Rene has a special relationship with animals. They all love her and she loves them. Here’s just a small snippet of her life:
The new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailers are pretty great! I can’t wait until May! And the stand out star so far has been the Hulk-Buster armor that Iron Man fights the Hulk in. Let’s check the tape:
Pretty cool, right? There’s something about two big things beating the crap out of each other that just says “blockbuster!” Is there anything else that can explain the success of the Bay-former movies? But I don’t want to get distracted.
The Hulkbuster first appeared in 1994 during a series of stories written by Len Kaminski and penciled by Kev Hopgood where Iron Man was trying to clean up old Stane factories that were polluting the environment or working on hazardous projects. Each issue had a different guest star including Venom (he was being positioned as a hero at the time), Deathlok and Smart Hulk (when the Hulk had the strength of the hulk, the mind of Bruce Banner and the attitude of the grey Hulk… ask a comic geek, they’ll tell you what that all mean. It was the 90’s). The technical first appearance of the Hulkbuster is in Iron Man 304, but it’s just the final page as a teaser for the next month.
All the actual Hulkbuster action is in Iron Man 305 “Green Politics.”
The original Hulkbuster was actual a series of add on bits for the armor that Iron Man used at the time called, believe it or not, the Modular Armor which switched out systems and weapons on a mission specific basis. A lot of different bits and bobs were created and used, but the Hulkbuster stands out and the only truly memorable one.
Since then there have been many versions of the Hulkbuster in both art and action figure form. I was going to post some of those images here but it’s actually worth seeing how much has been created so HERE’S A LINK TO A GOOGLE IMAGES SEARCH.
Film wise, we all thought we were getting a Hulkbuster in Iron Man 3, but instead we got “Igor”:
It was a little disappointing.
Then we got this concept art from Age of Ultron:
And all Iron Man geek hearts were a-flutter!
Seeing the Hulkbuster in action is just whetting my appetite even more and you know I’ll be first in line when Avengers 2 comes out in May!
Well, first in line at a reasonable hour, I’m too old for midnight shows anymore.
Are you excited for Avengers: Age of Ultron? Hit the comments!
See you next time.
I saw this and immediately wanted it to be the companion series to the new season. Gravity Falls meets The Doctor. Can we get The BBC and Disney on this? For more great art by creator Stephen Bryne go check out his Facebook Page.
See you next time!
I recently watched the documentary “The People vs. George Lucas” on Netflix. In it the filmmakers explore the rise and fall of the public’s perception of George Lucas especially through the eyes of Star Wars fans and their reaction to the prequels. I could identify with the people shown in the film. For a long time I was a die hard Star Wars fanboy. If you knew me from the years of 1977 until the release of the prequels in 1999 you would have seen my shrine to Yoda, whose teachings were very important to me even though I knew that he was a fictional character spouting phrases that were highly influenced by Eastern philosophy. The original trilogy was memorized and could be quoted on demand. I knew obscure facts that couldn’t even be referenced directly by only watching the movies, it required research into the development of the films and the original drafts of the screen play. I have read the “Journal of the Whills” that is now getting a comic book adaptation – and I did it in 1993 BEFORE THE INTERNET! The expanded universe, novels, toys, video games, toys, the Christmas Special, toys, posters, concept art and toys. I was committed and baptized in the church of Star Wars and, as Rene likes to point out whenever my geek cred is challenged, held court in public on the subject. There wasn’t much wool more dyed in the universe of Star Wars than I and so when the prequels came out it and they ended up being what they were…
The fall was hard and the disappointment was… I can’t even think of a word.
But I was willing to give it another shot. This universe had been a backbone of my childhood fantasy life and I couldn’t give up just because one film was terrible.
Episode 2 came out and, even though Yoda kicked a lot of ass, I was, again, very disappointed. Seriously, is any wonder the Jedi were killed off? They didn’t know their ass from their elbow.
By the time Episode 3 came out I was far from enthusiastic. I really only saw the movie to complete the story. But then Darth Vader screamed, “No” and I was out.
I’m not even going to mention the whole “Han shot first” thing. But he did and my children will not grow up in a world where Greedo shot first. Check out this video where I embarrass myself by mixing up the whole Han/Greedo thing. So embarrassing!
Anyway, I have friends who are still committed. A director friend of mine runs a Star Wars RPG with select members of young Hollywood. Others still collect the merchandise. Most fellow geeks I know own a light saber or two.
I completely gave it up.
I felt betrayed, and so did so many of the people interviewed in the film. The Special Editions are supposed to be the new definitive versions of the original trilogy and, while I actually like many of the adjustments and additions, this is also the same set of movies that have the abysmal Han/Greedo problem and the terrible extra Jabba the Hutt scene. Lets not even mention the fact that two key songs were cut: Yub Nub and the Sy Snoodles song. For me, personally, I could even rationalize all this with my inner raging fanboy if the original version were somehow available somewhere. Somewhere! Here’s hoping that Disney does a little market research and sees that there is a whole lot of niche money in releasing the originals *fingers crossed
These are the ravings of a lost fanboy, but these feelings, and the film, both raise a very valid question: where does private ownership end and communal cultural ownership begin? When do we as the public, who have loved something and made our own contributions to it’s mythos, get to claim a piece of the entertainment we consume? I’m not even talking about a monetary piece – that’s a whole different can of worms – but a little corner of the universe that fans can claim as their own.
It’s not like fans are kept from doing things. Fan films are practically their own genre, some are even famous on their own right (see Troops and Batman: Dead End). Novels are the printed fan-fiction of recognized authors and if you’re a Whovian you have a whole set of radio dramas to help build the list of Doctor Who adventures with a variety of different Doctors to choose from. Will and passion become the fuel that generates whole new chapters to the stories that we love. Whether you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, Potter-maniac, Whovian, Trekkie, Star Wars geek or Bronie, the Internet now connects you to like-minded individuals, many of whom may have a podcast or enough amateur film equipment to create new content.
And that’s when I start to question what that might mean for the future and for the content I like to create. There are movies and narrative film ideas that the team and I have been working on, but I’m only really getting to a point where I’ve stated to develop the ideas for new characters, worlds and stories that I hope to publish and capture on some sort of video media. While it would be hubris to think that anything that I write would become anything as big or as beloved as any of the universes I mentioned above, I have hopes that it might. And you kind of need to think of the “the morning after the night before” to be prepared for the “just in case” scenario.
With crowd sourcing and Internet community becoming not only common but typical and growing and more and more a part of our lives, it’s interesting to think about how that can integrate into content creation. I want fan support (I mean, duh, that’s kind of a given) but I also want participation. Sometimes fan ideas take your ideas in places you can’t imagine on your own and they challenge the preconceptions that you develop for yourself. It’s exciting and it’s scary and its the future.
What do you think? How did you feel about the Special Editions and the prequels? What are you a geek for? Tell me in the comments. Let’s keep this conversation going!
See you next time.
By the way, want to own the movie on DVD? You can find it by clicking on the picture below.
Saw Inception with Rene tonight.
Or did I dream it?
No, totally saw it. Totally enjoyed it. More important to me was the just the fact that Rene and I managed to get out and actually see a movie! I’m sure I’ve talked about this before, but it is very hard to get out to see movies when you’re trying to make them. At least for me it is. Add to a heavy work load the fact that Rene and I are on opposite schedules and it’s a recipe for failure.
But good planning is the anchor for success and we have a good plan! Sunday is for Scott Pilgrim and I’m VERY excited about that! Also I think I have laid enough subtle hints (i.e. screaming, “OMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!”) to convince her to see Tron Legacy when it is in theaters as well. Here’s hoping Disney will get another Tron ride in the park!
Speaking of Disney we saw the movie at Downtown Disney and I was surprised at how busy it was on a week night after the movie got out, which was about 11:30pm:
I don’t know if this picture really shows the number of people that were there, but it’s the picture that I got. Most of the restaurants were closed too, so I have no idea what they were able to do.
I’m sure they found something.
See you tomorrow!
As some of you may or may not know, I do more than just act and produce stuff. On occasion, when they will have me, I work corporate events. Sometimes I host, sometimes I do speaking about leadership/motivation/team work and sometimes as a facilitator showing people how to do things. Today was one of those events.
I was working for SMACNA – it has to do with sheet metal workers and even though one of Rene’s best friends is in charge of the O.C. branch I can never remember what the letters stand for. What I can remember, though, is that I really like working these events! Everyone is so friendly and I always learn a lot about buildings and construction and how things have changed over the decades. In particular there was a book at the event that was written in 1938 describing the building codes of the time and the buildings described inside were beautiful… and nothing is made like that anymore. I miss the attention to detail that old buildings have. I wish there were more still being build that way.
The event was held at the Paradise Pier Hotel at the Disneyland Resort, a place where I occasionally and Rene for a while, worked! Today’s picture is of me next to the Goofy statue in the lobby:
See you tomorrow!
On Wednesday my friend Darius Rose is moving to New York City. To send him off in style some of the cast from “Last Christmas…” (the Christmas show that I did this last December), Rene and I spent a few hours with him at the Disney parks in Anaheim. Darius is a new friend, we only just met during the show. He’s funny and fun and I think he’s going to have a great time in NYC. I would love to have the opportunity to move there myself right now! Rene and I are pretty sure Frankie the Wonder Dog would love it! But that isn’t the reason why I choose this picture for today.
To me this picture represents something that I try to remember for myself everyday – enjoy the little things and savor the little victories. We didn’t ride a bunch of rides today, we didn’t see a bunch of shows, but Darius wanted to get a picture with Princess Tiana before he left. A little thing that made him happy. Not ecstatic, just happy. It was just what the moment needed. I think it’s easy to overlook these moments. A lot of the time we get caught up in all of the “big” things in our lives like careers, money, those miscellaneous “stressors” that can so easily distract us from the fact that there are a bunch of little moments every day where we have the opportunity for some simple happy. You don’t even have to look for them, they just show up, but you do have to be willing to see them when they come. Each little victory – picking up the laundry, remembering to eat right one day, making the bed, even just making it to work on time – stacks on top of the last. The little victories can help make the bigger victories – a raise at work, spring cleaning, finally asking out that special someone – that much easier to achieve.
It’s not necessarily an easy lesson, I know for me there are those days when it just doesn’t seem like anything is going the right way, but if you stick to it the feeling is great and makes it easier to do next time. Seeing Darius get this picture, or Rene’s first video blog, or even seeing Frankie when he gets his daily walk are all reminders about how important the little victories are. What little victories have happened for you lately? Leave it in the comments, I’d love to hear about it.
See you tomorrow!
So now that the news about Disney’s acquisition of Marvel comics is public knowledge, and it looks like they’ll have no problem getting past the anti-trust panel, I think it is safe to have my fanboy freak out followed immediately by the calm realization that the publishing end probably won’t change all that much.
I expect to see an Iron Man ride at Disneyland before the world ends on December 21, 2012.
Now on to the reviews!
This is the final issue of a great series that died before its time. Maybe it’s the Anglophile in me, but I really enjoyed how “British” this comic book felt which was due, in no small part, to to the excellent writing of Paul Cornell. He had no small task to achieve with this issue seeing as he needed to end the whole series and complete the current Dracula storyline at the same time. I won’t lie, there are sections that seemed rushed. You can tell from reading it that there are characters and plot lines that were clearly going to be drawn out longer, especially the return of Meggan. I enjoyed the device of Pete Wisdom taking a girl on a date and using that to basically explain everything that was going on.
There are some continuity questions I have, mostly stemming from the issue where the skull was “destroyed,” but these are small gripes. The reappearance of Death’s Head was a nice surprise as was the final battle against Dracula. Cornell’s ability to make Dracula such a great villain makes me hope that he’ll get his hands on more lesser known characters and give them a reboot. He’ll certainly have the opportunity now that Marvel has moved him on to four different books!
As usual Leonard Kirk’s art was dynamic and fun and it continues to make me wonder how such a great book can get canceled. The trades of this series will be out and complete by October. If you like good stories you’ll pick them up.
There are times in the life of a comic book that you have an issue or two that are used to push forward an overall plot line as opposed to the tight single issue plot line. In issues like this it is customary to have a big guest star to help fill out the book. In my opinion, this is one of those issues for AoA. Jimmy Woo leaves to investigate an old branch of the Atlas Group with the robot M-11 and, just as he leaves, the rest of the team is called to action by a secret base in Nevada. What danger could require the whole inner circle? The Hulk!
Seeing the team come together without Woo or the power of M-11 was actually really nice. The action was not played simple or without consequence. The team goes through all the “expected” ways that you’d try to suppress the Hulk and the final solution ends up being creative and, while not surprising, satisfying. Jeff Parker really understands his characters and their team dynamic. He does it so well that this issue, which is actually quite good, seems mediocre by the standards set in the rest of the series. That can be a problem with a book that is so regularly good, you get accustomed to it and it’s hard to be “wowed!”
Art duties are well executed by Carlo Pagulayan on pencils and Jason Paz with Noah Salonga inks. The story flows very well and the creature designs are suitably creepy. It’s just a really solid book. The end cliffhanger actually has me wondering what’s next, and that’s not something many comic readers are accustomed to!
That’s it for today, see you tomorrow!