Friday, January 30, 2009

Sportstacular: UFC 94 and Superbowl XLIII

It's a big weekend for sports fans as two epic battles are about to unfold. Let's go down to Jim, standing cage-side, for more information. Jim?

UFC 94:
That's right, Johnny, the fans are showing up by the thousands this weekend as everyone prepares for UFC 94: St. Pierre vs Penn 2. Let's go ahead and take a look at that fight card-

St Pierre vs. BJ Penn
Lyoto Machida vs. Thiago Silva
Stephan Bonnar vs. Jon Jones
Karo Parisyan vs. Hyun Kim
Nate Diaz vs. Clay Guida (possibly a caveman)
Jon Fitch vs. Akihiro Gono
Manny Gamburyan vs. Thiago Tavares
Chris Wilson vs. John Howard
Jake O'Brien vs. Christian Wellish
Matt Arroya vs. Dan Cramer

While fans are sure to be excited to see the likes of Machida, Silva, Parisyan and more, there's no doubt the real show this weekend is going to be St. Pierre/Penn. Given these guys' past, I can't imagine either being able to pull off a submission. St. Pierre and Penn both claim to be in the best shape of their life and both have been hard at work on their standup game, so we might be in for a real slugfest come Saturday night. Call me crazy, but I think Pierre is going to do it again. We're calling it a knockout in the third round. After one round of sizing each other up and another of teeing off, St. Pierre is going to drop Penn with a looping right, mount and pummel until the ref finally pulls him off.

For more on this weekend's sports entertainment, we head on over to Florida where Samantha is gearing up for Superbowl Lotsofletters. Samantha?

Superbowl XLIII:
(Obligatory fans yelling in the background as Samantha gives a good-natured, though somewhat sad, laugh.)

Hi guys! I'm here in Tampa Bay where, this Sunday, the Phoenix Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers will be taking the field to...Hold on a second. Jimmy....Jimmy! Is that right? Are you sure? Okay...

So, yeah, I guess the Cardinals made it to the Superbowl. Wow! (Devil walks past wearing a Carhart jacket). If ever there was a Cinderella story, other than the actual story of Cinderella, that is, this would be it. While my head says the Steelers, my heart is screaming Go Cards!

Now back to the studio for the weather.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Comics: Locke and Key, Resurrection, Kickass

Kickass: This is a comic. This is a very, very good comic. In fact, this is one of the best comics I've read in quite some time. The name suits it quite well. You can pick up issues one through three of Kickass in one volume for the price of a single comic. That's like three bucks, folks. If you like it, issues four through six can be found in singles and that'll bring you up to date on the story so far. Good-good stuff about a boy who decides to be the first real person to dawn a superhero costume and how that impacts himself and the rest of the world as well. Very realistic. Very good. Did I say it was good yet?

Resurrection: Every alien invasion movie ends when mankind finally emerges from the ruble of our fallen cities, the aliens finally defeated, and a time for rebuilding on the horizon. This is exactly where the comic Resurrection begins. The original series was black-and-white with the occasional naughty language thrown around. A ridiculously cheap (I think three bucks. Seriously.) book combining the first six issues (the whole series so far) will be coming out soon completely in color and with all bad language taken out in order to reach a wider audience. As a fan from book one, I'm sad to see the indy feel go, but it's nice to see the publishers really get behind this book and push it into the monthly market. Reminiscent of 24 and full of great characters and plot twists, Resurrection is a read I'd recommend to just about anyone.

Locke and Key- Head Games: Yet another chance for you to get in on a comic book series as it begins. Look for Locke and Key- Welcome to Lovecraft as a trade paperback, but this new arc saw the release of issue one just two weeks ago. So far, it looks to be just as entertaining a read as arc one with plenty of mystery unraveling with the turn of every page. There’s great art, strong characters, and intriguing ideas. From Joe Hill, son of Stephen King, Head Games is looking to be every bit as chilling and entertaining as something you'd expect to see from the master of terror himself. Here's hoping this will be another feather in the cap of an up-and-coming writer.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oodles of catchup

Once again, time has managed to slip by, leaving many-a post un-posted. Sorry about that. I like to think you've come to expect it, so don't hold your breath for the usual box of candies and personalized love song I usually throw your way when I screw up. Instead, I'll just give you a bunch of random thoughts on a bunch of stuff that probably deserved full posts....Baby come back! You can blame it aaaall oooon meeeee...

Affliction- Arlovski vs. Fedor: Why the hell would you want to go and bring this one up? You're a jerk. We all saw Arlovski moving steadily into the zone only to get over-eager and dropped like a sack of rocks just three minutes into the first round. I'm trying to forget it ever happened, so stop reopening wounds, ya jerk-face.

My Bloody Valentine 3D: I'm sure without the snazzy 3D effects, My Bloody Valentine probably wouldn't have been as enjoyable an experience as it turned out to be. However, it was a surprisingly decent stalker/slasher flick all the same. Throw in some super-fun 3D where blood, guts and pick-axes nearly fly out of the screen at you, and you've got yourself a wild ride any fan of the genre should not miss on the big screen.

Dragonball- Evolution: Did you guys see the new trailer for the Dragonball live-action movie on youtube? You hear that? That's the sound of my childhood being shat on by a bunch of idiots.

Bioshock: I finally got around to playing Bioshock on the PS3 and this has quickly proven to be one of my favorite first-person-shooters of all time. No joke, it's probably in my top ten games of any genre. Hey! There's an idea for a post! Anyway, if you still haven't played Bioshock, you really should get with the program. This was a fantastic experience.

Twitter: Everyone is doing it. I am, in fact, too cool for school. I must stay true to my edgy, nonconformist nature and hereby call a ban on all things "tweeted." You hear that twitter? You're on notice.

Repo! The Genetic Opera: Since I more or less greatly disliked Saw II through IV, and Repo is from the director of those very films, AND Paris Hilton is in it, I decided to avoid The Genetic Opera like thoughts seem to avoid Paris Hilton's brain.

I went to a recent road show in celebration of the DVDs release (think Rocky Horror live show meets Q and A with the director and some of the actors) and, I must say, it was quite an enjoyable experience. The film was a bit too over-the-top with some of the gore for my tastes, the plot was confusing, and it actually took some effort from time to time to keep watching, but I'm glad I did.

Most of the music is great and some of the scenes were inspired. Repo wasn't what it could have been, and I'm talking in both the good and bad direction. See it with a group of horror fans and you should be in for a fun ride. I have a feeling further viewings will actually result in my enjoying the movie even more.

Check out the films wiki page for more of the story on how it got made and sort-of distributed, and you'll probably be cheering for this underdog as loudly as the mass of fans holding it so close to their make-up wearing, costume donning, fake blood spewing hearts.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday mini-movie: Obama inauguration edition

I usually avoid bringing politics into this here entertainment blog, but hey, it's my blog, I do what I want.

No matter how you feel about the United States' new president, I think we can all agree this is pretty dang funny.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rejected T-shirt Ideas: Issues

Continuing the long line (three total now!) of rejected T-shirt ideas, I give you "Issues."

For those unfamiliar, these posts feature orignal artwork that looks oddly like the kind of stuff you might see on a t-shirt these days, but probably wouldn't actually sell too well if they were ever actually released on the masses.

Why wouldn't they sell? Because, as the attached example clearly demonstrates, the designs are far too hip to be accepted by the "underground crowd," yet far too gritty and raw to appear on the backs of the Banana Republic folk.

My genious...It torments me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reviews: Benjamin Button and Wristcutters

I got to take in a couple movies recently and, well, here’s what I thought.

Wristcutters: A Love Story- I know most of you won’t be willing to try this, but maybe some of you will humor me. Don’t read up on Wristcutters: A Love Story. Just go rent it, buy it or add it to your Netflix and watch it.

I say this because I think extra enjoyment can be had with this one if you just go in not knowing what to expect. Seriously, don’t even read the back of the box. Just go for it.

So as not to ruin my own experiment, I’ll just say this is one of my favorite movies of last year (if not my absolute favorite) and it has more creativity in any two-minute segment than most movies have these days in the full runtime.

I think I would feel genuine sympathy for anyone unable to enjoy this film. So go do so.
If you do, be sure to let me know what you thought in the comments.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button- I got to see The CC of BB a couple weeks ago and, well, I procrastinated on getting you lovely readers my review. Here it is now. So stop asking already.

Yes, it’s long. And yes, it could stand to have a couple scenes snipped out every here and there. But, honestly, I sat through all two-and-a-half hours of Benj Butt and didn’t get antsy even once.

With such a strong focus on the passage of time and how it affects us normal folks and the curious fellow the movie follows around, a slower pace and special attention to certain characters felt fitting.

In fact, I thought more time could have been spent on several of the film’s inhabitants to give their supposedly important influence on Ben’s life a bit more heft.

Length aside, Button is a fine, almost epic film that poses several intriguing questions and wows with its subtle, yet breathtaking special effects. It’s somber and somewhat stagnant, but again, this feels oddly fitting.

I walked out feeling like I had witnessed something unique and, these days, that’s a rare accomplishment in the land of movies.

I’m trying to think of a fair comparison to better focus this “review” so you’ll know if the film is worth a watch. Sadly, I can come up with none. I suppose it’s safe to simply say, if the trailer intrigued you, you probably have little to lose giving Benjamin Button a fair shake.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday mini-movie: Procrastination

You ever wonder why staticechoes sometimes (*cough*often*cough*) falls behind on posting? Well, now there's a handy explanation in video format. Enjoy!

P.S. If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out the whole series. There's some pretty funny gems in there.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Movie of the week: The Wrestler

I’m a fan of Mickey Rourke. So when a movie (The Wrestler) comes along claiming to be the film that will re-launch his career, I’m intrigued.

When that film is directed by Darren Aronofski, I’m basically sold.

But when that film stars Mickey Rourke, is directed by Darren Aronofski AND revolves around the twilight years of a down-on-his-luck amateur wrestler fighting to stay in the game, well, I’m officially geeking out.

Don’t get me wrong, I greatly dislike wrestling these days. Nothing against the athletes themselves, I just hate the overdone theatrics and gag-worthy drama the sport has become known for over the past 15 years. I can’t deny, though, my childhood love for such things.

I had the thumb wrestlers, action figures and even an Ultimate Warrior wrestling buddy to take out my aggression on. I lovingly recall the days of Andre the Giant, the Iron Shiek and Rowdy Roddy Piper. I remember making sure my butt was firmly planted in front of the TV every time WWF was on.

I think it’s my ties to these simpler days of wrestling that draws me to The Wrestler's story of an aging, no-frills, old fashioned grappler not trying to make it to the big show so much as continue doing the only thing he loves in life no matter what his body demands to the contrary.

Anyway, enough of that. Just go see The Wreslter. If early reviews serve as a gauge, it’s looking like an absolute winner.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Movies to miss in January

Hey Hollywood! I have a New Year’s resolution for you. A couple, actually.

Resolution 1- No more spoofs. You can’t even call this crap “spoofs” anymore. If I see one more movie thinly veiled as a parody of the most recent blockbuster wherein one-liner jokes knocking random flicks from the past year makes it to the big screen, I just might have to burn down the building. Not the building I’m in, of course. But SOME building. Epic Movie, Date Movie, Superhero Movie. Enough is enough.

Resolution 2- No more sequels, adaptations or (for the love of god) remakes. I’m starting to wish writers would go back on strike. Maybe that would allow room for someone to come in with an original idea every now and again.

I could probably go on, but those two are the ones consistently pissing me off on a monthly basis. Since none of that is going to happen anytime soon, on to the list of movies to miss in January.

Hotel for Dogs- A couple orphans turn a run-down hotel into an illegal dogtown? Far too much unsavory behavior for my liking. Think of the kids, for crying out loud.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop- I have nothing against Kevin James. The man can be pretty dang funny at times. This movie, though, looks like a sad attempt at Home Alone VI. I’m assuming all the best parts are in the trailer, and even those moments didn’t make me crack a smile. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to subject themselves to that sort of torture for 90 minutes.

Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans- I almost gave this movie a pass considering how B.A. the trailer looks. But then I remembered how bad the second Underworld was. If my grasp of the law of diminishing returns is accurate (probably not), I’m guessing this third outing is one we should just stay away from.

On DVD- While renting this holiday season, remember, friends don’t let friends rent the following: Disaster Movie, Babylon A.D., or Bangkok Dangerous.

Games to get in January

Well, December was one crazy month. Sorry about the lack of posts. I was busy with work-related...stuff.

Anyway, here we are in 2009 and the videogaming flood has at last slowed to a trickle. Now that my wallet is officially empty, what little free time I have will be dedicated to blasting splicers in Bioshock, nuking mutants in Fallout 3, slicing aliens in Dead Space, fragging Chimera in Resistance 2, and building "Mr. Happy's Funtime Village" in Little Big Planet. See! Videogames aren't ALL bad.

Here's the list of games likely worth your attention this month.

13th- Lord of the Rings: Conquest (360, PS3)
20th- Star Ocean: Second Departure (PSP)
21st- Skate 2 (PS3, 360)
27th- Afro Samurai (360, PS3)

Afro Samurai looks like a sleek, stylish slash-em-up and Skate 2 (the thinking man's Tony Hawk) will most likely take the excellent formula of the original and simply add to it. No complaints from me.

You can't really go wrong with the remake of Star Ocean 2 and LotR, well, I know it's getting some negative buzz, but I quite liked the demo. So there.

Will I be spending money on games this month? Most likely not. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Get out there and do your part for the economy.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a gaming backlog of biblical proportions to get to. See you next year.