Monday, May 29, 2006

Decoder Zing

Finally watched The Da Vinci Code early this evening. As expected, everyone else was lining up for X-Men 3, making theaters showing the older, controversy-hyped film a little more spacious.

A poster of Da Vinci I saw outside Festival Mall looked kinda weird and funny, as it was labeled with a disclaimer of sorts: “Fictional Genres Only. Kathang Isip Lamang.” That’s a bit on the defensive side; it’s a film for adults who presumably know what they’re watching, who know how to be discerning of their beliefs. Glorietta, meanwhile, has been repeatedly plugging it in their own unique way, through their elevated TVs over the ticket seller booths and the Food Choices area (which used to show two Bachelor Girl and No Doubt videos non-stop, now replaced by N’Sync and Westlife ones). The girl veejay announces between music videos that people should watch the movie, “Or else you’re just a big… plain… loser!” Wow. Peer pressure much? Please.

As for the movie itself, well, I didn’t read the book, but it’s easy to surmise that a lot of nuances and details had to be simplified to fit the two hours-plus screening time. The script feels awkward in key scenes. I was expecting, perhaps because of the hype surrounding the movie, a grander and more spectacular cat-and-mouse dynamic, a more intellectually stimulating adventure. It feels unusually slow at certain points, and the cinematography isn’t particularly energetic, but I liked the brief but humongous period-piece flashbacks. Maybe Ron Howard should do a big period epic some time.

I like conspiracy theories and mysteries, especially those concerning history and religion, and it was smart of the book’s author to create a seemingly tangled but plausible cover-up concerning the supposed true nature of Jesus. But the movie’s not that big a deal. Will it erode one’s respect for the supposed virginal and chaste Messiah? Pfft. Why should it? It shouldn’t. But it might make one question the complicated origin of the religion. People shouldn’t just follow blindly, anyway, and the craziness generated by the movie may be an impetus for knowledge-seeking.

The issues raised should make them question their rituals and the nature of their worshipped being. And while they’re at it, it’s equally important that people should question their fallible, human, religious leaders, as well.


Discovered a number of toy shops at the renovated Virra Mall and the old Shopsville complex in Greenhills last Friday. They even have a Toy Kingdom now! A bunch of the stores sell reasonably priced blister-carded and loose figs. How cool. I was able to find an ML figure I was looking for, Modern Armor Iron Man, at one of the old specialty shops. It’s one of the finer-looking and more articulated figures of the series, which is surprising, because it’s one of the blander armor designs in the comics. But the figure’s sculpt is exceptionally detailed, and the muted paint is just perfect. My Iron Man battalion must grow, so it can beef up my Avengers army. Can’t wait for the original tubby armor and the Thor-buster one in the next sets.

Speaking of Marvel Legends, I just saw an Alabang shop selling some figures from the Giant Man/Wal-mart Wave!!! Fraaaackkk! They exist! Prices range from P1,000+ to P3000+. The shop had Kitty Pryde (with a tiny Lockheed), Captain Britain, Sabretooth (Exiles/AoA) and two different Wolverines (from AoA)! The bad thing about this assemble-a-figure is, you have to get each one, even the crappy looking Wolverine, to build Giant Man. That’s at least ten parts! People have been saying that the variant, uglier Wolverine is needed to complete it too, but I hope not. I want me a Giant Man set! Grraaaahhh!!!!

Not-So-Amazing Race

It was annoying that Studio 23 had to make the Amazing Race finale a two-parter, even when they showed the entire thing in its initial, early Thursday telecast over a week ago. I wasn’t able to catch that, and we don’t have AXN, so I had to wait for the second half of the episode. Good thing I didn’t get spoiled throughout that long week. Maybe it’s not that news- or blog-worthy anymore. It was a pretty uneventful season, come to think of it.

I’m glad the “language-knowing” hippies won, though. And I kinda feel for the fratboys, because they were so close to victory. The blond guy looked really disappointed.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Grey Stoked

One thing that made viewing X-Men 3 a little difficult a few hours ago was the occasional out-of-focus screen image. John and I noticed that at certain parts, the blacks of the images aren’t totally dark like they’re supposed to be; maybe it’s only about 85 % black, I’m guessing, and details like letters and small faces looked blurred. I texted the publicist about it and she replied that she’d tell the guy handling the projector. I hope the other theaters don’t encounter this problem. Maybe it's exclusive to that screening, but I dunno for sure. (Update: Yup, it's exclusive to that screening.)

The movie was quite good, except perhaps for the part where some of the X-Men react to a person’s death. The drama could’ve been more affecting, but the power of that scene was diminished when Storm and Wolverine appeared way too restrained when responding to that specific tragedy. There were clunky parts during other slow, quiet moments, when the camera would just stay still overlong. But the story is jampacked with memorable goodies for the fans, and it took brave steps by implementing changes that have yet to be done in the comics. I spoke with the movie’s co-screenwriter, Simon Kinberg, last year, and he promised that this third X-film would be epic in scope.

Well, it’s big, indeedy. Let’s just say that while the sprawling plot is a mash-up of Joss Whedon’s “Cure” arc, Claremont and Byrne’s “Dark Phoenix Saga”, and a bit of Grant Morrison’s “Planet X”, the resultant story is streamlined and easily comprehensible. I wish the fight scenes were longer, though, because several new mutant characters were barely shown doing anything.

It’s good that Storm and Jean Grey finally became major players in the movie. I really liked Jean’s transformation, her expected betrayal, her all-red look, and how she toyed, albeit briefly, with her would-be manipulator Magneto. The Rogue-Iceman-Kitty triangle, inspired by an Ultimate X-Men subplot, showed promise but was too short. There were fun action scenes and lines with Beast (“Oh my stars and garters!”), Colossus, Madrox and an amped-up Callisto (she’s hyperfast, and has Caliban’s mutant-detecting power).

There are things, though, that should’ve been written in, like a quick mention of Nightcrawler's absence, or an elaboration on Storm’s history. At least Kitty got a little backstory in even with just a few sentences. We also should’ve seen Madrox fight the X-Men, Colossus slugging it out with Juggernaut, and Rogue and Angel contributing actively in the big battle. The mutant revolt scenes should’ve been extended. Oh, and ugh, Stan Lee’s cameo appearance was distracting. Chris Claremont’s was okay, though, because he’s not as recognizable as The Man.

Will watch another invitational preview of this again with Benedict, because it’s free and I’m a cheapskate. I think I watched the first movie about thrice in the moviehouse, and X2 twice, back when movie tickets were considerably cheaper. By the way, wait for the end credits to finish because there’s a quick, important scene after that. A lot of people stayed to wait for it, and some even clapped after seeing it because, well, it was kinda X-citing.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Like a Housewife Scorned

Desperate Housewives has been hit-and-miss with its second season, and some have even accused the show of shark-jumping, or that it’s performing forced stunts in a bid to recapture its former glory. But regardless if it has succeeded in keeping viewers riveted or not, the individual stories of the women characters have always been based on different levels of stranger-than-fiction drama, and relatable, er, desperation.

It’s still good, and throughout the second season, everything that’s happened to the characters proceeded rather speedily. Four or five separate arcs are concurrently running, but it’s good that they didn’t dwell too much on specific topics (like Bree’s alcoholism, Susan’s discovery of her real father, etc.). There have been many changes, but in the last two episodes (21 and 22), things have been turned upside down; enmities have escalated; nothing is as it was.

It’s good to see that a plot point regarding Tom's secret, which was mentioned and forgotten some time last season, is now being addressed. Also, Felicia’s vendetta against Paul expectedly worsens. And Andrew’s climactic standoff with Bree… well, that was damn fantastic, and heartbreaking.

It’s sad that some fears get validated, that some characters now seem irreparably irredeemable. But that’s the magic of TV; they build ‘em up, just to break ‘em down. And it’ll be status quo again, or something close to it, once the new season starts.

There are only two episodes left of season two, and I expect more shakeups to come.

Magneto + Prof. X = Onslaught!

The new Marvel Legends set is finely sculpted. Dreadfully dull characters, like Green Goblin (who’s now a masterminding but boring super-fiend in the comics), and Blackheart (the comic book that came with the figure attests to that) make okay action figures. I especially like the bonus Onslaught figure, which is only about ten inches tall (only slightly taller than Sasquatch), but he’s wide and has great hand poseability. His fingers look like crab legs.

My gripes with the set? (1) Lady Deathstrike’s hands only have knuckle articulation instead of individual, poseable talons. (2) Pyro doesn’t have a fire creature accessory with him. (3) There are no VS cards included. Apparently, the ones I saw in a specialty shop are super-special, special editions. (4) The variant figures look boring, and (5) Each figure costs P20 more now!

But again, they look mighty rad and imposing. I hope to get their picture taken with the other villains soon. That’s seven new kickass baddies to be added in the group shot.

Raising Hellions

Since Mr. Macapobre asked, here’s a short list of DC and Marvel superheroes, and some villains, who have children. I’m sure it’s far from complete, but these are the ones I can remember off the bat. Very few of these offspring were raised properly, if at all, by their superhero parents, who still actively risk their lives.

Professor X + Danielle Haller = David Haller (Legion)

Cyclops + Madelyne Pryor = Nathan Summers (Cable)

Mr. Fantastic + Invisible Woman = Franklin and Valeria Richards

Spider-Man + Mary Jane Parker = May Parker

Batman + Talia Al Ghul = they have a son, hidden away

Wolverine + tribeswoman (can’t remember her name) = baby mutant

Vision + Scarlet Witch = Tommy and Billy Maximoff

Captain Mar-Vell + Elysius = Genis-Vell and Phyla-Vell

Captain Mar-Vell + a Skrull princess = Hulkling

Green Arrow + some lady = Connor Hawke (Green Arrow II)

Mantis + Cotati Swordsman = “Q” the Celestial Messiah

Plastic Man + a blonde civilian = boy meta that shapeshifts

Vril Dox + Stealth = Lyrl Dox

Aquaman + Queen Mera = a son

Antman (Scott Lang) + his non-powered wife = Stature

Ultra Boy + Apparition = some super-baby

Arsenal + Cheshire = Lian Harper

Colossus + Nereel (I think) = Peter Jr.

Quicksilver + Crystal = Luna Maximoff

Luke Cage + Jessica Jones (Jewel) = baby daughter

Romantic relationships are a different matter; that’d be a long, long list. It’d be like listing down the characters of Melrose Place, and the people they slept with. Well, heroes have sex lives too. But no, their intimacies and dalliances make way, way more sense than that of MP’s bed-hoppers. Speaking of sexually active heroes…


Spoilers ahead, fellow geeks:

The latest She-Hulk issue is, no hyperbole, shocking. The two-issue arc has Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk defending Eros, a.k.a. Starfox, against accusations that he used his psionic pleasure-center powers to seduce a housewife.

I always thought that Starfox was underused; I’ve only seen him written nicely but briefly by Roger Stern, Peter David, and Jim Starlin. And he and She-Hulk had a one-night stand many years ago, so that just made him automatically cool for me.

Writer Dan Slott explores a side of Eros’ powers we haven't seen or fully understood before. Apparently, the power’s effects include behavior-altering sexual attraction to Eros that can last for years (poor jailed Hydra agent!), or just during the course of a night, it seems, in the case of the housewife. It makes anyone think irrationally, and give in to their impulses. It’s like a “date rape drug”, according to one of the super-law firm’s employees.

This, of course, leads back to the two erstwhile Avengers’ sexual history. Did Eros use his powers on She-Hulk? How far can it influence people? Can he turn it off, or does it tug at those with a prior attraction to him? Has he shown remorse over his past actions? Some of these questions are answered, forcing a fuming-mad She-Hulk to confront Eros in a way he’ll never forget. Wow, I’ll never look at that Avengers issue where they did it off-panel, and Starfox, the same way again.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Holy Crap

It’s good that the MTRCB showed some balls and let The Da Vinci Code be shown here tomorrow as an R-18-rated movie despite vocal protests from certain groups of people. I haven’t read the best-selling book, and to be honest, I’m not excited to see the movie, but I’ll catch it as soon as I can. Critics at Cannes aren’t too fond of it, reportedly.

Expect non-SM theaters to be packed. Oh well. I hope Glorietta and Robinson’s have multiple theaters devoted to screening it simultaneously. There’s nothing like controversy to pique the curiosity of those who want to see what the fuss is about, indeed. All these debates have assured that it’ll be a moneymaker in the next few weeks. Much has been said about the book and the film, which detractors claim, besmirches the good name of the religion’s messiah figure.

It’s tiring to read rants about not allowing it to be seen, actually, and the supposed damage it can and will do to the faithful. I’ve no interest in joining that fray; whether Jesus is less divine or not because he had sex and fathered children, I don’t care. I have trouble believing in the existence of the person in the first place, so I can’t claim to know what the guy did behind closed doors. That’s none of my business.

What I’m concerned about is the Pope’s recent smug comments about gay marriages and unions. “Only the rock of total and irrevocable love between a man and a woman is capable of being the foundation of building a society that becomes a home for all mankind,” he said last week. “It has become urgent to avoid confusion between (marriage) and other types of union which are based on love that is weak.” (, May 11)

So okay, there you go. It’s a strange, strange thing, when people go bonkers over a fictional book and a fictional movie that question the origins of their faith, and they stay mum when their current-day leader declares further intolerance against people they should be building bridges with. Not only has that attack stressed that countless, working gay relationships are weak or invalid, it also reaffirms that there’s no real progress that the GLBT communities the world over can expect from the Catholic Church anymore. After John Paul II’s adamant stance against homosexuality when he was still alive, well, it was only a matter of time before his successor followed suit. It’s not that surprising, but it’s still despicable and awful.

The fact that he wanted gay seminarians weeded out last year has been an obvious dreaded sign. That still puzzles me, how they were able to conclusively confirm that certain young people who wish to serve as priests were truly and undeniably gay. The idea that one’s sexuality is evil, or that it can be turned off or be “cured”, that’s just really stupid. But the sad truth is, many people still believe those things. To be devalued by someone this powerful is dehumanizing. Someone who should be encouraging understanding and love between fellow human beings is doing a damn good job at alienating and inspiring rigid thinking.

If Jesus was indeed real, I’d like to think that he hung out with the subversives, as he himself was one, according to that religion’s holy book. I’d imagine that he’d value those whose relationships were genuine, regardless of who they were and what their genders were. I’d like to think that he’d be standing by the outcasts, and telling them that they’re special, and the establishment is just made up of dinosaurs that survived the great flood.

I obviously don’t capitalize my pronouns, “he” or “his”, when pertaining to the man, because, again, I just don’t believe. But I can acknowledge that the religion espouses selflessness and openness to others. It’s just sickening that the person's wonderful, soothing messages of love and redemption can be so misinterpreted and ignored in this day and age by some people who purport to follow him and his teachings, and consider themselves faithful.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Wetness Protection

The past two days’ rampaging typhoon has officially and abruptly put an end to the summer season, or so we’re told. The weather’s been crazy that way here; non-stop heavy torrents are sandwiched between unforgiving, scorching, summer-like days even during the supposed rainy season. You can never get used to these overnight weather switches.

It was so wet and windy yesterday that I postponed hanging out with a friend and just stayed indoors. Slept through most of the six-hour-plus brownout and just dreamed of snuggling and other stuff I love doing during rainy days. Haven’t been wearing underwear again because they’re all frigging wet. Oh well. At least I don’t feel constricted. Yeah, I feel free under my shorts.

Just watched the nice Firefly pilot episode last night, after sketching. Also surfed, listened to music and peeked at other people’s bloggies. I felt really hungry after midnight, but I didn’t feel like spending for a food delivery. And very few of them are open 24 hours. I’ve been eating decent meals but for some reason, there have been a number of instances in the past week when I felt really hungry late at night. I couldn't find anything, so I snacked on some chocolate-flavored Stick-O’s; they’re crunchy and hollow cylinder biscuit thingies, for those who don’t know. Feeling a little full, I sifted through a stack of old books and comics to keep awake.

I discovered one of the Penumbra books that Benedict recommended and left in my things god knows when. That’s David H’s Takod novella, a fun and very visual horror story that has a sneaky, Gold’s Gym member-Asiaweek reporter for a protagonist. Heheh. He pulls it off, of course. Dave knows how to play with mood and mystery, and while Takod was a mite shorter than I expected, the Asian mythological elements he explored conveniently furnished the story its unsettling creep factor. Hope this gets a sequel.

Anyway, will enjoy the cool weather while it lasts. Hope it continues in the next couple of days, minus the calamity.

Mutant Madness

I've been invited to the preview of X-Men 3: The Last Stand later this week, a couple of days before the regular screening. Got this pic from superherohype. Madrox, Callisto, Arclight and Pyro are some of Magneto's Brotherhood recruits.

I wish Fox had given bigger photos of the awesome villain core group pic to the websites. It had these four, plus Juggernaut, Kid Omega, Magneto and the resurrected Jean Grey, lined up together in one shot. But the neat pic above, and the rest of the new stills are shot at a nice distance and look clear enough. Some of them show Storm fighting Callisto, and Pyro versus Iceman, among other scenes. Hope the movie's good. Fingers crossed. Or X'ed.

Good Mother

There were only three cakes displayed at one of the nearby mall’s bakeshops in the afternoon. They're normally decked with a number of fanciful ones, but only the plain-looking chocolate-frosted cakes are left. Maybe because it’s Mother’s Day. I didn’t ask; was just craving for cake. We don’t celebrate it at our home, but the sibs and I certainly acknowledge our mom's unceasing dedication and attention. It wasn't an easy job for her; no, not at all. As I was growing up, I began noticing and learning that being a parent required tremendous strength to unfailingly support his or her oft-problematic children, to get them through the endless rigors that life constantly creates for them.

When I first watched Desperate Housewives, I instantly likened her to Lynette (Felicity Huffman), who had to rein in her little hellions as often as she could. I can only imagine how that feels, to raise radically disparate offspring, to bear with and tolerate trying temperaments. Throughout the years, she’s stood by us when life got awfully tough, and it was easy to talk to her whenever things felt hopeless or bleak. I really regret whenever we have arguments and disagreements. I hate that it still happens, sometimes.

I’d like to think that I‘ve always moved independently into my own direction, as have the other siblings, but there will always be matters and moments that draw us back to her advice and her caring voice. Like most mothers, she only wants what’s best for her kids, and she still continues to prove herself daily. She’s the most unselfish person I know, and I feel truly, truly fortunate to be her son.


“I could go crazy on a night like tonight, when summer’s beginning to give up the fight.”
Indigo Girls, “Mystery”

“The beauty of the rain is how it falls.”
Dar Williams, “The Beauty of the Rain”

“Let the rain fall. Make it breathe.”
Hard Rain, “I Will Remember”

“Nothing falls like London rain. Nothing heals me like you do.”
Heather Nova, “London Rain”

“Sheets stained, blankets dampened by the rain, shades of gray on my pillow, while the sun tries to shine its beams of yellow.”
Violent Playground, “Moist”

“Wash away my sorrow, take away my pain, you’re love’s coming down like rain.”
Madonna, “Rain”

“The rain, see it falling, but I don't know how long it will be until the storm's over. But I'll wait. I will.”
A-Ha, “Rolling Thunder”

"When love gets strong, people get weak. Sometimes they lose control and wind up in too deep. They fall like rain.”
Cyndi Lauper, “Who Let in the Rain?”

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Magic Markerless

Haven't done this in a while. Was so bored yesterday that I just doodled using the mouse and the Paint program. But drawing these sketchy thangs wuz fun. Elenna is my character; the others are copyright and trademark, their respective owners. Click them for larger images.




Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Felicity Unleashed

M:I III was a movie that I wasn’t particularly interested in watching. The first two installments were pretty bleh for me; the stories were too convoluted to understand or care about. But when I saw a picture of Keri Russell holding a gun this afternoon, I just had to see it. I wanted to see how the young woman who played mild-mannered art student Felicity for a couple of years fared as a superspy. It was in Felicity where I first saw Jennifer Garner as, if I remember correctly, a nerdy music major who hooked up with Noel (Scott Foley), years before she took on the Sidney Bristow role. So I was quite excited to see Keri transformed into another independent J.J. Abrams heroine, and I liked what I saw. She was grimy and a little bloody, and was totally tough. If only her character did more stuff and had more screen time. Nevertheless, M:I III is quite fun; the two prior movies never felt that way at all for me. It kind of feels like three episodes of 24 compressed into one, with more big-budgeted stunts and effects, but minus the ubercool Jack Bauer. Ethan Hunt is actually a human person in this one, as opposed to the mechanical, unstoppable spy-slash-killing machine of the past M:I’s. And it’s good that they finally showed the technology that makes those impossibly real masks that have been pivotal to difficult undercover missions.

Just some gripes: the villain played by Philip Seymour Hoffman was disposed of lamely and the action scenes were a bit tame and were lacking in artsiness. But again, the movie’s more decidedly feelgood and escapist than usual, and many details ultimately don’t matter.

Summer Freeze

Tried out a parfait, which is three scoops of ice cream with nuts, whipped cream and strawberry bits. It was yummy, but I felt empty afterwards, like I just wanted my dry mouth to feel the coldness. Ate an underwhelming chicken meal, also at the food court. It wasn’t too filling, and the breaded chicken lacked flavor. Urgh.

I finally bought new underwear, a discounted pack of three tighty-whiteys. Actually, only one is white; the other two are black and gray. Had to buy new ones ‘cause I couldn’t find my old, bacon-gartered ones. Maybe the people here thought they were rags because they don’t look wearable anymore, so they threw them away. But they’re my comfiest undies, and I don’t feel like wearing my nicer-looking ones at home. So I just go commando when the few pairs are still hanging in the clothesline. Too much info, I know. Yeek.

Just rested and switched outta drone-whore mode these past few days. Things are piling up again, but I’m not worried. The weather just doesn’t feel too cooperative and I don’t feel like straining myself for things I can do easily when I’m focused again. I’ll get things done when I find enough time and concentration for myself and my to-do list. So I’m still not totally here in that sense.

It’s a time when ideas flow and surge unhampered by daily rote, when time seems to stretch forever and I don’t feel like rushing to go home or start planning regular stuff. I’ve also been re-assessing my life and my jobs. I always do that anyway, but it’s a more conscious effort this time. Between that and thinking about what to do for the rest of the week, I just tried to catch some rest on my warm bed, and just shoved away thoughts of people I need to contact, and things that have been given a deadline.

I've been thinking of swirly colors and painting, of creating a new art portfolio, of pushing through with another comic book that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but had to stay on hold because of current opportunities I had to take. I’ll get to them one day. Yesterday and today, my head just wandered and thought about interlocking story and art pieces that I need to get out in the real world, someday. People must have noticed that I just stare blankly sometimes, and there are times that I just don’t feel like a social creature at all because, well, it’s either I’m planning, or worrying about something. It depends, I guess. I’m probably sorting out and organizing my head, or searching for info that my brain dumped way back. Been looking at my stuff and I’m trying to reconnect with old feelings and mindsets. I know that doesn’t make sense. Or does it? But that’s the way it is, and that’s how I see it.

I’m on Pause right now. Be back soon.

Male pattern baldness and stuff. Pic from last Saturday. Sketching superheroes on Benedict’s notebook.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Buying the Drama

Ahh, nothing like shampoo to get rid of that icky feeling you get after having what’s left of your hair trimmed and groomed with possibly germ-y scissors and a comb that previously touched god-knows-who in the barber shop.

Just some random thoughts: I wanna go somewhere cool for a few days. I need money. I hope I get paid soon for articles I contributed to magazines. I wanna lose weight. I wanna eat pizza... any flavor with thick cheese. We need cooler weather. Blecch.

I think it’s Free Comic Book Day this Saturday, but I’m not sure. Have to ask the shops if they’re giving away stuff. It’s the coolest time to read superhero books, with Infinite Crisis just finished and Civil War just starting. It’s also a great time to be collecting toys; they don’t have the Marvel Legends-Onslaught set yet at the malls but one specialty shop was selling one with variants already. The figures have Versus cards too (so that’s good news for you, Ruel DJ, heheh). It won’t be long ‘til they hit the regular venues, I suppose. And crap, I just remembered, the Wal-Mart series is out in the US already. Sigh. I want that.

Back to regular programming. Some fun reads. Spoiler Warning On!

Marvel Zombies- The arc started in Ultimate Fantastic Four and spun off into its own mini-series. I felt exhausted after reading this, because I didn’t know what to expect and it was so uniquely over the top. An alternate Marvel Universe is overrun by former superheroes who’ve become hungry, flesh-eating zombies. It’s funny in parts, and just plain disturbing in others. But if you’re familiar with, and entertained by Robert Kirkman and his Image title Walking Dead, you’ll probably like this. A sequel is reportedly in the works.

Infinite Crisis # 7- I waited for this and Civil War to arrive this afternoon. Started reading this in the jeep while en route to another mall, and finished it there. Will enumerate comments:

1. The double-page spread (pages 2 and 3) would’ve looked better if, instead of going for a blurred monochromatic scheme in the background, they showed some more colored figures. The details kind of got lost, and it would’ve been great to identify the smaller characters. And Giganta versus Elastigirl would’ve looked much better.

2. Noooo!!! SB-Prime killed Major Disaster! Dammit!

3. Zauriel gets burned! But, I'm sure his physical body'll heal or be replaced. He’s one of my favorite Morrison-era characters.

4. The cavalry finally arrived to save Metropolis from the Society, a battle which was just a tad short for me.

5. Good to see the Green Lantern Corps in action, and in full force.

6. Flash, and “Flash Phobia”. Now that’s interesting. Torture in the Speed Force?

7. The possibility of another sequel in a few decades is presented, which is good, and kinda sad.

8. It’s an action-packed issue. It's nothing we haven’t seen done before in other senses-shattering super-epics, but the final issue is still good.

Civil War # 1- This feels thinner than its 33 story pages because it’s been previewed in a zillion places in the past two months. Millar is good here. You just know he’s button-pushing in certain parts, but it works and it's easy not to mind, this time. The New Warriors get disassembled, accidentally causing a terrible body count that prompts the US government to keep the masked heroes in line. A proposed Superhero registration act divides the Marvel superhero population, and the forming of sides has begun. Damn, Captain America kicks ass; he's shown as the upholder of liberty, a warrior who’s not afraid of giving SHIELD a beatdown. You get a sense of majesty with him here, and he'll no doubt shine again throughout the series. If only he were this commanding in the New Avengers series…

New Avengers Annual # 1- Now this is more like it! Bendis finally writes an action-packed Avengers story that actually shows them as a kickass super-team. It’s self-contained too, and has art by Olivier Coipel, so it’s different. Loved the attack of the Iron Men! Oh, and Luke and Jessica’s wedding is welcomely compressed and to-the-point. My only gripe with the art was with the wedding pages; the place where the ceremony took place looks devoid of detail and a little rushed. But the rest of it is well-drawn, though.

Astonishing X-Men # 14- Good buildup issue. The Hellfire Club is dividing and conquering the Astonishing team, it seems. Emma majorly messes with Scott’s head, and Cassandra makes her presence known. The future destroyer of Ord’s world has been singled out too, but we’ve yet to see which X-Man it is. My guess? Kitty Pryde. Joss Whedon has often made the unlikeliest characters dangerous and complex in his TV shows. There’s nothing to implicate anyone at this point, but I want it to be Kitty! Argh--I miss Buffy!

I Miss Buffy!

Where are those spinoff shows or TV-movie specials? I don’t feel like watching David Boreanaz in Bones. I want him and Ms. Gellar in a film that, like Serenity, continues their mythology and revives the property. It can work! Put in the surviving characters of both shows in small but crucial spots. Whedon’s proven time and again that he can do wonders with large casts, like with the Firefly team in the movie. And there are a lot of story possibilities that can make the crossover-movie work.

My favorite Buffy seasons, they’re a tie between the second (Angelus big bad), fourth (Adam and the Initiative), and seventh (the Potentials army was exciting). I like the other seasons almost equally. With Angel, I like season five the best, then season two, four, one and three. I hope the TV shows aren’t the last we’ve seen of the shared magical universe that Whedon, his co-writers, cast and crew members were able to bring vividly to life. They were really unique, and are now sorely missed.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Giddy, Yup!

Wow. Watched Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal last Sunday. It’s the last staging for the summer. It’ll be back in June for a limited run at the CCP as a more “interactive” version (will they pull audience members to sing or dance along, I wonder?). It was great to see Carl V’s work translate well to this colorful and energetic medium.

We sat a decent distance; the isometric view of the stage and the performers wasn’t bad. I wish I bought the souvenir program because I can’t remember some of the other actors’ names (am a cheapskate sometimes, I know). I especially liked the performances of Eula Valdez, Kalila Aguilos, and Joey Paras, who played Didi. He was real funny, and some of his ad libbed lines really cracked us up. I like how the fight scenes were conducted too, as they were cleverly staged with just a few fancy props and ably choreographed footwork.

Huwag Po!

Benedict is regretting that he didn’t zoom out the lens, while Kalila Aguilos (who was super awesome as Queen Femina!) had her bent left leg posed over my body. Sayang! It was so cool of her and the other cast members to pose with fans after the show.

Babaeng Badaf

Eula Valdez was a surprise. Did she start with Bagets over twenty years ago? Oh my god, she was electrifying as the female superheroine alter-ego of the parlorista Ada. I didn’t know she could sing. She was shapely, too; she wore a body stocking from the belly down, but it fit snugly around her t-backed posterior and kinda cast the illusion that it was bare. Anyway, I look asleep in this shot. Unholy pope Benedict is smiling.

Attack of the Amazonistas

Wilma Doesnt and Deeda Barretto were half of the quartet of the Queen’s henchwomen. I really enjoyed their song-dance-and-drama clashes with Zsazsa.

And the Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

Jolography author Paolo Manalo, Penumbra books author David Hontiveros, and moi, after the show. Saw and greeted Ian Carandang and Sam Kamada too, as well as UP professor Eric Manalastas. Everyone was happy.

The Carver Victorious!

(pic from Zsazsa groupie Paolo M., who watched it for the tenth time!)

I saw part of an episode of Nip/Tuck last Saturday. It had a masked stalker guy called the Carver. Heh. Anywaze, congratulations to the one, true Carver, as well as the dedicated cast and crew. It was a unique, fun experience, and may the movie star all these hardworking, talented actors. I didn't notice the whole thing was about over two and a half hours. I hope they make it a movie musical, but compressed below two hours. Dave says it can actually happen, because, well, you never know. It's going to be a Regal film, after all.