December 19, 2004

The Last Christmas

South Park fans remember the first short was about Jesus versus Santa. Anyone who's followed Sluggy Freelance through the years is familiar with the annual Bun-Bun versus Santa feud.

But Cthulhu versus Santa?

It seems that's exactly what Penny Arcade has in store for us this year, in the form of a children's book.

Penny Arcade comes out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only. This strip is supposed to conclude on the 27th.

Here are the links to the cover & the first strip (just click next under each comic to go to the next one):

page 1

December 14, 2004

The Memory of Shadows

It was just announced that a Babylon 5 feature film is in preproduction & starts filming in April 2005.

Babylon 5: The Memory of Shadows was written by the creator of the epic series, J. Michael Straczynski. It will be directed by Steven Beck (who also helmed Thirteen Ghosts and Ghost Ship).

The movie deals with an unknown force using powerful Shadow technology. The Shadows are an ancient & antagonistic race who were the main antagonists of the series.

Reappearing is Galen, a techno-mage from the failed spin-off series Crusade...the only memorable character from that effort (think a younger & cockier version of Merlin from the film Excalibur and you're on the right track).


December 07, 2004

House Of Flying Daggers

I just saw this movie on DVD (from the local Chinese movie the mall!)

It gets off to a bit of a slow start, or what I'd consider a slower start than normal for a martial arts film. But don't let the dancing or singing stop you - and before you start thinking musical, no this is not one of those. The main character's first stop is a high class bordello, because he and his fellow captain suspect the new blind girl to be the daughter of the rebel House of Flying Daggers.

The girl gets arrested, then gets broken out by the captain, who's working undercover hoping that she'll lead him to the new rebel leader. Once these characters get on the run things get really interesting and the action escalates, especially once the investigation passes from local law enforcement to a general who cares little for human life.

Like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, there's a love story in this film. But instead of a 20 minute tangent in the middle of the film (as in CTHD), emotions are played out during lulls in the action and don't break the momentum.

The first action scene, in the brothel, is visually stunning but falls flat somehow. Some of the action just defies too many laws of physics...or maybe I should say the wrong laws of physics get violated, considering that we're talking a sword wielded by a sleeve in one scene and wirework in others. But if you can overlook that, the scene itself is breathtaking.

The rest of the action scenes ramp up the tension nicely, each building on the last and more dangerous as the story moves forward.

The story is so well written that I needed to see the film again immediately.

Like Hero, this film makes excellent use of color. But where Hero used color to differentiate between points of view, House Of Flying Daggers uses natural colors that are bolder.