Saturday, November 24, 2012

A GOOD Santa movie?

This week I watched a "Santa" movie, and I didn't hate it! Normally Santa movies annoy me. They annoy me a lot. They always seem to recycle the same jokes, and they are always full of "Holiday Cheese." Not this one. "Rise of the Guardians" is probably the best "Santa" movie. I've ever seen.

Granted, when I first heard about it, I expected an epic fail of lame-ness. In a nutshell, the plot is this:
Jack Frost teams up with Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and the Sandman, to fight the Boogeyman, who is giving all the children of the world nightmares. That to me sounded like the lamest movie plot ever, and I did not want to see it. At all. Then I started seeing trailers.

I had to admit, it didn't look half bad. My cousin Sasha really wanted to go see it. She recognized it as based on a book series she had seen and said it was really good. After I saw another trailer in the theater, I was finally convinced to go with her. I am really glad I was. The movie is so much better than it sounded.

When I first heard about it I assumed that it was all about Santa, which as you may have guessed was a complete turn off for me. I did not want to watch another Christmas Santa movie. But that assumption was wrong. First off, it's not even a Christmas movie, it just happens to have Santa in it. Also, Santa was only one of four SIDE characters, and the MAIN character was Jack Frost. But even if Santa had been the star, it would have been cool. This was no Jolly elf with a chubby tummy, going Ho-Ho-Ho. This Santa is a massive, muscular Russian. He has Tattooed arms, and he fights with two swords. I'd watch a movie about this guy even without the other characters. None of that was even the best part about him though. Most Santa stories have the elves making all the toys. Not this Santa. This Santa claims that he just lets the elves THINK they are making the toys. They are pretty much little walking, giggling sight gags, like Christmas versions of the minions on Despicable Me. The real toy makers are a massive army of Yeti. My inner Cryptozoologist is quite pleased with this. :)

The other characters are all much "Cooler" than normally portrayed as well.
First up, the Easter Bunny. He's not a fluffy little cottontail bunny. He's a giant Australian Jackrabbit with an attitude.
The Tooth Fairy is not your regular princess/ballerina/fairy in a TuTu either. She seems to be part hummingbird, and she has thousands of much tinier hummingbird-fairies to help her with her job, which turns out to be about more than just collecting teeth.
The Sandman still seems a little on the chubby and cute side of the scale, but his powers make up for it, and he turns out to be very cool in his own way. (Dinosaurs + Manta Rays = Awesome. :) )

Jack Frost has been portrayed in many ways over the years, but this version is the best. He's kind of a rebellious teen/punk type of character in the beginning, despite the fact that he's about 300 years old, but by the end he's become a full on hero. There was actually a lot of depth to his back-story and character development, something you don't normally get out of a "Kids" movie.

The Boogeyman, AKA, Pitch Black, also turns out to be a great Bad Guy. They could have made him out to be a "Silly" sort of villain, but they did not, he ended up being a dangerous and formidable foe, and the film was much better for that.

All in all, I really enjoyed this movie. If you have kids, or just like animated films yourself, I highly recommend this one. :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Best Movie of the Year

Monday night my friends and I all met for supper, then walked to the theater to see Wreck-It Ralph. We've been planning to see this movie for a long time now, and I am happy to say that none of us were disappointed. There was something for everyone in the movie.

I can't believe I'm going to say this about a non-Pixar movie, but Wreck It Ralph is the best movie I have seen all year. I loved Brave, but Wreck It Ralph was better.

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I had high expectations. It looked very funny, and it was a Disney movie. Disney has been making a lot of great movies lately, so anything they put out I automatically expect more from than your average movie.

When when the first critics started seeing it and giving it good reviews, my expectations were raised even more. Then the animation blogs I follow started giving their reviews, and they were all reporting that it was so much better then they had expected it to be. By the time I got to the movie I was just hoping I wouldn't be let down because I was expecting an awesome movie.

It FAR surpassed my expectations. I was so surprised by how great this movie was! I don't usually see movies in the theater twice, but if I was given the opportunity, and I had time around my school/work schedule, I would not even hesitate to see it again.

From watching the trailer, the story seems pretty simple and straightforward. A "Bad Guy" video game character, Wreck-It Ralph, decides that he doesn't like being the bad guy any more, so he abandons his game to find a new one in which he can become a hero. Not too long after the movie gets going, it becomes pretty clear that there is a lot more happening in this movie than just Ralph's story.

The entire movie takes place inside an arcade. All the video games are connected to a central station, and the characters are able to travel into other games to visit, so long as the arcade is closed, and no one is watching. Sort of like a digital version of Toy Story.

Eventually Ralph ends up inside a racing game where he befriends a "Glitch" a character that was apparently not even supposed to exist. The glitch wants to be a part of her game but is being mercilessly tormented by all the legitimate characters. Ralph steps in and helps the glitch, but soon realizes that there is more going on behind the scenes than anyone in this game realizes.

I can't give away any more in case you decide to watch it for yourself, and you really, really should, but suffice it to say that this movie's story is so much richer than your average animated movie. It came as no surprise that during the end credits, the animators thanked the team at Pixar for helping them work on the story. No wonder it was so good! Pixar always puts story first, so having them work on this movie, even though it was not a Pixar film, was an extremely good idea.

As I've said before, I love redemption stories. I love it when a "Bad Guy" becomes a "Good Guy," and at its core, that is what this movie is. The fact that the story is so much deeper than that is just the icing on the cake. There are so many twists, turns, and surprises, that I can't see how anyone could go into this movie and leave, NOT loving it.

There is so much more I want to say about the movie, but to do so would spoil way too much plot information. The only thing left that I CAN say is go see it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

U Spel bad 5

Time for another edition of "Spelling, Dum-Dum Style." Or, as it is officially titled: "U Spel bad."

If you are one of the many internet users who helped contribute to this list, then weep with the shame of knowing that everyone online is probably mocking you behind your back.

And if you did NOT help contribute to this list, then rejoice! Because everyone knows that you are better at life than ANYONE who misspells a word! At least, that's what I tell myself anyway...


BOTHERING. Really, is proofreading THAT hard?


DYNAMITE? Maybe. That single word was the entirety of the comment. At least they knew enough to capitalize...


Stop relying on spell check. It may give you a correctly spelled word, but it won't always give you THE correctly spelled word. Besides, if you can't spell SENSE on your own, then you need more help than spell check can possibly give.


You're kidding right? You REALLY don't know how to spell GROUP?


Wow. You spelled GYPSY so wrong, you befuddled even my spell checker. I'd congratulate you, but really, being an exceptional misspeller is nothing to be proud of.


I'm sure someone has ALREADY informed you, but you need help.


The writer meant PATTY. I'll forgive their mistake, because they realized their error. How do I know? Their very next comment.

i man patty



Single word comments lacking capitalization, punctuation, and correct spelling are not HILARIOUS, they're just sad.


Yeah, this may look correct, but they were trying to spell ONION. It's a sad day for the American school system.


Yes, it is AMAZING that typing everything you write in all caps makes you seem even less smart.


Yes, it looks like they were trying to spell imagining, but forgot the n, but in the context of the comment (Which was completely void of structure, spelling, grammar, and punctuation) this word should have been just IMAGINE. Either way, it was a massive failure, just like it's author.

Kust Becasue

Proofreading is a necessity, JUST BECAUSE you type WAY too fast.


As a diehard Dizgeek I am extremely offended that not only did you misspell DISNEY, you didn't even capitalize it!

Your awesone!

And your misspelling of YOU'RE has become so commonplace that it would not even be worth mocking, were it not for the fact that you misspelled the word directly following it.


I don't even know what they were going for here. Reading the comment I think they were attempting to spell VIEWS. No idea what's with the extra letters.

You ate a really good artist

I sincerely hope you meant ARE.


I fully believe that you BURNED all of your spelling books instead of reading them.


I'm OFFENDED by your ignorance.


Everyone on this list needs to learn to spell BETTER. And for this last person, I mean that LITERALLY.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Comic Review

I never thought I'd review a comic strip. I've done Movie reviews, TV reviews, Book reviews, but doing a comic review never even crossed my mind. Until today.

A blogger that I  enjoy following is Jen Yates, who runs Cakewrecks and Epbot. Today on Epbot she shared this strip.

I thought it was mildly amusing, and I was really drawn to the artwork, so I clicked the link to the site it came from, a webcomic called "The Abominable Charles Christopher."

I didn't quite "Get" the title at first, until I went back and started at the beginning.

The main character seems to be a Bigfoot. An "Abominable" Snowman.

At first it didn't seem to be about much. There didn't seem to be much of a plot line, it was just this Bigfoot, Charles Christopher, and he was not having a very good day. during the first few strips, getting caught in the rain, stung by a bee. Not hilarious, but great artwork. As I read it became pretty obvious that Charles Christopher himself was completely mute, and he seemed very childlike, he even has a pacifier. Without the other animals, it would have almost be a pantomime strip.

The plot seemed a bit slow, but I did find the dialogue of the background animals to be funny. The best thing was the artwork. If the artwork hadn't been so good, I may not have read very far and moved on to something else. As I read, I noticed a background plot about a party devloping. The animals around the forest were talking about it, but Charles was oblivious. The party storyline culminated here.

The next strip took a different turn and showed that this was not going to be your ordinary "Funny" comic strip.

It was followed by this strip,

This made me think that maybe this was just a one time thing, meant as a set up for the cute scene of Charles holding the bunny. I was wrong. The more I read, the more I realized that this strip was developing a very rich mythology.

Here's a strip from a little later on.

I got sucked in completely after this strip. It went in a direction that I definitely did NOT see coming. The plot of this comic is so much more detailed than your average newspaper comic strip.

If you choose to read this for yourself, prepare to fall in love with that fox.

I spent about 4 to 5 hours tonight reading the entire archive of strips. That's about 5 years worth. Though it's not quite as much as you would think, since the author, Karl Kerschl, only releases one strip a week. He works at a comic book company, so he has another job to keep him busy. This is just his own project.

I loved it so much that I am seriously considering buying the books he has so far released. The only problem is, the first one is only available in paperback. Not that there's anything wrong with paperback, I just really love hardcovers. I doubt it will ever be available in hardcover though. The hardcover edition is sold out and he said it is way too expensive to get more made, so he chose to get paperbacks for the second printing.

The story has gone so far from these first strips. There have been so many new characters introduced, so many new plot lines started, and it has become one of my absolute favorite comics ever. It can be downright hilarious at times, but also extremely moving. I was shocked at how emotionally involved I got with this story! There has been more than one moment that was just "Punch-In-The-Gut" heartbreaking that if I had dwelt on it for too long, I'm sure the tears would have started flowing. I won't spoil anything for those of you who want to read it, but I will warn you, if you cry easily at sad movies, be prepared to cry at a COMIC STRIP.

If you have a few hours to kill, or you just want to read a few at a time, I can not recommend this strip highly enough. It is one of the best things I have read in a long time.

The website can be found HERE, but I highly recommend starting at the beginning, which you can find by clicking HERE.