Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
June 9, 2019
You keep your cartoon Casey Jones :P
Category: Miscellany … Toys

Time for a random weird complaint post! No, I'm not going to gripe about people calling Raphael "Ralph." ;P

So I spend a lot of time on toy forums where people frequently voice their opinions about the characters they'd like to see made next in various action figure lines... and one of the things that bugs me is the amount of people who so desperately want Casey Jones in NECA's 1987 TMNT cartoon subline. Like, it'd make sense to me for the movie or comic lines -- Casey was hella important in those. It'd make sense to me if they wanted him in a line that took its cues from the vintage toys, since he was among the early releases. It'd make sense to me if they wanted him in a video game line, since he did feature prominently in 2/3 versions of TMNT Tournament Fighters (though he was reduced to a background sprite in the very best version). It'd even make sense if people wanted the 'toon Casey as a stand-in for one of his other incarnations... but that doesn't seem to be the case.

No, it really seems like these collectors legitimately want the cartoon Casey, who showed up in a handful of episodes and (IMHO, obviously) was kinda dumb. They want him more than April or Splinter or Baxter or the Rat King or the Neutrinos or Traag or the Punk Frogs or any of the other characters who featured in more episodes and who were arguably more integral to the TMNT universe (like Irma, Vernon, Burne... even Zach) than the nutjob outlaw hero. So I can't help but groan every time someone expresses a passionate desire for a Casey Jones figure in the Fred Wolf assortment. It's like ugh... did you even watch the cartoon???

Obviously this isn't remotely important, and obviously I'm not seriously angry about it -- it's just toys, and NECA's gonna do what NECA's gonna do (though admittedly I will be even more peeved if these misguided not-fanboys convince NECA to release Casey before April). But I wanted to gripe about it somewhere and I thought y'all might understand. Thanks for reading. XD

-posted by Wes | 4:38 pm | Comments (0)
May 13, 2019
Ask not for whom “The Bells” toll
Category: Linkage … Miscellany … TV, Film, & DVDs

For readers interested in discussion of last night's Game of Thrones episode (S08E05, "The Bells), I thought this IGN review was an interesting one -- not necessarily because of the fairly universal criticisms it advances, but because one gets to see the reviewer actively contend with the reviewer's mindset and the utility of reviewing media at all, which is kind of an odd thing (and admittedly a touch frustrating) to see from someone getting paid to do it. I definitely disagree with the conclusions at which the author apparently arrives -- if that's how you feel, why bother attempting to evaluate anything? More to the point, why review media for a larger audience (besides the coveted paycheck)? I do think it invokes a conversation all "critics" need to have with themselves, though, and if you have any interest at all in that -- or in criticisms of the particular episode -- I think it's worth a look.

(Standout cringeworthy sentences: "But I was apparently giving the show too much credit, and ultimately that's on me, not the writers" and "I'd rather just pull a random number out of a hat than try to come up with one that I'll still agree with in a week or a month.")

Also, for a laugh, dig this Vox piece about the 4 winners and 10 losers from the episode. And this Polygon article about how things work in GoT Season 8 isn't the most compellingly written, but the points it makes are solid.

-posted by Wes | 3:34 pm | Comments (0)
Archie fights a mobster because reasons

Okay y'all -- I have a Riverdale clip for you. It's not from the episode I'd currently show to anyone to give them a good understanding of the best and worst of what Season 3 has to offer (that'd be S03E19), but you need to watch it.

Some background: Hiram Lodge (Veronica's pops) is poised to buy the town of Riverdale and install his own government, etc. -- because apparently that's a thing that can happen in the Riverdale universe??? -- and Archie is determined to not let that happen, because Hiram Lodge is pretty doggoned evil. But Archie's just a punk high school kid, so what can he do? Answer: he can roll into the local steam room where Lodge is chilling with his "business" associates and challenge Lodge to a winner-takes-Riverdale boxing match. And of course Lodge can't back down, because refusing a punk kid's laughable challenge to a public fighting exhibition would somehow make him look weak. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 3:19 pm | Comments (0)
May 8, 2019
Snap Snap (Avengers: Endgame spoilers)

Spoiler ban is apparently lifted, so let's talk about Avengers: Endgame! (Obviously, if you care about spoilers and haven't seen it yet, stop reading now.)

So I had a lot of issues with this movie -- but let's start with an arguably kinda minor one toward the end. It's the sort of thing that makes me glad I saw the movie, since it's not an issue I'd thought a whole lot about, and yet the very fact that I'm thinking about it here lowers my opinion of the movie (and the writing/thought processes behind it) as a whole.

Film is a visual medium, right? So we rely on visual cues to convey information that shouldn't otherwise be necessary in order for certain things to happen. In Heroes, for instance, Sylar's signature power was telekinesis, not finger lasers -- so he shouldn't strictly have needed to do anything with his hands in order to activate that power. And yet whenever he sliced into someone's skull he'd point two fingers and, from a distance, trace the line of the incision, because it helped the viewer to follow the action. Intuitively I understood this, and yet I never actively questioned the gesture because it was so effectively done. The best instances of these gestures are often highly imitable; Heroes has been off the air for nearly a decade and I still routinely swipe two fingers to the side when passing through automatic doors. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 1:28 pm | Comments (0)
March 13, 2019
Shame, Aunt Becky. Shame.
Category: Linkage … Miscellany

The Onion is killing it this week! 😂 Have some highlights:

Man Playing ‘Battlefield V’ Has Now Spent More Of Life Fighting Nazis Than Grandfather Did

USC Insists Lori Loughlin’s Daughter Was Admitted Solely Based On Socioeconomic Background

Report: Just Go Ahead And Tell Yourself Bribery Is The Only Reason You Didn’t Get Into Columbia

Also, that last one would be so much better than that other reason folks often cite for not getting into the colleges of their choice...

Case in point: this Media Research Center article, in which the author writes, "If CNN is so scandalized by Kushner getting into Harvard, it should tell us how CNN's own Chris Cuomo, son of former New York Governor Mario, got into Yale. Were his grades and SATs in the top 1-2%, like the vast majority of non-minority Yale applicants admitted on their own merits?" Because of course the majority of minority Yale applicants aren't admitted on their own merits. Sigh.

-posted by Wes | 4:47 pm | Comments (0)
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