Down the Ballot

Friday, April 18, 2014

GSY: Captain America Winter Soldier

Just got back from Captain America Winter Solider. I have to admit; usually Marvel movies don't impress me. I'm not a traditional super hero fan to start with, so I don't have huge attachment to characters or long story arcs that have taken fifty years of story and condensed down into 2 hours.

If I'm going to invest in loads of canon I'll stick with Star Trek. Even with all that being said, it was a delightful film. The story held up. Seeing Robert Redford as a villain...priceless! I actually thought that Captain America Winter Solider did what Star Trek Into Darkness failed to do: Tell a story about our responsibility to be more vigilant about protecting our freedom.

Both stories involved organizations (Starfleet & SHIELD) that the general population of the planet have developed to rely on to ensure their collective freedom. Sure both worlds have issues, but in general there is an expectation that these organizations have citizens best interests at heart.

Both organizations fall under the influence of sinister elements that want to exploit the power the of the greater organization. For Starfleet, Section 31 wants to start a war to ensure more reliance on Section 31. For SHIELD, Hydra has slowly been taking over elements of SHIELD to use to its own ends. Both organizations suffer a disintegration. Starfleet recovers, it is unclear if SHIELD will ever. These organizations nearly cost us the freedom they were both set up to ensure.

CAWS is just more entertaining, with a story that is not nearly as convoluted as Star Trek Into Darkness.

Friday, April 11, 2014

X-Files Conspiracy IDW Crossovers (1-3)

Fun Scooby Doo spoof cover
First, I better start right off the bat and say that IDW did an amazing job at getting me back into buying monthly comics. I haven't been a monthly buyer for over a decade. Not even my beloved Star Trek got me to buy comics after high school. I would pick up older comics from second hand stores when I saw them if they were Star Trek, but nothing new. I'm not a traditional comic book lover. Like most, I love a good story. My problem with comics, and especially the more established comic franchises is it is incredibly hard to get into the story, when you're 50 issues behind. Let alone, when the company that is currently producing the comics loses the license to the franchise you like and it starts all over with a new company or a reboot of some kind in order to allow more people to break into the comics.

When I heard X-Files Season 10 was in development I kept my search engine warm looking for updates and waiting for the first issue to be released. I made the trek to my nearest seller of comics and bought the first two issues. I appreciated the fact that Chris Carter was involved and helping keep the scripts in line with the show and also making sure they don't delve too much into anything that might possibly be in the works for a third X-Files film. The comics pick up after the events of the second film. (From this point on, I start talking about story. You can't talk about stories without dropping some spoilers. Hey, if you haven't heard about Season 10 by now, go check out a few issues)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Professor Black & Taxes 101

Tax Day will soon be here friends. Here is a great lecture on Taxes from Professor of Bullshit Lewis Black. He was once a guest lecturer at St. Johns University....still perhaps my favorite of all Tax related humor.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cosmos Episode 4

I've got to admit, I was awfully tired last Sunday and didn't get the chance to watch the full episode of Cosmos...yes, you guessed it. I fell asleep on the couch. I posted one twitter comment, kept my eyes open for the first 15 minutes and when I woke up it was 1 am. Lame. I know. I'll write more about Episode 4 in the Episode 5 post.