Sunday, September 28, 2008

Heroes - Well, Crap...

So I was minding my own business and logging onto AIM and, of course, the AIM dashboard decides to pop up in my Firefox window. I glance at it before I move my cursor to close the tab and notice there's a Heroes news line.

How could I resist?

About a third into the interview, I fell in love with Brea aka Daphne aka Speedster (they really couldn't think of a better alias? For shame, Heroes writers, for shame.) aka Hiro's rival/Catwoman. It was one of those moments of, "Wow! This person involved in something I love sincerely cares about the project for the same reasons I do!" And yes, the phrase, "ONE OF US," did come to mind. I mean, she cited the Flash! The interviewer didn't even have to bring it up!

SHE WENT TO COMIC CON FOR THE COMICS. Just like the rest of us. (I wonder what panels she goes to...)

So why does the title say "Well, Crap..."? Remember my fears from the premier episodes? Yeah, Love Interest #3, coming right up. It's just... BOTHERSOME. Sure, it's great that Hiro gets a love interest, but does he need his heartbroken by the end of every season? A heartbreak that he doesn't even seem to remember? Granted, Angsty-Hiro can be horrible for the series and can easily go so very badly, but the plot holes bother me more.

He's a caring, loving person. It doesn't make sense that he just forgets these women he falls in love with. If there's a flaw in my logic, Internet Land, please tell me. I really don't want to watch in dread.

Signed, for better or for worse,
Frugal Fan

Monday, September 22, 2008

The SPOILERIFIC Heroes Season 3 Premiere Reaction

If you haven't seen Heroes, you're missing out. To sum up the premise, it's a soft-core X-Men brought to a familiar modern world where it's only a few dozen rather than hundreds that are "Special." Season One - Genesis is where our intrepid cast is introduced one by one and discover their powers. Naturally, no one knows how the hell to use them or how they came to get them in the first place, which gives the show a nice human touch. Mohinder Suresh, genetist and the only main character without a power, is on a quest to gain his father's post-humos's respect and to find out more about these special individuals his father studied and theorized, causing him to fall out of favor with the scientisfic community.

Season Two - Evolutions. Not a horrible season. Was it as good as Season One? Probably not, but Season One had novelty on its side and it MILKED it. I watched, I loved and I am addicted. I dragged through Season Two in hopes of finding the Heroes goodness that I desired and I got it. Only in bits and pieces scattered throughout. When I look at the bandwagon, I think some people jumped ship.

I keep watching because for every disapointment, I get two pleasant surprises that I love. So here we go. Season Three, originally entitled Exodus, but due to a story adjustment, the title was changed to Villians, which can only mean badassry is afoot. Right?

Did you see it? I did. At least two thirds of the premiere. I'm hoping that NBC will once again will have Heroes in streaming video online so that we don't have to be pirates in order to get our fix.

As the title suggests, this is SPOILERIFIC, unforgivably revealing on everything on the two episode premiere.

I loved it. I hated it. I really wanted some private time after some parts. I still am not happy with Peter. Perhaps I'm going about this the wrong way...

Here is a brief list of hopes I had for the Heroes series from the last two season:

1. We find out what the hell Angela's power is.
2. More George Takei... Please? Pretty please? We could get some sweaty basketball players if that's what he really wants.
3. Peter stops being stupid.
4. Find out what happened to Catlin from Season 2. Plot hole much?
5. Does or does not the entire original group of "heroes" that formed the company have powers? Seriously. Evidence please.
6. Just have Maya die please... She was half the reason why Season 2 was such a disappointment in some ways.
7. Speedster nemesis for Hiro - please don't make me want to stab my eyes out.
8. Really now, NBC, is the online comic EVER going to affect the TV show? I need to know if my readership MEANS something! Not to mention the Elle story arcs were really good. I want that to show up in the series somehow.
9. Peter stops being stupid.
10. Mohinder stops being stupid at critical plot points.
11. Parkman doesn't become the universe's bitch again. It was getting really annoying that he was so continuously bitch slapped over and over again. When he finally managed to plant thoughts into other people, he had BAMF potential. Matt Parkman had a chance to shine. It can easily be all taken away.
12. Comercials, trailers and sneak peaks stop ruining the best plot twists. Really. Remember Season Two comerical? SHOWING Sylar was still alive? Yeah, best plot twist of the season and they ruin it.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little harsh on Peter, but it seems like the conflict half the time for the past two seasons is "Peter did something dumb and now we have to fix it." Now with season three, the conflict really is "Peter did something dumb and now we have to fix it."

Fortunately, this means lots of Angela Petrelli screen time.

As you can tell, I really adore Angela. Why? For me it seems like, why not? She's well written, strong and a complete and utter BAMF. Did I mention well written? All of her dialogue is extremely well done and Cristine Rose does an amazing job executing. Since I was denied Malcolm McDowell, who was simply stunning in Season One, Angela playing a much larger role would do just fine.

But, oh! Dear, sweet Heroes writers! Have you been reading my diary? Angela taking over the company and Linderman possibly for entirely another season? I think I might just swoon... or simply nerdgasm all night over it.

And guess who is my favorite main charater? Hiro Nakamura, of course. How can anyone not love him? After watching the second half of "Second Coming" though, I realized something - Hiro doesn't keep any character development he gets.

No, seriously and it scares the living bejeesus out of me. Hiro was bascialy the reason I watched the first half of Season One and now the possibility that his writing may be completely shallow with no intention of growth really bothers me. That's what bad writing does. It bothers people. You have Love Interest #1 in Season One, Charlie. Who can forget Charlie? It was a really powerful and it made you really feel for Hiro as he struggled with his first true love and loss. Also as a bonus, the writers were really careful about Hiro mourning and made it believable. (At least, I wanted to believe. I'll just have to rewatch Season One... to make sure. Yeah... because I'm not one of those obsessive creepy fans. Nope, not me.)

Season Two. Love Interest #2. Does he reflect on Charlie at all as he falls in love with Yaeko? Not that we know of. Was this a bad subplot? Hell, no. They handled it well, made the transistion logical and tied it into the main plot is a plausible way. I honestly don't know why people complained about the pacing in Hiro's journey in Feudal Japan. There were much more grievous pacing problems (as well as some questionable writing choices) in Season Two. I suppose a quicker return of Hiro to the present might have helped fans cope with the Wonder Plage Twins journey to America with their wacky sidekick, Sylar.

Back to the point, with the beginning of Season Three, he's back to Season One, happy, nerdy Hiro. Granted, we love happy, nerdy Hiro with wacky sidekick Ando. But, is this a good thing? It's like they're resetting Hiro every season, scared that if he has any lasting character development that we'll dash off into the night like skiddish deer. And, are they seriously going to set up Batman/Catwoman parrelles for Hiro and the speedster? Like, romance? Is this the beginning of Love Interest #3?

I kind of hope not since I might end up tying myself to four horses and have them run in opposite directions. Unless the writers surprise me, which they have done before.

Last couple minutes of "Butterfly Effect."

You know what I'm talking about.

As always, yours truly,
Frugal Fan

PS: I almost forgot. What is with the blantant X-Men and 4400 plot points? I appreciate a writing staff that's are all nerds like the rest of us, but really did they think we wouldn't notice? I like nods. I give anything extra kudos when they have nods because it's nice to know that there are others that are just in love with certain fandoms as much as I am. But, there is a differnce between a nod and a being a weasal and failing at the sneaky. Nods are little snippets for people to find like Easter Eggs on DVDs or ... real Easter Eggs. You're a weasal that fails at subtlty when it's your main plot. Future Peter - Bishop much? Anyone can have powers/become special? I believe that was the second half of the 4400 series. It's even a sryinge again. Granted, I don't know what else it would be other than a sryinge, but I don't know how to feel about having it be a major visual for the plot like the Issac paintings or the reoccuring symbol that has manifested into its new earth-shattering form for Season Three. Nathan comes back from the dead and has a message from God? Jordan Collier, 4400 - Season Four.

Of course, this isn't really anything too new for Heroes. Season One was basically the plot for Watchmen by Alan Moore, but really, that was more of an adaptation than incompetent ninja weasal work. Not to mention, Heroes in a lot of ways IS the love-child of 4400 and X-Men.

Oh, and Suresh is Spider-Man now. I knew that I should have been excited, but I wasn't. The more I saw that he was like Spider-Man (I mean he even did the crawl up the wall thing with almost the exact same angle shot that the movies love so much.) the more I thought, "Man, that's a dissapointment." Whenever it comes to something The [Insert Adjective] Spider-Man related, even in the most remote sense, somewhere in my brain a little voice says, "Quesade makes Baby Continuity cry." If you don't know what I'm talking about, I feel cold and alone on the Internet. I don't even really read Marvel and I know about that.

Am I being unreasonably harsh? Maybe. There were only so many ways the series could go and do it well so maybe this plot won't fall flat on its face or feel redundant to us that know our comic book lore.

I intend to watch Villians faithfully, hoping for the best, but keeping my expectations low. Care to join me?

Friday, September 12, 2008

NEWSFLASH! $3 Sale at Top Shelf Productions!

That's right! Usually, I wouldn't entertain the thought of promoting retailers without having personal experience with them, but Top Shelf Productions not only looks top notch, has a variety of interesting titles, many, many talented comic creators and a time sensitive $3 Sale on certain items (a lot more than you'd think) as well as discounted prices on most of their stock. If you like graphic novels and feel like reading something that has some weight to it, definitely look at their titles.

This is the first time I've really looked at Top Shelf, but for a small production like them puts out a lot of really fantastic stuff, stuff that everyone should read at least once. The renown Bellen creator puts up his graphic essays here. This is where Comic-Con praised Blankets by Craig Thomson was published. (I've read Blankets personally and love it. It's definitely worth a read.) Alan Moore, whether you love or hate him, you must admit he is a good writer, also has works from here.

If anything, look through their inventory. It's some good reading just waiting for you.

And there's more! Top Shelf 2.0 is their personal online comics page, promising a new story EVERY WEEK DAY. A comic-du-jour from quality creators that have been around the block, know what they're doing and (basically) a good story garrunteed. How great is that?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Page and Screen: Joe Loves Crappy Movies

Webcomic - Joe Loves Crappy Movies
By: Joesph Dunn
Started: April 4, 2005
Updates: Weekly

God, I haven't done much on here for a while. To make up for it, I present Joe Loves Crappy Movies who is much more diligent than I am. (Please don't leave me.)

JLCM is not only a simple comic with very good sense of humor, but also weekly movie reviews. Now why would I review/highlight another movie reviewer?

Because he's damn good at what he does. His reviews are balanced and completely reasonable. Right from the start, he makes an effort to make readers realize that he isn't telling him what to see and what not to see, but rather voice his opinion and give readers the opportunity the same. As a bonus, he reads other reviews and calls them out when they're being unreasonable. He has a good rating system in place and my journey through his archives has brought me to the conclusion he's willing to learn and redo his methods in order to present the best product. Which is fantastic.

I haven't thoroughly check through his forums yet, but it looks like exactly the kind of people he was appealing to - people that can think for themselves and not take the world seriously all the time.

Do you know what else makes JLCM very awesome? It hosts four other comics done by Irvsher Fabor - Fish Tank Tango, Kevin Gleason - Retail Rage and Philip Chan collaborating with Joe Dunn - Matriculated, and another Joe Dunn production - Free Lunch: Fred the Food Critic. Once I get the chance, I'll most likely write up a shoutout for these as well.

Cheers, Internet!

Yours Truly,
Frugal Fan

PS: The vote incentives are completely worth it with a forum thread showcasing past incentives as well.