Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why I Won't Be Reading Invincible After The Big 100

This post contains some spoilers for the series Invincible. However, the stuff I'm spoiling happened a while ago, and not many people read this book.

Today's a big day for our buddy Robert Kirkman. Today, the 100th issue of Invincible comes out. For those of you who read only popular comic books, Invincible began, at least from my understanding, as a sort of parody book of other superhero comics. However, it quickly came into its own as a legitimate story. It revolves around Mark Grayson, a teenager whose dad is Omni-Man, the world's most famous imitation of Kal-El. In issue one, Mark's powers materialize, Children of the Atom style. From then on, he has big spandex to fill as he joins his father and a universe full of other heroes as he combats whatever happens that day.

Invincible holds a special place in my heart; it's the only comic (with a numbering of over 50) of which I've read every issue. So much has happened since the series began: Omni-Man's betrayal, the conflict with Angstrom Levy, the battle with Conquest, and the Viltrumite War stand out as key moments.

Also, this happens. Much more than you'd think.
 And today, it all comes to a head with the advertised "Death of Everyone" in the centennial issue. After today, however, I'm done with all of it.

"Why so much disdain? Didn't you see the orange dude punch a hole in that guy's head?" said the voice I made up to ask me hypothetical questions. It's not because of the art or the macabre beauty that I'm discontinuing my readership - it's our buddy Kirkman.

But...the skunk!
Robert Kirkman is a very talented man. His other books such as The Astounding Wolf-Man and Thief of Thieves are impressive, and he's made The Walking Dead into a juggernaut of a franchise. Invincible was a great book, too. Notice the "was."

Invincible just hasn't been the same since "The Viltrumite War" storyline. From its conception, Invincible's end-all, be-all was meant to be this war. Then, it came and went. It was awesome, but Kirkman knew he had to move on. And move on he did, to smaller and worse things, things that have induced in me sighs of frustration every time I had to throw three dollars down on another issue. I stopped getting excited about new installments in the way I do for series such as Hawkeye and Saga - just frustrated.

What happened with "The Best Superhero Comic in the Universe?" Kirkman began using the series as an outlet to explore ideas that felt incredibly out of place. The main one I'm thinking of is Atom Eve's abortion. Let's not get into politics here (but I'm totes not jazzed about abortion). Nevertheless, is this a topic that should be explored to push the medium? Possibly. Is it one to be explored in Invincible? Hell, no.

Another nail in the coffin has to be the direction the book has taken with its characters. Heroes we thought we knew in and out make choices and actions that come out of left field much more than they should. The amount of attention these characters receive should be noted as well, especially recently. A few months ago, Mark lost his powers to a small dosage of the Scourge Virus, and like that, the attention shifted to Bulletproof. Before this, Bulletproof was a character whose depth was limited to "that guy who wears the costume Invincible didn't want at the beginning of the series." Then poof, center stage. Not long after that, the attention shifted yet again to Robot and Monster Girl - both interesting characters, but not entirely deserving of an entire story arc. Once that ran its course, we shifted back to Bulletproof, and then almost immediately back to Mark. About that...

If you're new to comics and you're not really sure what differentiates a good book from a bad one, everything about issue 97 of Invincible serves as evidence for the latter. It opens on an argument between Bulletproof and his parents - as I said, right before this was the Robot/Monster Girl arc, so I wasn't entirely sure why they were arguing. There's yelling, an unimportant revelation is made, and Bulletproof and his girlfriend kill his parents. Then, they make it look like an accident, feel sad for a second, and the book completely leaves the subject. Afterwards, Kirkman breaks the fourth wall by way of a fictional comic writer telling Mark that with a creator-owned series (i.e., Invincible), the writer has the authority to do whatever the hell he wants, even though it doesn't always work out or make sense for the story. I know this is supposed to break the dark tone of the previous page, but this is just confusing. Was all that part of a meta-joke? Or is this your "I'm sorry" for taking Invincible in a direction no one wanted? Lastly, the issue closes with Mark regaining his powers through...less than "Teen" rated means.

It's sex. He gets his powers back through sex.
Before I go, I want you all to know that I used to love this series. It was fun, exciting, and had a style that separated itself from other superhero fare. But if I had to give one reason for why I won't be reading any longer, it would be this: "Invincible makes me uncomfortable." When you think about it, good art should push the envelope and make you feel uncomfortable. But it should do so in a way that allows you to think and evaluate your beliefs, such as in Zero Dark Thirty. It shouldn't make you feel uncomfortable like a guy who won't stop mentioning his blog that doesn't have a clear direction or fan base.

Until next time.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

L&F: Your Tertiary News Leader

Yesterday, we received a tantalizing bit of news. Now, dat stuff's official: J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars Episode VII. The only question left is, how excited should we be? The answer? Very.

Before the fanboys get in a tizzy, let's realize that the main man himself, George Lucas, is on board with this. For my sake, I like to imagine that the 1970s Lucas brain made the decision and not 2012 Lucas. You know, less Red Tails and more Captain EO.

It's worth the Epcot admission just to make sure this exists.
So why is Abrams a good choice? First and foremost, he's a talented guy. Go ahead an bring up those less-than-stellar projects to which he's attached his name, like Cloverfield, Revolution, and lens flares. I'll just argue that he gave us Super 8 and the Star Trek relaunch, which are both fun and well made films. Sure, these movies haven't won him any Oscars, but with the way the Academy has been focused recently, there's a snowball's chance in Hell that Star Wars will win anything but recognition for special effects.

Real talk: Did anyone actually enjoy this?
Next, Abrams is a smart dude; he has his head in the right place. He knows to give the fans what they want (a sprawling spectacle of a sci-fi epic that doesn't stray too far from what made the original trilogy good in the first place) and to avoid what pisses them off (galactic trade routes and racist overtones). Lastly, I trust that Abrams will do his best to keep Star Wars on the screen as much as possible. As the documentary The People vs. George Lucas shows, Lucas began putting more of his focus on the marketing side of things rather than on the films themselves. Sure, this led to the brand we know and love (and Lucas making bank), but it also led to The Phantom Menace.

There's still one reason I'm the least bit worried about J.J. Abrams as the new director: Star Trek, but not for the reasons you may think. When it comes to the Trek vs. Wars debate, I've never given a damn; if that makes me wrong, I don't want to be right. They each have their own stories, fan bases, and reasons for people to enjoy them, and I frankly don't see why Abrams heading both projects should upset this balance. However, I do worry about his level of focus. Into Darkness is almost upon us, so that's most likely wrapped up. Yet it should come as no surprise that there's a third installment already planned. Which project, Episode VII or Star Trek 3, will get the majority of Abrams' attention remains to be seen.

All in all, he seems like a pretty good fit. He, along with the bevy of talent present today, should make for a worthwhile and memorable Star Wars flick. What do you guys think about all this? Is there any other director you think would be better for the job? Leave some comments southward, and I'll see you next time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty Review: I Can't Hear the Controversy Over My Freedom

Let me get something out of the way first: Zero Dark Thirty is a more serious film than I’m used to reviewing on this site. You could argue that Django Unchained had some grisly subject matter; however, any film in which Samuel L. Jackson plays Samuel L. Jackson must be treated as such. I say all this as a disclaimer – since this is a darker, more grounded film, I might not lay on the jokes as heavily as I usually do. If that bothers you, I...don’t care.

Despite the loud award show buzz, many of the people I’ve talked to aren’t completely clear on what Zero Dark Thirty is. The title represents the time of night when a group of American soldiers stormed a heavily guarded compound in Pakistan and assassinated Osama bin Laden, the most wanted terrorist in recent history. You might have heard of him. While the film bases many of its trailers and much of its publicity on the raid, that mission makes up only the film’s third act. The rest of the film centers on Maya, an intelligence officer for the CIA played by The Help’s Jessica Chastain, and her efforts to locate UBL’s main courier and, subsequently, the big guy himself.

Zero Dark Thirty opens with a sobering reminder of the September 11th attacks; despite the abundance of news footage available, director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) chooses to play only audio clips from that infamous day. She knows we all remember the attacks vividly, so these phone calls and audio logs are all she needs to inform us what kind of film this is. From this scene until the credits, the film is never less than fully engaging, even with a two-and-a-half hour run time. The average Joe may get lost in the jargon-heavy dialogue, but Zero Dark Thirty actively tries to pull him back in once the specifics are laid out for those who will catch them. This helps immensely, since the majority of the plot is showcased through quick-witted conversations straight out of a Gilmore Girls episode.

Bledel always used a surprising number of bin Laden references.
Just when you get the notion that Zero Dark Thirty is beginning to drag, it dives right into that fateful raid on bin Laden's compound. This scene had been talked up enough to draw some expectations, and it happily delivers. The raid is one of the tensest scenes I've experienced at the movies in recent memory. My only complaint is that the film refused to break its mood and show the kill shot through one of those bloody slow-motion thingies.

This joke would be much funnier if I could use PhotoShop.
The main attraction of Zero Dark Thirty is the collection of superb performances from each actor. Jason Clarke and Jessica Chastain offer a very human approach to our preconceived notions of government interrogators. Once the training wheels come off of Chastain's character, Maya, the audience comes to the realization that she's not as helpless as we were initially led to believe. Chastain definitely deserves some recognition for her performance. It feels good to have award buzz around a female character who didn't exist for the sole purpose of dying and leaving her daughter with Hugh Jackman. A number of other impressive actors make appearances, such as James Gandolfini, Joel Edgerton, and John Barrowman - Chris Pratt even gives us a surprising break from his usual comedic performances. Yet, none of these make attempts to draw too much attention and distract from the story.

Here's a quick aside: By now, you've probably heard of the controversy regarding the film's use of enhanced interrogation techniques. I'm not going to start a political debate here, that's not what this blog is for. Nevertheless, the torture scenes are as disturbing as you've heard. Yet, in my opinion, the film makes an excellent effort to avoid taking a political stance. The film shows torture as a very effective method of extracting information. But before you get that conservative boner, just know that Zero Dark Thirty's necessary evil has enough of the "evil" to balance out the "necessary."

Wow, that was heavy. I'll leave you with this picture of my brother-in-law. In the meantime, check out Zero Dark Thirty. Also, don't tread on me.

Don't judge. He's family.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

An Open Letter to Child Actors

Since my family spends most of its money on trivialities such as food and health insurance, we turn to free preview weekends of premium channels as our main sources of entertainment. As I watch now, the film Real Steel is about to wrap up. Now, I've seen it once before; it's not terrible, it's just another unmemorable and predictable summer blockbuster chock full of product placement that came and went. However, something about the movie causes an undeniable sense of rage to well up inside me: that abysmal child actor.

You son of a bitch.
"But Payton, you wouldn't attack a child, would you?" said anyone who hasn't sat through Real Steel. And yes, I would - I'm bigger than he is, and that's how things work in the land of the free and the home of the brave. One could argue that he's just doing his job and trying to pay the bills, that his terrible acting wasn't completely his fault. As true as that may be, he represents something more than a reason to screen your child for ADHD. He represents something much more unsettling, much more unnecessary than that: the film industry's empowerment of children.

Though you may not notice it, this kind of crap happens all the time. Kids already lack the cynicism to know how little they are in this world, and movies like Real Steel only serve to fuel their egos. This usually starts with a boy, because girls have received the notion that they need to be kind and sweet. Call it sexist if you want, but you'll be just as annoying as the kids. We then give the boy a name that suggests a fun and carefree personality, such as Jake, Max, or Anakin. Lastly, we top off this character building with a rambunctious personality and a quirk that's supposed to make him lovable in the eyes of the audience. As an example, let's take Max from Real Steel. He curses, he disrespects his parents, and he dances to hip-hop with a robot (yep). He's also way too articulate for an eleven year-old. He's everything that pisses me off about children.

Why is this such a problem? It never ends well for the children involved. Very little of the time does the kid go on to be a successful adult actor; Joseph Gordon-Levitt is about the only subject I can think of where this is the case. Otherwise, one of two things happens. The first is that they drop off the face of the earth completely, and we never hear from them again. I dare you to tell me, without using IMDb, the last thing Frankie Muniz (his stroke doesn't count as an acting gig) or that dick Jake Lloyd did. The other option for these doomed debutants, and the impressionable adolescents who follow them, is to turn into the jerks they were crafted to be. I wonder how many guys used films from their childhood such as Max Keeble's Big Move as inspiration to turn into the Project X a-holes who make high school a nightmare for others today.

Pictured: The one character with depth.
Child acting isn't always terrible. It works best when there's a sense of innocence at play, such as Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine. If they start off endearing, they just might end that way. But in the meantime, this imagery of "kids with attitude" does little more than to frustrate me and, I assume, others sitting in the audience.

The only kids with attitude who deserve to see the light of day.
Well, that's my rant. Until next time.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Countdown List of Countdown Lists

I've been meaning to make a "best of 2012" list for a while, but not in the way you might think. Instead of giving out a blow-by-blow description of the absolute greatest everything of the year, period, I simply wish to relay what has impressed me in the past 366 days (count them). This all comes from one idea: my opinions don't count for anything. Now, when I came to a good friend of mine with this concept, he said only this: "I hate countdown lists." A month ago, I would have walked away with my vestigial tail between my legs. But not now. Now I have words. Words on the Internet. That some people occasionally read. So here I am, with a countdown list to end all countdown lists. It also counts down those countdown lists.

Just keep in mind, the items I discuss are simply those that stood out to me. Since I'm self funded (by money I find in cards from my grandparents), I don't get to experience everything that comes out ever. But I try my damnedest to, and I hope that shows. Without further ado, here is my countdown list of countdown lists.

4. Television

3. Arrow - By no means will this new series end up at the Emmys. Nevertheless, in terms of small screen adaptations, we could do much worse than The CW's Arrow (see: Smallville). The show is grounded enough while still maintaining a sense of respect for the DC Comics characters. At times, the shifts in tone can be a little weird, such as the transition of Oliver Queen from a devil-may-care freedom fighter to one who suddenly cares about the lives of henchmen. Even so, if you have a free afternoon, this series is worth getting caught up on.

2. Game of Thrones - I like to call Game of Thrones "the best show where I don't know what the balls is going on." Don't get me wrong, I've been watching since the beginning, and I know the basics: Sean Bean dies in everything, the South Pole Elf is a monumental badass, and Daenerys is the least interesting individual to show up on a television set. What the series lacks in accessibility, it makes up for in brilliant characters. I found myself driven to watch by a desire to see what the characters would do next. Actually, in all honesty, I follow the series to make sure Joffrey gets killed on.

1. Breaking Bad - Oh. My. Jesus. Breaking Bad. As much as I'd love to mention the incredible season finale of season four, I shouldn't, because it didn't air in 2012. I'll stick to the in-progress fifth season that's just as impressive. Few of the shows I've witnessed in my short lifespan have grabbed me and refused to let go as much as this one. If this series isn't on your radar, go ahead and rethink your life choices.

3. Video Games

3. Far Cry 3 - This one's a late entry, but seeing as you probably will have forgotten about my other two picks, I'll keep it. Furthermore, I didn't get a huge amount of time with this one; but the time I put into it was very well spent. What I thought Far Cry 3 did best was how it plays with the balance of power. You begin as some rich douchebag nobody on the run from a slaver named Vaas, a guy who tends to dabble in the crazy department. By the halfway point, you've become strong enough that you get that feeling of "let's take this dickhead out, let's do this." And yet, despite this feeling of invincibility, you still know that Komodo dragons are the scariest gosh darn things in the game.

2. Max Payne 3 - Remember this one? Max Payne 3 released all the way back in the spring, but it's still fresh in my mind. It plays like a dream and looks even better. I'm going to be honest here: I'm trying to come up with a collection of b.s. reasons why this game is "gritty yet refined," but all I can do is remember the slow motion dives, massive set pieces, and the beautifully orchestrated kills. Max Payne 3 is that awesome. It's a shame the series is done; sniping in games without bullet-cam just won't be the same.

1. Mass Effect 3 - I'm not going to talk out of my butt and say how the ending "wasn't that bad" and how "fans just didn't understand BioWare's intentions." Nope, that ending was dumb as poop. Even so, the rest of the game was fun and crafted well enough that I'm willing to overlook it. Things blew up, people died, and Shepard got his way with the ladies (and that one dude that one time); if I recall correctly, that's kind of what we expected from this series anyway.

2. Comics

3. All New X-Men - Yes, this is a very late entry, and no, it's not going to be the best book you've ever read. Even so, I love this book for my own reasons. To start, this book is fun; the concept of Hank McCoy traveling back in time to have First Class Cyclops talk some sense into present douchebag Cyclops is crazy enough to work. However, the main, more personal reason I love All New X-Men comes from the creative team. You see, as a kid, I was raised on the Ultimate Spider-Man series. After Mark Bagley left, Stuart Immonen joined Brian Michael Bendis to put out an amazing series. I cannot wait to see where this duo takes the property.

2. Hawkeye - When I first picked up Matt Fraction's Hawkeye, I hated it. I wanted a sprawling superhero epic with a focus on Marvel's star archer. Instead, I received a story and art that were both toned down yet simultaneously beautiful. It took some work, but I came around. Now, I see this book for the sheer awesomeness it is. If you or anyone you know needs evidence of how compelling and accessible comics can be, throw a copy of Hawkeye #3 at them. I mean it. Throw it.

1. Saga - It's not very often that I pick up every issue of an ongoing series because a stranger in the comic book store seemed really passionate about it. Yet, that's what I did, and I couldn't be happier. Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples' Saga isn't only the best book I've read all year, it's also one of the best books I've read in my short time on this earth. Saga is crass but not immature, funny but not strictly a comedy. Not to mention, it's downright beautiful and always interesting. Just...just read it.

1. Movies

3. Looper - I went absolutely bonkers when I saw Looper for the first time. It was edgy, exciting, fascinating, and my friends and I talked about it for days. In a year muddled with sequels, reboots, and franchise entries, Looper was an original concept that was out there and just so freaking awesome. I'm also a sucker for anything with unspoken mythology behind it, and this film doesn't disappoint on that front. Now that it's been released on DVD, you don't really have a reason not to give Looper a try.

2. Django Unchained - Yeah. You guys already know how obsessed I am with Django Unchained. If not, you could scroll down or click this line of text. And you should, because I'm getting tired of typing all this.

1. The Avengers - Could it have been anything else? The Avengers was the perfect storm of geekdom, and I couldn't have been happier to be caught up in it. If this Whedon-directed culmination of four different superhero film franchises that actually took continuity into account wasn't enough to drive any fan insane, the fact that the film was actually good drove everything over the edge. Now, a sequel is on the way, and DC is desperately playing catch-up; this will either lead to greatness or a train wreck, and I'm looking forward to it either way.

So, that's what I think. What did you guys love about 2012? What totally sucked butt and disappointed you? Leave some comments below (you should be able to with a YouTube/Google+ account), and let's talk. Until next time, stay awesome.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Les Misérables: The Worst Possible Sequel to X-Men Origins

Everyone and their mom (actually, their moms for the most part) seemed crazy excited for this long-awaited film adaptation of the stage musical Les Misérables. I'll admit, even I was looking forward to it. But despite what you may hear, it's not that good.

They didn't even refer to her as Catwoman once.
Quick side note: Now's about the time where I'd give you a quick run-down of the film's story. Unfortunately, the plot presented here is so convoluted that I would be wasting my time with a go at it. But, seeing as I love wasting my time, let's go. James Howlett is an ex-prisoner on the run from The Gladiator, a guard whose actual position in the police department/military is never revealed but is important enough that he is the one officer anyone recognizes. Mia Thermopolis is a factory-worker-turned-inspiration-for-a-Police-song focused on helping her daughter. She bites the dust, and Howlett must give dedicate his life to caring for her daughter. This coincides with the French Revolution, and a bunch of stuff happens that bores the crap out of the audience.

Before I lose you, dear readers, I'll give you the good parts - because apparently this musical is Jesus and everyone should love it. The music is fantastic as always, and I appreciate the actors' deliberate efforts to never let the focus on delivering the notes outshine the script's delivery. However, one of the cast members probably should have reverted his focus back to delivering the notes.

Watch your back, Ke$ha
In reality, he's not as bad as you've been led to believe. I just find it funny that out of all of this film's problems, this is what critics have been pointing out. But more on that later; back to the good stuff.

All of the actors' performances are spot-on as well. Hathaway is probably going to nab a few Oscars, and deservedly so. Her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" is well worth the price of admission. And props to Sascha Baron Cohen for being the one person in France with a French accent.

But enough gushing. Now for the bad parts.

While the actors do fine jobs, everything going on behind the camera makes Les Misérables into something of a mess. The cinematography (you know, that stuff critics mention but no one ever actually notices) gets pretty uncomfortable. The musical numbers involve the cameras focusing exclusively on the performers and not much else. Then, at other moments, the lens leaves the actors to rock out to some negative space. At one point I thought, "Wow, Russell Crowe and the other actors in this scene are nice, but i'm sure glad we have our focus on that brick wall. Oh yeah. Brick walls."

That is some fine masonry.
The elephant in the room is that the original stage production that everyone tried so hard to recreate onscreen simply does not translate to film. Characters portrayed by big name actors have insanely uneven amounts of screen time, in that I had forgotten about Amanda Seyfried by the end of the film. Furthermore, these characters' motivations don't make a heck of a lot of sense. For instance, Marius and Cosette decide they love each other long before they've even spoken. These interactions lead to a lot of those "What? Why didn't you just..." feelings. The story is just as oddly structured. The status quo and goals of the characters change so much that I had no idea what the climax was supposed to be, and not in a "where are they going to take me next?" way. Lastly, this movie is long. A large runtime can be pulled off (see: Django Unchained, a film that's even longer than this one), just not here.

Perhaps I'm being too hard on Les Misérables, but probably not. Nevertheless, if you enjoyed the stage musical, you'll have fun here. In the end, however, the film just doesn't work.

Les Misérables should be marked as a complete failure for its unwillingness to behead Kirsten Dunst. I thought this was about the French Revolution.

What did you all think? I'm really interested to hear back from the people who read this; there appears to be a few of you.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

You've Made Me the Happiest Girl in School

 Oh, Thomas. Rip my heart out, why don't you?

So apparently, one of my buddies has a blog. And if its entirety is anything like the one post I'm willing to read, it's snarky, thought-out, and it complements me a heck of a lot. As I say about most things that are sweeter than King Candy asking a girl with MS to prom, good going.

Now, I implore you, my dear six readers, to visit his blog and give it a look-see.

Lord knows I won't. Stay sexy, Thomas.

Django Unchained: The Most White Guilt Since Wreck-It Ralph

Yes, this movie came out a week ago. I didn't see it until last night. I was BUSY. And it's not like anyone pays me to do this. It's all part of my new mantra, "I'll talk about it when I get around to it." So that's that. Here's this.

Django Unchained is freaking brilliant. Go see it. Just sprint from your home to the theater, throw ten American dollars and fifty cents at the ticket window, and run inside. Ten points for each child shoved down. Because YOLO.

I guess some people just aren't as competitive as others. Now laugh at his failure.
Now for explanation stuff.

For those of you who don't read or hear things, Django tells the tale of a freed-slave-turned-bounty-hunter named after the title, because I assume he heard it and thought silent d's were bitchin'. Christoph Waltz's Schultz, a skilled bounty hunter but an inept dentist, buys Django's freedom (with BULLETS) since Django knows about Schultz's current targets. In killing these dudes, we learn that Django is pretty good at this whole "murdering people for cash" deal; so he trains, becomes the very best like no one ever was, and begins the mission to rescue his wife from a plantation owner named Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Racial slurs, macabre action, and family fun for everyone ensues.

This revenge story is well-crafted and appropriately paced; although it clocks out at just under three hours, Django never drags its feet. And for a film centered around slavery, it's incredibly clever and surprisingly funny, resulting in a scene with one of the biggest "I want to laugh, but I don't know if I'm allowed to" feelings I've ever experienced. Furthermore, the Tarantino presentation we've come to know and love is firing on all cylinders. The film is weird, crass, and brutal, and you'll love that. Only he could throw a Rick Ross song into a Western-style gunfight and not have it feel out of place.

Each actor gives an impeccable performance. After his superb villain in Inglourious Basterds, it's refreshing to see Waltz as the lovable but not-to-be-toyed-with mentor. DiCaprio's Candie is eccentric and despicable, but he never comes across as campy or cartoony. The biggest star is obviously and deservedly Foxx as the titular role. He stays quiet and reserved for the most part; but once the blood spills, the gloves come off and Django lets loose.

And good Lord, does the blood spill. This film is not for the faint of heart. Apart from the blood that literally paints the walls during the shootouts, Django gives an unflinching stare to the sins of the American slave trade. However, that probably won't deter you. The three separate families with young children in my theater were evidence enough that whippings, human branding, and torture weren't enough to make them spring for a sitter.

In conclusion, Django Unchained offers just enough of Jamie Foxx's taint to keep you satiated until he returns to the screen in Amazing Spider-Man 2.

What did you guys think of the movie? Leave some comments below to let me know, if anything, that someone is reading this.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

So this is what you'll be reading...

Hey all! Happy New Year, and welcome to my new project, "Loner & Friends." My name is Payton and I'm the one throwing together this little dog and pony show. For the foreseeable future, this site will be my outlet for talking about whatever I feel like. And I feel like talking about geeky stuff - comics, games, movies, music, television, comedy, and all the other junk I can't remember. That's where the title comes into play. I've always been an introspective guy; but maybe, just maybe, all us introspective homies can band together to form a motley crew that might get the title to make sense. But enough about that. You're probably thinking, "Crap, I clicked on another blog. This was supposed to be porn."

But you've come to the right place. Unless you were adamant about that porn. In that case, may God have mercy on your soul.

Anyway, here's a few reasons why you, the reader, a person, should like this blog.

You're welcome, you smarty smart. As I sit here on my bed draped in Green Lantern sheets, I can sense your intelligence emanating from my Internet. Why? Because you've read this far. That means you've got one heck of a head on those strapping shoulders.

Sorry. I'm just assuming that you'll read this if I keep complimenting you.

By now, you've noticed that this blog has words. Words require reading, and reading is hard. But I believe in each and every one of my readers. Gosh dammit, you're going to show everyone that you can get hooked on phonics just as well as the next guy.

So read my blog. Share it with your mom. Tell me I suck. For the love of poop, just do something.

I'll try to keep the posts frequent. In the meantime, spread the word.

Stay swaggy. Or something.