Wonder Woman New Costume

Wonder Woman’s getting a new costume (amongst other things) in issue 600. Purist that I am…I actually like this look. I don’t like the character and find her absolutely uninteresting. I know writer J. Michael Straczynski is going to futz with a lot of other things and probably lead it all to ruin like he did with Spider-Man, but I like the costume. The old swimsuit armor has always struck me as ridiculous and I think this retains enough of the old elements while being practical enough to maybe appear on film one day. Thoughts?

Renaissance News Vol. 2 Issue 18

The paucity of posts (and don’t think I’m not proud of whipping that vocab buster out) hasn’t escaped me. Refer to last week’s diatribe on ‘life, the universe, and everything’ for insight as to why. Writing, even being snarky about other people’s work, requires a bit of a spark. I’m running low on sparks at the moment, but these things run their course (hopefully) and I’m sure we’ll be back to normal soon. Until then….the news!

  • Instead of the usual interminable waits between Final Fantasy games, the wait between XIII and XIV turns out to be six months. Don’t get too excited, console gamers. FFXIV is a MMORPG, much like XI was and it only hits PCs on September 30th.
  • Hulu will be coming to XBOX 360 and PS3 in early 2011 through a “Hulu Plus” subscription based service. Hulu has been long eying making consumers pay for its content and this is the move. Right now it looks like $10/month to access the new service.
  • Frustrated musicians turned plastic instrument rockers like myself will be stoked by the inclusion of keyboards in this fall’s Rock Band 3.
  • iPhone 4 sold 1.7 million copies in the first three days of release. Unlike the iPad, I have no fund set up for an iPhone. Tech lover that I am, I use my cell phone for making phone calls and nothing else. Often I use it as a blunt object and find it more useful that way. It’s the only area in which I snarl at technology.
  • The news on The Hobbit remains the same. Peter Jackson is in negotiations to take over the two film adaptation. He needs to be released from some other commitments to helm the films. Given the situation, I think Jackson’s the best direction the films can go if they’re still to be made.
  • Twilight: Eclipse has already set 2 records for largest ever release (passing Iron Man 2) and biggest ever Wednesday opening with $26.2 million.
  • Alice Eve (She’s Out of My League) has been cast as Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class.
  • The Back to the Future trilogy will be coming to Blu Ray on October 26th.
  • Guy Ritchie is hoping to get Daniel Day-Lewis to play Professor Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes 2. Also on the director’s short list are Gary Oldman, Javier Bardem, and Sean Penn.
  • DVD Release Dates:
    The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season, September 14th
    Criminal Minds: The Complete Fifth Season, September 7th
    The Good Wife: The Complete First Season, September 14th
    Human Target: The Complete First Season, September 21st
  • Box Office
    1. Toy Story 3 $59.3 million
    2. Grown Ups $40.5 million
    3. Knight and Day $ 20.1 million
    4. The Karate Kid $15.5 million
    5.The A-Team $6.2 million
  • Billboard Top Albums
    1. Recovery by Emenim
    2. Thank Me Later by Drake
    3. Can’t Be Tamed by Miley Cyrus
    4. Scream by Ozzy Osbourne
    5. Now 34 by Various Artists
  • Bestselling Video Games
    1. Super Mario Bros. Galaxy 2, Wii
    2. Wii Sports, Wii
    3. Red Dead Redemption, XBOX 360
    4. Red Dead Redemption, PS3
    5. New Super Mario Bros., Wii
  • New York Times Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
    1. The Overton Window, by Glenn Beck
    2. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
    3. The Lion by Nelson DeMille
    4. The Passage by Justin Cronin
    5. Whiplash by Catherine Coulter

Alan Wake

Alan Wake is the first “page-turner” of a video game I think I’ve ever played. The long-in-development games has you taking the role of a bestselling author, visiting a small town in Washington on vacation when, after an accident, your wife disappears. Strange goings on in the town ensue, and once darkness falls, you find yourself in a living nightmare straight out of the pages of one of your own novels. As you explore the town, you’ll literally find pages of the novel that seems to eerily predict the nightmare in which you find yourself, but you have no memory of ever having written the book. It’s a little Twin Peaks, a little Stephen King’s “The Dark Half”, and a little Resident Evil 1. It’s clearly hard to describe, but to skip it would be to miss out on one of the most original game experiences in recent memory.

Alan Wake is structured like a season of TV. There are six episodes that end on cliffhangers and you’ll begin the next with the patented “Previously on Alan Wake…” recap that summarizes the complex plot and where you stand at that moment. The search for your wife and the answers behind your missing week is extremely engrossing. Your best weapon in the game’s combat is a flashlight. The nightmares you battle will only fall if weakened by light, so you’ll have to hit them with your flashlight beam before any other type of weapon will have an effect. It’s an unique combat mechanic, combined with a control scheme that has Alan moving like a real person. His movements aren’t superheroic. If he starts and stops, he’s going to stumble a bit. If you want him to run, he can sprint for a bit, but he’s a writer, not a track star, so your best bet is a mix of strategy and combat as you fight your foes. Take your time and really explore this world they’ve created. Read all the pages, watch all the fake TV shows, and soak this in like a really great episode of the Twilight Zone. This game kept me up all night to find out what happened next and I couldn’t recommend it more.
9.0/10

Jonah Hex

Because of my love of comic books, I kind of make it a point to try to see every comic book movie made in the theatres (at the very least on DVD). That’s a proposition that’s gotten a whole lot easier over the last decade, but occasionally something comes along that reminds me of the Batman & Robin days. Jonah Hex is Batman & Robin-level bad. Granted, Jonah Hex isn’t an A-list DC character. Most people, even casual comic fans, won’t have a familiarity with him. But if a character has been around for decades, wouldn’t you think they would bother to at least glance at the source material before making the movie?

This Jonah Hex bears no resemblance to his comic book counterpart beyond the scarred face. Running only 77 minutes between credits, it manages to feel 77 minutes too long. There’s nothing to recommend this. Nothing. It’s a rambling, incoherent, badly acted mess. How bad is the acting? Megan Fox outacts John Malkovich in the movie. That’s not to say Megan Fox was any better than she ever is, but more to say that John Malkovich was either completely stoned out of his mind the entire duration of filming or he was redefining “slumming”. I had just been thinking to myself the other day that DC really hadn’t made a truly crap movie in a long, long time, but Jonah Hex ends that streak big time. If this isn’t 2010’s worst movie, a truly horrifying experience lies in my future.
0/10

Renaissance News Vol. 2 Issue 17

Do you have the World Cup fever? While I’ve not blogged specifically on the awesomeness of our World Cup team, the US has won its group (and finally a game!) for the first time since 1930. It’s time to develop an irrational antipathy toward Ghana as we play them in the round of 16 on Saturday! But you want your other news, don’t you? Greedy bastards.

  • Chronicling the iPad phenomenon continues as Apple reports 3 million have sold in 80 days of release. Yes, we’re still standing pat at the heavily sarcastic $.10 in the fund. DC Comics has also joined Marvel in offering a comics application for the device that may eventually offer digital versions of books on the same date of paper release.
  • The trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be attached to Twilight: Eclipse.
  • Speaking of Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe’s first post-Potter film will be the starring role in an adaptation of the classic WWI novel All Quiet on the Western Front.
  • Disney is working on a 3D release of The Lion King and a sequel to Roger Rabbit, which-no doubt-will be in 3D.
  • M. Night Shaymalan’s next project is still untitled, but Bruce Willis, Bradley Cooper, and Gwyneth Paltrow have been attached.
  • John Lithgow, James Franco, and Freida Pinto, have joined FOX’s Planet of the Apes prequel.
  • DVD Release Dates:
    The Back-up Plan, August 24th
    Kick-Ass, August 3rd
    Law & Order SVU: The Complete Eleventh Season, September 21st
  • Box Office
    1. Toy Story 3 $110.3 million (biggest Pixar opening ever)
    2. The Karate Kid $29.9 million
    3. The A-Team $14.4 million
    4. Get Him to the Greek $6.1 million
    5. Shrek Forever After $5.6 million
  • New York Times Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
    1. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
    2. The Lion by Nelson DeMille
    3. The Passage by Justin Cronin
    4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
    5. The Spy by Clive Cussler
  • Rolling Stone Album Bestsellers
    1. Thank Me Later by Drake
    2. Mojo by Tom Petty
    3. Laws of Illusion by Sarah McLachlan
    4. NOW 34 by Various Artists
    5. By the Sea by Jack Johnson
  • Video Game Bestsellers
    1. Super Mario Galaxy 2, Wii
    2. Red Dead Redemption, XBOX 360
    3. Red Dead Redemption, PS3
    4. Wii Sports, Wii
    5. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, PSP