Monday, August 12th, 2002: A Lifetime of Guaranteed Happiness


Stop Asking For Sandwiches! To current comic STFU About Elvis, He's Dead.

apon
I Enjoy the Benefits of Having a Real Detective in my Life!
2002-08-11 23:52:45
by: apon

-apon

regolith
Rise From Your Grave!
2002-08-12 21:18:31
by: regolith
Is it Sega Week? I don't know! OMM is deadish! OMM, I command you to rise from your grave! (Even though I haven't read you in months...)

Anyway... I don't know how I'm going to rescue the wizard's daughter, but I feel like I should have died over the weekend when I helped convert 25 sq feet of dirt into 25 sq feet of concrete. That took some digging in the hard, hard clay, and then I had to help load/unload 3200 pounds of freaking concrete mix and dump them into the mixer! Lemme tell ya, those 80lb bags of cement weigh like a hundred pounds or something! ... Yeah, manual labor... I got 7 blisters on my right hand! How am I going to punch the flashing white wolf and grab his magic balls???

In food news, I made turkey fried rice for dinner using this Kroger brand fried rice mix. Not quite up to Chinese specs, but it's pretty yummy. (Don't lead Matt to believe it's poison, because it isn't!)

--regolith

apon
Birds of Prey
2002-08-12 22:21:51
by: apon

So, I finally sat down and watched the Birds of Prey pilot. (No link to the site for now, as The WB seems to be reorganizing its site right now and everything's broken.) I have to say, I'm not entirely sure what to make of the show. It kept bouncing back and forth -- well-written, well-delivered dialog would be followed immediately by stiff deliveries of hokey lines. Well choreographed, just plain cool fight sequences would be followed by goofy looking movements by people wearing costumes that must have been rejected from the Batman & Robin flick(!).

As for the characters, they're a mixed bag. The Oracle seems much too worked up for who she's supposed to be, and there were a couple of times I swore she was going to just get up from that chair and pace around the room frenetically. Plus, there were a couple of moments where I could have honestly mistaken the actress for Tracy Scoggins. That is not intended as a compliment. The Huntress actually seems to be a pretty cool character -- no lame costume, interesting abilities (powers? I'll get to that in a minute...), and generally pretty slick. On the downside, she seems to get the majority of the cheesy one-liners, and she doesn't do the angst as well as one might hope. Dinah is -- well, the thing that struck me most about Dinah is how very, very pretty Rachel Skarsten is. As for the character she plays, I'm worried that the peppy enthusiasm is going to get old really quickly. Her visions have the potential to lead down interesting roads, though -- we'll see. Beyond the main characters, Alfred also makes a quick appearance. The actor who portrays him does an excellent job, and one would hope that his role will be recurring. There are a couple more familiar faces that make an appearance in this first episode, but I'll refrain from mentioning them here out of deference to those of you who might not see the show until this fall.

Beyond the cheesy/cool dichotomy, there was one thing that really struck me about Birds of Prey -- the super powers. Now, I'm not really a comic kinda guy, so I'm probably missing some back-story here, but what the heck? One of the things I always liked best about the Batman universe was that there really weren't any super powers. Everyone got their 'powers' from technology, hard work, industrial accidents, or what have you. But at the heart of it all everyone was just a regular human. Now in this show we have legitimate super powers -- hell, the way they're presented it's almost like mutancy. Really, you can almost map these characters onto Mutant X's mutant genres, with the Huntress being a feral and Dinah being a psionic. (I'm waiting for the moleculars and elementals to be introduced as baddies any time now...) Frankly, I'm not sure what to make of this aspect of the show; at the very least it's not something I was expecting.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the heavy Charmed vibe that this show gives off. Three close-knit girls, magical powers (or super powers, whatever you want to call them it's the same thing), fighting evil. Hell, the show even has a useless black detective character! It took me a little while before I finally realized it wasn't the same actor.

The most grating part of the episode is definitely the way everyone says 'Helena'. I think we all know that the proper way to pronounce the name is 'Hell-ee-na' (long e), but everyone keeps saying 'Hell-in-a'. Like whoever came up with the name said to themselves, "You know, the world is going to hell in a hand basket -- Oh! I think that's what I'll name my daughter!" I mean, for christ's sake. And they keep saying it over and over and over again, especially at the start of the episode. It's enough to drive somebody nuts.

All in all, I'm not sure how long Birds of Prey is going to hold my interest, but the pilot has enough potential that I'll be watching the series this Fall. Hopefully the writing and acting will both pick up enough to knock out the cheese factor. If not, Miss Skarsten is likely to keep my interest for at least a few episodes, and the divine Mia Sara (of Legend and Ferris Bueller fame) will apparently be joining the cast as well.

-apon

DuckPuppy
BoP Redux
2002-08-12 23:35:14
by: DuckPuppy
Just to add a little to the Birds of Prey discussion... I haven't seen the pilot yet, intending to wait until official airing, but I have some misgivings already. For the record, I'm a comic geek, and some of my opinions may be colored a bit by that fact...

Barbara Gordon, aka Oracle, was the original Batgirl. I'm not sure that I like how active a role she takes in the action... she's usually the girl behind the scenes at HQ that finds the facts, hacks the security, and generally find out anything necessary and coordinates the mission. She's just not a token "girl in wheelchair can fight too" character... We should get to see the circumstances that put her in the wheelchair (which, like Apon, I will refrain from detailing here, for those who haven't experienced them yet), and for those who don't know what they are, I'm just hoping they don't screw them up. I'd liken it to the bridge scene in Spider-Man. For those who have seen the source comics that scene came from, you know that it just loses something in the movie. Like reason for existence or literary legitimacy. Not that I didn't enjoy the movie, I just changed my mind on the "Why Mary Jane and not Gwen Stacy" argument. What I DO say is that when you see it in the pilot, go out and IMMEDIATELY buy a copy of "Batman: The Killing Joke" and read it. Pick up "Batman: A Death In The Family" while you're at it... not related to Birds of Prey in any way, but the two are a couple of pivotal and VERY well written moments in the Batman saga.

Huntress is an interesting idea for inclusion in Birds of Prey... she's not in the monthly comic (Oracle and Black Canary are the only two real month-to-month characters). She looks to be interesting. Can't wait to see how they deal with her origin (and birth), though I think I know... and I guess it's the best they could do without getting too "comic-booky".

Now Dinah. Why Dinah and not Black Canary I don't know. Why young sidekick and not full-fledged equal member of the team, I don't know. Why psychic, I REALLY don't know. Black Canary DOES have a super power (the canary cry), which was dropped for a long time and only recently re-introduced, so they could have just used the butt-kicking fighter that Dinah usually is. I'm not sure that I like the inclusion of a super-power, especially a Cordelia "here comes a vision!!!" type power, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Her playing the role of "Robin" to the Huntress' "Batman" is a bit more annoying though.

Maybe I'm getting some things wrong, since I haven't seen the pilot yet, but from the things I've gathered from the official web site and the trailers, I'm a definite fence-straddler on this issue, but I'm giving it a shot. Now if only we get a good Batman movie...

--DuckPuppy

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