Jim's Blog Ramblings about novels, comics, programming, and other geek topics


Iron Man 2 (Movie Review)

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I’m a bit late with this review, but I’m trying to get back to blogging at least a few times each month.

Iron Man was one of the first movies that I reviewed in 2008. Keeping with my superhero/comic book related movie reviews that I have going, I’ll continue with this review.

Just for any new readers, I don’t write spoilers or summarize the entire movie in my blog entries. I just provide my overall impressions and thoughts about the movie and any future movies.


Star Wars: A Different Point of View

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I just stumbled across the "A Different Point of View" series of podcasts. The episodes are a set of somewhat humorous, but serious essays disproving myths about Stormtroopers and Star Wars universe from the point of view of a sand trooper.

A Different Point of View is a series of essays about the Star Wars Universe as seen through the eyes of lowly sandtrooper, TD-0013. It takes everything you thought you knew about the Star Wars saga and flips it around to expose the ugly underbelly of the Rebellion, The Jedi, and everything else.

The series is a couple years old, but it's new to me and incredibly awesome for Star Wars geeks like me.


Comic Con 2009

Last week, I attended Comic-Con for a half-day for my second year in a row. Just like last year, the convention was sensory overload and standing room only. KPBS reported that there was about 126,000 attendees and another 25,000 exhibitors in town for the four day event. Over the four days, it was estimated that the local businesses reaped in about $42 million.

While I was strolling the aisles, I came across Stan Sakai's booth. He was selling autographed copies of the 1987 Fantagraphic's Usagi Yojimbo: Samuri! issue #1 for only $5. At first, I thought I was mistaken to see the 25 year old comic for just $5. I mostly remember Usagi Yojimbo from the TMNT TV series and comics of the 1980s. After snatching up the autographed #1 issue, I discovered that the un-autographed issue's street price is somewhere between $14 and 17. I just wish I could pick stocks and mutual funds with a 200% profit...


Star Wars Padawan Training Available in July 2009

I just discovered this unique and interesting toy via Scott Adams (Dilbert Blog). Well, it's not so much a toy as it is just a cool device.

Wearing a custom built device that slips on your head, you can use your brain waves to move a sphere vertically in a container. There's no wires and no interaction via control pads or buttons. The wireless headset reads your brain activity, similar to an EEG medical test, to translate the brain waves to physical activity.


X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Movie Review)

I watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie at the local IMAX theater. I have long been a fan of X-Men and Weapon X series, so I had pretty high expectations for this movie. Learning that one of my favorite comic book characters, Deadpool, was going to be in this movie gave me some hope that he might spawn off another Marvel movie of his own. I'd love to see a Deadpool and Cable movie. I was disappointed, yet again, with the storyline diverging from Deadpool's origin and abilities. The movie left me with the feeling that I'll never see a Deadpool movie, unless they disregard this movie's content and story.

Okay, enough about Deadpool - the movie's about Wolverine.

** warning spoilers below **


Watchmen (Movie Review)

It was about a year or more ago, when I found out the Watchmen movie was coming out. I hadn't remembered this graphic novel and I wasn't familiar with the story. Somehow, I had missed this comic.

I avoided spoilers and reading the novel before the movie because I wanted to see the movie first. After watching the movie, I'll probably read the reprinted graphic novel.


Punisher: War Zone (Movie Review)

The Punisher was one of my favorite comic book heroes (or anti-hero) of the 80s. I've seen all of the Punisher movies so far, so I was definitely going to see this movie. I did wait until it came out on DVD before renting it, instead of watching it in the theater.

As with the last three Punisher movies, Frank Castle is played by a different actor. Our favorite vigilante was played by Dolph Lundgren (The Punisher, 1989), then Thomas Jane (The Punisher, 2004), and finally Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone, 2008).


Streaming video to your TV via your console

I read about the PlayOn Media Server on LifeHacker last week. It's software that runs on your Windows computer and streams video to Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The PlayOn Media Server streams content from YouTube, Netflix Instant Queue, Hulu, CBS, and ESPN.

The PlayOn Media Server demo works for 14 days and I'm almost half way through the demo now. Since downloading the demo, I've been able to stream a couple of episodes of 24 (from Hulu), some random and mostly useless YouTube videos, and watch a movie from my Netflix account.


Batman: The Dark Knight (Movie Review)

I've seen a few bad and a few good movies since my last review, but I've skipped over them since most of my reviews so far have just been focusing on comic book movies.

Growing up, I didn't collect many DC comic books other than maybe a couple collector or special edition Superman comic books (I was/am still a mostly Marvel fan). I enjoyed the DC movies and TV shows (such as Batman with Adam West), but I really wasn't too informed about the DC universe other than the cartoons, TV, and movies.


Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Movie Review)

I've mostly written about Marvel movies, but I think that I'll try to write a few more reviews about other movies that I've been watching.

I saw Hellboy 1, I a few years ago, but I can't remember if I saw it at the theater or on DVD. I thought Hellboy 1 was pretty good and Ron Perlman did an excellent job with the main character. I wasn't familiar with the comic book story or plot, but the movie was entertaining enough. Once again, Ron Perlman did a great job as Hellboy. I know I've seen him in several movies before, but I just can't name any off the top of my head.