Archive | June, 2012

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Being a Better Geek: Penultimate Farscape Season 1

Posted on 30 June 2012 by VinnieAve

Well a little but late and a slight bit short episode quality wise but still some strong showings I think.  Reading Vin’s reactions I see we are, as usual, in disagreement about some things.  I often wonder if forcing someone to watch stuff like we do takes away from the enjoyment at all or makes us more critical.  I suppose we will never know.  In any case, enjoy!

DM’s Take

A Human Reaction: I do like this episode but it can be difficult for me to watch.  To start, the big reveal is hinted at too strongly from the start.  It’s difficult to not know what’s going on the first time you see it let alone the 12th.  Well maybe not exactly what is going on but definitely the gist.  The episode also asks the question of would this happen to alien visitors.  I do not really know for sure but I suppose I give it even odds.  I think my favorite part of the episode has to be the scene where John tries to go into the ladies room.  Something about it always makes me crack up. At the end of the day, I think this is an interesting ponderance of an episode that has lasting ramifications throughout the series.

Through the Looking Glass: OK nothing much happens in this episode global plot wise and for once I really really love an episode with this aspect.  We get an episode where the writers are thinking outside the box in terms of science, which is very good.  There’s some issues with the Moya and the baby vs the crew which I think are probably warranted.  I do not know but something about this episode rings true with the characters, the action, and the story.  Oh and John saves everyone again.

A Bugs Life: It is not quite a filler episode but its close.  See we needed something that happened in this episode to happen but other than that, it is just somewhat blah.  That said I love it when John pops on the ole Peacekeeper accent for an episode.

Vincenzo’s Reaction

So we’re reaching the end of the season and the end of another Being a Better Geek project. So here we go:

A Human Reaction

I was hoping that at some point in the show that we would see what was going on back on Earth. This episode has Crichton return home in a nice dramatic moment with the characters losing a close friend. However, we he gets back he’s put in prison, there’s a neat little episode that tries to be a neat character study but fails a little bit throughout.

Through the Looking Glass

This was a pretty standard action episode that doesn’t quite stand out from the rest of the series or in any way overall. The ship gets split into four universes and in each they have to do the same thing to get out of this mess. There is also something with aliens in there, this is was in pretty forgettable.

A Bug’s Life

I’m sure you’ve all seen John Carpenter’s The Thing, right. Well take that movie and remove any audience uncertainty from the story, that’s this episode in a nutshell. We had some Peacekeepers come back and not really be interesting, they were the roughnecks of the Peacekeepers, something we’ve seen before in other things

 

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Road to Otakon: Cosplay

Posted on 28 June 2012 by VinnieAve

With Otakon less than a month away, I decided I’m going to do a series of preview articles that cover some of the things I would like to see and some of the things I expect to see. This week I’m covering Cosplay, there are two lists that are going to be costumes that I think are going to be popular this year and a second list that covers costumes that I want to see and will be looking for.

1)      Hunger Games – This is one of the movies that everyone saw this year and is pretty recognizable. I think there are going to be a pile of people going as pre-games character and I think we’re going to see a few Seneca Cranes with poorly done make-up for the beard.

2)      The Avengers – This is particular to the movie. There will be a handful of each of the major characters from both the most recent and some using costumes from previous films. I think that the most common costume will be Black Widow. This is a pretty easy costume to do which is sign of a costume being prevalent.

3)      Saga – This one crosses the line between both want and expect. This is a pretty popular comic that I think has some pretty strong anime/manga appeal. Actually that might be the kiss of death for it at an anime con. Maybe I should wait until NYCC.

4)      My Little Pony Friendship is Magic – This is the obvious one. Everyone knows we are going to see plenty of these but otherwise this would be a major oversight. I think we’re going to see a ton of Mane Six (but an overabundance of Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy)  and then good scattering of the rest of the cast.

5)      Young Justice – This is another show that is pretty popular among the anime con attending crowd. Some of the costumes aren’t that hard to pull off and these are pretty recognizable to most of the attendees.

6)      Legend of Korra and The Last Airbender – This is another one that has been popular for a few years now and with a few TV show that is pretty popular I think we’ll see a ton of these

7)      Homestuck – I don’t recognize this cosplay but I am sure that we’ll see a ton of this one if only based on my experience at AnimeNEXT.

 

Things that I want to See

1)      Legend of the Galactic Heroes – Every year a few new fans join our ranks and that means there are a few new cosplays. I’m excited to see if there will ever be enough for a photoshoot.

2)      Lupin III- This applies to any and every incarnation. This is a pretty easy one but you don’t always see it. I’m looking forward to seeing a good variety of things.

3)      Space Adventure Cobra —  I got into the show last summer and honestly I’m surprised that I didn’t  see some cosplayers of this. It’s such an easy costume. Maybe next year with Discotek releasing the movie on DVD.

4)      Mawaru Penguin Drum – I watched a little bit of this show last year and enjoyed it. I hope to see at least of the Princess of the Crystals.

5)      Polar Bear Café—I don’t really expect too many of this one given that most of the costumes will be pretty bulky and uncomfortable. Still I would love to go to this photoshoot to see if there are any creative gajinka out there of this one.

6)      Space Battle Ship Yamato – This is another one where there are a few each year. I will find them, maybe this got new fans with Yamato 2199, however, that is entirely a silly idea.

7)      Kids on the Slope – I hope to see a few groups of this one, however, identifying them might be hard to pull off.  It might be nice to see some people in shirts and long pants on this hottest day of the year.

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Vin’s Picks Week of June 25th 2012

Posted on 28 June 2012 by VinnieAve

Batman Incorporated #2 – This is kind of book that is needed once in a while, the story features very little Batman but if you are like me and would like re-fresher course in the history of Damien Wayne, this is book to pick up. I can’t say if it changed his past but it was a nice read about Talia Al Ghul.

Wolverine and the X-men #12 – Unlike last week’s Uncanny X-men is this part of the main AvX storyline. The lines have changed now that the Phoenix force is causing problems. This one did little to advance the story but it had some good fight scenes. This is clearly moving into what feels like the second half of story. I’m excited to see what will come out of this storyline.

Green Lanterns: New Guardians #10 – This finishes up The Reach’s invasions of the Blue Lantern world. The corps are back together, the band is ready to play. For a book that is really in the middle of a larger story this did a good job of getting ready for the next part of the tale while being a satisfying conclusion to the brief interlude.

Fatale # 6 – If there is a Brubaker book that I’m reading and it comes out you know it will be making my cut. This book moves forward a few years from the last book. I’m interested to see what will happen in this new story. I like that the character and the setting change with each story (I don’t know if this was something that happened in Criminal). We have a story will a similar feel but I don’t know how it will play out but you know I’m going to be back next month saying to pick this up again.

The Amazing Spider-man #688 – I can’t say if this book is meant to serve as a jumping on point since about half the time we have Peter talking about the trouble he’s caused and the death he’s experienced in the past few years, it’s a bit of a change of pace, we are moving into a new story that hopefully will have a smaller scope that the last did. Check this out, hopefully we’ll see some more introspective Peter.

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Silver Surfer: Parable Delve

Posted on 26 June 2012 by VinnieAve

So I’m going to try and start up a new column where I delve into a stand-alone work (or something that can stand-alone) that I haven’t read before. I’m not sure of the exact qualifications but I’m going to start with a comic mini-series.

So I noticed on Comixology that a comic by Moebius was available. Since his passing I’ve been looking for something of his to read for a while so when I saw that this was two issues and they were only $1.99 each. So for the price of a usual comic you can get two (admittedly not with the paper). Other than Moebius there was another huge name on this miniseries, Stan Lee. I think this is the first thing that I’ve read that was actually written by Stan the Man. Going into this series I wasn’t sure of the when it takes place nor did it really matter if you know the basic relationship between Galactus and Silver Surfer you should be fine because that is all that really matters. A brief history of the book is in order I think to understand what makes it important in the overall world of geekery. This series was published in 1988/1989 and won the Eisner Award for best finite story. I greatly respect the Eisner awards as a method of finding things you might have missed and usually it’s a good marker of quality.

The story is a bit of its time, given that the 1980s were the hey-day of the televangelists in my mind, before they become the joke that they are today. This book starts with Galactus arriving on earth but causing no damage just arriving and essentially get worshiped as a god, this is fairly reasonable I feel, other than the giant thing arriving on earth. At this point a televangelist decides to use this as a way to spread his message and this causes dissention in the ranks of the worshippers of Galactus in the form of fights and attacks of non-believers. This part still resonates true and is a good way of telling this kind of story (although if you want a comic about this go and read Persepolis).

The story isn’t want really won be over with this book what so ever but it was art by Moebius that was enjoyable. The first thing in the books is the imposing face of Galactus, in a combination of realism and traditional art work, this made the terror a little more real. However, it was not just scenes like this that stand out but there are a few other moments where so see some more cartoony characters that show a range of design and a variety of ways of telling a story. I can’t say if this is best example of Moebius but it sure as hell makes me want to read more of this.

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Being a Better Geek: Farscape Episodes 13-15

Posted on 23 June 2012 by VinnieAve

Vin’s Take

Rhapsody in Blue

This episode had some nice visuals. I liked the way that they portrayed the union of two beings. It was nice to see them delve a little into everyone’s past (mostly Zhann and Crichton). We get to really start to understand what Zhaan did to get herself in prison. It was interesting to get a little background into her priesthood. Not exactly a great story however.

Jeremiah Crichton

There are two things that are notable about this episode. First it clearly establishes that the cast is one solid team now, not just a bunch of people thrown together. The rest of this episode is crap. Utter crap with some of the silliest outfits we’ve seen in a show that I am pretty sure is built out of silly outfits. Beyond just silly costumes we had a pretty overly obvious stab at religion from the writers. This is common ground for sci-fi and I don’t usually mind it but it was pretty ham-fisted.

Durka Returns

This is the first episode that is a real follow-up to another. A while ago we had Rygel confront his past, well now that corpse that he confronted wasn’t actually the corpse of the person he thought and now he’s back. Not the best. Although it looks like we are geting a new character out of this one so that might keep the story from getting to much in a rut, I hope this works out in the last stretch of the season. This rounded out a pretty average week overall.

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Science Literacy and Communicating Science

Posted on 21 June 2012 by VinnieAve

This time on the All Geeks Considered Podcast we have a panel of expert, Walter Amos, Chris Baldi, and Ari Novy on to talk about science literacy and communicating science. Within we cover a range of topics and go on for a while. Have fun listening.

Walt talks about a few articles that are linked below:
Chloe Kardasian, Mermaids, and Animal Planet
North Carolina, Climate Change, and prediction trends

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Vin’s Picks Week of 6/18/2012

Posted on 21 June 2012 by VinnieAve

This was a good week for me in comics. I picked up six books and I didn’t dislike one. There are a few that aren’t for everyone and I will be skipping those. Also there is a big thing this week, I think that I am increasingly saying that I like Marvel books better than DC books but I still stand by my older post about Marvel. I must add a warning

Uncanny X-Men #14 – This was a nice break from the AvX storyline that is going on in other books, part of this is due how much X-men stuff was going on in AvX. Instead this time we get more into Mr. Sinister and what he’s been up to since he was defeated a few issues book. The cover wasn’t something that would have drawn me but the art in the book was great. I am a huge fan of one-shots, and this was a nice thing to have. It had a little to do with how creepy Sinister is. There is possibility that this will be a multi-part story but I hope not.

Winter Soldier #7 – This is another series that has been really good. This is the second issue in the current story, so it won’t be hard to catch up. Honestly if you haven’t read the first part, you can read this and be fine. This book has some of the best use of color and wonderful action scenes. There is a great dynamism throughout. If you like cold war type stories this one is for you. If you are like me and don’t like to have a computer open when reading your books this one helps fill in details.

Saga #4 – This is the best series running now. Go and pick it up. Actually this series is starting to slow down a little bit and this is a good thing for the story. It felt a little short and there were only a few scenes. I have to say this one keeps making me get more. If you don’t read this in months please, please pick up the trades. If you don’t live in region that will have it for sale when that comes out I will send it to you.

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Being a Better Geek: Farscape 10-12

Posted on 16 June 2012 by VinnieAve

Vinnie’s Take

They’ve Got a Secret

This one was neat. I didn’t like how found out about D’Argo’s past but I enjoy learning about the character. He’s one of those characters who does something every episode but to actually make a person was pretty cool. The other plot of this episode was kind of annoying with the twist at the end. I am glad however that the twist isn’t resolved at the end but continues in later episodes.

Till The Blood Runs Clear

This and the next episode have great examples of the design aesthetic of the show. We had some cool stuff going on not a great episode but a pretty good one. This one advances the plot but other than that it did nothing for me except for these ridiculous goggles:

The Flax

So rejects from Mad Max come to Moya while Crichton and Aeryn get trapped in this net in space that they can’t escape from. This episode makes it very clear that Crichton and Aeryn are in love, and since they are trapped in a small ship for a long time clearly there will be sexual tension. I liked that we got a little more into the Peacekeeper mentality and training.