Check out this epic win from the University of Texas, and the article about it from IGN-
January 29, 2009 – What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse? Would you head to the local mall with Ving Rhames or team up with a biker, army vet and cute college girl and try to cure the infection one bullet at a time? Well, motorists driving around the University of Texas got to entertain their undead thoughts a little on Monday morning when two electronic road signs flashed alerts of a impeding zombie attack. Quick, grab the medkits and uzis!
The signs, which were in place to alert drivers to a detour, instead contained messages like “Caution! Zombies Ahead” and “Nazi Zombies! Run!!!” for passersby to see. And you thought regular zombies were bad, but man, those Nazi zombies are a-holes. Traffic controllers reported that the signs generated substantial safety hazards thanks to drivers slowing down to view the messages and take photos. Welcome to the real world of what would really happen if the infected took over the country folks, photo opportunities. Hey mister zombie man, say cheese! “BRAINS!!!”. Eh, close enough. City officials speculate that the units were hacked by a local computer expert who broke into the access panels, changed the passwords and then were rerouted the systems to display five different zombie messages. The sign manufacturing company had to be brought in to override the hacker’s work.
The city is happy to report that no zombies have since been seen in the area, but did offer up any advice in case next time the warnings turn out to be real: “Shoot ’em in the head”. Ok, that’s a line from a movie, but you get the idea. Now pardon us, we have to go shotgun shopping with Bill, Zoey and Francis.
This is definitely an epic win. Even though it took a whole lot of work to get it back to normal, I still applaud the great hacker out there that pulled this off. You sir or madam, are my hero of the week.
Here’s a video with a ton of great footage set to the song “Take A Bow” by Muse, as featured in the second trailer.
For those of you that may not understand or haven’t heard, Resident Evil is a survival horror game, in fact one of the most, if not THE most critically acclaimed horror series of all time. Resident Evil 4 was proclaimed by X Play as “The Best Game They Ever Reviewed”. Now the new installment of the series, Resident Evil 5, is due out in about a month and a half, and the game’s demo is receiving criticism on both ends of the spectrum, and from an IGN article, it got me thinking. Back in 08, there was some controversy over the fact that you play as a white man, that you’re in Africa, and that all the zombies you’re shooting… are black. A lot of people took offense to this, saying it was racist. Now, Capcom has buckled under the pressure and added white and Asian zombies…. to a game set in African villages. This honestly made me a little mad. It makes me mad that the community of African American people, or just regular game journalists, will cry “RACISM” just b/c a game looks a certain way or has certain characteristics, or just b/c they don’t know what they’re talking about. Of course you’re shooting african-american people, YOU’RE IN AFRICA!!! That’s not racist, that’s realistic. Now if all the zombies were gangsters, ate fried chicken and talked really southern, that’d be racist. Having a game set in New York with only African American zombies, that might be racist. But just having African American characters as your enemy, in an AFRICAN setting, that’s nowhere near racist. What if the game was set in China? Most people would be Chinese. What if it was in Russia? Most people would be Russian. What if it was in a Tom Jones concert? EVERYBODY would be white. My point is, it’s not racist to be true to your setting, even if that means that all your characters are black, white, or asian. If it was a movie set in Africa like this, then there sure wouldn’t be a multi-race rainbow. They’re not saying all people from Africa are crazy or zombies, they’re just staying true to their game. Capcom shouldn’t have to buckle to the pressure and throw in some other character types just b/c some people are getting all upset and throwing down the racist card.
It’s been claimed the most celebrated graphic novel of all time… Proclaimed by many as one of the greatest pieces of American literature… and thanks to a very generous $25 Books A Million Gift Card, I’ve read it. Watchmen is the super heroic tale of a band of washed up, retired superheroes coming to their own ways to unravel a mystery behind The Comedian’s death, a string of “picked off costumed heroes” and to save the world from tearing itself apart. Believe me, these aren’t your nursing home retired superheroes, these guys can still kick your butt 3 times over, all in a few minutes. This also isn’t your average children’s comic. The gritty tale is told harshly, coldly, and without mercy, leaving you on the edge of your seat. The story focuses around the events of several ex-superheroes, including the two generations of the Night Owl (the Batman of the group) and Silk Spectres, Rorshach (The Lone Detective), Dr. Manhattan (A God-like figure), Ozymondias (The World’s Smartest Man), and their previous generations. The story is set in a 1980s cold war era, which serves as a great proving ground for a lot of the bigger issues-humanity, war, self-righteousness, god complexes, right and wrong, and so much more. The story is very gritty, very language and violence filled, so keep the kids away. The art style in the book is also very vibrant, pertaining a lot to stand out colors like yellows, greens, and purples that make the pages really jump out. Only thing that left me disappointed though was the ending, which felt almost anticlimactic. They build up this huge end-of-the-world revelation, and it kinda just bails out. Plus, the adult themes can get pretty intense at times. I had heard so many times that this is a must read for all comic fans, and after reading it, I can faithfully say it as well. If you are a fan of comics, you should at least give this one a read. You can get it at BAM for less than $20, it’s totally worth it. For the amount of deep, incredibly thought out story and mythology, and the wonderful colors and dialogue, this deserves to be on any die-hard comic fan’s bookshelf.
4 1/2 out of 5
What if you could bring things to life by reading them? I just got through reading Watchmen…. Oh boy….. The story of Inkheart is a good one, and will make fantasy fan-boys shout in glee. In the story, a man (Brendan Frasier) who has the ability to bring books to life by reading it takes his daughter to go in search of a book called Inkheart, and when they find it, it sweeps them into a world of adventure. An evil villain named Capricorn (Andy Serkis), which sounds a lot like candy corn, is in search of the book as well, and pretty soon, the groups are colliding as they try to rescue the protagonist’s wife, send the evil characters from whence they came, and make it home in one piece. If you’re reading this, and you’re a fan of fantasy, or just a big book worm (I’m not meaning it derogatorily), then quit reading this review. Go see this movie, you’ll love it. This movie’s got enough mystical creatures, fun little nods to classic literature, and more to secure your $7.50. I myself, am not too huge a fan of the mystical elements, but was won over by the movie’s zeal to bringing those books to, well, life. The characters in this movie are also pretty well portrayed. Brendan Frasier’s his usual self, but Andy Serkis did a pretty good job as a villain, plus, HELEN MIRREN! Probably the thing I liked best about this movie was it’s way of combining this mythical sense of wonder and fantasy, and then slapping that into the middle of real life. Plus, a lot of the characters were well designed (Capricorn’s henchmen were great), and the CGI was great. The only problem I had was that sometimes the plot could get a little convoluted at times (a story within a story within a story), and it ran a little too long at about 2 hours. Sometimes the fantasy elements would get a little too heavy for me, but then I was back to a good medium. I actually really liked this movie, more than I thought I would. If you’re looking for a great fantasy tale with a good deal of action for a January release, look no further. This movie’s a solid movie for a Friday night movie trip, if anything else, a perfect rent for a fantasy-craving movie fan.
3 1/2 out of 5
This is just one of those posts where I just had a random thought, and decided to write a post about it. Has anyone else noticed the recent trend in action movies? It’s not fancy swordplay, sweet gadgets (unless you look at superheroes), or the underdog, it’s just plan brutal beatings. It’s like Jackie Chan brought in all of our favorite and future action heroes, and taught them how to take a guy out with 2 fingers. Anyone else notice this? I first realized it when I saw the trailers for Taken, and Liam Neeson is describing how brutal his daughter’s captor’s deaths are going to be. It seems that all action heroes now-a-days don’t focus as much on the right tool for the job, they just focus more on “Okay…. how many seconds and how few fingers is it gonna take me to bring this 400 pound guy to his knees?” I guess you could say Jason Bourne started this trend in the Bourne movies. I simply noticed that it was really prevalent in the new Bond movie, and that Neeson’s character in Taken is kicking some serious tail in that movie. Hopefully, this will be a new trend. It looks really cool on screen to see, it definitely adds a more realistic sense to fight scenes I’ve never seen before. My hat goes off to you Liam Neeson, Daniel Graig, Matt Damon, and anyone else that brutally destroys others’ internal organs, keep doing what you do.
Another week, another opportunity for me to throw my ideas out and set another movie series straight. Another chance to anger nerds everywhere. With this week’s report that the next Spiderman movie would be start filming in 2010, I thought I’d throw my hat in the web slinger’s ring. I’ve always been a fan of the series, as I saw all 3 in nerd excitement and glory over the past few years. However, since 2007, nothing much has been heard from Raimi, or his counterparts involved with bringing the webhead to the big screen. Like many others, I’ve lost interest during this hiatus. This series needs some new ideas, some exciting futures, and some organization to get it back to the top.
- Distinct, Well-Thought Out Villains-Don’t get me wrong, Spiderman 1 and 2 both did this fantastically. Alfred Molina’s portrayal of the Octavian Doctor was brilliant, so was Dafoe’s creepy Goblin impersonation. However, in Spiderman 3, they kinda threw in 3 different villains that felt a tad rushed. Venom, although great, was on for a little bit, but my favorite of the moviehad to be Sandman. In Spiderman 4, maybe bring in just one, maybe two villains, but spend enough time to fully develop all of them. Make them believable, cool, and well-thought-out. Almost like what they did with the Iron Monger in Iron Man, or the Abomination in The Incredible Hulk. The Lizard’s a must, you already have him set up. Maybe for the 4th film, have the Vulture, or maybe even Carnage. To me, it doesn’t matter. As long as he or she’s thought out, and well implemented.
- An Older Peter Parker–I think for the series to move forward, along with implementing Parker’s inner struggles that could be explored, maybe a more mature, older Peter Parker is needed. I’m not saying a different actor, but maybe rough Macquire up to make him seem more mature, wiser, and not just a high school nerd. Keep his nerdy persona, but give him this feel of a world-weary man, handed these extraordinary abilities.
- Personal Struggles/Inside the Life of Peter Parker-Almost what we saw with his relationship with Mary Jane, or his struggle to maintain both identities, I think the series needs to bring Parker down a notch. Beat him up, throw him to the side, take some things away from him, make him feel pain. Let’s take Peter Parker and explore maybe a darker side, let’s set some time in the movie to see some personal struggles of his life. Death, lost love, failure in a job or school, all these could possibly make for a great movie.
- THE DEATH OF AUNT MAY–Yes, call this one crazy, but it might just work. This one kinda goes along with the whole personal struggle thing, but I think if Raimi decided to kill off the aunt, we could really get a great storyline.
- A Darker, Grittier New York-Let’s drop the bright colors, the vivid-ness of NYC. Almost like what Nolan did with Gotham City. Let’s focus on the underbelly, the darker side of one of the most crime-filled cities, and the web slinger that tries to protect it.
I first saw the epic trailer for the upcoming superhero crime story movie adaptation, Watchmen, when I went to go see The Dark Knight. I immediately thought, “Hey, this looks like a pretty sweet movie, I should probably check out the graphic novel”. Considering I only read graphic novels and comics, and haven’t read a book without pictures in years, it was a perfect fit. Last Friday, after seeing Paul Blart, I decided to use one of my BAM gift cards (my family knows I’m a nerd) to get this acclaimed novel, and so far, I’m very glad I did. I’m only about 4 or 5 chapters into the novel out of around 13 chapters, and already the story is incredibly absorbing. So many characters, intricacies, plot twists, incredible moments, this novel definitely lives up to its name. It’s also really interesting to see how Snyder has exactly replicated some of the pivotal moments in the novel. Also, as warned by my Spanish teacher, this is a very adult story. Sex, rape, brutal, haneuous murder, war, lost loves, adultery, and more litter this novel. Definitely not for the kids, but definitely a great read for the elder comic fans. If Mr. Snyder follows the novel like he says, I can totally see how the movie would gain it’s R rating. Each character is well thought out. You’ve got the world-weary, all-knowing Dr. Manhattan, the two new lineages of the Silver Spectre and Night Owl, the insane Rorshach, Ozymondias, the world’s smartest man, Mr. Metropolis, the late, corrupt Comedian, among others that joined their ranks in the beginning as “minutemen”. As far as a favorite goes, Rorshach’s violent and comedic ways have emerged as a quick favoritism. If you haven’t read this great novel, definitely give it a try. Or, if you see me on a regular basis, I’d be more than happy to lend it to you in a few months. I look forward to finishing the novel, and maybe even seeing the movie in theaters.
This is a great sketch put together by the folks over at G4, Grains of War.
The first ever Nerd Posse field trip was a success. Tonight DS, Colt, and I went out to the local theater in what I hope can be a new tradition for us and saw the new Kevin James comedy we were all eagerly anticipating, Paul Blart: Mall Cop. While it’s no Oscar Contender (And the Oscar goes to… Paul Blart: Mall Cop Really, C’mon.) or Best Movie of the Year, it’s one of the best times I’ve had at the movies in a long time. The story, as you may know, follows the experience of the world’s most dedicated Mall Cop, Paul Blart. Throughout Blart’s attempts at love, getting respect, and trying to move up in the ranks, he’s finally put to the test when a group of Tony Hawk-wannabes try to take over the mall, but not all is as seems. There’s way more to the plot than meets the eye. Of course, the best thing about this movie, is the comedy. If you loved or even moderately liked The King of Queens, you’ll love this movie. Kevin James is pretty much the same character but with a different job, but he does it well, and he does it funny. Several drawn out jokes about his devotion, fights, his antics taking back HIS mall and attempts at woo-ing a cart owner in the shop are downright hilarious. The movie also does great at keeping some well-placed action here and there, and while it’s never to much of an action movie, whenever it is, it never forgets what it really is-a comedy. One second Kevin James is decking a bad guy, the next he’s taking off on his segway yelling “DON’T PEE, DON’T PEE”. That my friend, is funny. It almost reminded me of a Live Free or Die Hard movie, but with Kevin James. The supporting cast is pretty good, with Blart’s daughter being especially funny. The entire movie is just a good ol’ fashioned fun time, all squeezed into a nice little 1 1/2 hour package, the perfect length for this type of movie. The only problems I could sometimes see was that at times it could get a little repetitive, and as Colt mentioned, there were some plot holes. While this may not be a perfect movie, I couldn’t see anyone going in with the right state of mind walking away disappointed. Overall, Paul Blart: Mall Cop doesn’t just serve up a good portion of comedy, it delivers the whole way, providing hilarious jokes, classic lines, and a hefty dose of fun action by the always-funny Kevin James. If you’re looking for a great comedy for a Friday night, or just a fan of Kevin James, this is your movie.
4 1/2 out of 5
One man will decide the fate of our country. One man will choose whose policies are better for us and the rest of our fellow citizens. One man will choose between Obama or McCai-, er, Grammer and Hopper. This man, who reminded me a lot of my uncle on my mother’s side, is Kevin Costner, and in the great movie Swing Vote, he’s stuck with the monumental task of choosing the next president single-handedly. All through the constant barrages of cries for help, requests for political favor, and Willie Nelson. I had been wanting to see the movie Swing Vote for a while, and now that I have, I am definitely glad I watched, and might even buy this movie. Probably the best thing about this, of course, is the comedy. This movie was really funny to me, it blended a great element of realism that came with the material, this every day man concept, and some great comedic performances by the like of Kevin Costner. The idea of this every day man choosing the fate of the free world, and the man being this blue collar worker is something the movie fully delivers on, and it does it well. This movie definitely had an awesome cast, including the likes of the wonderful Madeline Carrol, Kelsey Grammar, Dennis Hopper, George Lopez (Who is actually funny), Stanley Tucci, and Nathan Lane. All of them pull their weight and deliver big laughs in their small share of screen time each. The movie also really proves to be a great drama. There were plenty of sad moments shared on screen, centering around divorce, drug addictions, drinking, among a slew of political topics weighing Bud down that proved to show this comedy had some meat to it and had a great message. This isn’t the comedythat you watch and leave the theater, have a few laughs, and forget about it, this is the kinda movie that leaves an impression, and makes you think “What if this did happen?” As far as bad points in the movie go, the movie’s not perfect. It did sort of drone on in spots, get a little repetitive at points. Plus, the idea isn’t that realistic or practical. There’s a lot of bending over backwards in the plot to have this one specific circumstance to occur. You just gotta realize this isn’t a cold hard facts movie, just have a fun time with it. Also, this movie is not for kids. Which is funny, because it’s published by Disney. The S- grenade is lobbed dozens of times in the movie, and the F bomb is dropped once, so keep the kids away from this one. The ending on this one might also irritate you, but it turns out to be the best one possible. Overall, if you’re looking for a great thought-provoking dramedy for a Friday night, you can’t go wrong with Swing Vote, in fact, if you’re just looking for a great movie, Swing Vote is the right pick for you. So go see it.
4 1/2 out of 5
Since I’ve got so many movie ideas flowing through my head every day, and sine I’m such a creative mind, I thought I’d dedicate a section out to discuss my ideas for future movies, or where to take the future of the movie franchise.
What to do with Star Wars? The first three movies to pop out of George Lucas’s mind came out about 30 years ago, followed by three pretty good prequels that just wrapped up a few years back, and that concludes that era, that saga. But surely there’s some sort of hope, some lightsaber-clashing action left to bring back to the big screen. Something out there to take this series out of the Clone Wars. To be brief and not bore everyone to death, here are a few, bullet-ized pointers I have for the future of the Star Wars series-
- Get Out of the Clone Wars/Try Something New–Probably the most important. How many mini-movies, how many movies, how many series have we had on the Clone Wars? It’s just been a little over-done. Let’s try to find something new, something fresh to breathe life into the series. Only in that can we find out way out of that era. Maybe try to move into a prequel to the prequels, a sequel to the sequels, for crying out loud maybe even a movie centered around YODA!!! Let’s try something new instead of double dipping the same chip that is The Clone Wars.
- Bring In Fresh Blood, You Must–Another idea I had was to bring in some fresh blood, some new actors into the mix. Let’s move past Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Ewan McGregor, and most importanly Hayden Christensen. Don’t get me wrong, all of them were great in their parts, however we need someone new. Remember how cool it was to see Samuel Snakes on a $&$#(#* Plane Jackson as a jedi? Just imagine if they brought in someone like Christian Bale, Micheal Caine, Jake Gylenhaal, or dare I say, even Seth Rogen or James Franco into the mix as early Jedis. With new stories comes new people to execute them.
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: The Movie–How cool would it be to have a TFU movie? I’ve already imagined it. Place Christian Bale as the lead as maybe an older form of Starkiller, you’ve got a great story, a great visual era, excellent action, a great familiar mix of old and new, and you gotta blockbuster. For fans of the game or even more to those unfamiliar with the game, the movie could be a smash hit with fans.
- MOST IMPORTANT-CHANGE–The most important thing I see the Star Wars series needing to do, is change. Move out of these comfort zones, move out of these pre-conceived safe zones, keep what works best, hold onto the classic magic, bring in the new, take some risks, and you’ve got a great series back on top.
One of my favorite bands is the group Boyce Avenue that does really great acoustic covers of these big songs. They’ve done great work with The Fray, Rascall Flatts, and more. Now they’ve got out one of my favorites, based on one of my favorite songs, Mr. Brightside by The Killers.
In an interview with David S. Roven, the producer on the recent little film that you may or may not have heard about, “The Dark Knight”, the interviewer shoots out a lot of questions about the next film. He asks about if they are making a new film, and if so, what will they do with it, considering the ending of the past two villains from “The Dark Knight”. He basically asked if they regretted leaving the Joker alive and killing off Dent, considering Ledger’s death. Basically, Roven says that (quote) “We have to separate the actors from the role”, and that (quote) “On a personal level, Heath was a friend of mine. We had worked together before ‘The Dark Knight,’ but I still think that ‘The Dark Knight’ is its own thing, and we have to separate them”. Basically, MTV (the publisher of said interview) are misconstruing this. They, along with other fanboys, are proposing and supporting the idea of re-doing the Joker for the next film, getting some one else to play him.
I don’t know what your thoughts are on this, but I for one, think it is a bad idea. DS and I have had this conversation. Although I felt more strongly than him in some areas, we felt that there was a possible way to give the Joker a cameo in the next film. Have Batman go to Arkham, maybe needing intel on a dangerous criminal, and he goes to Arkham for help. Maybe we see the Joker’s back, he has his back turned, and he just says a little. You either very well re-edit Ledger’s lines, or get a sound-a-like, no more than 3 minutes. Never show his face though. Picture like the scene with the Joker in the jail cell, but with his back turned… in the dark. Anyway, there’s no denying that Ledger’s interpretation of the Joker in TDK was, well masterful. I feel like I’ve said this a million times, but this is the last time, promise. That wasn’t Ledger as the Joker, that was the Joker in TDK. He made it his own, and he dominated it, perfecting the role. I still regard TDK as a masterpiece, not just in superhero movies, but in overall film. It’s a beautifully directed, shot, and choreographed crime and superhero epic. Trying to replicate Ledger’s portrayal with the likes of Daniel Day Lewis (I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!!!) or anyone else would be disrespectful in my mind. It would be trashed by critics in my mind, and deemed unoriginal, everyone would just be thinking about Ledger. Leave the Joker as he is, he shouldn’t be re-invented again until maybe Zack Snyder takes the reins in a few years (I’d love to see that) or until Nolan is through and hands it over to someone else (anyone but Schumaker or Burton). Bringsomeone new in, let’s see Nic Cage as Mr. Freeze in his human form, Hugh Laurie as the Riddler (I’d kill to see that), or Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin, just as long as we don’t try to re-do the Joker. They don’t even have to make another movie as far as I’m concerned, but it’d be great if they did. Overall, there’s no sense re-inventing something that’s already been perfected.
As those of you that are around me a lot might know, I’m a cashier at the local gas station/convenience store/deli in my hometown. Well, recently my boss had been coming to me, telling me that recently we had been busted for selling cigarettes to underage kids (not me), and that sometime within the next few weeks or months at an unknown time, a surveyor would be coming. I pictured this surveyor as some dude sitting at a table, watching me to make sure I didn’t mess up. Well today, I was wrapping up my 7 hour shift, about to head out the door, but had to take care of a few customers while my replacement was preparing for her shift.
As I’m standing up there, this girl, couldn’t have been older than 25, comes in. The general rule at work was to ID if they looked younger than 26. She’s also wearing this MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) Sweatshirt. She asks for a pack of Marlboro Lights, and as I’m placing them on the counter, I start to think about whether to ID her. She looked young enough to constitute an ID, but then again, she’s wearing a MTSU sweatshirt. I started to not ID her, but since my boss was in the back, I go ahead and ask. I say “Ma’am, could I go ahead and see your ID? I know you’re wearing a MTSU sweat, but y’know…..” She takes a look at me, and says “Congratulations, you passed.” I’m just looking around, totally confused. She says “I work for the office of Phillip Morris, and we’re the surveyors for the selling of tobacco products to minors, and you passed! You did exactly what you were to do! Great Job!” She hands me this card, takes my name, and walks out.
First thing I thought was “I wonder if she had cards that said ‘YOU FAIL’ on them.” The other thing I thought was “HOLY COW I GOTTA SHOW MY BOSS!!!” I ran back there and showed it off, I was so happy. Now we have that card taped up on the wall with the words “WE PASSED, GREAT JOB JAKE” wrote on the front. I better get a pay increase this week.