Late To The Party

TheLeftoversBanner

Ever been late to a party?  And I don’t mean some crazy Halloween party or even your own wedding. I’m talking about being late to discover a TV show, movie or band.  In this day an age of binge watching and a thousand different TV shows to watch, its almost expected that you’re going to miss something. There is only so much time in our days, right?

I’ve recently discovered The Leftovers, which aired on HBO and their 3rd and final season finished this past summer.  I’m part way through season 3 as I write this and its a fucking brilliant show.  It’s based on a book that came out in 2011 and while I am enjoying the show, doubtful that I will grab the book.  I’m picky that way.

I’ve also recently discovered Death Cab For Cutie and been listening to all their records lately. Yeah, I know that I’m really late to this specific party. Always known about them and that they have a decent following, just never consciously listened to their tracks. No real reason…well, that’s not true. I’m 41 and kinda set in my musical ways and its not easy to get me to try new things.

So check out The Leftovers and Death Cab For Cutie if you want to try a new show or music.  What about you?  What have you been late to the party for?

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Justice League Concerns

JL BannerHey. Ok, I need to get this out there. I’ve stated thousands of times previously that I am a DC fanboy. Tried and true. I don’t understand what the hell Marvel is doing with their comics and I cant find any enjoyment when I try to read their recent books.  But when it comes to the movie-side of things, I love what Marvel is doing and cant figure out what the hell DC is doing.

I’ve previously written about my opinion on the state of DC movies and my desires to see Warner Bros. make better movies, especially following Suicide Squad.  But in the end, I am a mark for all comic book movies. I want them, I eat them up and I will continue to drop my money on tickets.  I’ve been really looking forward to Thor: Ragnarok which drops November 3rd and Justice League, two weeks later, on November 17th.

However, I have some concerns about JL. It was recently announced that the run time for the movie is literally a minute-shy of two hours. Is this problematic?  Probably not but I do think its pretty short for a comic book movie, no? Granted, it doesn’t need to be three hours in length, but when it cant crack the two-minute mark?  That makes me question what’s up.

I have tried to champion this movie to anyone who threw shade at it (is that right? Is that what all the cool kids say now?  Throwing shade?) but its been difficult when the marketing hasn’t done itself any favours.  The most recent, and final, trailer dropped earlier this month and it looks alright but it hasn’t hooked me even deeper and it should have. It should have made me fucking pop with excitement. It should have made those who were on the fence jump off and say ‘fucking right!’ but it didn’t.

Visually, it still looks too CGI’d.  But the music in the trailer? Oh for fucks sake…”Heroes”? Seriously?  Come on, Warner Bros.  Did you not see what Marvel did with Thor and the might Zeppelin?  If not, check it out!  JL Flash

And don’t even get me started on what the hell they did to The Flash.  That’s for a whole other post.

In the meantime, I will enjoy the buzz and excitement of Thor; bought my tickets the day they allowed and I cant wait to go with my son. I am still looking forward to Justice League – which,  by the time your reading this, tickets have just gone on sale – but I have concerns.  I really want to love this movie. But I also have to realize…I cant keep making excuses to justify how great it could be. I just need it to be that great.

We’ll see…

Jason Fabok

FabokThis past May, during Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) 2017, DC artist Jason Fabok was going to be appearing and signing at Gotham Central Comics located in Mississauga, Ontario. In the last couple of years I had become a Fabok fan, especially during his Justice League: Darkseid War run.

In the months leading up to FCBD, DC had published a 4-part crossover event titled The Button, which ran in Batman 21/22 and Flash 21/22.  Fabok had done covers for all four issues and was the artist for the two Batman issues.  Personally, I love Fabok’s rendition of Batman. I honestly hold it up with the greats who have drawn the Dark Knight such as Jim Lee, Greg Capullo, Neil Adams…actually, there are way too many to list.  But his depiction of Batman holds up to those greats and that’s not an easy thing to do.

In my former professional career, I had met a handful of celebrities, a mix of actors and button 1musicians. But I had never met any comic book creators (artists/writers) before and I wanted to get my copies of The Button signed by Fabok. As it turns out, the final issue, Flash 22, was delayed by about a week so I couldn’t get Jason to sign that cover. Fucking figures, doesn’t it?

Not that you overly care, but where I live and where Gotham Central Comics is…well, its a commitment to drive there.  One that my wife thought was way too much and considered whether she had made a grave error in accepting my proposal oh so many years ago. But off we went, with the two kids, and drove out to the comic shop and lined up with the hopes that we weren’t too late.

button 2I got there in the afternoon and was fortunate enough to get to meet Jason and chat with him for a couple of minutes. The guy was really down to earth and just…normal. And I don’t mean that in any derogatory way, just that he wasn’t full of ego and bluster. He was one of us…except with talent.  Jason signed my copies and was gracious enough to take a pic with me that day.  I also purchased two prints of his which he signed and they adorn my basement wall, as do the signed covers of The Button.

The whole thing was cool, he was cool and it was a great experience, if only for a few minutes.  I eventually was able to get Fabok to sign the 4th issue, Flash #22, during Toronto’s Fan Expo that took place this past summer, completing the run.

button 3Jason Fabok is a gracious and cool dude and he is really making his mark in comics. If you ever get a chance to meet him, I would suggest you do.

As an aside, my pal Sammy has a radio show and he interviewed Jason during Fan Expo and you can here it here .

 

 

Bond. James Bond.

007 Group

I love the James Bond movies. I could literally write thousands of words about why I love the movies, all 24 of them.  Before Spectre came out, I sat down and watched all 23-movies in a 4-week marathon.  I loved it, despite my wife’s outward disgust and shame.

A couple weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend and ask what his favourite Bond movie was. He said Octopussy only because he thought it was the best name in the series. For obvious reasons. See kids, even at 41 years of age, jokes about innuendo-ish names makes us giggle.  So of course I threw it on and enjoyed every minute of it.

I had watched a few Bond movies growing up with my Dad.  He wasn’t an overly big fan of Bond, but liked the movies if/when they came on TV.  I remember watching Licence to Kill the most only because it was on the movie network and my dad recorded it (yes, on VHS) for me.  Looking back at it, I wouldn’t say its my favourite Bond movie, but it was the one that I watched the most.

In my late teens, while working at a video store, I decided to watch all the Bond movies that were available (up to that point, the last movie available was, it turns out, Licence to Kill).   I had no idea in what order the moves were released and had to rely on a movie guide book to point me in the right direction.

After that, I have watched every subsequent Bond movie in theatres, starting with Goldeneye in 1995. There is just something mesmerizing about these movies that catches me on so many levels. Sure, a lot of it is crazy and if they were to be stand-alone movies, not held to the universe that is James Bond, most of these movies would be ridiculous. But because they actually do include the character of James Bond, that elevates these movies considerably. Listen, that last sentence makes as much sense as Moonraker, but hey…that’s just the way it is, right?

007 LogoI have been considering introducing my son to the world of James Bond and have had difficulty wondering a) if I should and b) which movie to start him off with. Because, if I show him the movies in chronological order, he may be bored with how dated some of the movies look. But he’s too young for the recent Daniel Craig-era movies as they’re too violent for an 8.5 year old.

So maybe I need to start with the Pierce Brosnan films?  Or maybe the Roger Moore ones…only because Moore played Bond with a bit of silliness, more so than his predecessors (yes, plural. Everyone forgets George Lazenby).  Funny enough, the weight of this decision is based on how he will answer the following question as he grows older:

Who is your James Bond?

And that’s a pretty serious question because there have been six actors to portray 007 and they’ve each brought something so amazing to the role. Yes, even Timothy Dalton, you haters!  In all honesty, its a pretty stressful question because the answer you give informs others of just the type of person you are.

As for me?  I used to think Connery was my Bond but then after watching all the movies a couple years back, I’m not so sure. And to be honest, I haven’t made my decision yet. We’ll talk about it another time. But now? Maybe its time I bring the Bond 50th Blu Ray set down and crack it open yet again, and introduce my son to the amazing world of 007.

Is 3D Dead?

BluRay3DLogoWhen we moved to our current house three years ago, the wife ‘allowed’ me to buy a new TV for our basement. Given the area that I was putting it in, I decided to go with plasma as it was a pretty dark room and plasma benefits from a lack of light.

I was pretty excited to have a new TV, first one in about eight years, and plasma to boot!  6000:1 ratio!  And then Samsung announced they were halting production of plasma sets about three weeks after I bought mine. Figures.

The TV I bought was a 3D-enabled set. Which was cool because I thought 3D movies would benefit from being viewed at home. I didn’t mind watching films in theatres in 3D and honestly thought that, the way things were going, 3D formats would be here to stay.

Of course, you can’t just have a 3D tv but you also need a 3D Blu Ray player. Ok. So I bought that too. The first pure 3D movie I grabbed was Dredd 3D. I think I got spoiled with the notion of 3D because this movie looked gorgeous.

Every time I mention Dredd, people automatically assume I mean the Stallone flick fromDredd3D the 90’s, Judge Dredd. Same character. But a much shittier movie and interpretation of Judge Dredd. So let’s just ignore that tripe, ok?

But I digress.

I started to spend the extra $5 to get the 3D version of Blu Rays when they were released. I didn’t always watch the movie in 3D but it was good to have the option. Sometimes the 3D conversion wasn’t that great…good 3D is supposed to add to the narrative and atmosphere of the movie. Movies like Dredd 3D and Gravity were filmed in 3D, and you can tell the difference in quality vs 3D converted films, but that’s a whole other conversation.

Bottom line, if there is a 3D-option for a movie that I’m gonna buy, I’ll grab that version over a standard Blu Ray edition. But it appears as though that option may be ending.

A few weeks back I went to grab Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2 at my local Best Buy. I searched the shelves and couldn’t find the 3D edition. Blu Ray? Yup. DVD? Yup. Shit, there may have been a VHS copy but definitely no 3D option. Was it possible that Best Buy sold out or maybe they just didn’t carry it?

I checked the website while I stood in the store. Nothing listed. I checked Blu-Ray.com, a site I go to for news on releases and reviews. They would surely have it listed and…nope. Nothing there. No release date.

Was it possible that Disney/Marvel would release a ‘special edition’ later on? From what I read online in the days later, that wasn’t gonna happen. So I bought the Blu Ray edition of the movie and asked one of the employees if there was any word on the 3D version. He told me that there was no 3D release and likely wouldn’t be; that he’d noticed they weren’t getting as many 3D releases.

Uh oh. But why? 4K. Apparently the studios are pushing for 4K instead and slowly getting out of 3D.

So I went online and sure enough, it’s quite hard to find 3D televisions anymore.  Sure, there are some, but more often than not, you’re finding a 3D set online and not in the brick-and-mortar store. Instead, 4K televisions reign supreme and, apparently, its taking over the home video market.

That said, I was able to purchase Wonder Woman with a 3D disc so I’m sure there are still going to be some releases coming down the pipe, but not nearly as many as there used to be.  Which is sad because, I actually enjoy watching some of these movies in 3D.

I found this online while researching for this article and think it sums everything up quite nicely.

3DTVRIP

 

Until Next time….

 

 

 

Welcome to Season Two

Hello readers. Welcome to season two of Growing Up Forty. I hope you all had an amazing summer (or winter for you Aussies and New Zealanders). This season of GU40, we’re gonna start by recapping the “summer” that was 2017.

And if you live near the Toronto, Ontario region, you’d understand why “summer” is in quotes.

Despite the weather woes, we did have some pretty good movies (Wonder Woman, Spider-Man), shows (Game of Thrones) and comics that dropped for our consumption. FanExpo Toronto was attended by yours truly (for one day only though. It’s all I could handle) and some good comics and graphic novels were consumed.

We’re gonna talk about it all this season so thanks for visiting, thanks for reading and don’t forget to participate by commenting. Because, this isn’t a news-breaking site, but rather a place where we talk about pop culture, comics and video games from the perspective of an adult/man-child.

Thanks, all

Rob

Movie Soundtracks

Interstellar SoundtrackLately I have been listening to movie soundtracks during my working hours; specifically, movie scores.  Not that there isn’t anything wrong with compilation soundtracks – I have always rocked the Singles soundtrack since it dropped in 1992 – but my focus has been on the actual scores.

When I was in high school, I was a big fan of listening to Conan The Barbarian soundtrack by Basil Poledouris.  I found that score to be altogether haunting, heartbreaking and exciting.  I used to listen to this soundtrack when I needed to get pumped up for an exam or if I was going out on a date.  Hey, we all need to find our inner courage, by Crom!   I listed to that soundtrack for so long, I eventually wore out the CD.

I had recently wrote about watching Interstellar for the second time and finding it incredibly fun and since then, I have been spinning the original soundtrack by Hans Zimmer.  This then led me to the Man of Steel soundtrack (hey, I like the movie, alright?) and then to again to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack by Daft Punk.  I am a fan of Daft Punk but never really took a listen to the Tron score, even though I think Tron: Legacy as a movie is underappreciated.

Its funny the feelings you get when you listen to this type of music compared to a lyrical-song that we usually would listen to. Not only do the scores make me want to re-watch the movies, but they seem to inspire me in ways that my normal go-to bands cannot.

If its one thing I’ve been learning during this process, is its never too late to try new things.  Except beets.  I think beets look gross.