Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Lady of Wonder Returns...

When talking about DC comics, the two characters that get the most publicity and attention are, of course, Superman and Batman, in that order. There is a third flagship character in the DC universe, who came in and broke up the DC boy's club. I'm talking about Wonder Woman. For the past 70 years, Wonder Woman's been kicking butt and taking names right alongside Bats and the Boyscout and looking good doing it. Yet, for all her fame and huge fanbase, Wonder Woman has been somewhat ignored outside of comics.

Recently, she was brought to media attention when DC decided to modernize her look a bit and step away from Wonder Woman's trademark bustier and star spangled underwear. DC got a huge amount of heat for that, but personally I like the new look. Didn't like the changes to her storyline, but the new look is good.

Last week, the Lady of Wonder made it back into the limelight as the creator of Boston Legal, David E. Kelley, finally got a network to bite on his pilot script for a re-launch of a Wonder Woman television show. At first, the pilot was passed on, but with Kelley's new series Harry's Law giving NBC one of their best audiences for a Monday in a year, they decided to give Wonder Woman a shot.

Today, it's rumored that "Terminator:Salvation" director McG is going to be helming the pilot. While not doing well on the big screen, McG has developed a strong presence on the small screen, serving as executive producer on "Human Target", "Supernatural", "Nikita" and "chuck". And while speculation is still running wild as to who will play the Lady of Wonder. I have my own personal list of favorites!! This list takes into account that in this version of the show, Wonder woman is a vigilante crime fighter in L.A. who is also a successful corporate executive (a.k.a Diana Prince).

 5) Shannon Doherty - Yes, I know she has a bad rep. But, she has a long career in television and I believe she has the capacity to play both sides of the role.

4) Serinda Swan - She is a relative new comer to the television, but she has built up a huge fan base with her portrayal of Zatanna on Smallville. So she's already in the DC universe, and it's possible that her fans will come with her if she is "promoted" to Wonder Woman status.

 3) Valerie Cruz - She has a proven track record in television being on shows like Nip/Tuck, The Dresden Files, Dexter, and True Blood. Yes, she is currently starring in Off The Map, but she would be MUCH better suited as Wonder Woman.

2) Charisma Carpenter - Again, long career in television, and with her appearances on shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, she has proven herself no stranger to action based shows.

1) Sienna Guillory - I have to admit, I did not consider her in my initial list of actresses for the role. But in arguing my list with some of my friends, her name came up and she quickly became my favorite. Here is a clip of her in Resident Evil: Apocalypse to show you why:

Odds are none of these women will get the part, but wouldn't it be AWESOME if they did?? Who would you cast as Wonder Woman?

Friday, January 21, 2011

They Shouldn't Have Gone After Our Women...

The impossible has happened. Yes, dear readers, the IMPOSSIBLE has happened!!! There is a release date for Duke Nukem Forever!!! This is the ONE FPS even I would buy just because of the Duke!! According to this article on GameInformer's site, the game we've all been waiting over a decade for, will be released in the US on May 3rd, 2011. The rest of the world jumps in on May 6th! To tide you over, here's a trailer for the new game!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Television Romance...

I don't know about you, dear readers, but I am getting really sick and tired of the "will they/won't they get together" romance aspect that is seemingly so prevalent in tv shows these days. Mind you, I don't watch relationship drama shows like Gilmore Girls or Desperate Housewives. Shows like that make me ask the simple question: Why should I give a rat's ass about which girl is crushing on what guy? How is this in ANY way interesting? No, I go for a different type of show. My shows tend to be somewhat action heavy, and overly scientific. Shows like House M.D., Lie To Me, CSI, Numb3rs, The Forgotten, Fringe, Castle, Nikita, Supernatural, and V. These are the types of shows I watch and this hyper focus on romance is STILL pissing me off!!!

The biggest offender currently is Bones. I loved watching this show until the beginning of this season. Season 6 of Bones has not very slowly devolved into nothing short of a soap opera. The already limited forensics, and the solving of crimes (the actual point of the show, and the reason the team got back together at the beginning of season 6) has taken more of a back seat to the question of whether or not Dr. Brennan ("Bones") will get romantically involved with her FBI agent partner, Seeley Booth. And after 5 years of dealing with this issue, I'm frankly tired of it. I lived through this with Moonlighting, when Maddie and Dave held off for so long the sexual tension had taken over the main storyline of the show. Once that tension was resolved, the show collapsed and was cancelled.

I also lived through this with the X-Files where despite the explicit statements of the producers of the show negating the possibility, the fans kept clamoring for Mulder & Scully to get involved. Then it started to creep into the story lines with a slew of near misses. Thankfully, David Duchovny (Mulder) left the show before the story went the way of Moonlighting. In the last two seasons, they actually did get together but by then the storyline had been so mangled any romantic complications couldn't possibly make the show any worse.

In the case of Bones, I want the producers/writers to pick a side and stick to it. If Bones and Booth are going to get together, it's been six years, put them together and go with that! If not, then stop with the hinting and go with that. This on the fence crap is destroying everything that makes this show watchable for me. There haven't been any good villains on the show since the Gormagon. They haven't further explored anything further about Brennan's family. I mean they haven't even had any really interesting murders on the show this season!!!

Before you start burning effigies of me, dear readers, I do have an example of "will they/won't they get together" done right! And that is a show I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Castle. The producers of this show know how to handle the interpersonal relationships between their two main characters, Det. Kate Beckett & Richard Castle, very well. The show has given no doubt at all that the two were going to get together. And the reason the two of them are not together by this mid-point of season 3? Actual psychological issues! Beckett not trusting the maturity of Castle. Castle having to get to know Beckett. Actual miscommunication, believable bad timing, serious errors in judgment (Like Castle looking into the murder of Beckett's mom without her permission!) And they still manage to throw in interesting murder mysteries to boot!

Producers of Bones, take a lesson from Castle and PICK A SIDE!! If this gets any worse, you will lose this viewer. I've dropped shows before, I can, and will, do it again.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Well, I've completed my sojourn into the depths of the madhouse that is Arkham Asylum. Having finished the story line, I can see why that game is so popular. And I plan to go through and finish getting all the Riddler challenges and earning a couple more trophies. Now, the question is what game do I go to next? When plagued with unexplainable feelings of doubt and dread, who do I turn to? Who ya gonna call??

Ghost Busters!!!

Yes, I purchased this game awhile ago, and even started playing it before I found out that my trophies were all on another user's account and I couldn't transfer them. Then I got into Castlevania and Batman, but now I'm back. Ghostbusters is next on the list of games to play. From the little that I played before, it's fun. The dialogue is hilarious, and as always, I love the music. I can't wait to see what the storyline has to offer.

"Ray, when someone asks you if you're a God, you say YES!!!" 

Doomed to Repeat It...

A couple of days ago, I started emailing a friend of mine with whom I had lost touch. Over the course of these emails, I poured out all the issues and frustrations that have been building in my head recently. Earlier today, he logs in to his instant messenger account and we start chatting away. After spending a few minutes talking about the emails, he tells me that I'm in a much better position than my initial emails let on. This stopped me in my tracks. And I looked back at the last six years of my life.

In Jan 2004, I was forced to move back in with my mother due to not being able to find a job to keep me in the Newark/NYC area. The rearguard action I was fighting after the 2001 "Dot-Bomb" disaster was finally declared a failure. Four months later, I was working at Best Buy barely eking out an existence. Making just enough money to pay for the taxi cabs that enabled me to get to and from work. I was angry, depressed, frustrated, and hopeless. Living with my mother didn't help my mental situation either. But remembering where I was then and looking at where I am now, I can safely say that I have made considerable progress.

I have a job in my chosen industry making at least double what Best Buy was paying me at the time. I am living in my own apartment, and sustaining myself.(I'm even cooking my own food!) I have my own car. More importantly, I've gotten a better perspective on my life. I'm still depressed & frustrated, but I am no longer angry or hopeless. I have come to terms with the errors of my past, and have come to recognize the patterns of behavior that lead to me repeating those errors. I am no longer on a pattern of self destruction. More importantly, I have learned what I want and what makes me happy.

My improvements were such that I was even able to maintain a short term, somewhat romantic relationship with a girl. While it was short lived, the fact that it happened at all is a major step forward! Now, I can't say my life is all sweetness and light, or that I've transformed into an upbeat, happy-go-lucky guy. But, for the first time in over a decade, I can look back on my life and see that I'm better now than I was then. The philosopher George Santayana stated, "Those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." It looks like my memory is getting better. I'm still not happy by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm getting there. My life, such as it is, remains simply a

Friday, January 14, 2011

And While Jon Has The Floor...

I've been trying to come up with a post about the shooting in Arizona, but I couldn't quite get a handle on it. And then, I was watching the news and suddenly an angle appeared to me. Just when I was about to write it out, Jon Stewart beat me to it...

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Veiled Criticism

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More on the iPhone coming to Verizon...

Yesterday, I put up this blog post about Verizon's announcement that they will be carrying the Apple iPhone in February. The basic gist of which is that while it's a cool idea, my life has not really been changed by the announcement. There are other viewpoints out there, and in the interests of fairness I am compelled to post this video as a counterpoint to my earlier comments. It was... a moral imperative.

And now for the rebuttal, I give you... Jon Stewart:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Verizon iPhone Announcement

Awesome Commercial Idea

Anyone who owns a tv has seen those Axe commercials. You know the ones I'm talking about where some average looking guy sprays on some Axe spray or uses Axe shower gel or some other product and then is this chick magnet, where women can't help but throw themselves and start grabbing all over him and nuzzling at him. As much as I would love to be that guy, I'm honestly getting tired of those commercials. They are just becoming trite and derivative. What they need is to be a bit more exciting.

Check out this mock commercial for an "Axe-like" product called Saber. This is the type of commercial I would LOVE to see!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today Is A Big Day...

Today is a big day. Verizon (Vz) has officially announced that next month they'll start carrying the Apple iPhone. After years of begging, customers got what they wanted and for a brief moment all was right in the universe. We were all basking in the glow of the power of the possibilities soon to be available to us.... And then reality set in. Yes, Vz is going to carry the Apple iPhone. No, this doesn't mean the end of AT&T. Why not? Well, to be completely honest, I don't see many people suddenly switching to Vz next month. Here's why.

First, the Vz iPhone 4 is a 3G phone. One big drawback of this is that Vz customers will not be able to make voice calls and surf the web at the same time. The other major hitch here is because of hardware differences, anyone wanting to switch to Vz will most likely have to buy a new phone. At least until some enterprising individuals write some app to map AT&T iPhones to Vz's network. Given the announced prices, that's going to be about $200 for the phone, plus if you jump ship before your contract is up, AT&T is going to charge you anywhere from $250-$375 in termination fees. So that's almost $600 to get a phone that does LESS than the current phone does on AT&T.

The other reason AT&T shouldn't be sweating Vz getting the iPhone is that they no longer have to shoulder all the data traffic of iPhone users. If my prediction turns out to be completely off (I have a 50/50 chance people!!) and tons of people leave AT&T for Vz, that means a huge chunk of bandwidth is going to be freed up for those who choose to remain, thereby alleviating the biggest customer complaint AT&T seems to get regarding the iPhone.

Now, Vz does have a 4G network, (and there are Vz compatible phones that are 4G) but due to customer impatience, um.. increasing demand, Apple didn't have the time to make the necessary hardware changes to maintain the look and feel of the iPhone while making it compatible to Vz's 4G network. So, it's our own fault because we couldn't wait patiently. As for me, I'm waiting until I can afford the switch, so in about 2 or 3 years, (assuming the world doesn't end in 2012) I'll probably switch to the iPhone. Probably on Verizon, but who knows... maybe by then it'll be available on MY cell phone carrier!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Television Blues...

In a previous posting, I mentioned that I love this time of year because all my shows return after their winter breaks, but I find that this January, I don't have the same level of excitement as I've had previously. It took me a little while, but I finally figured out why. This is my first January in 8 years with no 24. I've gotten used to looking forward to January for the Two Night, Four hour premiere of 24. Even the commercials were awesome, and then on the Sunday night of the premiere hearing the announcer (most likely Don LaFontaine) say the words I've been waiting for:

"The new season of 24 starts... RIGHT NOW!"

It was a truly epic moment for me. And what's worse is that I don't have a ready replacement. There just aren't any shows on tv with that same high octane, indomitable energy of 24. While that's the biggest source of my blues, there is another thing I'm missing.

There was a time when all the shows came back within a couple of weeks. If you had 6 shows you watched, 3 would come back on one week and the next week the other three were back. You heard tons of announcements of "premiere week" and other such nonsense, but now everything comes back in drips and dribbles. One show comes back then it's another 2 weeks before another show comes back and so on. I miss that sudden revving up of the television schedule as all the shows come back raring to go and pull you back into action, suspense, melodrama, or whatever.

It's almost like the networks are tired of doing this stuff and are burning out. Given some of the concepts of upcoming shows, I can see their point.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Difference between Thought & Action...

I finally finished Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and it was a good game. The ending was really interesting and I'm eager to see what the DLC packs that Konami are going to release this year have to offer! This past weekend, I started a new video game: Batman: Arkham Asylum.

I bought the game because everyone told me how awesome the game was. (I wish I could have afforded the collector's edition with the Batarang!) It got game of the year, and tons of people (including a large subset of my friends) absolutely loved it. Now that I've finally played it, I can see why. Like Bioshock, Arkham Asylum engrosses you into the events of the game in such a subtle way that I didn't realize I was hooked until I checked the clock and realized that what had felt like 20 minutes of playing was actually THREE HOURS!! And as I played the game, I realized that as much as I love Batman, I had no idea just how difficult it is to be in his shoes.

I remember tons of arguments I've had with many a Superman fan, arguing about the quality of Batman's mind. Not just about it's alleged superiority, but also the subtle manipulations that Batman engages in almost every encounter that allow him to perform as he does. Yet, for all my vaunted knowledge and in depth reading, actually having to perform those same manipulations is another challenge all together. While I'm still just in the beginning of the game, the aspect of the game that I absolutely LOVE is how the game puts you in Batman's mind.

The last part of the game I played was in the Asylum's medical facility where a couple of my choices backfired on me. I had been given a couple of upgrade options and, in typical gaming fashion, I upgraded my armor first, thinking that it would be an advantage in any fights I get into. But that's not Batman's style. If Batman is in the middle of a shoot out, he's lost his main advantage: stealth. At the height of his ability, the only time someone gets to see Batman is when HE wants you to, not before.

And I paid for that mistake, time and time again as I tried to take out 5 guys and ended up getting killed over and over. But rather than frustrate me (as what would happen in most games), this setback actually gave me a deeper understanding of my favorite comic character and just enhanced my enjoyment of the game. It's most likely going to take me awhile to complete Batman: Arkham Asylum, but I'm going to LOVE every single instant of it and when I'm done, I'll have a much greater, more delicately nuanced understanding of Batman and the way he sees the world. 

Here We Are...

Well, it's a new year, and things are already starting to look up. My shows are starting to come back after their winter breaks, and that always puts me in a great mood. Yesterday, Castle came back with a fantastic episode! It was funny, intriguing, and just all around awesome. Tonight marks the season premiere of V, which looks like it's going to be lots of fun this year!!

Lie To Me starts next Mon, and House starts back up on the 17th. I can't wait!!!