Tuesday, October 30, 2012

4 BILLION Dollars

George Lucas has sold Lucasfilm for 4 BILLION dollars.  This isn't news to all those in geek circles for the 'net is all a buzz with activity about it.

Go ahead, George.  Take the money and run, it's your right and you've earned it.  I find it ironic, though.  Here in the 70's you were fighting against the big companies in Hollywood, trying to get your movies made.  You hated doing business with them because you thought they were more business and no art.  In the span of just a few months, you became that which you hated to do business with.  Lucasfilm grew into a beast of a company, an "empire" if you will.  Now you took 4 billion from the empire of the mouse. 


Oh and I'll say this:  Odds are Disney is going to do better with the Star Wars sequels than you EVER did with the prequels.  So I guess this is good news.  Shocking, but still has a silver lining.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Morgalla Inspiration: Masters of the Universe and Mortal Kombat

"Hey, whoa!  He just ripped that guy's head off!"

Mortal Kombat was unique in many ways, number one being its violence.  

One thing that impressed me was the fact that it had a strong story, all be it kinda simplistic:  Bad guy wants to rule the world and good guys have to stop him.  Another cool element was the fact that each character had a story and a reason to be in the tournament.  Where Street Fighter came before, this game took it to new levels with the action and the fact that they were using actors for the characters.

Mortal Kombat II was even cooler.  Not only were the graphics and animation better but the fight went into "outworld".  It took the already cool story and made it even cooler.

When it came to Part III, again there were many great elements.  They took it up a notch where we were back on Earth, but it was invaded by the armies of the evil Shao Kahn.  In all three parts there were mystical and magical elements but in part III they added science fiction hardcore with the cyborg characters.

The movies sucked.  Don't get me started.

Morgalla's story is indeed violent but I tried to downplay any gore and death.  That's where MK and I differ.  I was inspired though about the story of invaders from another dimension.  In some cases they're not human, in fact alien-like beings.  Do they have spaceships?  Do they have high-tech weapons?  Nope.  Don't need em.

Now years before there was a cartoon that had a great deal of potential but ended up being way too campy and childish.  When it came to Masters of the Universe, there were a lot of great characters and a bunch of great concepts that didn't live up to its potential.


Both of these stories had both fantasy and sci-fi elements within it.  Interesting to see both magic and science come together in one story but these two made it work.

Star Wars did it a little, too.

But still...

Mortal Kombat was the bigger influence, especially since it took place in modern times.  He-Man had a lot of potential and even though there was a reboot in recent years, I think we still have yet to see it live up to its potential.  MK, too.

Maybe the Rock would e interested in playing He Man.  I mean, who else could do it?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Flaws of Sam Flynn

Sam Flynn is a bit of a tool.  There, I said it.

The bar was raised when it came to Tron:  Legacy.  Primarily because the trailer came out OVER a year before the movie came out.  That's one of the reasons The Phantom Menace and the Matrix Sequels failed; the hype around them was just SO big.

But one of the reasons why I myself didn't love Tron: Legacy was the main protagonist, Sam Flynn.

We meet him riding a motorcycle super fast and evading the police.  I will say this, at least he's wearing a freaking helmet.  One cliche' of some movie "bad boys" is that they ride a motorcycle and are too cool to wear protective headgear:  See Star Trek (2009), Top Gun and that piece-of-crap movie Taylor Lautner did in recent years.

He breaks into ENCOM, his father's company and commits more crimes.  We find out that he's a primary share holder of stock with the company and that the software made by ENCOM was SUPPOSED to be free.  But if you're a major shareholder, surely you can just WALK IN and not need to sneak in.  He already has pull in the company and all this sneaking around and hacking is pointless.

Just seems pointless to me, it would have made more sense if maybe ENCOM was taken from him somehow though legal means.  Here he's just a rich kid acting out because he's mad.  If you want your dad's company to start acting differently, why not take a role in it?  You have shares, you have power, you have the opportunity to make the changes you want.

Now I'm not an expert in business, but I know that his philosophy of giving stuff away just doesn't work.  See Sam, there are people at ENCOM who make things to sell, they're call software designers.  There are people who answer phones, work security, clean the place up, executives to make sure the place functions.  All these people don't work for free, they have bills to pay and need to work.  If he gave everything away for free, the company would fold in a week and bye bye to your money.  Trust me, his tune would change in a heartbeat.

But another thing that aggravates is here we have this young man preaching this and who released this movie?  DISNEY.  As big of a fan I am of Disney's products, they're the king of over-charging for everything they make.  And here they release a movie that says "giving stuff away is cool!"

But still...

After Sam finds his dad and they escape the bad guys, they hitch a ride.  During which, Sam brings his dad up to speed as to what's been going on in the world.  According to Sam, the world is a terrible place.  Let's not mention the fact that we won the cold war.  Nah.

But among all the terrible things going on, he mentions:

"Rich getting richer, poor getting poorer."

This, from the young man with a trust fund.  You're one of those rich people, pal.  You know, if you feel guilty about having all that money, I'm sure there are people who would love to take it from you.

And at the end, he puts Alan Bradley in charge of ENCOM, like he has the power to snap his fingers and do so.  A question I have:  IF it was that easy to just fix the problems with ENCOM, why didn't you do that in the first place?

Over all, many people didn't like Tron: Legacy for many reasons.  This was mine.  That, and the plot was way more complex than it needed to be.  Don't know why.  They needed to keep it simple and they didn't.

Sam is supposed to be a hero of some sort and rule one if you have a hero in your story:  

You have to LIKE THEM.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rex Lokus and the Strong Stance

Another brilliant coloring job by Rex Lokus.

Review: Dark Knight Returns

The animated version of Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" is one of the best that Warner Brothers Animation has produced.  It's writing is exceedingly loyal to the source material and yet doesn't get TOO bloody.  Where Miller's style was new and rough, the animation here remains similar to his work and yet sharpens it.  Here it feels more solid.

I love Robin's parents.  Though you never see them, their hippie attitude amuses me.

I love how Gordon KNOWS that he's Batman.  Hell, he IS a cop and supposed to be a detective so he should find out sooner or later.  Since he realized that Gotham needed Batman, he kept the secret.

The voice talent is brilliant as usual with Peter Weller at the helm.  He has a grizzled darkness that seems to come through naturally.  That's where some actors get Batman wrong:  Some, while trying to sound "dark", can actually sound more like they're growling.

Now some can be angry with the fact that they split it into two films but I have to agree with WB Animation in this regard.  To do a good job with this film and have it condensed down into one, they would have to leave out a lot.

Hands down, one of the best Batman stories ever.