Sunday, May 24, 2009

What hath Wolverine wrought?

So I saw the awkwardly titled, X-Men: Origins: Wolverine when it came out.

I'm a huge Wolverine fan; but who isn't. I also dig Hugh Jackman. He's the modern version of Sean Connery. Women want him, men want to be him. He also seems like a nice guy and a pretty good actor.

How was the movie? Meh. I didn't hate it. It gave me lots of what I wanted to see. The opening credits montage was kinda cool, even poetic in its way. I enjoyed the fights.

And it left me wanting more. I want to see Wolverine in Japan, meeting more mutants, fighting ninjas, learning who he is even though he doesn't remember his former life.

But if someone asked me to explain the story, I'd be hard-pressed. There just isn't much story that makes sense.

Because the movie is so blah, I wasn't going to say anything about it. But I thought Dan D. might want my take on it.

I even decided to ignore Terminator Salvation because I had a feeling it would be pretty blah. The critics have been telling me this is true. There was a time when I would've gone to see anything with the Terminator-name attached, but not after Terminator 3. That turkey killed it all for me.

The next movie I really want to see is Pixar's Up. I'll take my daughter. She's not as jaded as me, so even if it turns out to be bad (unlikely), I know she'll enjoy it. After that? What's left between now and the August release of the obviously awful GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra? Anyone?

Looks like a good Summer for book-reading. I have a whole stack building-up. I just finished the wonderful A Canticle for Leibowitz. This was very entertaining, and raised some very interesting isssues of moral theology. I recently found an old, out-of-print history March of the Barbarians, by Harold Lamb about the Mongol Empire. This is always good stuff, and this author knew how to bring these exotic people to life. I can't wait to read it.

I'm also working my way through several new martial arts books, of course.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The new GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra trailer...

They are losing me quickly. Can we please learn from the X-Men and Wolverine movie experience? Don't give me a trilogy of mediocre movies before you finally deliver the goods: let's just cut right to the Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow movie. Seriously. I have zero interest in 90% of what I see in this preview.

Give me ninja and I'll be plenty happy.

Ninja = entertainment.

Oh, I'll go see this crap, but I'll be crying through most of it.

What's up with Kirk?

I saw the new Star Trek last weekend. It was great, but can someone explain to me why the new James T. Kirk is such a jerk?

I've seen various other websites describe him as a "dick" and a "douchebag."

Take the whole "Koboyashi Maru" Scenario. Sure, we always knew he cheated to beat the test, but I always figured it was more... clever? Stylish? Here, his behavior is completely inexcusable in a military academy cadet. Not only does he basically throw an inartfully-created glitch into the system -- the power even shuts off for a moment -- he acts like a cocky punk through the whole thing. Kirk might as well scream, "Hey! I'm cheating here."

So when he gets called before the Starfleet Academy honor board, I was all for drumming him out of the corps in disgrace. He actually makes things worse in the board through his behavior; he doesn't fess up to what he did, he refuses to see the point of the test, and he turns the accusation on the Academy by saying the whole test is a cheat. Try doing any of this in a modern day US military academy and see how far you get as a cadet... He acts like an incredibly immature boob. Even if the military has slacked off on discipline by the warp-speed era, why would they trust this guy with an expensive starship and a highly-trained crew? Put him under a strict officer to act as a mentor and break this stallion.

I know, the old Kirk (the "Shat Kirk") could be cocky and obnoxious, but he wasn't like this...

Welcome New "Follower!"

A hearty shout-out to my newest follower, Cornell!

Imagine, an entire university now follows me! I am incredibly honored, and even a little humbled...
Really? You think "Cornell" is an individual's name?

So, it's not the institution of higher learning?

Oh. I feel a little silly.

Carry on...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Warriors with Terry Schappert

I'm late to the game on this. Hopefully you've been watching this show for awhile.

US Special Forces soldier Terry Schappert hosts this History Channel show. He travels around the world and examines different warrior cultures from various points in history. They usually pick one significant battle to use as a focal point, and discuss the culture, training, weapons, technology, and other aspects of the warriors being featured. So far, I've seen Vikings, Samurai, English knights, Germanic Barbarians, Mayans, the Knights of Malta, and (of course) the Spartans.

The show is more than a little reminiscent of Human Weapon or Fight Quest. Mr. Schappert finds experts and re-enactors in the fighting techniques of the warrior culture, and spars or demos with them.

Schappert is one of the best things about this show. He's obviously passionate about this subject. He looks like he's having the time of his life trying out a different fighting culture every week. I always look forward to the climax of each episode. Schappert flails around with the weapons as he narrates and pantomimes the course of the battle. It would look silly, IF he wasn't having such a good time.