Tuesday, June 13, 2006

X-Men still the best

I'm not a big superhero fan. Musclebound men in tights just seem way too homoerotic for my tastes....sort of like professional wrestling, I suppose. Still, I do like the X-Men franchise. Wolverine is far more compelling than Superman and Storm is way hotter than Wonder Woman. Also the apocalyptic ambience of the human-mutant conflict in the Marvel Universe is appealing. So I looked forward with great anticipation to X-Men III: The Last Stand and despite some lukewarm response from the critics, I have to say it delivers. All the old favourites are back: Wolverine, Storm, Charles Xavier, Magneto and Mystique and there are more than a few surprises. I won't reveal anything here because half the fun is figuring out who is going to make it and who isn't. I will say this much though. Go see it and be sure to sit through the credits. It will be worth the wait.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Favourite minis, Pt.2

Favourite Construct
Arcane Ballista
War Drums


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Favourite minis, Pt.1

Favourite Outsider
Aspect of Hextor
War Drums


Monday, April 10, 2006

Collectible minis...worse than crack

The product design braintrust at Wizards of the Coast is fiendishly adept at coming up with new ways of separating gamers from their hard-earned shekels, but they have really outdone themselves when it comes to the collectible miniatures. Those mysterious little booster packs with their promise of that long-sought rare figure that you simply can't live without. The endless weighing to see if you can find a really heavy pack that holds an elusive large figure. The heartbreak when a series is discontinued and there still a few figures you haven't got. The outrageous prices that crappy old Harbinger minis fetch on eBay. There ought to be a law against it.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Two Vendettas

It has been slow year so far for movies. I took a pass on Underworld:Evolution and Ultraviolet since I think the whole ass-kicking-skinny-chick-with-a-sword genre has been completely done to death. So this past weekend was quite an anomaly since I saw two movies, V for Vendetta (about a masked freedom fighter waging a one man crusade against a totalitarian government that did him wrong) and Beowulf and Grendel (about a warrior who fights against a troll who is, in turn waging a one monster crusade against a king who did him wrong). Clearly the theme of my weekend was revenge. VfV stars Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings) as V and Natalie Portman (Star Wars I, II, III) as Evey, a love interest and eventual ally of V. The movie itself is a decent thriller, though perhaps not as action-packed as the trailers might lead one to conclude. Although it is a Wachowski Bros. production, the feel of the movie is more 1984 than The Matrix. It is somewhat predictable, but still worth seeing. BaG stars Gerard Butler (Reign of Fire, Lara Croft Tomb Raider II) as the Geat warrior, Beowulf, Stellan Skarsgard (King Arthur, Deep Blue Sea, Exorcist: The Beginning) as the grieving Danish King Hrothgar and Sarah Polley (Dawn of the Dead) as Selma, an outcast Danish witch/whore whose loyalties are questionable. It's quite nicely done, although Polley's Canadian accent is quite jarring alongside the various Scottish, English and Scandinavian actors that comprise the rest of the cast. BaG is a low-budget European/Canadian production shot against the stark, but beautiful landscape of Iceland and there's a not CG effect to be seen anywhere. Very refreshing. It is in very limited release, so if it shows in your town, see it quickly. It's worth it.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Narnia doesn't suck....really!

I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a title which doubles as a trailer since the story revolves around four children and their mystical encounter with a lion, a witch and a wardrobe. Actually, in hindsight, it should be the wardrobe, the witch and the lion since that's the order in which they appear, but I digress. Based on a classic children's book by C.S.Lewis, a contemporary of J.R.R.Tolkien, the story is a basic fantasy of good triumphing over evil, with a generous helping of magical beasts from ancient Greek and Germanic mythology. But what separates Chronicles from similar stories of the genre is the religious subtext. The lion, Aslan, sacrifices himself for the sins of the treacherous younger brother, Edmund and is resurrected. This resurrection is witnessed by the sisters, Lucy and Susan, much as Jesus Christ appeared to Mary Magdalen and the pious women. The eldest son is named Peter and he leads the army of good, much as Saint Peter was the rock upon which the Christian church was built. Also, the good "people" are creatures of Greek myth, fauns and centaurs, while the evil forces are largely Germanic, dwarfs and giants (also minotaurs, but in Greek myth, they are evil). This suggests to me the conquest of Christianity (enlightened Hellenism) over Paganism (Germanic barbarism), although I could be reading more into that than is intended. In any case, I quite enjoyed the movie, despite having reservations going in. The film has a lot to offer adult audiences, far more than the Harry Potter movies, for example, and I highly recommend it.