Archive for February, 2008

Death Sentences 3: ‘JLA’ and Why We’re Scared

Posted in Death Sentences on February 28, 2008 by Tonk

This has nothing to do with Star Wars or the Knights but its potential importance is so epic, I thought it worthy of mention.

There’s few things the Jedi and Sith agree on. But one thing that me and Obi Wan-Ker do see eye to eye on is our love of DC COMICS.

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In case you’ve been living under a rock (and knowing our fans, it wouldn’t surprise me if you have been) Warner Bros and George Miller are in the process of putting a JUSTICE LEAGUE of AMERICA film together for a 2009 release.

That should be great news to fans of DC. But believe me, it ain’t. I’m scared and here’s why:

I think its fair to say that Superhero movies of late have been double-ordinary to say the least. There have been the odd exceptions: Batman Begins, Hellboy, Hulk, Spiderman 2, X-Men 2, to name a few. But the majority have reeked: Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Spiderman 3, X-Men 3, Elektra, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, etc, etc. The main perpetrator of this mediocity has been Marvel Comics as they rush to get their characters up on screen and beat DC to market. Thankfully, DC has exercised a little more caution and consideration with regards to how their characters are translated to screen. ‘Batman Begins’ demonstrates a great transition from Comic Book to Screen. Admitedly, ‘Superman Returns’ had its fair share of problems. Most notably, Director Bryan Singer and his incredibly boring script. But I digress.

Seems DC and parent company Warners are not being too hasty in getting the likes of Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern or Martian Manhunter into cinemas. Both Wonder Woman and Flash have been in development for a number of years. A Green Lantern movie has been green-lit but no development beyond that has been forthcoming. Which is what worries me so much about JLA and the potential damage it could do to DC’s future big screen prospects.

Why, given DC’s seemingly cautious approach to big screen adaptations are they rushing ahead with JLA? Surely it would better suit audiences to have solid Batman, Superman, Flash, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern franchises up and running before overwhelming the public with JLA. Why waste half a JLA movie with establishing the origins of its characters when that can easily be done within their own respective films? Why potentially ruin the cinematic future of certain characters by cramming them into a JLA movie and not giving them each the screen time they deserve?

For reasons that elude me, it has been publicly stated by George Miller that Christian Bale (Batman Begins) and Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) will not be reprising their roles as Batman and Superman in the JLA film. What the Hell? How does that make sense? As if audiences won’t already be bombarded with having to come to grips with all these new characters, they now have to figure out why Christian Bale is Batman in one movie but not Batman in JLA. Do they share continuity? Is it a different character? What the Hell is going on?

Also, the afore mentioned future ‘Green Lantern’ movie is to focus on the character of Hal Jordan who has been a Green Lantern since the comic book was re-launched in 1960. Brilliant news.

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Yet Miller has cast rapper Common (‘Common’. Great name…not) in the role of the JLA Green Lantern, John Stewart. In the GL comics John Stewart is Hal Jordan’s backup/partner. Both are Green Lanterns but Hal is DC’s main one who has his own comic book. Surely for the sake of cinematic continuity Hal Jordan should be the Green Lantern of Miller’s Justice League! This smacks of racial political correctness and it’s pathetic.

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I know these characters. I read DC comics and even I’m confused! As one forum poster said of the JLA movie: “I wish this thing would just fuck off!” I agree. I love DC characters. They have a rich and colourful history and deserve a quality transition to cinema. Surely DC and Warners have learnt the horrible lesson taught by the abortion of ‘Batman and Robin’. I fear history is going to soon repeat itself.

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Death Sentences 2: Trash Talking Losers

Posted in Death Sentences on February 25, 2008 by Tonk

Yeah, Death here again.

I was just reading the previous article about video games (yes, I CAN read, bastards) and it got me thinking. Thinking about something that’s been really pissing me off lately. I’m talking about Video Game Trash Talkers. Yeah, that’s right. You know who you are, scumbags!

I admit, I play my fair share of Video Games. Ok, so I’m not plugged in 24/7 like some of those fat-arsed, wastes-of-space that wouldn’t know what daylight feels like, but I play my fair share. And I’m pretty damn selective in what I waste my life on. A game’s gotta be good if its gonna get face-time with Death. Dig?

My current game of choice is HALO 3. I play other stuff but I keep coming back to this gem. I’ve clocked the campaign several times over so now I like to play it mainly online. I’m pretty new to the Xbox Live community and have only been online gaming for a few months. It’s been a reasonably pleasant experience. There’s nothing I like more than wasting pre-pubescent nerds around the Globe and watching my ranking rise. But lately the whole experience has become somewhat tainted. Tainted by dumb-arse, trash-talking, douche-bags.

HALO 3 has been on the market for a good 6 months now so most people playing online think they’re pretty shit-hot. My favourite online mode is TEAM SLAYER where I’m teamed with 3-7 other gamers of similar skill in a Team-on-Team Deathmatch. It’s great fun and highly recommended. Players can talk to one another while they play via a headset. When you get a team of decent, mature dudes it becomes a lot of fun. But occasionally you’ll come across a team of absolute arse-clowns who like nothing more than to slag you off big-time no matter how well you play.

For example, I may have just logged on, joined a random team and started playing. I may be a bit hung-over from the night before or a little off my game if it’s my first of the day. As a result I may rank last in my team. What happens? This happens:

“Death you ***** noob! Quit playing you ****er! You suck yo’ mama’s ****s you *****! **** off our team!” etc etc.

It really gets on my tits. So I quit the team and join another, then another till I find one with human beings on it. And I gotta say, most of these Trash Talkers are young Americans. It’s not a racist comment. It’s FACT. As soon as I find a team with a bunch of Aussies or Kiwis the vibe changes altogether and the gaming experience becomes so much more enjoyable.

Unfortunately 80% of the Online gaming community is American. I got nothing against Americans. I like a lot of American people. But what the Hell is going on with their culture that gives rise to such anonymous anger?! Trash Talking could prevent many ‘newbies’ from getting into games. And that would suck. Games should be fun. And never taken seriously. People who take games seriously are freakin’ losers and need to explore what life has to offer beyond their grease-ridden, turgid, self-indulgent lives.

So take heed, Trash Talkers. Because you may win the battles, but Death will OWN the War!

FORCE UNLEASHED Sick-Arse Demo

Posted in News from the SK Citadel on February 25, 2008 by Tonk

Video Games are great. Those who think otherwise are losers in denial.

Video Games can satisfy the entire range of the emotional spectrum. From fulfulling ones’s desire to fully own Wario’s arse in Mario Kart to committing genocide on an evil alien race in Halo. Video Games offer it all.

But one sensation Video Games have come up short on is the ablity to wield the Force. Sure, attempts have been made from the rather clunky Knights of the Old Republic series. To the more visceral yet repetitive Battlefront 2. But finally there seems to be a game on the horizon that may just quench every nerd’s desire to fully wield the Force. That game is STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED.

LucasArts have a hit and miss record when it comes to delivering kick-arse games. And to be frank, they’re due. I’m not gonna rave about TFU until I’ve played it 7 times thru. But for the time being I’m happily excited about the recent game demo that’s just appeared online. CHECK IT OUT.

If you’ve ever wanted to hurl Stormtroopers around like rag-dolls or yank a Star Destroyer out of orbit for the Hell of it then this looks like the game for you. The geeks that have made the game have designed a new graphics engine that creates a more realistic sensation of objects exploding and breaking apart. And AI (artificially intelligent) characters that will cling to one another and their environments in a vein attempt to survive. Looks like fun.

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KNIGHTS Ripped Off!

Posted in News from the SK Citadel on February 21, 2008 by Tonk

Seems the SUBURBAN KNIGHTS’ influence knows no bounds.

Later this year a Star Wars novel will be released carrying the same title as our own EPISODE 1: The RECKONING!!!

Here’s the quote from the Star Wars website:

The Last of the Jedi series comes to a close in June 2008 with book 10, Reckoning. With it ends Jude Watson’s amazing non-stop run as one of the most prolific Star Wars authors. In 1996, her first Star Wars book for Scholastic Inc. was Star Wars Journal: Captive to Evil, events from A New Hope as told from Princess Leia’s perspective. Then, in 1999 she began her work on the Jedi Apprentice series, chronicling the adventures of Qui-Gon Jinn and his young Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi. This segued into the Jedi Quest series, featuring Obi-Wan and young Anakin Skywalker, which was then followed by the Last of the Jedi series.

Art imitates art imitating art. Damn you Jude Watson!

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Death Sentences 1: BLUE HARVEST Review

Posted in Death Sentences on February 19, 2008 by Tonk

Oi. Darth Death here for the very first installment of DEATH SENTENCES. A totally random component of this rather amateur blog in which I bang on about whatever the Hell I feel like. Today I’m gonna crap on about FAMILY GUY: BLUE HARVEST. A rather disappointing Star Wars spoof that fails to live up to the level of humor you’d expect.

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Now I coughed a fair bit of coin for this DVD. A full 30 notes from my local K-Mart. Yep, you read that right. Darth Death shops at K-Mart. So sue me, bitches. Bottom line is: $30 is a lotta dough to drop on a 50 minute feature. No matter how good it is. I’d seen quite a few excerpts on YouTube which were kinda funny so I figured the rest of the show must be good. It was Family Guy after all.

So I went into this with big expectations. Were my expectations met? Nah, not really.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Family Guy. I admit, I was a late comer to the show. But since getting into it I’ve enjoyed its ad-nauseum re-runs on Satellite TV. But BLUE HARVEST felt flat, tired and not worthy of the Family Guy title.

The plot sticks pretty close to that of ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.’ Which is fine. But essentially the whole story is condensed into 50 minutes meaning the viewer needs to have a pretty good knowledge of the original film in order to follow the plot. Peter as Han Solo steals the show. But the fact that he doesn’t turn up until 20 minutes in means that Chris and co. have to carry the film till then. Chris as Luke is pretty unfunny. In fact Chris is pretty unfunny in all Family Guy episodes so the fact that he’s essentially the lead in this is disappointing. Stewie as Darth Vader is under-utilised and most of his gags labored due the constraints of working within the established plot of ‘A New Hope’ and Vader’s limited role in that film. Although his idea about boarding up the exhaust port on the Death Star is pretty hilarious.

I’ve seen many Star Wars spoofs (hey, who hasn’t) and I gotta say this is among the weakest. Which is a shame because the Family Guy writers have demonstrated they have a strong grasp on pop culture so this should be ripe territory for them. But it feels like they held back for fear of upsetting Uncle George or getting their collective arses kicked by Lucasfilm. Either that or they just figured “Hey, if we knock something out with Star Wars and Family Guy on the cover we’re gonna be rolling in nerd cash!!!” and as a result, quality writing fell by the wayside. The funniest scene without doubt is when Peter is trying to steal a couch from the trash compactor. The scene is great and demonstrates the lateral thinking of the writers. I wish they’d done more gags using the known scenes as a stepping off point rather that trying to make the gags fit within the established narrative of ‘A New Hope’.

The Knights are not in the habit of bagging other people’s work. We dig all things Star Wars. No fear. It’s just a shame to see a wasted opportunity like ‘Blue Harvest’. If you gotta own anything remotely Star Wars then buy it. If you’re a bit more discerning, get the Robot Chicken Star Wars Special instead.

CLONE WARS release date announced

Posted in News from the SK Citadel on February 18, 2008 by Tonk

STAR WARS.com have officially announced via their Homing Beacon Newsletter that August 15th will see the release of the CLONE WARS MOVIE in North America.

This is great news and hopefully International release dates will soon follow. With any luck the film will recieve a Global simultaneous release. Early rumors had the feature length ‘episode’ only seeing release in Europe but with this announcement it should be a safe bet that the rest of us will get to see it as well.

At least we here at the Citadel hope that’s the case. Because if Australia is left in the dark then the Knights may have to book a flight to California to have a frank discussion with Uncle George.

Lucasfilm confirms CLONE WARS film

Posted in News from the SK Citadel on February 14, 2008 by Tonk

STAR WARS.com subscribers have just recieved a news article from Lucasfim confiming the theatrical release of a feature length episode of THE CLONE WARS!

A new era of Star Wars entertainment starts this year with the long-awaited premiere of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the CG-animated series produced by Lucasfilm Animation. The new series combines cinema-quality animation with a signature style to provide a weekly Star Wars adventure on television. Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting are teaming up to debut the series in theaters as a full-length movie, followed by the weekly 30-minute TV show!

Very cool. Very exciting! Star Wars Lives!!!

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