Monday, March 5, 2012
The Graduate Vs. Strawdogs
* = It should surpise no one with but I'm with Ron Swanson on this one...
The weekend has come and gone. It really actually felt like a weekend. Sure that could be because I literally got nothing of value accomplished, but I prefer to think it’s because it was quiet, semi-relaxing, and a chance to re-charge my batteries. I do have to point out though that we still haven’t sold ‘Blue’, my wife’s car. We had two potential buyers but then they dropped off the face of the planet. You know if you contact us and want to set up time to check out the car, and we drop everything we’re doing to accommodate you, the least you can do is have the gawd damn human decency to call us and tell us you are no longer interested. When you leave us to just twist in the wind it means you’re a pathetic asshole. Seriously.
So that was disappointing, and stress inducing for my lovely wife as it seemed as if we were finally going to be done with this, and be able to move some money around accelerating ‘The Plan’. However, we find ourselves in the same frustrating holding pattern. Hopefully this week we’ll get some interest, and this time people who are chumps.
Friday night I watched Justice League: DOOM (**** out of 5).
Cassandra had hooked me up with it for Valentine’s Day. I have to say I enjoyed it, but it really felt short. The story is lifted from Mark Waid’s JLA story ‘Tower Of Babel’. In the comic the basic premise is Ra’s Al Ghul gets a hold of Batman’s ‘Protocols’ for dealing with his fellow JLA members if they ever went rogue. In the animated flick it’s Vandal Savage using a team of villains consisting of Mirror Master, Cheetah, Bane, Metallo, Ma'alefa'ak (an evil Green Martian), & Star Sapphire. The idea is that Savage needs the League out of the way, so he uses the Royal Flush Gang as a distraction in order to sneak Mirror Master into the Batcave to steal Batman’s ‘JLA Protocols’. See Batman is a paranoid guy, SUPER PARANOID! So he’s developed strategies to take out his team members should the situation ever arise. Let’s face it he’s a human being on a team with a Goddess, a Martian, the Last Son Of Krypton, the Fastest Man Alive, & a guy wielding one of the most powerful weapons in the Multi-verse he has a right to be a bit on edge especially since it seems that routinely his teammates get mind controlled or some other nonsense. Oh and by nonsense I mean AWESOMENESS! So Batman’s plans are turned against The League. Mirror Master straps a bomb to The Flash (Barry Allen) that if he slows down will detonate, so it’s wearing him out as he runs at top notch speed to his death. Metallo tricks Superman and shoots him in the chest with a Kryptonite bullet. Cheetah drugs Wonder Woman to where everyone she sees is The Cheetah so she won’t stop fighting thus leading to death by exhaustion. Star Sapphire sets up an elaborate scenario where Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) fails to save a group of people, blames himself for their death, and has sort of a mental breakdown due to it. He gives into fear and loses his ring. Ma'alefa'ak poisons the Martian Manhunter in his civilian guide causing him to burst into flames uncontrollably. The worst is Bane’s plot for Batman. He digs up his parents, then ambushes Bruce Wayne, beats him half to death, and then buries him alive with his dead parents. GRISLY! But seeing as he’s Batman he gets out his car keys and punches his way out for VENGEANCE! That scene alone is worth the whole DVD’s as it’s just perfect, and you know, YOU KNOW that Bane is going to get his ass whupped! So Batman gets out and figures out what’s happened and gets down to the business of saving the League from his ‘Protocols’. In the process he enlists Cyborg, formerly of the Teen Titans, who he already had helping him on the Royal Flush Gang case. Cyborg ‘saves’ Wonder Woman from herself. Batman assists The Flash via a phone call, which was a bit lame, until you see how The Flash gets out of it. Then Wonder Woman, The Flash, & Cyborg save Martian Manhunter. They all meet in Metropolis to perform emergency surgery on Superman to save him. Suffice to say it works. One of my complaints was none of the League seemed to be overly pissed that one of their own had come up with a series of attacks to incapacitate them. In fact they just seem like they expected it, this is VERY unlike what the comic does. Finally they hunt down Savage and his Legion Of Doom. Savage’s big plan is to annihilate half the human population to make the rest more docile for him to establish his new empire. We get the obligatory bad guys vs. good guys battle. It’s alright, nothing that incredible with the exception of The Flash Vs. Mirror Master which I really dug. I do have another complaint here, it’s that Superman let Metallo OWN him for so long, especially since he just crushes him in three punches once he’s motivated. We also get Vandal Savage beating the beejuzus out of Cyborg. I thought it was a good way to beef up what has historically seen as a second, at best, rung character. Cyborg didn’t have a ton of screen time, but what he did made him really come off a a guy who could hold his own in the Justice League. So the League stops Savage’s nasty plan, and then we get the big ‘meeting’, “what to do with Batman?” In the comic this is handled beautifully as a petulant Batman doesn’t wait around for them to vote ‘yeah’ or ‘nay’ he just leaves, so we never know the result of the vote. Here they first vote Cyborg in and then begin the debate. The saving grace of this scene is Batman basically telling them that if they don’t have a plan to not only take him out but each other then they’ve lost their damn minds. He then basically says that he doesn’t belong in the League anymore and leaves. It’s a good scene, but if they had just kept a bit more of Waid’s take it could have been great. But I digress, the ending with Batman and Superman talking and Superman giving Batman the Kryptonite Bullet, just like in the classic story ‘Dark Knight, Dark City’ is really solid. Overall, it’s a good not great flick. It felt to much like a VERY long, VERY dark Justice League episode. In fact they had all the best voice actors back for this one. On a side note, can we make it a LAW that no one can voice Batman except Kevin Conroy, EVER? He’s just perfect. Michael Rosenbaum was back as The Flash, albeit as Barry Allen and not Wally West who he played on the series. Susan Eisenburg was there as a quiet beefy Wonder Woman. They had Carl Lumbry as not only Martian Manhunter but also as his nemesis Ma'alefa'ak. Tim Daly, yes that guy from Wings, was back as Superman. Even Phil Morris was back to reprise his great work as Vandal Savage. The big ‘update’ was Nerd Gawd Nathan Fillon as Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. I like Fillon, but I sort of felt like he didn’t have a whole lot to do in this one. Again, that was my main issue with this as a whole, it was just to short. There was an extra on the disc for the next DCU Animated flick, Superman Vs. The Elite. It’s based on a Joe Kelly story from the 90’s where Superman has to deal with an ‘Extreme’ group of Anti-Heroes who capture the imagination of the public, but just continually get more and more violent. It’s the classic idea of whether or not Superman is relevant in a modern world. I’ve never read the actual story, but have read some of the fallout of it. I look forward to seeing what they do with it, especially if they can get an animated look of Doug Mahnke’s really great art.
I also watched the second season premiere of Young Justice this weekend. It was fantastic. Klarion used Wotan, Felix Faust, Blackbriar Thorn, & The Wizard to separate the world into two, one of adults and one of children. The JLA is trapped in a world trying to deal with the fact that everyone under 18 has disappeared, while the Young Justice squad is dealing with the opposite. The key component is Captain Marvel, who is an adult member of the League, but who also happens to be 13 year old Billy Batson.
So Billy is force to switch back and forth as the link between the two. At the same time we get the tension of whether or not Zatanna should join Young Justice, on the show she’s a teenager, and her father Zatara, whose alive on the show, will let her. In the end Zatanna has to put on the Helmet Of Fate to stop Klarion. Problem is the spirit of Nabu in the Helmet won’t let her take it off. To appease Nabu, Zatara gives himself over to the Guardian Of Order freeing his daughter but becoming the new Doctor Fate. It is an EXTREMELY entertaining take on Zatara and even Doctor Fate. It also gives us a reason to have Zatana around full time. The thing is all this is secondary to the fact we get a GREAT Captain Marvel-centric episode. I love Captain Marvel, and can’t for the life of me understand why he isn’t one of the most popular characters in all comics. The idea of a boy using a magic word, 'SHAZAM!', to turn into a super-powered adult, but is still a child in mind, to fight evil is just to cool for school. Anyways, I loved the episode and am beyond gleeful to know the show is back. Now if only the second season of Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes & the first season of Ultimate Spider-Man (co-starring NOVA!) will start I can dance a jig.
Another week another Pathfinder Rise Of The Runelords mini preview!
Well we got another Ogre, and I for one am pleased. It’s not that I don’t like the initial set’s Ogre, I do even though I still don’t own one. I like the Pathfinder Ogre’s look a lot. It’s just that we needed more of them. This one seems pretty rank and file, the exception being that nasty hook weapon. I also like the almost shark like ‘dead doll eyes’ they gave them. It makes them suitably manically looking.
The second is the Ogre Brute wielding a nasty looking tree trunk for a club. Again the look on the face says it all, ‘I am F’Ning crazy, and wish to eat you!’ This would have been perfect for last month’s D&D session. The more I see these three minis the more I’m convinced that my PC’s will have to take another shot at Moma & her brood.
Which brings me to the final mini this week, Jaagrath Kreeg. He’s the big ogre baddie in the Rise Of The Runelords. He’s big, nasty and the leering pose is absolutely perfect! I dig the staff hook, the looming stance, and that toothy almost idiot like grin. I’m a bit disappointed that he’s a Rare. The other two are Uncommons I believe, so I’ll have shell out a couple bucks a piece for them, I’m thinking Jaagrath is going to be more around $7. The thing is he looks SO good, and would be perfect for my Ogre forces. So I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll be purchasing them all.
- Oh Rush. You have to understand that even you and your cronies can’t withstand the backlash of attacking someone unsolicited, especially when you are attacking based on a lie you fabricated.
All I can really hope for here is that he’s finally said something so offensive to so many that he’s dropped. I can’t see that happen as he’s the voice of the 1% out there. The thing is he’s just a deplorable guy, saying disgusting & reprehensible things and his fans eat it up. It says a lot about not only him, but those that defend him as well. And before anyone who identifies with this guy throws a ‘rod’, yes I know Bill Mahr dropped the ‘C-Bomb’ about Palin not to long ago, and that is JUST as reprehensible.
But what we’ve learned is, if you do that as a comedian, on a show on HBO, it seems that no one cares. You do the same type of behavior on one of the country’s largest talk radio networks, then the people that advertise on your show care. I think the other thing to keep in mind Conservative 'bastions of reason', is that this lady didn’t use inflammatory language, she just spoke about birth control and the lack of it having unfortunate effects. Palin on the other hand, has spent a great deal of her time spouting thinly veiled hate. The fact is these two entertainers are going to act this way regardless, and that’s more than a little pathetic, the only difference is the outside money involved.
- Oh and while we’re at it, apparently the big thing now is that Andrew Brietbart was apparently assassinated by Obama. Wow. You really think that the President is going to kill a pundit of the opposing party to stop him from releasing what is or is not ‘damning evidence of him from college’? That is one of the single dumbest things I’ve ever heard. This is right up there with the ‘Birthers’. The sheer amount of conspiracy and conspirators that would have to be involved for this to happen is amazing. We aren’t that competent, as humans or especially as ‘Mericans. This is just further proof that those that have an agenda and are looking for a reason to hate will hate no matter facts or reality. Just think what these folks could do if they harnessed all that energy to something more productive.
- As long as we’re on the list of Infinite Sadness, New Orleans Saints WTF? Bounties? Systematic payment for ‘carting’ or seriously injuring players? Wow, I mean I played football in high school, college, and a bit after, but I’ve never heard anything quiet as messed up. Football is a fraternity. We go and beat the crap out of each other between the whistles but never should we make an attempt to hurt someone. Sure I want to impose my will on you, and best possible scenario is you ‘quit’, but not at the cost of your health, and especially not at that level. We’re now in the Age Of The Concussion, where we’re finding out that these guys are dying young due to injuries. All we keep hearing about is ‘career life span’, pension plans, and ‘growing the game’. Are you ‘growing the game’ or helping ‘career life spans’ when you encourage your players to injure each other?
To know that the GM, the Coaches, and even the Owner were aware and complicit in this is really messed up. Especially in lieu of that NFC Title Game with Farve and even the week before where they essentially ended Kurt Warner’s career with a questionable hit. A lot of current and former players are saying this isn’t that big a deal, but I have to disagree. If you blow someone up and they get hurt, then that’s part of the game, you feel bad, but life goes on. If you plan to hurt someone, in order to be rewarded then that’s pretty terrible. Especially if you’re one of those guys who takes a knee while their being helped off the field and ‘pray for them’. What a mess. I hope they throw the book at the Saints organization, but especially now St. Louis Defensive Coordinator and erstwhile Bounty organizer Greg Williams. It’s one thing to play hard and with attitude, it’s another to play dirty.
- I’m close to getting all of my Encounter Cards done for my deck. A deck is 54 cards, and I think I’m at about 47. I also was able to get three more Pathfinder monsters done as well as three more beasties for my Dragon’s Tears set, including this little diddy. I like the way this card turned out as I think it offers an interesting dynamic to game play. The PC’s can either take Anastasiya to the Start Tile and protect her there, which gives them the ability to Level Up quicker than normal or they don’t.
Either way the game goes on. It gives them another option for play, both in actual tactics and in potential ‘story telling’. Do you assign time and attention to a secondary potentially helpful asset or do you continue to push through to the actual mission objective? This makes the game far more interesting in my opinion. The idea is to add these NPC’s so they put secondary ‘missions’ into the game, produce additional options, or help repetitive play value. Just think as well these give you options to build entire Adventures about around NPC’s, or at least freshen up old Adventures.
- March Madness is right around the corner! I can’t wait.
- I painted this weekend. In fact I finished four more minis this weekend. I hope I can knock out at least ten more this week. I’m working on some Drow right now and they just don’t seem to want to come out right. Maybe with the wash I’ll be a bit more satisfied. I have at least thirty minis on the table right now in various states of completion. If I can get a little focus I can knock them out quiet quickly, that’s the hope anyways.
- If the weather persists I’ll be grilling tomorrow night. The idea of 50 degree weather, the wafting smell of cooking meat, and just the idea that winter may have already subsided brings glee to my soul.
You know I think that’s all I got.
“You're so impossible
Scream and moan it chills my soul
Don't wanna hear you got left behind
All those times you stayed up and cried
It's no lie
You did it to yourself
Like chewed up gum under my shelf
Don't look surprised
You must have know all along
It's just another love song
Another love song
It's never easy
It's not hard
When you've lost your mind
With you it's sleazy
Don't tell me your worries
I'm sick, I'll leave you blind
Now the time has come
To leave this love that's left you dry
No need to work this out now
Cause you know there's no reason why
It's just another love song
Another love song
I never told you it would last forever
You can't hold this boy for long, dig it
By the time you read my letter
Baby, I'll be gone
You're just another love song
Another love song”
* = Don't you wish you could scream this at people who you share employment with?