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Strictly Speaking 2/9/2009

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LOLtron
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Strictly Speaking 2/9/2009

Postby LOLtron » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:15 pm

Pros, Cons and a Real Doll

ImageThis week we get a look at some geek news from New York's Comic-Con and find out that what's old really is not that new again. After that, we take a look at the most racist profession in the world: killing zombies. Then, we find out why Christian Baled on his tirade. And finally, a decidedly NSFW attempt to figure out what in the fuck is going on with joss Whedon's Dollhouse.Well, New York Comic-Con happened over the weekend, and as usual, it was an opportunity for comic book fans and gamers to remove the catheter, crawl up out of mom’s basement, and venture boldly forth into the big bright room. Some don costumes that really aren’t designed for every body type, and others feign normalcy long enough to rub shoulders with the stars of the industry.Normally, I’d just use this as an excuse to post some photos of Ruby Rocket dressed up as the Black Cat or Jean Grey, because I don’t really give a shit about what Brian Michael Bendis has to say about frigging Dark Avengers. But there are some things about NYCC that drew my attention.And no, they do not involve overly rendered panels of Spider-Woman’s vagina.This time.NYCC 2009Gametrailers.com gave us some NYCC footage of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Check out the trailer here.Alright, I’m torn, true believers, because I loved the first MUA but hated Civil War. I liked the basic concept behind the crossover storyline, but I thought the execution was shit. Nice art though.Now, with the advent of MUA 2, perhaps you’ll have a bit of control over how the story progresses. Maybe some interesting characters from the storyline will be included. Only “new” character I could see in the trailer was the Hulk, who wasn’t involved in Civil War at all. But other folks claim to have been able to see guys like Madrox and so forth in the trailer footage.I took a wander on over to [url=#/Home/]the game’s official website[/url] in the hopes of finding some more info. But no such luck. I’m hearing rumors that bad guys like Venom will be playable, but all I could find at the main site was a banner featuring Shocker throwing down with the heroes.Playable villains ain’t new to MUA, but in the context of the Civil War storyline, it’s possible they’ll be including a roster of bad guys so you can get Thunderbolts team bonuses. Green Goblin/Norman Osborn perhaps?The real beef I got with the footage is that it looks pretty raw for something that’s coming out this fall. A number of folks have been pointing this out, and I think it’s a valid concern. But it wouldn’t be the first time a game company has touched up loose cut scenes so they’re much tighter when the game actually drops.But at the same time, I loved MUA so much, that I’m willing to provide benefit of the doubt.Plus, I know Hulk was one of the characters available as DLC with the first game, and that he had nothing to do with Civil War, but I am stoked to smash some punk ass SHIELD bitches.ImageNext up is the Distinguished Competition’s offering to MMOs, DC Universe Online. It’s probably still too early for any sort of dedicated, cohesive trailers, but comicbookresources.com gave us a cool little NYCC tidbit:Fans At New York Comic Con packed into a room at the Javits Center on Saturday afternoon to hear from the creative team behind the upcoming “DC Universe Online” (“DCUO”) game. Jim Lee, the game's Executive Creative Director, writer Geoff Johns and Sony Online Entertainment's Jared Carr, Jens Andersen, Wes Yanagi and Chris Cao were all in attendance.As the panel started to fill in, none other than Marv Wolfman came and took a seat at the table, which caused the level of chatter in the room to rise to a fever pitch. As introductions began, the big announcement was revealed: Marv Wolfman has joined the “DCUO” team as a writer. Wolfman will be fleshing out the storylines that Geoff Johns has created, and will be writing some over-arching storylines as well.That’s right, Marv Wolfman, old muthafuckin school. Looks like business is about to pick up. I still ain’t got much love for MMOs, and I’m still doubtful about the appeal of making up an also-ran character to suck on Superman’s ball sack. But it looks like DC is pulling out the stops to make sure this game provides a ball-punchingly awesome storyline. And with Jim Lee doing character design, I guess we can still hope that Wonder Woman, Power Girl and Black Canary will be wearing butt-floss and will do a lot of high kicks.The last bit of Comic-Con news that floats my boat is CBR’s story that Marvel is kicking off New Mutants once again.ImageReunions can be tricky things. For every spoft-spoken, tear-filled get together with old friends, there are a dozen cases where reconnecting lets old conflicts boil back to the surface. Considering that, fans may have a bumpy ride in store when the students of Marvel's classic "New Mutants" series reunite for a new, May-launching ongoing helmed by writer Zeb Wells and artist Diogenes Neves as announced this weekend at the 2009 New York Comic-Con.The full interview can be found here.Okay, so, New Mutants was one of my favorite comics when I was growing up. You can almost guarantee I’ll pick up a comic if it features one of the characters. So, all of them? Are you shitting me?But I dunno, man. Zeb Wells is writing it. I guess he’s a popular up-and-comer at Marvel, but he’s the guy who took another of my favorite Marvel books, New Warriors, and screwed them in the shithole without even using a tube of anal-ease. I’m not really a big fan of his writing on other books either, so once again, I’m torn.And, are they really New Mutants at this point? The characters who were students back in the day are now teachers. They got mortgages to pay off. They’re worried about their cholesterol levels. Sam’s got a prescription for Flomax, and ‘Berto’s got an interest in those Cialis commercials because the sun just ain’t risin’ like it used to whenever Amara bends her hot ass over.But you know, now that Karma’s been retconned into a lesbian, maybe she’ll get all Shadow King on Rahne’s hairy ass. Like L Word, but with mutants and demon bears. Well…more mutants and demon bears.I guess what I’m saying is, it’s difficult to imagine it will be any worse than when Louise Simonson sprung Bird-Brain on us. So, I reckon I’ll give it a shot.Ya Gotta Shoot 'em in the Head!ImageAlright, that’s enough of that Comic-Con shit for now. But let me get back to video games for a second. I’ve had a mad-on about Resident Evil 5 for a while now. News of Jill Valentine’s death has hurled me into a killing frenzy. It’s muthafuckin Jill, dude. You do not fucking kill Jill Valentine entirely off-screen! What the fuck is Capcom thinking?I was gonna give RE5 a pass until I watched Resident Evil: Degeneration, and saw some previews for the game in the special features section of the DVD.Now, you have to understand, I had just finished watching the movie, and was stoked for more RE CGI action. And as both trailers featured only cut scenes and zero fucking game play, it really felt like RE5 was just gonna be another CGI movie instead of a game. Obviously, that ain’t the case. But it was so cutscene-heavy that it literally does not even look like a videogame. Which would be fine by me, because I’m more interested in the story than shooting a bunch of not-zombies.Which sorta brings me to my next point. On Thursday, eurogamer.net’s Dan Whitehead took a look at RE 5. Nothing much really caught my attention until page 3, where he went on a tirade about yet another white dude cacking yet another bunch of evil brown muthafuckas:There's also the spectre of the old racism debate, hovering the background. That debate is only going to get louder and more urgent once the game is released, and is being covered beyond the cosy world of the specialist gaming press, since there's imagery in here that goes beyond the general air of foreign menace that caused a ruckus in the first trailers.One of the first things you see in the game, seconds after taking control of Chris Redfield, is a gang of African men brutally beating something in a sack. Animal or human, it's never revealed, but these are not infected Majini. There are no red bloodshot eyes. These are ordinary Africans, who stop and stare at you menacingly as you approach. Since the Majini are not undead corpses, and are capable of driving vehicles, handling weapons and even using guns, it makes the line between the infected monsters and African civilians uncomfortably vague. Where Africans are concerned, the game seems to be suggesting, bloodthirsty savagery just comes with the territory.Later on, there's a cut-scene of a white blonde woman being dragged off, screaming, by black men. When you attempt to rescue her, she's been turned and must be killed. If this has any relevance to the story it's not apparent in the first three chapters, and it plays so blatantly into the old clichés of the dangerous "dark continent" and the primitive lust of its inhabitants that you'd swear the game was written in the 1920s. That Sheva neatly fits the approved Hollywood model of the light-skinned black heroine, and talks more like Lara Croft than her thickly-accented foes, merely compounds the problem rather than easing it. There are even more outrageous and outdated images to be found later in the game, stuff that I was honestly surprised to see in 2009, but Capcom has specifically asked that details of these scenes remain under wraps for now, whether for these reasons we don't know.This has been something people have been bitching about since RE 4 dropped. And I must admit, when I first saw footage for RE5 a while back, I thought it a bit odd that Capcom would send their heroes off to murder some more brown people.I thought, however, it was a good move on their part to introduce a new sidekick for Chris Redfield, Sheva Alomar. Like most females in the RE franchise, she’s supa-sexy-fine. Unlike ANY character in the RE franchise however, she’s black. I dunno if Capcom planned that from the giddy-up, or if she was squeezed in to cut down on the cries of racism.I don’t really care, because she’s hot and cacks zombie-ass bitches with a quickness.And you know, I thought about it for a while. It’s not like the guys who came up with Bio-Hazard are exactly part of the white power establishment. I mean, the Japanese people might have their own problems with discrimination and shit, but traditionally, the Pacific Rim chapter of the KKK hasn’t done especially well in the land of the Rising Sun, what with all the Asian folks over there and shit. And for three entire games, they’ve focused the heroes on killing white people. That doesn’t even count all the spin-off RE games.That’s white-on-white violence, folks.In other words, no, they’re not trying to craft another Turner Diaries under the guise of a videogame franchise. The RE heroes are equal opportunity killers. They kill white people in Raccoon City, Spanish people in RE4 and Africans in RE 5. They go where the T-Virus is, bitches. Now shut the fuck up with this shit, folks.Wait a minute…Raccoon City…? Muthafucka!Not exactly the Bale Out We Were Hoping For...ImageThis past week also brought us some more Christian Bale news. It’s far less entertaining than his rant against the unfortunately named Shane Hurlbutt. But still. Scifiwire’s got the 411 on Bale’s call in to KROQ’s Kevin and Bean Show:Bale was very contrite in his statements. "It's been a miserable week for me," Bale told hosts Kevin Ryder and Gene "Bean" Baxter. He added: "Listen, I know I have a potty mouth; everybody knows that now. ... The thing that I really want to stress is I have no confusion whatsoever. I was out of order beyond belief. I was way out of order. I acted like a punk. I regret that. There is nobody that has heard that tape that is hit harder by it than me. I make no excuses for it. It is inexcusable. I hope that that is absolutely clear."Bale also said the rant came during a time he was trying to channel Sarah Connor's inner nutball, as her son, John, and that he mixed up his character and real life. Bale also tried to stress that he doesn't feel like he's better than other people.Personally, I dunno what to think about Christian Bale. Dude’s definitely one of my favorite actors since Batman Begins. And even before that, it was clear he was a dedicated and talented actor. How many pounds did this guy lose for The Machinist? 180? Plus, he managed to work on a Werner Herzog film without getting killed.This dude is driven.And when you’re dealing with a dude who is this driven, you often find yourself with a powerful need to get the fuck out of his way. I mean, do you wanna be the guy getting chased down a hallway by a nekkid Christian Bale carrying a chainsaw?Image What are you dense? Are you retarded? He’s the goddamned Batman.And if you keep getting your unprofessional ass in my dude’s scene, he is gonna fuck your shit up.I mean, it’s cool that he apologized, and worked it out with Shane afterwards. But the simple fact is, there’s a lot of goddamned crazy in Hollywood. And it is unwise to tempt its wrath. After all, there is a fine line between genius and Christian Bale.Remember Harsh Times? What if Bale wasn’t really acting…?Not Safe For Work? SWEET.Popoholic.com featured some promotional pics this past week for Joss Whedon’s upcoming Fox sci-fi show, Dollhouse.ImageI still don’t know…uh…Image…exactly what this show is about…Image…but I guess it’s only fair to give it a shot…ImageRight?Image Five by five, bitches.Image
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