Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weird Star Trek Episodes - Regeneration aka "An Obvious Ratings Grab Gone Right!"

Oh man... someone get the flamethrower or Kurt Russell. Either will get the job done.

So, Enterprise used the Borg for an episode… Let me say that again. The prequel to the whole franchise decided to bring in the Borg for an episode. You might be shocked at what I think about this episode. “Regeneration” takes place during the second season of Enterprise. That was a pretty sub-par season, so you know the producers needed something to increase the ratings. Jolene Blaylock’s hotness wasn’t cutting it, I guess. So let’s see what happens.

The show starts out on Earth in the Arctic. A Starfleet team finds the remains of the destroyed Borg sphere from Star Trek: First Contact. They also find a couple of drones. Guess what happens when they decide to thaw them out. The Borg assimilates the team and leave Earth in the team’s ship. Starfleet Command contacts the Enterprise and orders them to find the ship. They find the pretty modified Borg ship attacking another alien ship. The ship escapes, so the Enterprise tends to the other ship.
I'll say this about Reed. At least he has more sense than most folk when dealing with the Borg. 

 They teleport the survivors to Sickbay but they were assimilated beforehand and try to take over the ship. They also assimilate Phlox, who handles the situation as well as he can.  The crew is able to stop the assimilated survivors by reluctantly jettisoning them out into space. While Phlox desperately searches for a cure, Archer wonders if he can save the Starfleet team. Eventually, he realizes he can’t do anything for them when they find the ship again. Archer and Reed transport over to the ship in order to place charges while Phlox uses the cure he concocted up (yeah, I’ll get to that). In the end, the ship is destroyed and Phlox is cured. Still, the episode ends on an ominous note as T’Pol reveals that the ship sent out a subspace message to the Delta Quadrant.

While I jabbered on about it was a push for ratings, I really enjoyed this episode. The Borg is one of Trek’s best villains, so I liked that they were used here. It also ties in well with First Contact. It would make some sense that some of that Borg sphere would end up somewhere on Earth since the sphere was really close to Earth when it was destroyed. I also liked the obvious homage to The Thing at the beginning. The Borg was treated as a real threat especially since this is the 22nd century we’re dealing with. The Enterprise crew was also good here for the most part. I liked how Archer struggled to deal with an uncompromising enemy.

The continuity issues it brings up don’t really bother me. You could probably explain most of the issues away with something. What I’m not a big fan of is Phlox curing himself from assimilation. That was a little too much though you could explain that big continuity issue up as well. Other than that and the Borg’s inconsistent adapting, I thought this was a good action-packed episode. While it’s not the greatest episode in general, it’s definitely better than a lot of the episodes from season 2.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Battle of the Hulk Movies - Part 2

So, this is post #401... wow. I didn't know I would go that far with this. Maybe I can make it to 500. Anyway, here is Part 2 of "The Battle of the Hulk Movies." So, I might as well start off with a man who tends to have a good mustache... no, I'm not talking about Thomas Magnum.

General Thunderbolt Ross

Next up is the battle of the ‘staches as Sam Elliot faces William Hurt. Ross’s role in the films is similar but different. While he wants to keep his daughter away from Bruce, Ross’s motivations are a little different. In Hulk, he knew that Dr. David Banner killed his wife and performed some unsanctioned experiments. That experience plus Bruce’s occupation gives Ross a reason to not like the guy. As for Ross in The Incredible Hulk, he is actually after the Hulk to see if the military could use the Hulk to create super-soldiers. In the MCU, Ross reactivated the Super-Solder program and had Bruce unknowingly doing experiments when the accident happened.

While I consider Ross to be more antagonistic (he’s actually trying to stop the Hulk’s rampages) than villainous, that doesn’t mean he’s a nice guy. I think Marty McFly would have three words to describe him. I will say his douchiness is increased in the 2008 movie. I do think both men were good in the role but one was just better. Ultimately, I have to give this point to Sam Elliott. He just ruled the role in my opinion. It also helped that he actually has an authentic mustache. I liked the fractured relationship between he and Betty and I just liked his no-nonsense attitude.

Hulk (2003) – 2
The Incredible Hulk (2008) – 1

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Battle of the Hulk Movies - Part 1

Welcome to… actually, I don’t know what to call these. I’ll eventually come up with a title for these match-ups, but for now I’ll call this “The Battle of the Hulk Movies.” When I came up with the idea of doing these comparisons, this one was somewhere in my mind. Since the Hulk is coming back to theatres in Avengers: Age of Ultron, I think it’s finally time to see which Hulk movie is truly “incredible.” Today, it’s Ang Lee’s Hulk (2003) vs. Louis Letterrier’s The Incredible Hulk (2008).

I first saw Hulk at my uncle’s house in 2003. It was either Thanksgiving or Christmas, I don’t remember which. I remember that we saw X2: X-Men United before it and I still think X2’s a better movie. It’s got Nightcrawler in it for cryin’ out loud! It was a few years before I decided to rent it at Movie Gallery and watch it again. I think I remember it being better the second time around, I’m not sure. As for The Incredible Hulk, I rented it from Movie Gallery when it came out. Man, I miss Movie Gallery. Anyway, I don’t think I’ve seen it until recently. I might have seen it on FX or something.

For this little project, I decided to re-watch both movies in order to get a better opinion. I have to admit that they aren’t the best of the genre but they aren’t the worst either. They are good movies in their own right. I’ll be looking the heroes, the villains, the supporting characters, the action and the story. I really won’t touch on the effects all that much. A movie from 2008 is probably going to look better than one from 2003. Still, there are a few things I’ll touch on effects-wise.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tales From The 50 Cent Bin! - The Incredible Hulk #335

While I’ve always had a fondness for the Hulk, I didn’t buy any of his comics. Frankly, I just didn’t know where to start since I’m mostly a DC guy. That changed when I came across a podcast about Peter David’s run called PADSmash: An Incredible Hulk Podcast. It was being done by J. David Weter, a guy who knows a lot about many superheroes. I mostly knew of Peter David as a Trek writer and I didn’t know about his run on the Hulk.  The podcast is on hiatus (I haven’t heard anything else about its status) but it’s out there somewhere. I’ve got most of the run through 50 cent bins, but today’s issue comes from the first Visionaries volume that came out on this run.

Today, I’ll be looking at The Incredible Hulk #335. I’m mostly looking at this one because unlike most of David’s issues, this one doesn’t tie into much. All you need to know is that Bruce is now transforming into the Gray Hulk. Unlike the Green Hulk, the Gray Hulk is not as strong, is pretty smart, and wants to get rid of his weak side (Bruce). Peter David is the writer. Instead of the regular penciler (Todd McFarlane) drawing, we have John Ridgway of Hellblazer fame as the guest penciler. So, let’s see what happens when the Hulk faces… some guy with issues.

Incredible Hulk #335
Writer: Peter David
Artist: John Ridgway
Colors:Petra Scotese
Letters:Rick Parker
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor in Chief: Jim Shooter

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tales from The $3.99 (I think) Bin! - Indestructible Hulk #1

Current-day Hulk is weird. I mean, there’s a Red Hulk, Hulk’s got a son, and I think Banner and Hulk got split again with Banner going mad. I actually don’t know what was going on with that since I never read it. Anyway, I decided to jump into current Hulk with the launched title, Indestructible Hulk. It was part of the Marvel NOW re-launch that happened after the Avengers Vs. X-Men crossover. I found the first three issues somewhere but I don’t know where I got them. It might have been part of some deal, but I’m not sure. I know it wasn’t when they came out. Today, I’ll be looking at the first issue.

I was mostly interested in seeing how this was going to be because Mark Waid is writing the book. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to read some of his older books and more recent ones. I’ve began to like his writing. The penciler and inker on the book is Leinil Francis Yu. The two created had collaborated before on the awesome mini-series, Superman: Birthright. Sunny Gho handled the colors and Chris Eliopoulos handled the letters. The book is edited by Mark Paniccia.

Indestructible Hulk #1
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Leinel Francis Yu
Colors: Sunny Gho
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Mark Paniccia

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Random Pics of the Month - Green is the Word

Top of the morning to ya... or evening. Is that saying even Irish? Anyway, since it is St. Patrick's Day, here are some pics of heroes and villains who are fascinated with the color green.

The Green Lantern Corps

Many Green Rangers.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Movie Talk - Marvel Animated Features Part 3: The Hulk

I'm on days for a bit... man, it's weird.

Today, I’ll be starting my week-long project that’s dedicated to the Incredible Hulk. Since I knew I wanted to look at some Hulk-related stuff, I might as well do them this week. Besides, it’s the Hulk! For today’s post, I’ll be talking about the Hulk related movies that were released by Marvel and Lionsgate. They are Hulk Vs. and Planet Hulk. I know I rented Planet Hulk when it was released on DVD. As for Hulk Vs., I saw the Wolverine part of it online years ago. I actually hadn’t completely seen the Thor side until recently. The Hulk movies were also a part of my re-watch on Netflix.

Hulk Vs.
Hulk Vs. was released in 2009. It actually should probably be titled “Hulk Vs. Insert Random Hero Here.” The set is comprised of two 30-to-40-minute features. In Hulk Vs. Thor, Loki wants to rule Asgard (again), so he teleports Bruce Banner to split Banner from Hulk. With the help of Amora, he gains control of the Banner-less Hulk in order to invade Asgard and kill Thor. Things go awry when Loki loses control of the Banner-less Hulk. Hulk Vs. Wolverine is basically a loose adaptation of their first meeting in the comics. In the movie, Logan is assigned by Department H to find the Hulk and deal with him. Things go bad for him and Banner when Weapon X gets involved.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Movie Talk - Marvel Animated Features Part 2: Other Heroes

In part 2 of this three-part venture, I’ll be looking at the movies from this series that are solo adventures. I’ll be looking at The Invincible Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Thor: Tales of Asgard. Iron Man's movie and Doctor Strange were both released in 2007 while the Thor movie was released in 2011. I actually bought IIM back in 2007 at Wal-Mart. I actually don’t have it now and I’ll tell you why when I get to the movie. I rented Doctor Strange from a video store when it was released. As for Tales of Asgard, this is the first time I’ve seen the movie and I’ll get to why later.

The Invincible Iron Man
This is pretty much the origin of Iron Man… sort of. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be in the continuity of the other Ultimate Avengers movies are not. It might as well be since Marc Worden is voicing Iron Man here as well. In the movie, Tony Stark and James Rhodes get taken hostage by a group of Chinese militants when they accidentally unleash a prophecy involving the Mandarin. During his captivity, Tony falls in love with Li Mei, one of the women there. He and Rhodey are able to escape with the help of a suit Tony created during their captivity. When Tony finds out that the prophecy of the Mandarin is real, he uses his resources to combat his enemies and save the day.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Movie Talk - Marvel Animated Features Part 1: The Avengers

For my first step into the world of the Avengers, I’m actually going to look at some direct-to-DVD movies that Marvel did a few years ago. Before DC got its stuff together with its animated market, Marvel started off with its own in 2006 with its release of Ultimate Avengers.  They teamed up with Lions Gate Films to put out movies at about twice a year.  All of the movies from that line are on Netflix, so you know what I’m gonna do. Instead of talking about them all in one post, I’ll spread them out according to hero. Today, it’s the Avengers.

Ultimate Avengers was released in early 2006 while its sequel, Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther, was released in the fall of 2006. The next Avengers-themed movie to come out from this venture was Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow and it was released in 2008. I bought the first movie and still own it to this day. I rented Rise of the Panther from Hollywood Video while I was in college. As for Next Avengers, I waited a long time until I just decided to see it on Netflix some months ago. Since the Ultimate Avengers movies are also on Netflix, I decided to re-watch them again. So, what do I think about them now? Find out below.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Trade Tales! - Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 7: Irresponsible

I think it’s time to get back the Ultimate Universe. It’s been a while since I’ve been ensnared in its thrall. Lately, it’s been getting a lot of attention in that it is now ending after 15 or so years. Honestly, I don’t care about that since I haven’t even gotten that far into the Ultimate Universe yet. I took a bit of a break in trying to find trades. It also looks like I may be sticking with Ultimate Spider-Man in that search since his series is probably the only one I’m interested in now. I think the Millar-ness of Ultimate X-Men soured me on the Not-So-Merry-Mutants of that universe.

Spidey’s also been getting a lot of attention since Sony and Marvel are going to team up to include Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They’ll also be releasing another rebooted Spider-Man in 2017. While many are happy about it, I’m actually in the minority on this one for some reasons. They’ve pushed back movies like The Black Panther and Captain Marvel for another Spider-Man movie. I like Spider-Man, but I’m more interested in seeing different properties from Marvel other than the usual “Spidey Play Time.” Also, it’s another frickin’ reboot. I have no problem with reboots but this is kind of ridiculous especially since it was rebooted in 2011. I’ll get over it… someday.

Anyway, it’s finally time to look at this trade. Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 7: Irresponsible has the same team as before. Brian Michael Bendis is writing, Mark Bagley is penciling, and Art Thibert is inking. It contains Ultimate Spider-Man #40-45. As you can tell by the cover, the Wall Crawler may be running into some familiar faces. So, let’s see what happens when Peter faces the Latverian known as GELDOFF!