When The Eagle Cries – #Remembering911 | #NeverForget

I’ll be honest. I didn’t even really want to WRITE this blog. After spending most of the day ignoring Twitter and Facebook in regards to the Anniversary of September 11th-I decided to see if there was a second attack today-because you know, our ever knowing always right government said there would be.

 

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Fourth of July

…..that is quite possibly the gayest featured image in the [short] history of this website…..

How was your Fourth? Did you almost die in a fireworks accident like I did? Did you gorge yourself on burgers and hot dogs to the point where you refused to eat them today, and brought home Japanese instead? No? Well I did….

Check out this nice video of our fireworks display, including the attack on our neighborhood by “Hot and Spicy”

ADVENT | Backstory

Concept Art for Advent

Here we go everything, here is the overall story of the script / story / eventual film I’m writing, entitled ADVENT. It’s an action packed tokusatsu style concept, based on a comic book idea myself and a friend had called “Zero Hour”. I’ve taken some ideas, and reworked them into a real good armored hero piece. It borrows elements from different comics and different things-such as Kamen Rider and Guyver.

 

Here it goes. Introducing: ADVENT!

 

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Was X-Men, First Class?

So, the original X-Men movie came out in 2000. That’s eleven years ago. In eleven years, there has been a total of FIVE X-Men movies to date, counting the latest piece of work, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. Well, does it live up to the hype?

 

In a word? Yes.

 

In a few more words, ehhhhh well let me explain…..

 

Now, for those of you keeping score. I’m not a big fan of the X-Men as a whole. I thought the first two films “X-Men” (duh) and “X-Men United” were both great films (and much better than Bryan Singers OTHER superhero movie…Emoman…). I thought “X-Men: The Last Stand” tried to shove too many concurrent storylines into one film, and made it a bit of a clusterfucky mess (read: Spiderman 3).

 

And than there was the Wolverine movie. Because despite the fact that all 3 “X-Men” movies were basically “The Wolverine Show featuring The X-Men” (in much the same regard as “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” became “The Tommy Oliver Show” after “Green With Evil”)-Fox Studios felt the need to make a solo Wolverine movie, with the “X-Men: Origins” tag line to it…and wow did it suck. I didn’t think a film could screw a character up more than they did with Venom in “Spiderman 3”-but wow….all I have to say is “Deadpool in the Wolverine movie”-and fans everywhere will cringe in horror.

 

This brings up to the SECOND X-Men reboot / prequel / sequel / thingy to come out. “First Class”. It…wasn’t bad. It was certainly better than the CGI trainwreck that was “Wolverine”-but that’s like saying you’d rather be mauled by a jaguar than a lion….you’re still dead in the end either way.

 

The acting was very well, and the casting was extremely good. The few nods about Charles Xavier not wanting to shave his head or go bald were mildly funny-and the way they paralyzed Xavier made alot of sense….I know, really?

 

The movie was really about Erik, aka Magneto. It almost makes me wonder if “First Class” isn’t the rumored “X-Men: Origins: Magneto” movie that was planned alongside Wolverine. The story delved into his backstory quite a bit, and explained who and what he was and stood for. It was a great little bit of character development for all the characters involved.

 

Speaking of characters, these X-Men movies have had a horrible track record of TRYING TO SHOVE TOO MANY CHARACTERS INTO THE MOVIE. Does “First Class” suffer from the same fate? No. Not really. There was a lot of recognizable cameos during the Cerebro Mutant Stalking scene (Storm, Cyclops, Jubilee, I think I saw Gambit in there….) and there was one REALLY FREAKING EPIC Cameo that I really don’t want to spoil for you. The movie had a lot of chuckle worthy humor in it-mainly from Professor Xavier (say whaa?) but this one scene actually made me laugh out loud.

 

The movie does feature a large number of mutants. The bad guys being: Sebastian Shaw, Azazel, Emma Frost, Angel (the girl) and some guy who can make tornados…Riptide. The good guys being: Professor Xavier, Magneto, Mystique, Beast, Havok, and Banshee. Darwin also makes an appearance-and guess what? He gets Venom’d…..because nobody cared about him anyways.

 

I would like to point out that Angel started as one of Xaviers recruits, and later turned heel joining Sebastian Shaw’s Hellfire Club.

 

The overall plot of the movie is paced very well, and the characters develop ALOT in a short time span. “First Class” didnt clusterup the scene with too many characters (like “The Last Stand”) and actually named all the characters on screen (..Spiderman 3…granted I did have to google Riptide…) and didn’t seem to really short anyone out (“Wolverine”…..) or majorly screw up any characterization (…all of the above…). So while it didn’t stay 100% true to the source material, I can respect it, because it didnt majorly screw anything up and made its own unique little world.

 

Now, continuity is a big issue here-since this is OFFICIALLY a prequel to the Singer films. I dont remember the general plotline-but from the looks of things, it does throw “Wolverine” out of continuity (YAAAAYYY!!!! Thank you GAWD!).

 

Overall, I’d give X-Men: First Class a solid B. It was a fun movie, and even if you just want to see the super awesome cameo from an over exposed character-than its worth the price I paid for admission.

 

Oh, and by the way-why don’t you pick up all four X-Men movies on Blu Ray for like $45 bucks or so from my good friends at Amazon.com!

 
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This Is A Job…for Superman!

You should know by now that I love comic books……if you don’t, one of my first posts on this very site is about that. Go ahead, find it. I’ll wait.

Done? Okay good. I feel its time to follow up that post, with a little bit of of introspective thought on a certain aspect of comics. The symbol. Not just any symbol, but THE symbol. The single most iconic emblem in American Pop Culture History. That’s not hyperbole either, that-in my honest opinion-is fact. A symbol as recognizable as the American Flag itself. A symbol that means as much to this country as that very flag. Something that you can throw on a t-shirt in any country-speaking any language-in any time since 1938-and it will be recognized. A symbol that is probably only seconded by those damn Mickey Mouse ears. What symbol is this?

That symbol. The Superman Shield. A piece of popular art that defines not only a subculture (comic book nerds), but defines a country. A symbol that has no prejudices or hate. A symbol that doesn’t represent white, or black, or hispanic, or asian or anything inbetween. A symbol that is known the world over-as more than just a “comic book logo” or a “super hero logo”. It’s a symbol that ushers in a feeling of hope, a feeling of strength, a feeling of power, a feeling of confidence, and a feeling of pride. Some people look at a crucifix to bring themselves to their feet in their morning-and some people wear an S Shield around their wrist. They look down to it during the day-when they just want to drive their pen into the eye socket of the customer infront of them-and take a breath. It’s nearly a religious feeling. It’s a feeling that people of any faith or creed share.

That’s the power behind the Superman “S Shield”. It knows no limits, it knows no bounds.

Now, I’m not the BIGGEST fan of Superman on the planet. I will admit, after the end of Smallville-I became enthralled with the Man of Steel. Zack Snyder’s Superman movie will be amazing (hopefully), and I’ve decided to order the Superman Blu Ray box set as soon as I get some extra cash-even if its just because 2 of the included movies are really, really good. (hint: they didn’t involve an emo Superman, or Richard Pryor…or throwing Nukes into the sun).

I’ve spent alot of time watching documentries on the Man of Steel, and reading back some old Superman comics I own. I still think the character has its flaws, but its not really about that, is it?

Superman is about perseverance. It’s about hope and passion. He’s the ultimate orphan. A refugee from a dying world. His entire planet was destroyed-and yet he still battles the darkness that resides in each and every person on this planet. He still fights for the meek and the strong alike. He sacrifices for the rich and the poor. He doesn’t discriminate by race, creed, class or sexuality. He fights the good fight, and doesn’t ask for anything in return-not even your soul.

Writing this is making me realize the uncanny analog between Kal-El of Krypton and Jesus of Nazareth. Wow.

I’ve re-watched the finale of “Smallville” a couple of times now, and it’s finally sunk in to me. The finale was more about the SYMBOL than Clark Kent or Superman. It took the idealogy that was presented in works like “V For Vendetta” and even “Batman Begins”-that a symbol, or an idea could outlast the man, and be more effective than any single man-super, bat,  spider, or X alike….

The entire premise between the final sequences in “Smallville”-was that it wasn’t so much that Clark was beating up Darkseid and making him run away with his tail between his legs-(which as I have dually noted would of been INSANELY AWESOME….)-but rather about the sight of Superman showing up to send away the darkness would bring about the goodness in people. The sight of that SYMBOL. That big red S emblazoned everywhere, now on something people could tangibly see, is what sent Apokalips and Darkseid away (and conveniently into the sun…..damn it Superman!). I’m amazed I didn’t realize it earlier. The same could be said for Biblical times, the sight of seeing Jesus Christ walk on water, or rise from the dead-is what inspired his disciples.

I’m starting to notice a trend here….

“They’re a good people Kal-El, if they wish to be. They only need the light to show them the way”

-Marlon Brando as Jor-El. “Superman: The Movie” (1978)

Even in the ‘real world’-that symbol has been used as a beacon of hope. A sign that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I remember watching the news Freshman year, in mid September-and seeing workers, firefighters, and volunteers in white suits-with a big black S etched on their chests in either marker or dirt…I didn’t know which. These people-were most likely NOT your average “comic book geeks” making a joke that only they would get. These people where using a piece of American history as a symbol for another part of American history. Their efforts were super, and it even shows that in alot of the tribute art that was released post 9/11

A symbol, used to bring out hope in a hopeless time. Did these artists try to “cash in” on the blind patriotism of the time? No. No they didn’t-at least not in my book. They tried to capture the spirit of the nation-who collectively felt utterly helpless, by humanizing an otherwise deity. The first image there, of Superman completely awe-struck by the men and women who helped the clean of the 9/11 “Terrorist Attacks” (we’re not going to get into THAT one…at least, not in THIS blog…) simply uttering the word “Wow.” sends such a powerful message. The idea that a being-who if he was real-could simply walk across the world to the Middle East, and crush the skull of every single terrorist on the planet within the blink of an eye-being in such awe and inspiration by the capabillities of people who are mere ants on the totem pole compared to him, is simply breathtaking and novel. It shows the strength behind the symbol-and putting the men and women of the NYFD in the same light and breath as THE American Hero (sorry Hulk Hogan, you are the weakest link, good bye) should be an honor in and of its own.

Every time I’m depressed, or upset, or feel completely hopeless. I look at the bracelet I wear on my arm. As I said above, people find inspiration everywhere, and I chose to see it in a symbol etched in a piece of leather. Am I saying that Superman is a direct replacement for Jesus Christ? Or should be treated as such. No. I’m something of a Christian and I do believe in the ideas the Bible represents (to a degree.) For me, it’s something I can relate to easier than a crucifix. I don’t see how people can get inspired by a man being nailed to a piece of wood anyways…….but than again I didnt think people would get aroused by goat por—-nevermind.

That was quite the little rant, now wasn’t it? Thoughts? Comments? Leave them below…..

 

*removes glasses and undoes tie*…this looks like a job……..for Superman…*zooms off*

 

oh, and go buy “Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology” on Blu Ray, from my good friends at Amazon.com! It’s only $89.99 for like EIGHT discs of Blu Ray sexyness. Superman 1, 2, 3, and 4..plus Superman Returns and Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut all in eye bleeding 1080p HD for the first time ever! With over TWENTY HOURS of BONUS FEATURES! YAY!