Monday, May 30, 2011

Bleach Recaps: Ep 206, Forward to the Past

Last week we had the great misfortune of having to deal the final death coughs of the Amagai Arc. Now we move forward into the next true season of "Bleach".  This newest season is a break from tradition in that it is a jump to the past, back when Urahara and Yoruichi were both Soul Reapers.  Aizen was but a lowly lieutenant, and most of the main characters we've come to know and love were not even born yet.  So yeah, Ichigo is not stealing the plotline this time.

Now some of you might have died of a heart attack and despair last week when it seemed like this episode was another filler thing.  Oh, but you are mistaken.  This is not anime filler, this is actually manga filler.  Tite Kubo decided to make a whole arc about the past of the Visoreds (or Vizard, nobody can decide what they're called).  You see, every one of the Visoreds from Shinji on down were Soul Reapers before... something happened.  What happened?  I don't know, but it probably has something to do with Aizen.  And I suppose this means that the Visoreds are essential characters and this new trip to the past will completely shift my viewpoint of this universe, "Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep" style.  Everything we once knew is up for grabs!  A twist beyond twists is on its way, right?  Maybe Aizen isn't actually all that evil, or Shinji is really a bad guy, or we'll find out what the deal with Ichigo's dad is, or something.  Maybe?  ...Please?

Please God, "Bleach", don't dick us around for these episodes.  Whatever you're trying to reveal here, it better be damn worth it.  I don't want to spend a whole season only to learn that Aizen created the Visoreds in a silly experiment and that's it.  Also, this would be a great time to actually give these characters something to do, because I'm not sure Tite Kubo will find room in the giant clustfuck that will be the battle in Fake Karakura Town.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides

I have spent many a difficult day and night fighting with myself whether or not I'll see "Pirates of the Caribbean 4".  Its been a tough decision, full of deep soul searching and hard prayer to Film Gods.  "Pirates 3" was an okay enough movie (even if I'm the only person on Earth who likes it), but it really was the end of the story.  And by that point even then the whole Jack Sparrow and the other pirates shtick was getting old.  This sequel just feels so utterly tacked-on.  I couldn't believe that there could be another adventure to be found in this universe.  Plus the reviews were basically savage.  But at the moment we are stuck in the most awful movie drought I can ever recall - I haven't seen a movie I was completely excited for since "Sucker Punch" and that sucked.  Really the last great movie I saw that I knew for certain would be awesome was "Drive Angry in 3D".  Ultimately I had nothing at all to do, so I just flipped a coin, it ended up Tails, so off to "Pirates 4" was I.

"Pirates of the Caribbean 4" is kind of a milestone for me, because now I can officially declare 3D to be dead.  After "Thor", where an extra ten dollars for those stupid glasses for basically nothing, I am absolutely done with this movie fad.  I can name three moments in movies where 3D actually made it better:  all of "Drive Angry", the balloons in "Rapunzel", and the flying in "How to Train Your Dragon".  That's it.  Even when its done well its entirely unnecessary, and the extra ticket price is never worth it.  So I am in protest now - until 3D movies cost as much as regular ones and actually manage to deliver a better movie experience, I will not see another movie in 3D again.

So onto my grand gamble:  was "Pirates 4" any good?  Well, to what was my real surprise, I actually rather liked "On Stranger Tides".  I like all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, its my favorite film franchise of the last decade.  Jack Sparrow is awesome, the action is crazy, and the plots are just as wild and mixed-up.  Its my kind of film.  Despite everything, I actually think I want to see a "Pirates 5".

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Atlas Shrugged: Part 2

PART 1 HERE

In the last few days I've realized that the political spectrum of this country seems to be driven by the fear of two ghosts.  Liberals are afraid of Big Brother, and Conservatives are afraid of Stupids like Jim Taggart.  "1984" and "Atlas Shrugged" seem to be almost rival novels, one detailing the horrors of government oppressing individual freedoms, the other detailing the horrors of government oppressing the free market.  Big Brother stole the humanity of his victims, breaking down their ability to even see reality past the lies of propaganda.  Jim Taggart and his government cronies just steal everything they can under the claims of regulating the economy.  Ayn Rand ultimately comes to the conclusion that these characters are their phony altruism exist only to destroy everything they see, including themselves.  To the Right in America, President Obama is a foolish Randian Looter, ruining the economy to steal hard-won money from the real workers.  To the Left, President Bush is a Orwellian Tyrant trying to kill liberty in his search for power.  Both viewpoints are extremely delusional and indeed outright dangerous.

I have finally managed to finish "Atlas Shrugged" in one of the worst slogging reads I think I've ever managed to complete.  Reading Ayn Rand's masterpiece is a desperate climb through a seemingly endless expanse of paragraphs the size of houses, each one smashing on the reader's brain with the horrible thud of bloated mass.  This book for me was the Battle of Passchendaele:  endless muddy charges in a bitter war of attrition.  Which would break first?  Rand's prose or my own consciousness?  At nearly twelve-hundred pages of 645,000 words, this monster is 200,000 words longer than "War and Peace".  You could build bridges using copies of this book as bricks.  It is just inexcusably long - since ultimately it can be cut down to half its length with very little lost to the plot line.  Any teacher who forces his or her class to read this novel is committing a crime against humanity.

No. "Atlas Shrugged" is not a good book by any stretch of the imagination.  As a matter of fact, it easily ranks onto the list of the worst things I have ever read, right up there with Dan Brown's schlock and the indigestible vile that James Patterson wretches up every few years.  But unlike modern crap writers like Brown and Patterson and even Stephenie Meyer, Ayn Rand didn't write this just to make a buck.  No, this was to be her grand achievement, her great message to the generations.  This is the most monumental single work of fiction I've touched upon on this blog.  It deserves, at the very least, a much more detailed analysis than I usually give.

Monday, May 23, 2011

All Lucky 7s!!

Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory

So last week I reviewed "Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam", the supposed classic of the Gundam franchise which actually was pretty awful until the ending.  "Zeta Gundam" was so intolerable to watch that it actually took me a full year to finally slog through the entire thing.  I would watch a batch of episodes at a time, then get so sick of the show that I physically could not sit through another moment, ten somehow or another find myself returning to "Zeta" like three months later when I was especially bored.  In contrast, "Gundam 0083" here took me only a week to see through.  Partially because at thirteen episodes its only a fraction of the length of "Zeta" but mostly because "Gundam 0083" is infinitely better.

"Stardust Memory" is the prequel to "Zeta Gundam" and so is tasked with telling the story as to why the Earth Federation went from being the good guys in the original show, to being a load of jackasses that created the Titans.  The year is After Colony 195  ...I mean, the year is Universal Century 0083 in the wacky Gundam calendar system.  A ragtag fleet of Zeon survivors has stolen* a brand new Gundam prototype, a heavily armored monster that comes equipped with a nuclear rocket launcher.  Piloting that Gundam is a legendary Zeon ace with the fear-inspiring title of "The Nightmare of Solomon"**.  But luckily there's another Gundam, a more traditional model that can be piloted by the hero, Kou, a test pilot with a childlike obsession with giant robots.  So begins a grand chase as Kou and his Federation allies rush across the stars to stop Operation Stardust - whatever its true target is - and try to save the world.

"Gundam 0083" is better than "Zeta" for several reasons - chief amongst them being that the show has a plot.  "Zeta" was just an endless repetition of battles without any kind of resolution.  With only thirteen episodes, every moment is essential for the storyline to move forward, meaning we can't waste time with moronic extraneous characters or whiny teenage angst.  But more importantly, the characters here by and large actually are likable.  The animation is not only crisper but the battles are better choreographed and give a proper feeling of danger and tension - its amazing how much better Japanese animation got in just ten years between the 80s and the 90s.  "Gundam 0083" didn't leave me wishing for every character to die, so it gets a pass.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bleach Recaps: Ep 205, Kemari Damacy

Of all the episodes of "Bleach" that I have seen I'll say that this one was.... an episode.  It definitely happened.  Bleach 205 certainly ran from midnight to 12:30 last night.  And um... that's really it.

Last week the fandom of "Bleach" collectively despaired when Princess Lampshade-hat and her two idiot guardians, Kenryu and Howie Mandel returned to the story.  These characters were created exclusively for the Amagai Arc, also known as the WORST GODDAMN SEASON OF ANY SHOW EVER, and so seeing them return leaves us all with a sense of UNBEARABLE MURDEROUS HATE-RAGE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!  This week's episode is another episode about those three idiots, except this time they're playing soccer.  Oh wait, didn't we already have a filler soccer episode back in season 7?  Yeah we did, "Bleach"'s filler is so out of ideas that its ripping off itself now.  And actually, that soccer episode wasn't that bad, since it featured Ichigo's oft-forgotten little sister, Karen.  Now its about characters we didn't give a shit about months ago.  Can't they do another sport?  No baseball?  Football?  Mud wrestling?  Personally there is no way on Earth that this episode could have been good, unless this happens, and it doesn't.

Amazingly, the writers of this show suck so bad, they can't even fill all twenty-four minutes of their show with this idea.  Because at the beginning, they start with a massive two minute recap, as if anybody gives a shit what happened last week.  Does anybody care what happens this week either?  Am I the only one watching right now?  Why the Hell am I even doing this???  ...I think I could spend the rest of my life searching, but I will never find the answer to that question.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Daily Thought Archive

I've put off archiving what my Daily Thoughts were for a long time.  So now I'll actually do it.  This post will get updated constantly for each day's Daily Thought.  This will probably force me to keep to a schedule for this feature as well.

Thursday May 19th, 2011:
"I know a bar out in Mars
Where they driving spaceships instead of cars
Cop a Prada spacesuit about the stars
Getting stupid ass straight out the jar
Pockets on Shrek, Rockets on deck
Tell me what’s next, alien sex
I’ma disrobe you, than I’mma probe you
See I abducted you, so I tell ya what to do
I tell ya what to do, what to do, what to do"
- Kanye's most hilarious lyrics yet

Friday May 20th, 2011:
"SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM!! OOOOOOOOH YEAH!"
- The Late Great, Macho Man Randy Savage 

Saturday May 21st, 2011:
DAWN OF THE FINAL DAY - 24 Hours Remain

Sunday May 22nd, 2011:
"GOOD DAY, SUNSHINE!
GOOD DAY, SUNSHINE!
GOOD DAY SUNSHINE!"
- The Beatles celebrating us all still being alive today

Monday May 23rd, 2011:
"Hail Zeon!"

Tuesday May 24th, 2011:
"Man, you come straight out of a comic book." - Jim Kelly 

Wednesday May 25th, 2011:
"The truth will set you free, but first its going to piss you off." - Gloria Steinem

Thursday May 26th, 2011:
"Every hour is hard, the last one kills you."

Friday May 27th, 2011:
"On matters of freedom and equality, history has not remembered obstructionists kindly" - Mayor Bloomberg

Saturday May 28th, 2011:
3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679...
Sunday May 29th, 2011:
"P.S. please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave in the bak yard." - Charlie Gordon

Memorial Day, 2011:
"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal." 

Tuesday May 31st, 2011:
"I'm the kind of guy who likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, 'Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?' I WANT high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section. I want to run through the streets naked with green Jell-o all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing 'I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiener'." - Edgar Friendly 

Wednesday June 1st, 2011:
"A joke is a very serious thing." - Winston Churchill 

Thursday June 2nd, 2011:
"Remember, Sora. You are the one who will open the door to the light." - I have yet to open this damn door  

Friday June 3rd, 2011:
"C'mon People Now, Smile on Your Brother, Ev'rybody Get Together, Try and Love One Another Right Now" - The Youngbloods  

Saturday June 4th, 2011:
"Welcome to Planet Blue: my world, my vision. I'm your host through these travels across this land of mine. Will we be reviewing a movie? Will I be solving the world's problems? Nobody knows. Planet Blue has only one rule: I write whatever I want." - That thing above this thing 

Sunday June 5th, 2011:
"If all the animals along the equator were capable of flattery, then Thanksgiving and Halloween would fall on the same day."  

Monday June 6th, 2011:
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." 

Tuesday June 7th, 2011:
"NOEL CHRIST IS THE LORD!!  ALL HAIL THE SON OF MAN!!"

Wednesday June 8th, 2011:
"Anyone who sees and paints a sky green and fields blue ought to be sterilized." - Adolf Hitler, moron

Thursday June 9th, 2011:
"Have you ever wondered which hurts the most: saying something and wishing you had not, or saying nothing, and wishing you had?" - I have no idea who said this 

Friday June 10th, 2011:
Not sure what I just watched, but its epicness is undeniable. Also, where was Tifa?  

Saturday June 11th: 2011:
All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. All work and no play makes Blue a dull boy. 

Monday June 13th, 2011:
ERROR 408 - Whatever glitch that stopped me from updating my Quote yesterday  

Tuesday June 14th, 2011:
"A Bacon Explosion is a pork dish that consists of bacon wrapped around a filling of spiced sausage and crumbled bacon. The American football-sized dish is smoked or baked." - First line of the most delicious Wikipedia article ever 

Wednesday June 15th, 2011: 
If you can read this Daily Thought, you are completely insane.

Thursday June 16th, 2011:
"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it" - George Carlin  

Friday June 17th, 2011:
"I never gave up
Always keep fighting"

Saturday June 18th, 2011:
"Victory has a million fathers but defeat is an orphan." 

Sunday June 19th, 2011:
"Do you hear the baby stars? These newborns will grow up to become galaxies someday. When stars die, they turn to stardust and scatter across the cosmos. Eventually, that stardust reforms to create a new star... And so the cycle of life continues. But the cycle never repeats itself in quite the same way.... So...you'll see." - God  

Monday June 20th, 2011:
"GE 73402463 D" - some number on this dollar bill here.

Tuesday June 21st, 2011:
"All Moderators on this site are awful people. You should be ashamed of yourself for being a tool and being a moron. Go leave. Forever." - My GameFAQs quote, account currently suspended

Wednesday June 22nd, 2011:
"200 400 800 1000 2000 4000 8000 1UP" - throwing a koopa shell through a line of enemies 

Thursday June 23rd, 2011:
"Happiness and sanity are an impossible combination." - Mark Twain

Friday June 24th, 2011:
"You must go where I can not,
Pangur Ban Pangur Ban,
Nil sa saol seo ach ceo,
Is ni bheimid beo,
Ach seal beag gearr."  

Saturday June 25th, 2011:
"The other soldiers were always willing me with easy smiles despite the fact I clearly had so much yet to learn. Among them was Anthony. In the face of his well-meaning behavior and that of the other soldiers, my response was to become increasingly bitter. I was a child, always with something to prove. A chip on my shoulder. And I was angry. I felt that if I let my guard down, I would eas-"

SAMUS, SHUT THE FUCK UP.
SHUT THE FUCK UP.
SHUT THE FUCK UP. 

Sunday June 26th, 2011:
"Its 'This Island Earth' meets 'The Santa Claus', its awesome." - Cinema Snob's review of "Green Lantern" 

Monday June 27th, 2011:
"Nobody is actually mature. And anybody who pretends to be is an asshole." 

Tuesday June 28th, 2011:
"Everybody is an asshole. And anybody who pretends not to be is immature." 

Wednesday June 29th, 2011:
...and nobody is surprised. 

Thursday June 30th, 2011:
"I kick ass for the Lord!" - Badass priest from "Dead Alive" 

Friday July 1st, 2011:
Greatest episode of "Sesame Street" ever. 

Saturday July 2nd, 2011: 
"Thank you for your enthusiasm. We promised an update, so here it is. We never say “never,” but we can confirm that there are no plans to bring these three games to the Americas at this time. Thanks so much for your passion, and for being such great fans!" - Go fuck yourself, Nintendo 

Sunday July 3rd, 2011:
"Truth and Falsehood went swimming. Falsehood put on Truth's clothes. Truth refused to wear the clothes of Falsehood and went naked." 

(Lots of Nothing happens for awhile.)

Sunday July 17th, 2011:
"If you will it, it is no dream." - Theodore Herzl 

Monday July 18th, 2011:
True Fact: On the top right window of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, there is a ladder sitting. That ladder has been there since 1855, when an unknown person set it up for an unknown reason, probably just to wipe the windows. But because the tensions between the many rival Christian sects in the Church are so high, nobody has ever dared to move the ladder, lest upsetting the other factions. If you've ever sought a physical metaphor for the endless stupidity of the bickering between the Christian denominations, the Immovable Ladder is your best bet. 

Tuesday July 19th, 2011:
Another True Fact: The Dome of the Rock is easily the most difficult to reach monument in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount itself is only accessible to non-Muslims in the morning from Sunday to Thursday. As for the Dome, it is supposedly blocked off from non-Muslims period, and there is a rude old man who will stop you from entering. However, if you get your traveling companion to distract the old man, you can easily go inside without much trouble. Remember to take your shoes off. 

Wednesday July 20th, 2011:
"Fuck you all to Hell" - Graffiti in an Israeli bathroom

"No fuck you" - Response Graffiti, same bathroom
 

Thursday July 21st, 2011:
"When I came to power, I did not want the concentration camps to become old age pensioners homes, but instruments of terror." - Adolf Hitler" 

Friday July 22nd, 2011:
The password is "No".

Saturday July 23rd, 2011:
"Masada will never fall again."

Monday July 25th, 2011:
"I'm going home"

Tuesday July 26th, 2011:
I'm home.

Wednesday July 27th, 2011:
"Do you read Sutter Cane?" 

Thursday July 28th, 2011:
"BLUE has died of dysentery." - I only ever made it to Oregon once... 

Friday July 29th, 2011:
"Solomon Grundy wants pants too!" 

Saturday July 30th, 2011:
"The consequences of today are determined by the actions of the past. To change your future, alter your decisions today." - Apparently this quote is inspiring somehow 

Sunday July 31st, 2011:
"Timeo Danaos et dona ferent─ôs" 

Tuesday, August 1st, 2011:
"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet." - Major General James Matthis, US Marines 

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2011:
"I had a date!" - Captain America, ending 

Thursday, August 4th, 2011:
"Reek, my name is Reek." - Reek 

Friday, August 5th, 2011:
"Don't know the manners of good society, eh? Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, old gal — you sockdologizing old man-trap..." - The last line of 'Our American Cousin' that President Lincoln ever heard 

Saturday, August 6th, 2011:
"The North remembers, Frey."

Sunday, August 7th 2011:
"Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him." - John Barrymore's last words

Monday, August 8th 2011:
"When you get born your father and mother lost something out of themselves, and they are going to bust a hame trying to get it back, and you are it. They know they can't get it all back but they will get as big a chunk out of you as they can." - Willie Stark

Tuesday, August 9th 2011:
"Jessica laughs triumphantly, having won the battle of the bulges." - have I mentioned that I love Dragon Quest VIII yet?

Wednesday, August 10th 2011:
"Not all were made to dance with dragons." - Barristan Selmy

Thursday, August 11th 2011:
"When are we going to get to the fireworks factory??" - Millhouse reviews "A Dance With Dragons" 

Friday, August 12th, 2011:
"Excuse me, you're a hell of a guy you know I really got a thing for American guys
I mean, sigh, sickenin' eyes I can tell that you're in touch with your feminine side
Yes I did, yes I did, somebody please tell him who the F I is
I am Nicki Minaj, I mack them dudes up, back coupes up, and chuck the deuce up"

Saturday, August 13th, 2011:
Holy damn, the Chocobo Theme got badass.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Its the End of the World

Beware False Prophets.

Probably since the beginning of time, people have been predicting the end of the world.  And since we're all still here, we can say with some certainty that they've all been wrong.  The Christians especially seem taken with the idea, its been a major part of their faith since the Early Church.  Many men have come forward all with their own ideas of where or when the End will occur and they're always mistaken.  Millions of people have bought into the claims of these... I guess the only word for them is "Frauds".  Whole religious movements such as the Seventh-Day Adventists and thousands of other odd splinter-groups of the Christian faith have been based primarily upon the idea that their leader figured out the mystery and could name the day of Judgment.  People have given up everything in their lives, leaving themselves with nothing, based upon the idiotic assumption that the world will end next Saturday, or any of the other days that False Prophets have predicted.  I know "idiocy" is not a good term to use for an article of faith, but if you're standing on the tradition of several thousand people who always have been wrong, to believe this stuff in the year 2011 isn't speaking well of your intelligence.  You're suckers, that's it.

Hey maybe Christ will return one day, but it won't be this Saturday.  Personally I rather doubt that Jesus would want anything to do with Revelations, you know, since the guy was all about turning the other cheek and being good to each other.  Father God can't destroy the Earth again because of that Covenent with Noah, the promised that he wouldn't bring another Flood*.  I guess that only leaves the Holy Spirit to blow us up on Saturday.  If Christ does return, I'm pretty sure he won't be bringing Fire and Brimstone.  (Can you imagine how many arguments Jesus must have with his Dad over all that Smiting that happened in the Old Testament?  Must be really awkward dinners up in Heaven.)  So if you've already sold your home, quit your job, and spent the last few weeks blowing your savings on this new Doomsday Cult, I suggest you keep your fridge stocked for Sunday, get your kids back in school, and beg your boss for your job back.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam

Its been a really long time since Toonami, and the world is a considerably sadder place without it.  "Gundam Wing" really was an incredible show for its time, or really any time.  The idea that somebody would attempt to give a lesson in extremely abstract political ideals such as pacifism and warfare to children is stunning to me.  I don't think any of us actually understand what "Gundam Wing" was trying to say, but we could figure out that Zechs was evil not because of his nutty plan to bring peace, but because his giant robot looked like SATAN.  This was a show with a very complex political plotline, characters who would often give very long and confusing speeches about a philosophical ideal, and a whole lot of a backstabbing.  Hell, if it wasn't for the giant robots and the great cast, I doubt any of us would have given "Gundam Wing" any mind.  But for whatever reason, ten years later and I still have the entire box set sitting in my closet.  And I'm still searching through the back archives of the rest of the Gundam franchise to find a show as good as "Wing".

So far, there's really been no success.  "G Gundam", also on Toonami, was silly and ridiculous to levels beyond most human conception.  Domon turned into a Super Saiyan, for God's sake!  The original "Mobile Suit Gundam" was too 70s, and had those three goddamn kids.  Then there's "Gundam 00" which was awesome in the first season because it was a shameless "Wing" rip-off, then totally tanked once the main characters got Fairy Powers.  I never gave "SEED" much of a chance, "After War Gundam X" was terrible in every way, "Gundam SD" was a joke, "8th MS Team" was actually pretty good, and... actually that's every series I know of right now.  But so far we've only gone through the letters X, W, G, and SEED, so there's plenty more to choose from.

I've now turned to "Zeta Gundam", a classic of the franchise.  Perhaps the single most beloved Gundam series ever.  And now I can cross off the letter Z after I do this review.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bleach Recaps: Ep 204, FLCLimax

Last week we ended with the beginning of a glorious start of the ultimate battle for ultimate destiny.  So obviously this week's episode should be the explosive, the most exciting, and the most unbelievably awesome battle you've ever seen.  This should be an epic struggle that will be so unbelievable that you'll tell your grandkids that you were there.  You were watching TV when "Bleach" fought the good fight.  And they will stare at you in awe.  Tonight's episode should be nothing short of magnificence.  Its the kind of thing that you just needs some kind of crazy incomprehensible Latin choral song with a full screaming orchestra:

O fortuna!  Futune plago vulnera.
Audi famam illus!  Solos in hostes ruit! 
SEPHIROTH!  SEPHIROTH! 
CORN ON THE COB!!  CORN ON THE KABOB!

...Yeah, something like that.

So I'll just go to Cartoon Network now and prepare myself to be stunned by the spectacle to the point of manly tears.  My brain is ready to orgasm right now.  Whatever it is, it has to be awesome.  Yup, can't possibly go wrong...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Atlas Shrugged: Part 1

(Blogger has been down for the last two days, so that explains no updates.  But you all probably didn't even notice considering my update schedule.)

No, this is not a review of the movie "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1".  That film holds no interest to me, since everybody has already agreed that it completely fails to adapt Ayn Rand's message.  No this is part 1 of a review of "Atlas Shrugged".  You see, this book is so huge that I must break down the review into two parts.  Also, I cannot continue to read this book any longer in silence.  I will not sit through another word without a response.  There is simply too much to say now, I can't imagine where I'll be once I reach the end - if I ever reach the end.

"Atlas Shrugged" is the great dystopia novel of Ayn Rand*, one of the most controversial authors of the 20th century.  Having suffered in the Twenties through the birth of the Soviet Union, Rand became a serious anti-communist.  Not content to merely prove its corruption or its impracticality, Rand instead decided to prove that communism in its very moral foundation was corrupt.  Societies and individuals should not base themselves on helping others, rather the best way the human race should be run is with Enlightened Self-Interest.  (I'm giving the best explanation I can of Rand's philosophy, Objectivism, which like most 20th century philosophical movements is filled to the brim with complex jargon and bizarre metaphysical haggling.)  Altruism, the idea that the service of others is the highest moral goal, is according to Ayn Rand, pure evil and destructive.  One should work for the self primarily, as this is the only method that mankind creates anything of value.  I'm not going to say that Objectivism is entirely without merit, though its a bit too extreme for me.  To say that giving to others is pure evil is about as ludicrous as the idea that working for yourself is evil.

"Atlas Shrugged" exists as only half a story about characters and their actions.  The other half is a poorly disguised philosophical treatise about how Objectivism is awesome.  Every character exists only partially as a true character, they are forced to fit Ayn Rand's scheme of the human race.  Either they're unbelievable workaholic Supermen who can build industrial empires overnight or ridiculous incoherent joke villains who are easily the dumbest characters ever put to print.  Obviously then, "Atlas Shrugged" is not going to be a good book, but goddamn if it isn't hilarious.  This is going to be a long one, trust me.  But it won't compare to the massive size of this book - I think the weight that Atlas was supposed to shrug off was the weight of Rand's prose.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thor

Last year was the year of movie made about obscure comic books that nobody had ever heard of like:  "the Losers", "Scott Pilgrim", "Kick-Ass", and about a million other movies that I don't even care to name.  2011, however, looks like its going to be the year of Super Heroes with "X-Men", "Green Lantern", "Captain America", and "Thor".  I never knew that Thor, the Germanic/Norse God of thunder and champion of humanity was actually a Super Hero, but you learn new things every day.  Honestly I couldn't give a damn about most of these movies*, and I'm going to miss a lot of them.  Super Heroes are a genre for somebody else.  Unless its "Batman" or stars an actor who is absolutely utterly perfect for the lead role like Robert Downey Jr., its just not the movie for me.

But "Thor" for some reason got really good reviews.  I don't know why, but critics were really into this one.  Personally I suspect that the critics only gave "Thor" a pass because their darling Shakespearian auteur Kenneth Branagh directed this.  Well, whatever your opinion of Kenneth Branagh is, even though he did "Othello" and "Hamlet", the guy also was the bad guy from "Wild Wild West".  Just because his name is attached to something doesn't mean its anything better than just another crappy Super Hero movie.  And "Thor" really is a just another crappy Super Hero movie.  Hey, if you're into Super Heroes, power to ya.  But don't expect me to be along for the ride as well.

I came into the theatre hoping for "Iron Man" and left knowing what I'd seen was far closer to "Iron Man 2".  Not a good omen for the first of what seems like half a billion Super Hero movies to come.  Thank God I don't actually have to see all of those.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bleach Recaps: Ep 203, A NEW BEGINNING OF ACTION!

Sorry for a lack of updates in the last week.  It was Finals, I was busy.  I see my daily pageviews have been plunging faster than Bush's approval ratings circa 2005, so I'll have to get back on the horse.

Last week Kenpachi killed Spoony in furious revenge over the latter's failure to ever finish his Let's Play of "Deadly Premonition".  I mean really, you start an LP of one of the weirdest games ever, a literal goldmine of comedy, and then you give it up to recap "Ultima"?  Who gives a damn about "Ultima"??  Anyway, Spoony is dead, meaning that for the first time in a long time there are no battles going on.  Since... God, I don't even know, episode 150, maybe(?)... all of the simultaneous plot battles have ended.  Its basically been always the same three or four plotline fronts all fighting at the same time, meaning that its taken this long for the fighting to finally cease - and we still have four Espada left to kill!  Its just been an endless hurricane of weird fights and the plot hasn't moved an inch since.  Yeah, two of the fights have been good:  Ichigo vs Grimmjow and Spoony vs Kenny.  But then there's stuff like the entire Granz fiasco that only seemed to continue in a hateful attempt to waste the audience's time.

But this week the plot moves.... into a completely ridiculous place.  But at least it moved, right?  Now that this current wave of endless battles has reached a conclusion, we now set up a whole new even longer and more ridiculous wave of endless combat!  And if you thought things were silly now, you haven't seen the half of it.  Its episode 203 right now.  The war this episode sets up will not end until episode 310, which I predict won't air in this country until the year 2014 or later.  So yeah, we're going to be at this for a long goddamn time.  Better strap yourself in, because this is going to take awhile.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Defeated

This is easily the most major piece of news I've ever covered here at this blog.  Tonight the President went on the air to officially announce that Osama Bin Laden, the archenemy of the United States was killed in Pakistan in a special forces raid on his evil lair.  Osama Bin Laden, architect of 9/11 and founder of Al-Qaeda is now dead after a ten year world hunt.  For years Osama's survival has been an embarrassing recurring joke, an awful reminder of the incompetence of the War on Terror.  His very existence was a reminder of the weakness of the American military, and his death is now an affirmation of our power.  But today President Obama made the order - as he promised on the campaign trail, sent in the troops, and took him down.  This is not the end of the war, but it is a victory.  Now the world knows once again, that nobody who attacks this nation will escape without retribution.  There are few times that when you turn on the news networks that you hear news that legitimately puts a smile on your face - this man's death is joyous moment for all Americans.  But not just for the people of this nation but all people who love freedom, and stand against Jihadism.

Now Osama has joined the other great villains of our past in the place that they rightfully belong:  the pages of history.  The war is not over.  Many will mourn this man.  Some might even plan reprisals against America for killing their leader.  But those who cry out in anguish on this day must know this:  you're next.

AMERICA FUCK YEAH! - I know this song is a parody of this exact kind of this ultra- patriotic American propaganda, but its so appropriate.  FUCK YEAH!  Also we need a few USA!  USA!  USA!  USA!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bleach Recaps: Ep. 202, Using Both Hands

In tonight's episode the long epic tale of the Spoony Experiment comes to an end.  You know, we've had some fun with Spoonz for a while now, mostly because of his ridiculous spoon-shaped hat, but honestly we've been unfair to him.  I mean, I never pointed out how stupid his curly elf shoes were.  I kid, I kid.  But the guy did manage to survive some twelve episodes of pure combat against the good guys, defeating Grimmjow, Ichigo, and Nel, all while giving Kenny some trouble.  ...Of course Grimmjow and Ichigo were both exhausted from pounding each other, and Neliel spontaneously devolved into her child form.  And Kenny's entire modus operandi is to hold himself back so that the fight is more fun.  Okay Spoony, maybe your battle record isn't all that good, but you at least put on a good show.

But of course first we have a recap...  Yeah, I know Kenny is fighting Spoony.  Yeah, I know that Kenny lost his eye-patch and then cheesed like a maniac.  I know that Spoony grow four six arms and just ripped out Kenpachi's guts.  Can we move on?  I'm the recap man (self-declared) but I deserve better than this!  Stop stealing my thunder "Bleach" guys.  I do good work every week and this is how you repay me?  By making this entire thing superfluous!  I will not be redundant!  From now, readers, I command you to skip the first two minutes of every "Bleach" episode so that way my recaps will not have any competition.

So last week Kenny was seriously injured and seemed ready to keel over.  Spoony stands triumphant with all of his arms including the two magic ones.  Then he shots out spears from little holes in his wrist a la Spiderman.  Weird...  "Its all over... Soul Reaper" shouts Spoony.  Ichigo desperately tries to help but Yachiru won't let him because its Kenny's fight.  We're getting a lot of opinions about the situation, but let's ask Kenpachi what he thinks of it: