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Pop Culture meets Haut Couture

Playoff Passion – Canada’s Hockey Anthem Challenge Winner

For those of you who are not aware, there is a rather popular contest here in Canada to determine what the next musical theme for the traditional Hockey show will be. Thousands of contestants have given it a shot, and I have personally heard everything possible in the music spectrum: From hip-hop to Metal to some weird baby noises mixed with cow sounds.

When you think Hockey Night in Canada you need something that will get your adrenaline pumping. CBC is looking for an Anthem, not the next country music hit. After going through some rather bad recent submissions, I found one that I really hope can make it far in the contest. It is everything a network needs to look classy but to also get the viewing audience excited when the show starts or between intermissions. I’ve listened to this a few times now and I really like it. Hope this one gets some serious consideration. Help this contestant, be part of the contest and vote!

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September 3, 2008 Posted by | Sports, TV | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Superman Reboot: Where do we go from here?

Now that it is official that the Superman franchise will go with a much needed reboot, the talk of the town for about another year will be the approach of the movie. The only details we have is that the franchise will take a much darker tone in tune with what the dark knight achieved. With this new set of rules the powers that be at WB have let the cat out the bag and admitted that they have to deliver harder hitting modern heroes to maintain the success of The Dark Knight and create a possible crossover in the future. DC comics relies on its fans too much, and hardcore fans do not welcome changes to the character very well. In a way, it is the fans fault that some characters cannot move on with the times. The movie scene may set the trend and allow a much more natural and accepted take on the characters. Here is a list of things the movie could carry:

Story: The character has to be re-introduced in a more modern setting. Anything from the Donner-Singer-verse is out the window. Krypton will benefit from being presented as a different society from the Donner movies. You can incorporate android-like Brainiac to make him  in the movie a threat to the world. An alien technology based kryptonian being designed to run krypton to finalize their dreams of Utopia (Jor-El  would be the one opposed to this type of Alien AI that would ultimately be the cause of Krypton’s demise). He can find Kal-el and proceed with a plan to colonize Earth to keep the Kryptonian legacy alive. Superman can see it as his responsibility to stop him in order to protect his new home and as a curse of the Kryptonian legacy. Plus, they can both go at it for a nice action fight sequence. Lex Luthor should not be in this movie, but in pure joker fashion, he can be mentioned for a future film setup. How about the mention of the incredible stock rise of LexCorp in this movie to introduce Lex later on? The only thing I can mention is that the people involved in this project should be professionals that are fans of the character. The success Nolan had with the Hardcore fans was because he did deliver a real Batman that was still Batman.

Tone: That has been set from WB’s comments. It will be Darker. Doubtful that it can go all the way to where The Dark Knight went, but a modernized Superman is a must so a more gritty Superman story has to come to effect.

Look: The director will have full freedom to use his visual style in order to distance themselves from the previous template. The character designs should reflect the current times. Not the daily planet of the 1930s.

Costume: This needs a nice big redesign. The cape should remain(look at 300 for nice cape ideas), and a big S would be nice. Not a traditional one though. Do away with the red underwear. Get rid of the yellow. Maybe even combine or use one of these two:

https://i2.wp.com/img114.exs.cx/img114/2432/po212-godfall.jpghttps://i2.wp.com/hallofheroes.free.fr/Images/UltimateDC/superman.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/www.esmas.com/galeria/fotos/2007/12/2007281757421198886262.jpgCast: Big name actors have to be used. An up and coming star should be considered for Superman. Louis Lane has to be a sassy reporter with spunk. Someone that looks nice and classy like Paola Turbay would be nice.

Score: BRAND NEW!!!

Movie franchise Setup: The idea is to establish a franchise that can go on a long run. The possibilities are limitless and seeing a Death of Superman saga as a trilogy later on would be incredibly interesting.

The limits on this do not exist. Many ways to go around but I think we all agree that the best way to approach this is to deliver a modernized Superman and not a hero archetype of ages ago.

August 24, 2008 Posted by | Comics, Movies | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Watchmen in legal trouble

Seems like the little dispute between Fox and WB back in february over The Watchmen is not so little anymore. Fox is not looking at grabbing or sharing any profit. They are looking at completely blocking the movie. This is troubling because it could push the movie from its original date or from being legally distributed…ever.

This really sucks. The trailer looked pretty good and it was interesting to finally see the characters imortalized on film. Lets see what hapens I guess.

http://thenerdofher.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/watchmen-babies.jpg

August 19, 2008 Posted by | Comics, Movies | , , , , | Leave a comment

DC needs an upgrade for movies to be succesful

https://i0.wp.com/www.aroundcomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/dclogo.jpgThere were some major hits in the comic movie arena this summer. Iron Man and The Incredible hulk were home runs and The Dark Knight was the biggest grand slam of them all. These movies once again have shown the special marriage between comic books and movies is here to stay. However, this something something special has happened. The superhero movies have grown and the basic mold has been broken. People now know and expect something more complex and sophisticated out of a movie. The linear approach and simplicity of a movie like Ghost Rider will not be accepted.

DC and WB are scratching their heads pondering real hard where to go from where they are to be where Marvel is. Their idea clearly is to set multiple platforms and capitalize with one big team up movie(s). However, DC is faced with more decisions and obstacles than Marvel. One of them being how to present the characters to an audience of today without looking unrealistically out of place with its contemporaries.

That is a big problem. The characters and their nature are stuck in a different time. DC comics has not grown with the times. The comments watchmen director Zach Snyder has made are true. The audience is more sophisticated these days and you CANNOT sell them something that is too earnest or unrealistic because they simply wont buy into it. That is if, of course, getting the general http://bothhands.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/wonder-woman-color-001.jpgpublic(i.e. people who are not fans of the character) to even consider checking out your movie is what you are looking for. Unfortunately that is what most of the DC catalogue is sitting at: Filling an archetype. People wearing colorful spandex with capes and masks and with outdated themes. It may have worked for Linda Carter in the 70s but it would just look straight up ridiculous in a modern movie. The common audience wont take it seriously and it is that realism and reflection of the times that DC lacks in most of its core characters and has to modify to have a successful run in Hollywood.

Comic books are a part of popular culture which reflects itself in this form, and its themes and characters have evolved with the times for people to identify with them. Golden Age stuff has historical significance and importance but compared to what it is now it just doesn’t fit. DC has not updated their characters with the times and now were having a huge problem with Superman and its difficulty to have the audience relate to the current incarnation/presentation of the character. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug02/superman/images/supermaneagle.jpgSuperman returns was basically a repeat of a 1979 CLASSIC, and this day it didn’t go over too well even with the core FANS because its been done and ,well, it was just silly. People simply didn’t care and take the use of this presentation of the character as one of the weak points of the latest superman movie that’s left a bad taste on movie goers. Note how trying to do the same thing again to please and not alienate the fans ended up upsetting the fans, losing out on repeat viewings and interest of the general public, and not meeting expectations in the box office. Established movie franchises like James Bond have had to adapt with the times to keep filling the seats, and clearly it is working for them. Pierce Brosnan shooting from his invisible car holding a martini was not going to work forever and had to upgrade. That is what has to be done, of course, if setting up multimillion dollar franchises is what WB is down with.

A movie is not made for audiences in the past 70 years. Its made for an audience of TODAY. The reason the Dark knight was successful was because the character was presented in a modern setting with modern themes and situations in a manner that was realistic enough for the audience to suspend their disbelief and take interest all https://i1.wp.com/enscreenshots.softonic.com/s2en/65000/65523/3_the-dark-knight-3-1024.jpgwhile still maintaining the essence of the character. There was a reason for Batman to wear a riot gear armor and not spandex with underoos. It was necessary for you to see that it made sense. Of course there are characters like Batman and maybe even superman that must maintain their cape and cowl, but the presentation of most the characters has to be modified and upgraded for these times and someone as imersed in this like Mark Millar will tell you the same. It is possible that the new wave of movies does this for the comics instead of the other way around but certainly DC has to catch up with the times.

I understand fans wishes to respect the history of the character, and certainly the essense of the character has to remain, but if you want to make money and keep people interested you cannot deliver a character that is out of setting with how sofisticated and non-naive the audience is. Not if you want to cash in big at the BO. When people are faced with something too surreal or not well done they wont enjoy the movie but will spend their time critizicing or making sense of it in their minds instead of watching it. The movie of course has to be fun, and has to be well written, etc, but if DC wants to pull this off succesfully in the same way marvel is doing it the characters have to be treated with a sense of common sensibility and realism that the characters currently do not have. Not to mention it has to be done in the same degree so that they can all be in the crossover movie.

August 19, 2008 Posted by | Comics, Movies | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weed Brownies hulkster style brother!!

After watching the Pineapple Express, I started thinking a lot about the situation were faced with this generation regarding marijuana. The weed debate is always an interesting one full of people with completely biased and misinformed opinions on both sides. We are on a society that has deemed socially acceptable to consume this substance, but the laws say that it isnt. Which is the best way to deal with this, in order to come to the correct conclusion?

https://i1.wp.com/mimg.sulekha.com/english/the-pineapple-express/pineapple-express_m.jpg

Some say a general vote is the way to go to get it over with. This is stupid because only the people who want to have this substance legalized are the ones that are going to be active that day making it a landslide win for pro pot enthusiasts. Ironic by all means considering that the the lazy stoner stereotype will be brought up against this group of people as an ‘against’ argument, but not being lazy is what would guarantee this win.

https://i2.wp.com/www.boreme.com/boreme/x-big/simpsons-homer-smokes-weed.jpg

What we need are actual facts. Unbiased facts with no agendas researched by the government and presented to the public. Is it physically addictive (like alcohol, cigarettes, heroin, etc)? Can you die from consuming it? Can it be considered a street drug in the traditional sense? What are the long term health effects? The answers to them are pretty obvious, but it would be nice for an official word of the actual FACTS to be out there. The general unofficial consensus says there are no physical withdrawal symptoms, and you most definitely cannot die from the THC content. Well unless you pass out in your couch with a lit joint and your house burns down, but that’s another story for another day.

So where is the risk from all this? The closest thing I can think of is lung disease from smoking. However, there are studies that claim that there is no corelation between cannabis and lung cancer . I https://i0.wp.com/www.morris.umn.edu/stuorgs/CAC/Films/half_baked.jpghonestly believe that if lung cancer was something definite that came from consuming marijuana, all the decades of pot smoking the hippies brought along would have also put in light this problem and this substance would be seen a very differently in the eyes of the underground smokers and tokers of the world. Tobacco is the exact opposite with a proven track record of disease and addiction. Side effects brought up from decades of consumption that have brought up this new anti-cigarette way of thinking that has spawned governments to go directly after the tobacco industry by limiting their advertisement opportunities, and by forcing them to admit the dangers of their product in their own cigarette packages.

https://i1.wp.com/api.ning.com/files/yd2aLdrxozEjBJWUyniWG2ZooWWZVYn0CG32YNh0SWU_/kumar_weed1_1.jpgMake no mistake. This is done, in Canada at least, because of the millions of dollars that smokers are costing the health care industry. Yes, not only cigarette smokers get extra smoke breaks at work, they also get to charge extra health care after paying the same amount you do in taxes. This brings me to the next point, the legalization of Marijuana is distant possibly not because of any health or moral issues but because it is close to impossible for the government to tax something that more than likely people will start growing in their backyards. So why should they bother with something that will cost time and effort if they aren’t going to be profiting very much? Unfortunate but I do believe that is how they think. Baby steps might have to be taken in reality for this to happen, and the government should approach decriminalization first before tackling legalization so that progress is made and everyone is happy.

Now were talking about consuming marijuana. Not necessarily smoking it. The only thing that most people fail to realize is that marijuana can be consumed in many different ways, not just smoking, and eating it is most certainly one of them. This would be the healthiest way of consumption unknown to most people out there. If youre curious, check out this hilarious video on how to make weed brownies brother!!!

Another important aspect of marijuana is its medicinal purposes to relieve, stress, depression, anxiety, weight loss and how it helps alleviate arthritis, muscular pain, and other symptoms caused by multiple-sclerosis, HIV infection, spinal cord disease etc. One thing that bothers me personally beyond belief is that psychiatrists in Canada have many, many patients on heavy dosages of anti-depressants that may be more addictive or more harmful to the patient in order to deliver temporary relief instead of offering marijuana to start with and that could have very similar effects as these legally prescribed DRUGS. My heart does indeed weep for every over dramatic 16 year old teenager that gets puts on meds instead of prescribing something as mild as marijuana simply because society has a skewed perception and fear of the substance. These anti-depressants are not necessarily easy to stop taking, and people do believe they cant function without something so dangerous. This is wrong. North America has the busiest pharmacies in the world for a reason, and in a society where you can obtain addictive substances like alcohol and tobacco from a bar or a gas station just with a drivers license, its safe to say that we live in a hypocritical and naive society.

The most important advice I can give you applies to everything in life: EVERYTHING IN EXCESS IS BAD FOR YOU. Moderation is the essence of sanity in society. Marijuana also falls in the same category as shopping and video games in terms of maintaining a harmless habitual activity. Your life cannot revolve around them. You cannot die from any of those, but if you spend most of your time pursuing them, you’re shutting down other important aspects of your life.

Now, I do hope this situation gets dealt with in the next few years in a serious manner. Marijuana use is as mainstream as its has ever been to the point where widely distributed movies like Pineapple Express have a subtle theme of the evaluation of marijuana for what it really is without a massive backlash from the public. People will continue to smoke regardless until the end of time, but because the substance is illegal people are forced to be involved with actual drug dealers and in the majority of times, the money ends up in the hands of actual criminals which is what no one really wants in the end. Lets get this fixed once and for all and follow the model the Dutch introduced by removing marijuana from the world of drug dealers and allowing coffee shops to distribute it.

https://i0.wp.com/wrak.pl/inne/jay_bob.jpg

August 19, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hulk vs Thor

Its part two of the Hulk series. Now its against Thor. I wonder if they are going to make him talk asgardian styles. Either way this looks cool

July 31, 2008 Posted by | Comics, Movies, TV | , , | Leave a comment

Black Panther BET series trailer

Here it is. The animation looks interesting. Definitely a Romita JR animation style. It feels like a homage to those 1966 marvel cartoons. I’ll take a wait and see approach but this looks like is going to be very violent. Catch it on BET soon.

July 31, 2008 Posted by | Comics, TV | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dark Knight Spoof

The Dark Knight is a modern cinema classic. Up there with the all time crime drama epics of all time.

Now watch the youtube version:

July 31, 2008 Posted by | Comics, Movies | , , , | Leave a comment

Ron Artest: The biggest idiot in NBA history?

https://i0.wp.com/espn.go.com/media/nba/2005/1127/photo/a_artest_268.jpgNo way I would want anyone the likes of Ron Artest be anywhere near my team. I am conservative when it comes to sports and Artest really defies everything that could go wrong when someone doesn’t have the brain cells to match their god given talent. It doesn’t seem like this is a sentiment shared by NBA GM’s as Ron Artest is poised to be traded, yet again, from a team that has grown disgruntled by his antics to another that hopes the “nth time” is a charm.

Now don’t get me wrong. Artest is a beast defensively. He does have talent which is what has allowed him to stick around for this long going into his 4th team it seems. The Rockets will regret this move. Someone that volatile cannot be contained. The scariest part, I think, its the fact that he is a ticking time bomb. He could go off at the worst possible time. Yes you can pat yourself in the back when things are relatively smooth all season long, but don’t be surprised if good ol’ Ron Ron decides to kick the ball off the court in a crucial moment on the conference finals out of frustration.

His history is one that is either hilarious of shameful depending in what mood you are in that day. I personally don’t like his playing style as he doesn’t seem very fluid to me. He is good but hard to watch.

His hero: Dennis Rodman. His rep matches that of Rodman in terms of trouble https://i0.wp.com/www.playahata.com/images/celebpics/dennisrodman_wedding.jpgrep but you never saw Rodman take into the stands out for Justice. The worst he ever did was marry himself dressed in a wedding gown, but that was entertainment more than straight up ignorance and thuggery. Two of Artests biggest assets.

Hey I may seem to be trashing on the guy, but he is a troubled soul and has clearly skipped many lessons in life. Lets look at my favourite artest moments:

1999: Artest applies for a job at Circuit City to obtain discounts on electronics. It would have been funny if Artest was the Old Dirty Bastard, but a good rapper he is NOT!

2001: Artest claims his defensive ball stealing prowess on the court comes from stealing in the rough neighbourhoods over at good ol Queensbridge, NY. “I used to steal cookies from the store as a kid. I got real good. I used to steal about four packages a day. It prepared me for the league.” A few weeks later he broke Michael Jordans ribs.

2002: Girlfriend claims physical domestic abuse. Artest responds by leaving threatening messages on her voicemail. Cause you know, anyone sane would never use that against him.

2003: Suspended and fined for Smashing a TV after a game. Later on that month, he gets into it with veteran coach Pat Riley during a game. Flips the middle finger on national TV to all the miami fans.

2004: Best year ever. Misses practice, team flight and shootaround for Game 6 of the Eastern conference finals against the pistons. Elbows Richard Hamilton at the end of the game sparking a Pistons victory. Later on asks for time off during the season to promote his rap album “Allure”. Hip-hop fans of the world throw up collectivelly. “I want to take the whole year off, but I’m not because I want to win a championship.” Months later the infamous detroit brawl occurs after he charges to the stands for being hit with a cup of beer while laying completely on the scorers table preventing the game to continue.

2005: After going through hell to accomodate him and help him through the rough times, the pacers decided to trade Artest as he publically asks to be traded. The NBA fines him for going public.

2007: What a year off? Gets in trouble for animal cruelty. Does not feed his dog.

2008: Trade demands put out and then removed force the Kings to stop hoping for change and trade him to the Rockets. Yao Ming and Tmac shake their head in disgust somewhere.

…and this are just a few highlights. His suspension and technical foul record is a tough one to beat. He currently holds the record for longest non drug or gambling related suspension in the NBA.

He should have been kicked out of the league. The brawl he caused in Detroit was the worst scenario I have seen in all these years of NBA ball. I like Stern, and I know the Players Association would have been after his ass if he tried it, but in my books the fans(aka the money spending customers) are untouchable. What he did was a disgrace to the sport and the NBA should not have given him another chance. But, hey, what do I know about anything. The Rockets are fingers crossed and ready to welcome Artest in hopes of a championship. I guess no one told them that he is the definition of damaged goods.

July 31, 2008 Posted by | Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Marvel Universe Trading Cards part 1

1990 Comic Book Ad

In the early and mid 90’s marvel comics started releasing a trading card set consisting of about 200 cards per set. Even though the company was going through some rough times financially, these trading card sets were what mapped the way for marvel geekdom for years to come. All of my basic knowledge comes from reading these things over and over and over. Even though I don’t have them memorized, I’m pretty sure that I know every single “Did you know?” section from these cards.

These cards were extremely popular around its time, and it is arguable that these cards represent the biggest non sports card property of all time.

Today we look at set #1 that came out in 1990. All images courtesy of Marvel.com

Here is some commentary on some of my favourites:

Black and White Spidey: Spidey in black and white will always have some sort of interesting apeal. We have seen it resurface this year and I don’t think we have seen the last from this costume. Pretty sick. I always liked the battle statistics. Pretty straight forward. You suck or you don’t.

Wolverine: This is one of my favorite cards of all time. The art on this one is nice. Wolverine was the only character to have been featured in 3 individual cards on this set(Classic, Current, Patch).

Cosmic Spidey: Hilarious in a way. Every time someone that doesnt know much look at this collection they are always puzzled as to why spiderman is flying and what exactly it is that he is flying away from. Check out the twin towers in the background. In this stupidly PC world, this would have been a controversial card.

The Blob: I loved this card. Whomever drew this did a great job showing what the blob really is instead of a really fat guy which is what some actually think.

Famous Battles: These cards showed some art from an important event in the DCU. Lots of basic information for little geeks like myself. So basically, if you sit down with someone and they start talking about how the Hulk and Wolverine once went at it there is a chance that this is where they got it from.

Spiderman Presents: Some cheesy humour but it does the job. There are about 8 of them and I think they are all pretty funny. This was the only set to feature these cards

Holograms: There were 5 hologram cards on this set. They were al based on another simple card. These were the special hard to find cards. I never suceeded in obtaining more than two.

Stan the man: Someone drew this while on a high concentrated dosage of acid.

MVC Cards: They featured very important issues. Watch for an upcoming movie on this one.

This was by far my favourite set. I spend money, sweat and tears trying to get this whole set together and I had great success. There was a huge buzz about these cards among kids and Im sure it brings a memory or two.

July 29, 2008 Posted by | Comics | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment