Posts Tagged ‘Up

08
Aug
10

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 182: A Conversation About Animation

The Showcase Crew assembles again, as the boys sit down and talk about some of their favorite all-time animated features films. Blake and Kenny each present a top ten list, and Mike and Daniel join in with some of their favorites as well. In this week’s picks, Kenny goes with Booster Gold #34, Blake dug Justice League: Generation Lost #6, Mike gives us a blast from the past with the Flashpoint miniseries, and Daniel’s all about the new season of Futurama. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@comixtreme.com!

Music provided by the Podshow Podsafe Music Network.

Episode 182: A Conversation About Animation

18
Jan
10

What I’m Watching: 2010 Edition

Like I did last year, this year I’m going to keep a running tally of the movies I see. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, I’m going to place the permanent link to this post in the “Blakestuff” category running down the right side of the page. I’ll update this every so often, and whenever I happen to review one of the movies (either here, at Comixtreme.com, or even on the Showcase podcast), I’ll make the title a link. I am, in fact, a man of the people.

  1. Star Trek (2009), A
  2. The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (2008), B+
  3. Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009), B+
  4. The Man With the Screaming Brain (2005), C
  5. Re-Animator (1985), B-
  6. Soylent Green (1973), A-
  7. Igor (2008), B-
  8. Dug’s Special Mission (2009), A*
  9. Partly Cloudy (2009), A*
  10. 1408 (2007), B
  11. Pigeon: Impossible (2009), B+*
  12. Vegas Vacation (1997), C
  13. Cat People (1982), C
  14. Psycho Beach Party (2000), B
  15. Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988), D
  16. Planet Hulk (2010), B+
  17. A Charlie Brown Valentine (2002), B*
  18. The Wolfman (2010), B+
  19. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010), B
  20. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010), A-
  21. The Hangover (2009), B+
  22. Surrogates (2009), B
  23. Silver Bullet (1985), D
  24. Paranormal Activity (2007)
  25. Ringers: Lord of the Fans (2005)
  26. Ink (2009), B+
  27. Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959), B
  28. The Hobbit (1977), B
  29. The Lord of the Rings (1978), C+
  30. The Return of the King (1980), B-
  31. Clash of the Titans (1981), B
  32. Clash of the Titans (2010), D
  33. Iron Man (2008), A
  34. Office Space (1998), B+
  35. Meet the Robinsons (2007), B+
  36. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (2009), B+
  37. Hancock (2008), B+
  38. Fritz the Cat (1972), C-
  39. The Losers (2010), B-
  40. Kick-Ass (2010), B+
  41. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1968), C+
  42. Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), A
  43. Midnight Meat Train (2008), B+
  44. Plan 9 From Outer Space (1958), F
  45. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), B+
  46. The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005), B-
  47. Iron Man 2 (2010), A-
  48. The Grapes of Wrath (1940), A
  49. Cloak and Dagger (1984), C+
  50. The Odyssey (1997), B+
  51. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), A-
  52. The Pixar Story (2007), A
  53. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), C+
  54. Richard III (1995), B-
  55. Miss March (2009), D
  56. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), B+
  57. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), D
  58. Toy Story (1995), A
  59. Toy Story 2 (1999), A
  60. Red Dawn (1984), B+
  61. Day and Night (2010), B*
  62. Toy Story 3 (2010), A+
  63. Muppets From Space (1999), B-
  64. Jonah Hex (2010), D
  65. Monsters, Inc. (2001), A
  66. Zardoz (1974), C
  67. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008), B-
  68. Predators (2010), B
  69. Laserblast (1978), F (MST3K riff), B
  70. Better Than Chocolate (1999), C
  71. Alice in Wonderland (2010), C+
  72. Inception (2010), A
  73. DC Showcase: Jonah Hex (2010), B*
  74. Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010), B
  75. The Beginning of the End (1957), F (MST3K Riff-B+)
  76. Sold Out: A Threevening With Kevin Smith (2008), B
  77. Let the Right One In (2008), B+
  78. Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966), F (MST3K Riff-A)
  79. I Accuse My Parents (1944), F (MST3K Riff-B)
  80. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010), C
  81. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), B
  82. A Wink and a Smile (2008), B
  83. Fame (2009), B-
  84. Water Lillies (2007), B
  85. Jennifer’s Body (2009), B
  86. Sex Drive (2008), B+
  87. Dead and Gone (2007), D
  88. Dead Snow (2009), A-
  89. Vampire Killers (2009), B+
  90. Netherbeast, Incorporated (2007), B
  91. The Zombie Diaries (2006), C
  92. Survival of the Dead (2010), B
  93. I Sell the Dead (2008), B+
  94. Saw VI (2009), B-
  95. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), A
  96. The Wolfman (1941), B+
  97. Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943), B
  98. Werewolf of London (1935), D
  99. She-Wolf of London (1946), D
  100. Due Date (2010), B
  101. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010), B+
  102. Tangled (2010), B
  103. Tron (1982), B
  104. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), A+*
  105. Prep and Landing: Operation Secret Santa (2010), B+*
  106. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964), F; MST3K Riff, B+
  107. The Adventures of Huck Finn (1992), B
  108. Tom and Huck (1993), B
  109. Miracle on 34th Street (1947), A+
  110. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970), B-*
  111. The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974), B+*
  112. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), A*
  113. Frosty the Snowman (1969), A-*
  114. Tron: Legacy (2010), B+
  115. Gremlins (1984), A
  116. Santa Claus (1959), F; MST3K Riff, B
  117. A Muppet Family Christmas (1987), B*
  118. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), A
  119. It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002), B-
  120. A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (2008), B*
  121. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972), F because I can’t give Qs; RiffTrax Riff, B
  122. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), A
  123. The Polar Express (2004), B-
  124. Love, Actually (2003), A
  125. A Christmas Story (1982), A
  126. Funny Games (2008), B
  127. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (1978), B+*
  128. Destino (2003), A-*
  129. Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (2010), B
  130. Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010), B-
  131. Waking Sleeping Beauty (2010), B
  132. Despicable Me (2010), B+
  133. The Crazies (2010), B-

*-Denotes Short Film

Last Updated on January 1, 2010.

06
Jan
10

Everything But Imaginary #335: The Best of 2009

The new year has begun, friends, but before we put 2009 to bed, let’s look at some of the best in comics of the year. It’s time for my annual look at my personal favorites in comics, TV, movies, and prose novels in this week’s Everything But Imaginary!

Everything But Imaginary #335: The Best of 2009

05
Jan
10

The Best Way to Start the Year

Every second I spend with Erin is wonderful, but it always seems to be even better when it comes around the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmastime, New Year… even other, minor holidays (we got to spend Mardi Gras together last year) become wonderful when she’s with me. It’s actually pretty simple — when she’s with me, I’m happy. Hard to put it any simpler than that.

Erin flew in on Dec. 26, the day after Christmas. Her flight was supposed to land at about noon, but as always seems to happen, there were problems. The first plane broke, the next series were trapped in Chicago by the weather, and she finally landed at about 5 p.m. A dastardly inconvenience, but it was made a little better by the fact that the airline gave her a $150 coupon for her next flight. The big problem is that she got in a bit late, as we had plans that evening. Every year, my family gets together with some of my parents’ oldest friends, usually some time in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We got home before the party, but Erin needed a bit of time to get the full day of airports off her, so she and I met up with my folks, my brother and sister, their spouses, and the Champagne family about an hour later.

This evening is always a lot of fun. We get together, we catch up, we talk for hours, and my grown brother and sister attempt desperately to beat Donna and Gill’s 6-year-old grandson, Chase, at Wii.

Spin faster! FASTER! FAAAAAASTEEEEER!

Spin faster! FASTER! FAAAAASTEEEER!

A few more assorted images of that evening:

My brother loves Christmas decorations.

My brother-in-law, Will, has had enough Christmas

Also this evening, Erin and I exchanged our Christmas gifts to one another. As always, she was very sweet to me, giving me a desk calendar and a book I’ve been wanting very much to read. But the best thing she gave me — one of my favorite things she’s ever given me — came in a tiny little box…

From my Ellie, to her Carl...

If you saw the movie Up earlier this year, you may recognize this as a replica of the “badge” Ellie gave Carl. We saw the movie together and… well… to say it had a profound impact on me would be an understatement. And in ways I don’t know if I can even fully explain, it felt so much about us that it dug right into my soul. A lot of couples have “our song.” I’ll always think of Up as “our movie.”

The next few days alternated between being really lazy and really busy. On Sunday, we relaxed. We watched the Saints game, we played The Office Clue with my sibs and sister-in-law, then we did a little after-Christmas shopping. Erin found one of her favorite 80s movies, Night of the Creeps, which we picked up and she made me watch. I have to admit, it was a bit of cheesy fun. Monday we got together with our friends Mike and Kenny and hung out in the afternoon, hitting comic shops and bookstores as we always do. We met up with our friend Daniel and we all took in the movie Avatar together, before meeting our friends Jason and Andrea for dinner. It’s rare that we get to hang out with my friends more than once on one of these little trips, which is a shame. I know they love seeing Erin almost as much as I do.

On Tuesday, we planned to visit a special exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art, but I was given intelligence by some of my top-secret operatives (Google) that informed me that NOMA is actually closed on Tuesdays. So we instead fired up the GPS my folks gave me for Christmas and sought out another place we’ve been hoping to visit together for some time…

The National World War II Museum

The National World War II museum (formerly known as the National D-Day Museum) is located right here in New Orleans, and this was the first time either of us have had a chance to visit it. If you’ve never gone, next time you’re in New Orleans you should make it a point. The museum is a deeply moving experience. There are lots of great exhibits, lots of incredible information… more, in fact, that I anticipated. We wound up having to rush through the final section of the museum (about the war in the Pacific) when we heard the announcement that it was 15 minutes to closing time. We did, however, manage to find time to seek out the brick on the sidewalk that bears my grandfather’s name:

WALLACE P. FAUCHEUX; US MARINES 1943-1946; HUSBAND, FATHER, HERO

WALLACE P. FAUCHEUX; US MARINES 1943-1946; HUSBAND-FATHER-HERO

We also found one of my great-uncles, although I now know that those two are not the only Faucheuxs whose names adorn that sidewalk. It’s humbling, to see the names of so many people who fought, and so many who died. I was lucky that both of my grandfathers came home and I got to know them both, but even those who survived had to sacrifice. I’m incredibly proud of the fact that both of my grandfathers were a part of this effort, and going through the museum has made me prouder than ever. It’s humbling. It’s moving. And Erin and I have every intention of going back again, to see those things we missed (including some films that are an extra charge that we didn’t get to do), and to find the  names of rest of the men whose blood I share, the men whose names are on that walk.

After the museum, Erin and I went out to Landry’s Seafood on the lakefront. We usually have one really nice dinner per trip, and this was it. We’ve been to Landry’s before, but in San Antonio. The last time Erin visited this particular Landry’s was before Hurricane Katrina, when it was still a Joe’s Crab Shack. Needless to say, it’s changed a bit.

Wednesday was another busy day. My parents also like to take Erin out to a lunch or dinner whenever she comes to town, and this time we tried a new place called Frenier Landing. Like Landry’s, this restaurant is on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain, but not the same part…

Welcome to Frenier Landing!

This was a very cold, very rainy day, and the directions for this restaurant include the phrase, “Drive to the middle of nowhere and turn right.” But I gotta say, the food was really good. If you’re in Laplace and you’re looking for something new, check it out.

It being Wednesday, we popped in at the comic shop, then did a little more shopping. But by now, we were basically killing time until we got to do something else Erin has wanted to do for a long time…

BEE-FENCE! (Clap clap) BEE-FENCE! (Clap clap)

Take in a Hornets game at the New Orleans Arena! This may sound unusual to those of you who know me and know I’m not exactly the world’s biggest sports fan. But Erin is a big fan, and as her native Pittsburgh doesn’t have an NBA team, she’s always wanted to go to an NBA game. And y’know — being at the game is a lot more fun than watching it on TV. We watched the Hornets pull off a squeaker against the Miami Heat, and we had a great time.

I’m not going to become a season ticket holder any time soon, but I really did enjoy the game. I’ll go back with Erin any time she wants to.

Thursday was New Year’s Eve, and we kicked it off by watching Sherlock Holmes. We did a little shopping before returning home and getting ready for the annual bash at Carl and Tammy’s house. As always, the festivities were a lot of fun. We set off some fireworks, we had some great food, my sister as usual drank a bit too much and started singing Milli Vanilli songs… it was a good night.

A few random photos of the fun:

Carl and Kerry: bartenders

Heather and Mona enjoy the libations.

The WORLD'S GREATEST FIRECRACKER! (I.E. Noisy Cricket)

Alex and Heather celebrate

Will and Heather Celebrate

Chip and Kayla celebr-- oh, you get the idea.

The "Test Tube Babies"

Happiest. New Year. EVER.

On New Year’s Day, we slept late — because this is what you do on New Year’s Day. Then we fell asleep again during the second half of the LSU game, but from what I’m told, we didn’t miss much. We went to my grandmother’s for dinner, which was nice — my Uncle Wally and his family were there, including my cousin Chase and his wife Andrea, who currently live in Germany. I saw them at Christmas, but Erin hasn’t seen Chase in some time, and this was the first time she met Andrea. I think she was happy there was someone in the mix who came from farther away than she did.

Saturday was a big day.

We kicked it off by going to the New Orleans Museum of Art, our plan for earlier in the week, for an exhibit called Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales From the Walt Disney Studio. This exhibit was created to coincide with the release of The Princess and the Frog, which of course is set in New Orleans. The exhibit takes up almost the whole first floor of the museum, with several galleries dedicated to the different animated fairy tales Disney has created over the years. It begins with a short film about the history of Disney animation and a message from John Lasseter, then you’re given an audio tour guide device which you use to listen to narration about the exhibits. (The tour, incidentally, is narrated by “Big Daddy” himself, John Goodman.) Obviously, there were no photos allowed, except outside of the museum…

The New Orleans Museum of Art

Each room of the exhibit is dedicated to a different project and features examples of just about everything you can imagine: concept art, background paintings, finished cels, promotional art, maquettes… even a display of the five-plane technique that was used beginning with Sleeping Beauty. As always with Disney, story is key. The exhibit presents you — briefly — an original version of each fairy tale, then explains the changes that were made for the animated version, how the characters were developed, and so forth.

The first gallery is dedicated to the early fairy tale shorts, including The Three Little Pigs, The Ugly Duckling, The Pied Piper and Mickey and the Beanstalk. After that, there is a gallery each dedicated to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. Then there are three smaller galleries for Princess and the Frog, focusing on the heroes, the villain, and the city of New Orleans. The exhibit ends with a gallery showing the modern animation techniques and a preview image of the next Disney fairy tale, Rapunzel.

I cannot recommend this exhibit enough. If you live near enough to New Orleans to come by, or if you’ll be in town before March 14, you’ve got to come on in to NOMA and check it out. Erin and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

After the exhibit, I took Erin down to the Riverwalk mall in New Orleans, after nearly strangling my GPS for attempting to steer me on to a ferry for no apparent reason. It was nice — Erin went there when she visited New Orleans in high school — but it again was really just killing time until it got dark and we could go back to New Orleans City Park for their annual Celebration in the Oaks exhibit.

Santa Gator is WATCHING YOU!

Celebration in the Oaks is a big display of Christmas lights, decorations, music and crafts set up around the park, including the mini-amusement park, “Storyland” play area, and many, many gardens. It’s not quite as impressive as it was years ago, frankly, but it’s still a nice place to visit around Christmas. Again, we took many, many pictures. Here are a few:

Did I mention I'm scared of heights?

I have no idea what this has to do with Christmas

New Orleans's original Christmas icon: Mr. Bingle!

"The Cajun Night Before Christmas" is re-created in lights at City Park

The Cone is a decoration kids can play IN

My GPS REALLY sent me the long way around

These guys were running about a week late

The Train Ride was enough to make even my Yankee Angel cold

The Train Ride was enough to make even my Yankee Angel feel the cold

My new favorite picture of us together

Sunday was sad. Because Sunday was the day she had to go home. Not much else to say, except that this time we at least know it won’t be too long before we’re together again. We’re planning to get together during my Mardi Gras break from school, again out in Las Vegas so she can visit her father’s family. It’s not too far away, it’s entirely too long to wait, and I love her with all my heart. Even though she got here on the 26th, this was one of my greatest Christmases ever.

You’ve only seen a fraction of the pictures she and I took this week. If you’re so inclined, you can see them all at my Flickr Album.

01
Jan
10

What I read/Watched in 2009…

Traditionally, in the past, I would start each year with a list of the books I read and movies I watched in the previous year. This year, however, I decided to keep a running list which I would update periodically. So if you want to see the full lists, they’re waiting for you:

Rather than list everything again, today I thought I’d give you just a short list of my favorites. In my opinion, out of the books I read and movies I watched, here were my favorites of the year in no particular order:

Books:

  • The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
  • Was Superman a Spy? by Brian Cronin
  • Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds by Geoff Johns & George Perez
  • The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
  • Drood by Dan Simmons
  • Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader by Neil Gaiman & Andy Kubert
  • Peter and Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham
  • 7th Son: Descent by J.C. Hutchins
  • The Rookie (YA edition) by Scott Sigler
  • Living Dangerously With Saturated Fats (A SHELDON collection) by Dave Kellett
  • Mini-Marvels: The Ultimate Collection by Chris Giarrusso and others

Movies:

  • Coraline
  • Star Trek
  • Up
  • The Hangover
  • Green Lantern: First Flight
  • Inglorious Basterds
  • Zombieland
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Monsters vs. Aliens

I’ll start the 2010 list relatively soon — I’ll wait until I’ve got a few books and movies logged so I’m not starting with a blank post. Have a great 2010, everyone!

14
Jun
09

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 123: Walt Simonson

It’s time for another creator spotlight, and this week the Showcase boys are turning their attention to legendary writer/artist Walter Simonson. From his early work on Star Slammers to defining runs on Thor and Fantastic Four, up through great work with Orion and his current work at Wildstorm, the guys look at his career and talk about their favorite Walt Simonson comics. In the picks this week, Mike chooses Justice Society of America #27, Blake goes Greek with Incredible Hercules #129, and Chase selects the Flash Gordon 75th Anniversary Special. This week’s Graphic Novel pick of the week: 100 Bullets: First Shot, Last Call. Contact us with comments, suggestions, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at Showcase@comixtreme.com!

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 123: Walt Simonson
Inside This Episode:

PLUS: A Showcase guest-star returns, as Blake and Erin review the new Disney/Pixar movie UP! It’s doing well at the box office, but how does it hold up to a couple of Pixar fans? Take a listen to our spoiler-free review!

At the Movies Episode 6: Up

09
Jun
09

Movie fun with Erin: Jonah Hex and UP

My love Erin is in town this week, so as always, my blogging prowess will be curtailed for a few days. I did have something kind of cool I wanted to share, though. For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been seeing signs like this one popping up all over the road between my home and work:

It says HEX. Trust me.

It says "HEX". Trust me.

Comic book geeks such as myself quickly figured out that these were direction signs for the cast and crew of the upcoming Jonah Hex movie, which is filming in and around New Orleans. As this is a favorite comic book of mine, I have to admit, I was a little excited. Yesterday, as Erin and I were driving through a sugarcane field about two minutes away from Mike “What’s An Internet?” Bellamy’s house, we caught a quick glimpse of filming in progress. There was an old-fashioned steam engine loaded with men in what looked like post-Civil War uniforms chugging past the field in Raceland. Erin tried to take a picture, but it wasn’t that easy from a moving car. Here’s the best we got:

Chugga-chugga-chugga-WOO WOO!

Chugga-chugga-chugga-WOO WOO!

Yeah, I know. But trust me, from our perspective, it was cool. At any rate, now it’ll be impossible to watch the movie without seeing a train and immediately thinking, “If they just turned the camera 150 degrees to the left we’d see a sugar cane processing plant and a mountain of bagasse.”

Erin and I also got a chance to see the new Disney/Pixar flick, UP, and we recorded a review for the podcast. Want to hear it? Of course you do.

2 in 1 Showcase at the Movies Episode 6: UP

Recording Session Chic

Recording Session Chic




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