Green Lantern The Animated Series

ImageI GOT THE FOLLOWING POST FROM GLTAS TUMBLR PAGE:

Hello DC Nation Fans.

I just came off an emergency Fantern podcast where we discussed what can be done, what is being done, and what should be done to help our beloved shows in the most effective way possible. There were people with ties to the industry and people who have been through both successful and failed fan attempts to bolster shows in similar situations. We want to do the most good with the least wasted effort and energy by these wonderful fans, so here’s what we need the fans of “Green Lantern: The Animated Series” and “Young Justice” to do, and what not do.

DO.

  • Watch all of the remaining episodes of the shows for both series. Legally. Catch it live, DVR, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video. Sharing download links and illegal live-streams are not helping the shows right now.
  • Be polite, courteous, and respectful in any and all correspondence with Cartoon Network.
  • E-mail Cartoon Network. Use this form: “Programming” > “Other Shows”. Be brief (2 or 3 lines is sufficient). Be positive in how you word everything. Fill out every box on the form. Mention if you bought merchandise or watched the show on TV. They do read these emails.
  • Tweet (unique individual tweets are better than retweets, think spam filters). Hit @CartoonNetwork. Use any combo of these Hashtags:#BringBackDCNation#DCNation#GLTAS#YoungJustice.
  • Post encouraging messages about how much you love the shows and want additional seasons on the official Facebook accounts Cartoon Network and DC Nation. (If you’re not being rude/negative or copy-pasting, they won’t delete you.) The fan-run FB pages are for organizing efforts and trading info. When you want CN to hear you, post to their official pages.
  • Remember that the people at Cartoon Network are real people with feelings who are just running a business. Treat them as such.
  • If everyone can make an effort to tweet, email, and make Facebook posts at minimum once a day, we may be able to get CN to bend an ear to our efforts.
  • Send words of thanks and support to your show’s cast & crew on Twitter & Tumblr. Let them know that no matter what, they’ve created something beautiful and loved.

DO NOT.

  • Bash our sibling shows. We’re in this one together. “Symbiosi.” Together.Fanterns don’t abandon members of our crew.
  • Be rude, curse, threaten, etc. Every time you’re angry and childish at them, they’re not going to listen to you. Save the key-smashing for your personal journals.
  • Do not use form letters, copy & paste, or only retweet. Repeated text is going to get caught up in spam filters and the effort will be for nothing. We need to show that each message is from a thinking and caring individual, not a bot.
  • Do not email individuals, whether it’s your buddy who works in the industry, or a CEO’s email address you got a hold of. We need to show strength in numbers, and that needs to go through the official channels right now.
  • Do not waste your time signing petitions. Your heart is in the right place, but they have ZERO effect. They’re easily hacked, and have next to no vetting. The network does not care and will not pay any attention to them, no matter how well-meaning. The time you spent signing the petition, you could have used sending a two line email to Cartoon Network.
  • Do NOT deface wiki articles, hack websites, leave digital nasty-grams, attack individuals (that “satan” crap with the photo of one of the CN executives needs to stop, RIGHT NOW). Every time that happens you make CN less inclined to work with us.
  • I know there was discussion earlier of potentially sending physical items to Cartoon Network headquarters. Let’s put that on hold for now, and see if we can get a reaction this way first. We’ll save the physical avalanche for a later round. When/if we go there, do not send liquids, things that will rot, or things that night break in such a way as might create a hazard for the person opening them.

Stay positive, DC Nation. Hope is not entirely lost yet.

#Spark

Picture 1

 

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Hey, do you guys remember when I lost 27lbs in 12 weeks? Well all that weight is back and then some! Hoo-ray for delicious food and no self control. So, in 2013 I will resolve to fix this situation. Sure I used the word resolve, but this is not a New Years’ Resolution. I’ve always felt like New Years’ Resolutions were like giving something up for Lent. You do it until the time is up, then you go back to your old routine. This is something different.

Over the last year I have been creating a comic book called New Olympus with a great friend named Kevin Stone. We are doing everything we can to make sure that this book is pushed through to completion and we are enjoying the ride. I would like to make more comic books with Kevin as well as other artists. I have a lot of ideas floating around in my noggin and would hate to see them go to waste because I died from lack of self control while eating delicious food.

So here is the deal. I am a huge fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies and he does this thing on Twitter and Facebook where he talks about finding “The Spark“. It boils down to taking any little bit of motivation you have inside of you and turning it into something big!

Tomorrow I will post a tweet with a picture of myself (similar to the ones below) asking @schwarzenegger to retweet my post, which will in turn give me my very own spark to begin a strict diet and regular exercise routine. If he does retweet me, it will give me an incredible amount of motivation to get started on this change. If he doesn’t, then I will probably do it anyway.

So, follow me on Twitter and on this blog and I will keep you all updated on the status!

Ralph-

 

11weeks

Skyfall – Review

Skyfall is more than just James Bond’s 23rd adventure. It marks the 50th anniversary of the franchise and the end of what I now consider to be “The 007 Origins Trilogy”. Since Casino Royale, we have gotten a lot of back story on what makes James Bond the 007 character that we thought we knew for years. By the end of Skyfall, you are treated to glimpses of Bond’s past and get propelled into his future.

I have said it since Casino Royale that Daniel Craig is the best actor to tackle the role. I am not saying that he should be your favorite, I am just saying he is the best at portraying Ian Fleming’s character. In Skyfall, Craig continues to deliver an incredible version of 007 and it helps that his scripts allow him to add more than just one dimension to the character.

Skyfall follows a similar pattern that we have come to expect from James Bond films. The movie starts with an incredibly exciting and fun pre-title sequence filled with action and loud music. We get some awesome opening titles, which are once again masterfully created by Daniel Kleinman (thank god he is back!) and a song by Adele, which fit perfectly with the tone of the film.

After the main titles is when I found myself to start to get really bored. I enjoyed all of the MI6 intrigue and James Bond trying to get back into the spy game, but once Bond was on the case I did not care. The mission takes 007 to a couple of exotic locals, where he’s blindly following a lead. It is really slow paced and felt like it could have been cut down considerably. During this investigation, Bond meets a woman by the name of Somthing-or-other and she is going to take him to her boss or get captured by him or something, I wasn’t exactly sure of her purpose, but James Bond has sex with her for some reason and then she dies.

After about an hour and fifteen minutes of movie James Bond finally comes face to face with the main villain, a former MI6 agent that goes by the name of Silver. Silver was played by Javier Bardem and as soon as he first showed up the movie took a huge turn for the better. Everything that happens after his arrival is nothing short of amazing. He was creepy, funny and scary all at the same time. I wanted to laugh, but was uncomfortable the whole time. He is probably the best 007 villain since Telly Savalas in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Silver causes all kinds of chaos in the streets of London and the action leads 007 and M to James Bond’s childhood home “Skyfall” where we get a little bit more insight into the backstory of James Bond. They do not give you too much, but enough to see the humanity behind the killing machine.

My favorite scene in the entire film was when James Bond and M were standing in front of an overcast valley discussing the climbing accident that took his parents’ lives (see the picture above).

With the exception of the boring stuff at the beginning of the movie, I found that I liked Skyfall more than the other two 007 movies that Daniel Craig was involved with. I loved seeing the backstory of the new M. I loved seeing the budding relationship with 007 and Q and I fell in love with the new Ms. Moneypenny, even though the movie didn’t trick me for a moment by trying to hide her identity.

Of the 23 movies in the James Bond franchise, I would put this at #2 after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The last half really made up for the first half.

★ ★ ★ ★½

Frankenweenie – Review

I am a big fan of Tim Burton. He has one of the most recognizable visual styles of any director of the last 25 years. Of all the films he has directed the majority are adaptations from previous source material. My main problem with Tim Burton films is that a lot of them end up becoming the “Tim Burton version of blank”.  Off the top of my head Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and Corpse Bride are the only films that he has directed that are base on an original idea. Even though Frankenweenie is adapted from his 1984 short film, it is definitely what I want to see from Tim Burton. A Tim Burton idea brought to life before my eyes.

For those of you that are familiar with the original short film, you will definitely find value in this film. It is not merely a rehash of that short film that has been stretched out into a feature length film. One of the things that survived from the original short that surprised me was the fact that it was shot in black and white. I am not sure how many feature length black and white animated films that are out there, but it seemed like a pretty gutsy move to do this. I loved the black and white, but I am sure it swayed some younger viewers away from it.

Frankenweenie was a great film that harkened back to a time when Tim Burton would do original ideas and I hope that this is a trend that continues!

★ ★ ★½

Dredd – Review

It has been a while since I have reviewed a movie. So here comes the review for Dredd. Last month I saw The Expendables 2 and Total Recall and both of them reminded me of the character of Judge Dredd in one way or another, but they both reminded me that Hollywood is stuck in the past. Instead of doing an original adaptation, let’s rehash the same junk. Where as the former two movies feel like more of the same, Dredd tries to distance itself from its predecessor and does a good job of making you forget about Stallone all together.

The plot to Dredd is simple. Judge Dredd and his psychic rookie, Anderson, show up to a call at a large building full of gun-toting thugs and get locked inside. It’s essentially Die Hard, except Dredd does not sneak around through air ducts like John McClane. Instead, he stomps his way up “The Block” with guns a blazing.

I enjoyed Dredd way more than Judge Dredd. I think that it was very entertaining and I really liked Karl Urban’s performance. Because he wears the helmet the entire time, it is great to see him borrow from the Peter Weller school of acting when it comes to showing his emotions. You can see his brain working inside that gigantic helmet and he does it subtly.

I really enjoyed the performance by Olivia Thrilby as Anderson. I thought she did a great job as a Judge in training. She played it vulnerable, but not as if she never had Judge training. She was great.

Lena Headey was scary as the main villain, Ma Ma, but could have used a little more character development. They tell you that she is evil and wants to take over Mega-City 1, but you really don’t get any motivation why.

My only real issue with Dredd was that it felt a little anti-climactic. Essentially the whole movie is Dredd walking through hallways and getting into shootouts, so by the time he gets up to Ma Ma I expected more than what I got.

All in all it was a good movie. It definitely washed off the stink of the 1995 version. This version did two things  for me that were really positive. One, it made me want to watch a sequel and , Two, it made me want to pick up the comic books that the movies are based on.

★ ★ ★½

Brave – Review

Today I wrote this on Animation Fascination Podcast‘s facebook wall.

“I really wish Pixar would position itself back on top by doing something innovated and fresh. I really thought that they were going to do just that with Wall E, but after a brilliant 45min long silent film, it all came crashing down by turning into a film that catered to people with short attention spans. Wall E was like Pixar’s Fantasia but didn’t stick to it’s guns and the last half turned into a slapstick cartoon. Same goes for Up, but I can save that for another long winded post.

Brave was great! The story and action felt warranted. The third act felt natural. My only issue with Brave is that I feel like we have gotten to a point in CG animated films, where we cant top the previous film. Sure, the hair was a technological breakthrough, but as good as it looked I feel that these characters could have existed in How to Train Your Dragon or Tangled. Those are great films, but I feel like we have hit a road block when it comes to CG. La Luna was brilliant and what made it special was to challenge the audience with an artistic concept. THAT is what Pixar needs to do to get back on top. Challenge the artist and the audience. They need to make Art instead of sequels. Someone needs to shake things up. I think that Miyazaki needs to write and direct a Pixar film.”

After seeing Brave I had mentioned on Twitter that I enjoyed it more than Wall E and Up, which made someone ask how I would rank Pixar films. Here are the Pixar films in the order of my favorite to least favorite.

  1. Ratatouille
  2. The Incredibles
  3. Toy Story 2
  4. Toy Story
  5. Toy Story 3
  6. Cars
  7. Brave
  8. A Bug’s Life
  9. Monsters Inc.
  10. Finding Nemo
  11. Wall e
  12. Up
  13. (I have not seen Cars 2)

You are probably thinking that I am crazy, but if I were to pop in a Pixar movie right now, this is the order that I would choose.

I feel that Up and Wall e are incredibly overrated. They are good movies, but not great. I feel that with Up, there are a lot of rules set up at the beginning that are broken in the third act of the film. The Dog have collars that allow their barks to be translated into english. The dogs still act like dogs and the translators do not work that great, due to the out of date technology. In the last third of the movie, the animators that spent so much time animating realistic canine behavior are now asked to make the dogs pilot airplanes while wearing aviator helmets. Another thing that bothers me a lot is from the get go we learn that Carl is an old man who requires the aid of a cane to get around. By the third act we are supposed to believe that he has recaptured his youth during this adventure that he, not only does not require the cane, but is spry enough to use it as a zipline hook and as a martial arts weapon. I feel that the last third of Up abandons the story it is trying to tell and tries to become a crowd pleaser. I am not saying that Carl should just crumble under the pressure, but he should not be more agile than Jackie Chan.

Brave was a great and different story and I enjoyed it immensely. I hope that this is the beginning of a fresh new Pixar….well, after Monsters 2.

★ ★ ★ ★

LISTEN TO ME ON THE ANIMATION FASCINATION PODCAST HERE!

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