/redo/rewhatever. The guy seems to have a good track record, but I'm not all that convinced that his concept for the character sounds interesting at all:

"I have my take on it. In the first RoboCop, when Alex Murphy is shot, gunned down, then you see some hospitals and stuff and then you cut to him as RoboCop. My movie is between those two cuts."

Wait.

So his movie is...something that was, what, summed up with a simple edit? Constructing RoboCop doesn't sound like a RoboCop movie. It sounds like an idea to explore in a different medium such as comic books. Verhoeven's film was already pretty hamfisted when it comes to the whole "when do we lose humanity?" message; this sounds like it's going to be an even more politicized attack on the issue. Perhaps the story development is still in a very infantile stage right now and that's Padilha's jumping-off point, but if this is coming after some serious time and energy, I don't care how much praise your unheard-of action flick is getting: stay away from RoboCop.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/09/robocop-remake-jose-padilha-director_n_1083690.html

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Coolest Cyborgs?

ToplessRobot.com (which should be trusted on site name alone) compiled a list of the eight coolest cyborgs of all time, and I take issue:

8. Raiden, Metal Gear Solid
7. Inspector Gadget, Inspector Gadget
6. Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man
5. Robocop, Robocop
4. Seven of Nine, Star Trek: Voyager
3. Cable, X-Men
2. The Daleks, Doctor Who
1. Darth Vader, Star Wars

So...the Terminator isn't cool, apparently. This is news to me. Inspector Gadget is cool if you're six years old, but come on. And Robocop at #5?! Seriously? DEBATE.

If you want to see their weak justifications, here's the address:

http://www.toplessrobot.com/2011/06/the_8_coolest_cyborgs.php?utm_source=scribol&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=scribol

Wonder Woman's Failed Film Adaptations

I'm not very well-versed in Wonder Woman as a character (I remember seeing some video art installation of her that drove me bonkers), but it seems like she's catching a lot of steam with some really high-caliber filmmakers. Check this article out:

http://screenrant.com/joss-whedon-wonder-woman-sandy-139177/?_r=true

To sum it up, Joss Whedon (writer/director of The Avengers, Serenity, and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog, creator of Buffy, Firefly, Dollhouse) wanted to take a crack at the character in 2007, but it fell through. As the article points out, the synopsis for Whedon's take on the character doesn't seem that interesting, but given his track record, I'm sure it would have been great.

The second half of the article is what has me really excited. Nic Refn (director of Drive, which is pretty much the greatest movie ever made in the history of forever) is interested in taking on the character, and it sounds like it would be a pretty radical superhero film, the same way that Drive was a pretty radical...well, film.

Check it!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Geek Weddings

Apparently, we all want to be superheroes, no matter how inappropriately slash or tangential the relation may be. Here's a couple which got married as Superman and Harley Quinn:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/114120-Superman-And-Harley-Quinn-Marry-In-Nerd-Wedding

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thunder! Thunder! Thunder!


I found this Thundercats review online and the reviewer makes some interesting points. It reminded me of our discussions about superheroes including hyper-masculinity, androgyny, and other points about the superhero body.

Check it out if you're a Thundercats fan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brDmyExbORA


Saturday, November 5, 2011

No American Superheroes anymore!

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/02/why_cant_americans_get_cast_as.html?mid=facebook_vulture

Superman is British. Wha......?????

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spoon!

Wolverine Sketch

Siri and the New iPhone

http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2011/11/01/this-is-how-to-get-siri-to-tell-you-a-story-pics/

I find this to be sort of creepy, and am really reminded of Hal from 2001. Apple=skynet? who knows, who knows.