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What’s Going on in the Rockaways and NYC

chezapocalypse:

On Friday, Mara (who is far more active than I in nonprofits and volunteer works) pointed me towards Astoria Recovers, which was organizing volunteers to go down to the Rockaways and help out down there.  I’d tried signing up with other organizations, which hadn’t gotten back to me, so we went with this one.  The recovers people are part of a greater, more spread out movement called Occupy Sandy (if you’re not in the Northeast you can donate to them here.  There was hardly any FEMA, LIPA or NYC sanitation presence in the Rockaways.  While, as I do believe, these companies are doing a modestly okay job with the resources they have, the Occupy people have been far more proactive in getting resources to the people who have been devastated by the storm. I also talked to a very friendly and generous group of Sikhs from a coalition of Queens gurdwaras who practically forced a plate of (very tasty) hot food on us.  Churches were also out in full force as well; there were many generous groups offering food and help.

Speaking as someone who has never been in a disaster area before, it’s hard to imagine until you’re actually there.  We saw all of these images from Katrina, and perhaps being inundated with images like that from the likes of Roland Emmerich and Michael Bay our whole lives, the seriousness of the actual situation perhaps loses saliency when you see those images on the television and online, and not in real life.  I think that was the case for me; one hears about the tragedy in New Orleans, or in Haiti a couple of years ago, or in Japan last year, the list goes on, but there’s a lack of subjectivity when you see it on a screen; images of disasters that look familiar, as we’ve seen similar in movies.

Picture I took during down time- nowhere near the worst we saw.

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A Glimpse of Actual Hell

Hey everyone, Goo Man here.  I really wish that the abomination coming out this weekend was the end and not the first part of the end.  Well I’ll blame the boy wizard for giving these crackheads the idea.

I believe I’ve made it obvious enough that I loathe the Twilight franchise with a fiery passion.  I could give my reasons but I’m sure other people before me have already said them so there’s no point.  The reason I’m talking about this shit-stain of a series is because I decided to test my stamina as a critic and a movie-goer on something that I would never watch in a million years.  Plus I wanted to see if this could be worse than Transformers 3.

Oh, that’s right people, I will be doing a VLog of this movie so expect the return of a raging Goo Man.  I’m sure you guys have noticed that in my recent videos, I usually try to keep my composure. Well, I don’t know if I’ll be able to for this next one.

Wish me luck.

Comic Books rule.

Hey there everyone, Goo Man here.  I figured I talk about a certain medium that I was once on and off with: comic books.

To a nerd, comic books are one of the most important aspects of their being.  If there was ever a bible specifically for nerds, comic books would take up half of the old testament and a third of the new testament.  Comic books are probably the most common reading material for nerds while sci-fi/fantasy novels are second and RPG books are third.

Now I’ve mentioned before that I was on and off with comic books.  Well, that was only because I don’t buy comic books and the only time I ever read them is whenever I’m at Barnes and Noble killing time.  My reasons for not buying comic books are because a) half the time I never know what’s going on with any particular character I’m reading about and b) I live with oppressive parents who believe buying comic books are a waste of a money as are many other things I would like to purchase.  Believe me, I’m trying to get out of their house but the job market is being a total pain in the ass.

But I digress.  About 3 months ago, DC Comics went and rebooted the entire DC Universe.  When this was announced beforehand, my initial reaction was a very biased “who cares”.  At the time, I was strictly and blindly loyal to Marvel Comics.

I didn’t like anything in the DC universe aside from Batman even though I’ve never really read a Batman comic.  My knowledge and affinity of Batman stems from the animated series back in the 90’s as well as the Tim Burton films and the never-appreciated Joel Schumacher films.  Honestly, any knowledge I have on the DC Universe comes from whatever cartoon was on TV at the time.

Anyways, as the reboot got closer and the hype for it grew more, I became a tiny bit interested.  During that time, Marvel was doing the ‘Fear Itself’ crossover.  I tried to get into it but it lost me.  It just wasn’t very engaging and there were just way too may tie-ins.  Then came the ‘Spider-Island’ event for Spidey.  Once again, the story was getting lame plus the artwork was crap.  After that, I didn’t bother trying any other Marvel character because I would just be lost.  Honestly, ever since Civil War, Marvel has just been losing it.

During the first month of the DC reboot, I watched some VLogs from my favorite comic book reviewer Lewis ‘Linkara’ Lovhaug.  In his VLogs, Linkara gave his thoughts on all the new 52 DC titles.  They were very informative and gave me the open-mind to try out some of the new titles.  I picked out 14 titles, did some downloading, and started reading.  After that I became one of DC’s many new readers.

Here’s a list of what I’m now reading:

1. Action Comics: Depicts the early days of Superman. It’s alright so far. Nothing major is really happening but it’s still a good read.

2. Aquaman: Depicts the adventures of the King of Atlantis himself.  This is really good, I highly recommend it.

3. Batman: Depicts the solo adventures of the Caped Crusader. 1 of 4 Batman titles and the best one.  Highly recommend reading.

4. Batman and Robin: Depicts the adventures of the dynamic duo.  Starts out slow in the first issue but is starting to become really good.  Recommend.

5. Batman The Dark Knight: Depicts the solo adventures of the Dark Knight.  In my opinion, the worst of all four Batman Titles.  It’s not that bad, I just can’t see how it connects with the other three titles and it’s bugging me.  Somewhat recommend.

6. Detective Comics: Depicts the early days of the vigilante known as Batman.  Like Action Comics, it’s alright.  Enjoyable but sometimes gruesome. Recommend.

7. Green Lantern: Depicts the adventures of Hal Jordan, the first human Green Lantern.  This one is pretty good.  However, not recommended for new readers unless you actually know what’s going on in the Green Lantern myhtos.  Unlike all the other DC titles, the Green Lantern and the Batman mythos is still ongoing.  Also, unlike the Batman Titles, this one does a bad job at bringing in new readers. Recommended only if you already know what’s going on.

8. Green Lantern Corps.: Depicts the adventures of Green Lanterns Guy Gardner and John Stewart.  Unlike Green Lantern, this one is new reader friendly and is pretty good so far.  Starts off slow but picks up. Recommend.

9. Green Lantern New Guardians: Depicts the adventures of Green Lantern Kyle Rayner.  Also new reader friendly and probably the better of three Green Lantern titles.  Highly recommend.

10. Justice League: Depicts the adventures of the world’s greatest superheroes.  It’s alright.  The problem with this is that it’s already detailing the origins of the team and doing it at a super slow pace. Recommend.

11. Justice League International: Depicts the adventures of a government controlled superhero team. Much better than Justice League.  The team is great despite the unnecessary presence of Batman and are a lot more fun to follow. Highly Recommend.

12. Superman: Depicts the adventures of the Man of Steel.  Better than Action Comics.  Very enjoyable and great use of characters. Highly Recommend

13. The Flash: Depicts the adventures of the fastest man alive.  It’s ok.  I think my problem with this one is the protagonist Barry Allen.  He just comes off as a little bland.  I guess I’m just a little used to Wally West. Somewhat recommend

14. Wonder Woman: Depicts the adventures of Dianna, the Amazonian Princess.  It’s alright so far.  The artwork is interesting and the use of greek mythology is cool.  The problem I think is once again the protagonist. She hasn’t really given me any good reason to like her.  Maybe I’m just not used to her yet.  Somewhat recommend.

And I just recently started reading this one:

15. Demon Knights: Depicts the adventures of medieval heroes after the time of Arthur and Camelot.  This is a great title.  The characters are great and the dialogue is awesome.  Highly, highly recommend.

As for Marvel, it’s been tough sticking with them.  I recently read the X-Men event ‘Schism’ not just to see Wolverine and Cyclops duke it out but to see what could have caused it.  Honestly, I wasn’t too happy with it but it did lead into a fresh start for me and the X-Men.  I also read the new start for the Incredible Hulk and it’s interesting so far.  Now I just have to wait for the epilogues to ‘Fear Itself’ and ‘Spider Island’ to pass before I can delve back into any other Marvel title.  Perhaps Marvel should also reboot, but we’ll see what happens.

Comic Books are just a joy for me now. Plus I have something to look forward to every Wednesday.  I just wish they’d make each issue a few pages longer.  They just feel too short.

Ah whatever. I’m done rambling.

Goo Man lives… so to speak.

Hey there everyone.  I’m back and blogging again, not that any of you even care I’m sure.  Sometimes I wonder if anyone would even bother reading this.  Most likely they won’t.  But you know what. Fuck it, I’m still typing.

So why did I decide to get back into blogging?  Simple, I’m fucking bored.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The Expendables and Eat. Pray. Love

Goo Man here.

I just want to say a few things regarding these 3 movies.  August 13-15 weekend box office results show that The Expendables dominate with $35 million and placed 1st. Eat. Pray. Love brought $23.7 million and placed 2nd.  Unfortunately, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World became a box office disappointment with $10.5 million and placing 5th. 

Now how could such a great movie like Scott Pilgrim do so bad at the box office?  One word: demographics.  The Expendables appealed to the entire male population while Eat. Pray. Love appealed to the entire female population. 

What did Scott Pilgrim appeal to?

Well it wasn’t the entire nerd population, which is kind of small.  It appealed to the nerds who have either A) read the graphic novel series or B) are fans of retro video games.  That’s a very tiny demographic and is the only thing in where this movie fails (personally, I say the other demographics fail because they’re too stupid to appreciate those things.  But I digress).

Now out of all three of these movies, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was without a doubt the better movie.  It was well-made by Edgar Wright, had a great cast aside from Michael Cera(he still did an alright job), great story, great adapting from the source material, great visuals, great music, etc.  Now don’t think I hated The Expendables.  I really did enjoy that movie.  However, the only reason I enjoyed it was because of the all-out action scenes.  Other than that, the movie was really corny and cheesy, plus it could have done a little better if it was just about 25 minutes longer(there was potential that could have been expanded upon with a little more runtime).  As for Eat. Pray. Love, I didn’t see it and have no intention of seeing it because I’m not a fan of romantic comedies or Julia Roberts.  I know I’m being very biased and everything but even if I did see it, I probably still wouldn’t have liked it.  Sorry ladies.

Anyways, I had to get that off my chest because I keep reading articles of how Scott Pilgrim was a disappointment because of it’s box office performance.  I say fuck you to that.  There are so many movies that didn’t do well with the box office and are still considered great films.  Now I hate to use this movie as an example because I think it’s overrated, but it will help get my point across.  Citizen Kane was a box office bomb and the American Film Institute considers it the greatest film of all time.

Well that’s all I have to say.  Goo Man out

Taking on The Expendables

Hey there everyone, it’s your favorite Goo Man.

Finishing off my summer viewings for 2010 is the action-packed film directed by Rocky Balboa himself.  The Expendables is an all-out brawl containing an ensemble cast of action stars past and present.  Sylvester Stallone can sure as hell kick some ass even at his age as well as the rest of the cast.  This movie makes men proud to be men.  With lots of testosterone and adrenaline pumping, the action does not disappoint.

The entire cast did a great job in kicking the shit out of people.  Hell, some were pretty good when there wasn’t action.  Stallone and Jason Statham did a good job as the two close pals.  It was interesting to see Mickey Rourke in a sort of mentor role as the retired merc.  Jet Li really didn’t do much for me except when he was fighting Dolph Lundgren.  Speaking of Lundgren, it was nice to see him back in a mainstream film, although his character really was expendable which kind of disappointed me.  Randy Couture, like Li, was only good when he was kicking somebody’s ass.  Despite his character lacking good screentime, Terry ‘cheeseburger eddy’ Crews makes great use of it by blowing the fuck out of shit.  Stone Cold Steve Austin was just meh.  Seeing Arnold back on screen for a few minutes was pretty entertaining.  As for Bruce Willis, even though he had a small cameo appearance, I couldn’t help but feel something lacking in his minor performance.

The action was just straight-up awesome.  What more can I say?  However, there were a couple lame effects.  It was real easy to notice the CGI blood and body parts in some scenes.  All I can say is that this kind of movie requires little to no CGI.

Now the story was pretty much the weakest part of this movie.  The plot is pretty straightforward and kind of dull.  The subplot with Jason Statham and Charisma Carpenter was pointless.  The subplot between Stallone and Giselle Itie was also pointless.  They could have used the time in these subplots to develop Li’s and Couture’s characters a little better, and also give Terry Crews more screentime.

But then again, that’s to be expected from action movies like this.  It expects all the action to make up for the weak storytelling.  Luckily, this movie is able to do that really well.  I enjoyed this movie very much and recommend all the men in the world to see this at least once.  My rating for this movie is going to be an 8.5 out of 10.

So that’s the end of my summer movies.  Tune in next time when I bash the hell out of The Last Airbender….just as soon as I get around to finishing that piece of shit.

Till then, Goo Man loves ya.

Scott Pilgrim WINS!

Hey there everyone it’s your favorite Goo Man.

So far this summer has been good to us movie-goers.  It’s given us a great ending to a story about toys.  It’s also given us a hell of a mindfuck that one can only dream of in a dream within a dream within a dream.  And now, we’re given one of the best adaptations of a graphic novel series.  Scott Pilgrim vs. The World gives audiences pure entertainment with it’s action and comedy combined.  With stunning visuals, a great cast, and an awesome soundtrack accompanying it, Scott Pilgrim proves to be one of this summers best movies.

Director Edgar Wright continues his hot streak after such great movies as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.  The man knows how to do things right and better.  It felt like reading the Scott Pilgrim series and it all of a sudden came to life.  The film stays true with bringing plenty of homages to classic video games.  I just loved the constant references to such nes/snes classics.  The visual effects were awesome.  It really showed a comic book/video game crossover coming to life.

It stays true to the source material for the first half of the movie.  It’s only after Scott beats Todd Ingram that the movie starts to diverge from the source material.  The plot is the same but many events from the series were changed up.  The screenplay for the movie started being written back in May of 2005 and production started 4 years later.  It probably took a few years to write the screenplay and at that time only the first three or four volumes were release.  So the writers, with a little help from Bryan Lee O’Malley, changed up the latter half of the events in the series in order to finish the script.  In other words, it got the Fullmetal Alchemist treatment.  That means that despite the changes, it still worked out great.  The movie was well-paced and the editing is superb.  Hell, even the strictest fanboy should enjoy this movie.

Now the cast in this movie did a great job.  My only peeve was Michael Cera, but only for the beginning of the movie.  He starts off with his usual Michael Cera quirkiness that he always does in whatever movie he’s in.  Scott Pilgrim in the graphic novels has plenty of moments where he is loud and obnoxious.  Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim is typical Michael Cera.  However, he does sort of redeem himself in the later half of the movie.  All in all, he did an alright job.  Now I loved Keiran Culkin as Wallace, the cool gay roommate and also Ellen Wong as the obsessive Knives Chau.

The music was another entertaining aspect.  The songs were pretty catchy and the video game music just kept bringing up some great nostalgia.

This is definitely a movie worth seeing and I highly recommend it as well as the graphic novel series.  As for my rating, I would say a 9 out of 10.

Tune in next time for my review of The Expendables.

Till then, Goo Man loves ya

Prelude to Scott Pilgrim

Hey there everyone it’s your favorite Goo Man.

On Monday, August 9, I spent 4 and a half hours at Borders reading the first 3 volumes of the Scott Pilgrim series.  On Wednesday, August 11, I spent 2 hours and 45 minutes at Borders reading the last 3 volumes in the Scott Pilgrim series.  I believe it was time well spent because I enjoyed reading the entire series.  The story was great, all the characters were fun, especially Wallace, and I love how it pays homage to old-school video games.

The reason I decided to read all 6 volumes in such a short amount of time was because of the upcoming film adaptation being released tomorrow.  I’m quite interested in seeing the movie and wanted to have an understanding of the source material before I saw it.  I could have just gotten a summary of the story off of wikipedia(which I did).  However, it’s a lot better reading the actual series because it just is.

Anyways, now that I have read the entire series, I believe I am ready to see this movie.  Now, the movie itself is suppose to go through all 6 volumes.  That kind of worries me because each volume could easily be it’s own movie.  Aside from the main plot, there are quite a bit of sub-plots that are really good.  However, I believe it is possible to do all this in a run-time of about 2 and a half to 3 hours.  That should be enough to get almost all the important plot points plus some good character development.  However, I checked the run-time for this movie and it’s 1 hour and 52 minutes long.  All I can say is, if you read the series, expect a shit ton of things to be cut out and also changed up.

From what I’ve seen in the trailers, the look of the movie is very similar to the graphic novels themselves and that is great.  Almost all the cast seem perfect for their respective parts except for one and that is the person playing the titular character himself.  I have my doubts on Michael Cera because he is so used to playing awkwardly geeky characters who sound like they lost their balls as a child.  I know Scott Pilgrim is an awkwardly geeky character, but he does have his balls.  Also, Scott Pilgrim shouts sometimes in the series.  I have never seen Michael Cera in a role where he raises his voice more than his normal speaking voice.  So pretty much, I’m worried about how he’ll fare in the role of Scott Pilgrim.

Anyways, that concludes my prelude.  Expect a full on review of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World sometime at the end of this weekend.

Till then, Goo Man loves ya.

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