Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blog #33: Fringe

Without the best sci-fi show on TV right now is the FOX series 'Fringe'. What is it about exactly? Well to put it simply it is about a cold war between our Earth and a parallel Earth which is almost exactly like ours, just a little bit different. For example they have some technology that is better than ours, they have people taking trips to the moon, there is no 'Batman', and the list goes on. Fringe is created by J. J. Abrams (Lost, Alias), Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. The show follows a FBI 'Fringe Division' team based in Boston, under the supervision of Homeland Security. The team uses "fringe" science and FBI investigative techniques to investigate a series of unexplained and freaky mysteries, which are related the parallel universe. The show has been described as a hybrid of The X-Files, and The Twilight Zone. Despite the Boston setting, the series is filmed primarily in New York City, Vancouver, and Toronto. So yes I do consider this to be a 'Canada' show, and being a Canadian it's a show I am quite proud of.
The series stars Anna Torv as Agent Olivia Dunham; John Noble as Dr. Walter Bishop, the 'mad scientist' sort of; and 'Dawson Creek' alumni Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop, Walter's estranged son and jack-of-all-trades. They are supported by Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick), the force's director, and Agent Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole), who assists Walter in laboratory research. And at the end of the second season all these actors (except Joshua Jackson) got to play alternate versions of their characters from the alternate universe, Jackson didn't because his alternate version is dead, that is our Earth's version of Peter bishop is dead because Peter is actually originally from the alternate universe... confused? Well you should be if you have never watched this series. If you are interested in a TV series that is smart, captivating, fascinating, dark, light and everything in between this is the series for you. The first 4 seasons are available on DVD, and last I saw they were very cheap to purchase from Wal-Mart. Season 5 just finished airing on FOX. This is a 'spoiler free' blog post as I will not go into details about specifics of the show. If you are a fan of JJ Abrams you should be watching this show.
At first it might be hard to follow, especially in it's first season as it was trying to find itself early on. But by the middle of the second season it really hits it's stride and becomes a very special show. John Noble is my favourite actor to watch on the show. He truly is an amazing actor. And the rest of the cast is great too, there really is no bad actor or character on that show.
One actor and character you need to watch out for is Michael Cerveris as September/The Observer. He is one of several "Observers", a travelling chronicler and enforcer of extraordinary events from a distant possible future. He appears in one form or another, usually in an Alfred Hitchcock-like cameo, in each episode. Most episodes he has no scenes or lines but can be seen in the background of certain scenes if you are watching carefully.
This is a great series and well worth your time to watch, trust me.
I wonder if they have 'Turkey McNuggets' in the parallel universe...

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Weekly Pick

Hey there friends this is Chris with another Weekly Pick, and this will be a 2 week pick as next weekend I will be busy attending a family reunion. My pick this week is for a great Canadian program called 'North of 60'. It is in my opinion the best drama ever filmed in Canada. It aired in the 90's and lasted 5 seasons and had 4 TV movies. The series was about the life and times in a North West Territories native community called 'Lynx River', but it was in fact filmed in my home province of Alberta. It was required weekly viewing in my home. The reason why I am making this my Weekly Pick is because this past weekend while attending my friends wedding I actually got to meet one of the stars of that series. Dakota House, also known as 'Teevee Tenia' on the series was there and I got the chance to meet him and talk his ear off. I had had several alcoholic beverages at that point and I talked his ear off for probably 1-2 hours. He was very nice and a pleasure to meet. 'North of 60' currently airs in Canada on TV Tropolis, but if you live outside Canada I highly recommend you seek out this series as it is in my opinion the finest Canadian drama ever made. 

See you in 2 weeks!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beer Goggles: June 2012

Better late then never...
As part of my 'Random Nerdness' Blog I have included a monthly update I am calling 'Beer Goggles' where I will share a brief outline on what I am drinking, reading, viewing and listening to for the month.
Beer: I am drinking some 'Old Milwaukee'. It's cheap and it's not half bad. I'm also drinking me some Warthog Ale and Honey Brown from Calgary's Big Rock Brewing Company. Also on the non-beer side of things I am not much of a smoker but I was recently given some authentic Costa Rican Cigars which I may be smoking while drinking some beer in my backyard.  

Comics & Books: I am almost a year behind in reading 'Catwoman' from DC Comics. I keep ordering it every month and the pile keeps on getting bigger so this month I intend to get caught up on the adventures of the sexy cat burglar with he goggles, also known as Selina Kyle. 

I bought the first 2 novels in Peter David's 'The Hidden Earth Chronicles' at the Calgary Expo, from Mr Peter David himself and I even had them autographed. I'm not a big fan of fantasy novels but given that this is written by Peter David it should be an enjoyable read. I'm was supposed to start Book 1 in May but didn't have a chance so I'll be reading it this month, or next... 

Viewing: I'm a little behind in my DC Animation viewing so this month I will be watching for the first time the 'Batman Year One', 'Wonder Woman' and 'Batman/Superman Public Enemies' DVD movies. I have also just bought the newest release 'Superman Versus The Elite', so I'll be watching that too. DC has done an excellent job with their movies that I have already seen so I'm sure to be pleased. I also bought the DVD of Season 1 Part 1 of the New 'Thundercats' series. I never actually watched the original series as a kid but I was told this series is very similar to the 2002 He-Man series, which I really enjoyed. So I'll be checking it out. 

Listening: Having a long drive to work every workday I tend to do a lot of listening. 'The Atomic Geeks', 'Nerd Lunch' and 'Classic Film Jerks' are all great podcasts I love to listen to. Some other great podcasts I listen to are: 'iFanboy', 'Comic Geek Speak', 'Smodcast', 'Starbase 66', 'Nerd Hurdles' and 'I Sell Comics'. I've also downloaded some great audiobooks I hope to crack open this month: 'Bradbury 13', radio-like drama's about some of Ray Bradbury's classic sci-fi tales. Also 'World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War'. I also have William Shatner's and Leonard Nimoy's autobiographies to listen to. 
Well that is all for June's 'Beer Goggles'.

Blog #32: State Of The 'Bat Nation'

With DC's New 52 last fall I decided it was an excellent opportunity for me to jump on the Batman bandwagon. I have always been a fan of Batman but I have never been a regular reader of any of his titles. The only Bat-comics I have have been story arcs that interested me, but I never dedicated myself to a particular title. but with the New 52 I decided this was my chance to jump onboard and hit it from the beginning. Here is my reviews of each title, rated on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the best rating.

Batman: Written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Greg Capullo. This is the BEST Batman title out there. The writing is amzing and the art too is just as amazing. This is the BEST title in all of the 'New 52' in my opinion. Their 'Court Of Owls' storyline has been absolutely amazing. The 'Owls' are probably the best Batman villain creation since Bane in the 90's. Batman and all his allies have truly met their match with the Owls. This really is an amazing book.
Batman:  Rating of 5 out of 5.  Read this book!!!

Batman & Robin: This too is a good title. I love the Batman and Robin dynamic, especially this Robin because he is actually Bruce Waynes son, Damien. And Damien may be a little evil himself, too much like his Grandpa Ra's Al Ghul. The art is OK, but not great, and the writing too is OK. This book definitely has room to grow and I do enjoy reading it every month.
Batman & Robin: Rating 2.5 out of 5.

Batman The Dark Knight: This is a good book too. The writing is OK, but what is awesome with this title is the art!! Aside from Greg Capullo on 'Batman' this is the second best Batman art in the Bat titles. This is a beautiful book to look at and read. Especially the character of the 'White Rabbit'. Wow she looks amazing, too bad she's not real.
Batman The Dark Knight: Rating 3 out of 5.

Detective Comics: Again this is a good book. Like 'The Dark Knight' this is a book with OK writing and great art. And as the title suggests this books focuses on the 'Detective' side of Batman. The story line so far has not been great, but the more recent Penguin storyline was better.
Detective Comics: 2.5 out of 5.

Batman Incorporated: I still have to read this title. I had read the previous run before the New 52. But I like Grant Morrison on 'Batman'. So I will definitely be reading this title with a review to come.
Have a great week!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blog #31: The 'Wolverine' Movie

I recently re-watched the 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' movie and I  really had high hopes for this Wolverine movie, and it was ok but definitely could have been better. It was too quickly paced and should have delved more into the complete history of this character rather than the brief opening sequence. I was a little confused by one thing: Was Logan's brother really Sabretooth?? I thought for the film they changed that plot point and Victor and 'Tooth' were 2 different characters. Are they brothers in the comics?? Not sure, and to be honest I'm not sure I even really care. I liked the idea of Ryan Reynolds character but I didn't like the fact that it apparently was 'Deadpool'.

I've heard they are making a second Wolverine movie which is supposed to take place in Japan and his time over there. I was really hoping they would adapt a Claremont/Jim Lee story where they showed Logan in 1940's Japan battling Ninja's and Nazis's, where he also teamed up with Captain America. It was an early 90's issue of 'Uncanny X-Men' and is my favourite X-Men issue ever!!
Anywho that is all for me this week. See you soon!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

E-Mail Accounts Hacked

Just letting all who read this know my e-mail accounts were hacked into Wednesday. If you get an e-mail from me delete it. I think it is a computer program the hacks the e-mail. Apparently 'I' sent an e-mail saying I am in Spain and need money. I am Not in Spain (wish I were) and I don't need money from my contacts. Very frustrating. Finally got back into my Google E-Mail and I have this huge laundry list of contacts I never had before. I think they got into my Yahoo account because recently I received an e-mail from 'Yahoo' asking me to verify my account, but it must not have been from Yahoo because that e-mail too was sent from my e-mail account to a bunch of other people. It looked legit, it looked like it came from Yahoo. Guess I need to be extra careful and periodically change my passwords. Anywho have a great day all. 

- Chris 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Blog #30: Calgary Expo Open Letter

Again for those who have not read recent blog entry made by yours truly I attended the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo April 27-29 of this year. It was a sell out event, in fact the amount of people attending created a problem for organizers and attendees. The following is a letter I wrote down the Sunday morning of the event after having had many issues with the event Saturday. I will be forwarding a copy of this letter to the organizers in the hopes they will take and use my suggestions. Despite all the problems I did enjoy the event and i plan on attending next year again. But anyway here is my letter written Sunday April 29th at about 7am:
Suggestions to Organizers of the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo for the 2013 Event:
1: Over sold? based on the venue capacity and how many people bought 3-day passes you should not over sell this event. Do the math. Why are people with 3-day passes being turned away? They should get priority!
2: To better organize photo ops why not have people book their preferred time to get a photo when they purchase their tiks on-line. Then if there is available room for a specific time only enough tiks for that space should be sold the day of the photo. Those who bought their tiks in advance should get priority for the photo. (I bought a Patrick Stewart photo op months ago and yet I initially was turned away after being in line for 2 hours. How is that fair?)
3: This event is proving to be more and more popular, and is no doubt making a ton of money. So why not extend the days and hours to accommodate the people. For example:
Thursday 3pm-9pm
Friday 10am-8pm
Saturday 10am-8pm
Sunday 10am-6pm
Have Friday be a full day too. I'm sure the money made would more than pay for the facility rental.
4: Again getting back to the photo ops: why not hire more photographers and have more areas open to them. Photo-ops are a gold mine and make lots of money so why not have more and make it faster. Have at least 6separate photo op areas. And again have attendees book their preferred time in advance so not to over crowd, and that way you don't have to turn anyone away. Pre-booking preferred times will also control line-ups, and no one will ask for refunds. This way attendees won't be wasting their time.
5: Summer time is better. We got lucky this year and the weather cooperated but this should definitely be a Summer event, the June 2011 event was excellent for weather and having to stand outside. Also in the summer you can take advantage of warmer temperatures by having events outdoors. Fence off an area (a parking lot for example) rent a tent and have certain events outdoors, thus helping to control the population indoors.
Thank you for your time,
Chris Lockhart