Dropping off the radar this time around is excusable by the fact I am to be wed to my fiance in the next few months (if you didn’t read >this< already the news might be surprising) and my schedule has exploded into a tangled mess that makes spaghetti seem more organized. Regardless I have been at work on the usual projects and this particular piece has captured the attention of all my close fans. After being sheltered from curious eyes, I now unearth it for everyone to see…
The night was as dreary as it could be. The ensemble of mist glistening in the moonlight, the thick fog, and the howling of wild animals matched that of a horror movie. And perhaps for an individual other than Dr. Franco it would have been just that.
A shovel pierced the damp ground, forever scarring the earth. Dirt scattered around him with every fling and with an uneducated guess you could tell he was in a hurry. Dr. Franco wasn’t an average doctor in the field of Anthropology; he found hands-on experiments more enlightening than making notes on freshly delivered cadavers or propping his feet against a cherry wood desk as his eyes absorbed words on a text book. No, he needed to exercise his knowledge on something greater and with that he was now digging the grave of a random personage who died choking on the end of an oversized Okra.
It didn’t take long for the doctor to begin hitting the wood casket, which to him was an invitation to shout hoorays for making it as far as he did safely. The clearing in the ground was enough to open the meat basket, but the doctor knew better that this was only half of the process. This particular casket had a resilient rubber-like material along the inner edge and propping it open would take more muscle then he could ask for. The crow bar he carried seemed sufficient, shoving it into the seam after careful analysis. He then proceeded to press it down and with a snap the hinge creaked open, expelling a strong scent of decay that could force an entire ocean of fish out of commission.
And fish can’t smell.
However it failed to effect Dr. Franco in the slightest and he stood there, triumphantly grinning at the stiff, cold body that was me. The professors at Berkeley should have seen this coming. The doctor was notorious for his obsession with dead creatures and would bring several specimens into his dorm, eventually having the building square quarantined later in his second semester. A few of the friends he (somehow) managed to procure worried for him the longer he spent in the labs. Alone. With dead bodies. Investigations launched against him when the accusations of Necrophilia arose, and worse of all, not a single authoritive figure or acquaintance was surprised. No one guessed that after the years of study, countless nights at work, and bins upon bins of rotten flesh his true ambition was to successfully resurrect beings from their expired state. It was something which was scientifically impossible–a word which could not be registered properly in the doctor’s morbid mass of grey matter.
You may be wondering: how can a dead body who was being hoisted into a rather undersized bag that would seem small for a cat possibly know everything about this one person? The answer would be hard to swallow for anyone who knew: I’m his brother.
It’s taken me a few days to properly emulate how I feel about Shane Black’s take on the world of Iron Man, which is now shared by multiple others. When you take that into perspective, you suddenly realize that everything that happens to Iron Man or anything around him is and can be witnessed by the likes of Thor, Captain America, and any other Marvel characters (In said “Movie Realm”), therefore becoming a part of everyone’s history. When something happens you can’t turn time around and rearrange certain things that has been placed, just like real life.
With that in mind, that’s why I hate Iron Man 3.
I’m not to explain what happens in the movie, solely because I don’t want to spoil it for those who don’t care about comic accuracy or the Mandarin at all and would rather go for the intense action or Robert Downey Jr., but I will meticulously dissect every wrong that Shane did to the Marvel Universe. And me.
First I will go by saying that the Mandarin which was portrayed as a neurotic actor picked up from the streets is NOT what I read AT ALL in ANY of the comics. (Not even the alternate universe issues…) The Mandarin was a homeless, but extremely well trained martial arts expert after the Chinese government evicted him for being completely broke. He wandered the earth and eventually discovered a crashed alien ship, carrying the Ten Rings of power and decided to use them to wage war on civilization. His purpose or motivation in killing everyone is vague memory to me, but the villain was a great threat to Iron Man. (Unlike Iron Monger). Instead of Shane following the traditional “Mandarin” or “Extremis” storyline, he decided to create a decoy enemy so Dr. Aldrich Killian (supposedly the real Mandarin) could create these weird soldiers using the Extremis serum and continue to roast marshmallows without the need of an external heat source.
Shane Black explained this version of The Mandarin in an interview saying:
“One of the joys for me has always been seeing how you take a villain from the comic book and realize him in a slightly more realistic way for the movie—render him for movies in a way that’s recognizable, but different. That’s fun. Like the Joker in The Dark Knight is not the Joker from the comic book, but there’s just enough of him that you recognize him and go, ‘Wow, what a creative way of interpreting the Joker for motion pictures.’ So that was our task here, too. The fans love this character of the Mandarin and we just said, ‘Well, what we don’t want is this potentially racist, stereotype of a Fu Manchu villain just waving his fist.’”
Slap my ass and call me Betty–he just compared Christopher Nolan’s Joker to his interpretation of “The Mandarin”!? At this point I pulled all the stops and plastered Shane’s face onto my dartboard. There’s a difference when it comes to the villains of the Marvel Universe; you can’t just take away what defines them as a potentially threatening villain and then throw the realism confetti into the air for people to choke on. He goes on to explain the dysfunctional rings saying:
“I hate to break it to you, but he’s not from space in this. The rings are rings. They’re showmanship, they’re accoutrements. They’re paraphernalia of warfare that he sort of drapes himself with. He studies Sun Tzu, he studies insurgency tactics. He surrounds himself with dragons and symbols of warlords and Chinese iconography because he wants to represent this sort of prototypical terrorist who—we use as the example Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now—may have been an American, may have been a British National, someone who is out there doing field work, supervising atrocities for the intelligence community who went nuts in the field and became this sort of devotee of war tactics, and now has surrounded himself with a group of people over which he presides, and the only thing that unifies them is this hatred of America.”
Making the magical rings a core of what the villain is made sense in the already magical world. This take is as efficient as taking Thor’s hammer away and praising him as an equally strong alien (Or perhaps in Shane’s mind simply an enraged Irish drunk delusioned by the thought he has magic fingers and an oversized tack hammer…). You have disappointed us and failed miserably by attempting to sell a product you thought we would like better.
In the midst of writing the continuation of Internet Friends (and about three other different blog posts) I became tempted to create another blog. To avoid the same fate as Gaming The Systems (which believe me was one of the many terrible choices I’ve made in life…) I decided that I should make one documenting the life that me and my girlfriend share: cartoon style.
Now after a week of careful delegation, I welcome you The Illustrated Life of Anthony and Chelsie.
The title explains it all. After using Virgin Mobile service for a good two years, I have come to conclude that not only does their service, coverage, and plans suck, but so does their phones. I started with an LG Optimus V and I highly enjoyed the phone until the battery life expired as fast as the first season of Terra Nova. Then I was forced to buy another phone from the same company, only this time it felt as if you were trying to make calls with a toaster. When I wanted to give up and switch to another service that’s when I found the HTC One V. I was sure that the third time was the charm and bought it without regret. I was not disappointed either; the phone was great and it seemed like I would never have to worry again.
How wrong was I. Seven months later and the charging connector (located on the port side of this forever sinking ship) is fried, leaving the simple task of recharging as tedious as recreating the Higgs Boson for the second time. Now I sit here, typing away on the laptop which had suffered the same fate, wondering what will it take to find the one phone that will live to see the birth of my child or at least the 9th season premiere of Supernatural. May the cellular Gods grant me passage.
Most of you are receiving notification of this post and most likely thinking “where in hell have you been?”. (Don’t worry, just someplace warm and poking people with pitchforks) To tell the truth in between work, spending nights with my girlfriend, my new business, and steadily discovering the secret to cooking perfect hummus, I’ve forgotten that I even had a blog.
But luckily after going through my Facebook did I see the “Better With a Pen” page sitting there like a bike with no wheels. I can successfully say that these theoretical wheels are back on and ready to race. I was watching Zefrank’s channel on YouTube, his What’s on Your Happy List compelled me to submit my own. The little things in life that we often overlook and forget (like a particular blog…) can bring the biggest smile to our faces.
These are only a few of the things to the ever growing list. So I ask you, what’s your Happy List?
It sucks being a blogger sometimes. I have this weird idea that I must start over anew when I lack the motivation to continue posts. It’s not that I don’t what to write, but more so that I don’t know what to write. I find myself wondering “what will make them laugh if I need to make them laugh—and If I do—then why?”. Psychologically it’s just for my thirst of being noticed and global acknowledgement that I have made someones day better when in-fact my day is the polar opposite. I rationalize and make excuses for giving up when I assume the daily post will bring none of that feel good euphoria. Then a day passes and I whine about not being able to get more likes or followers, automatically denouncing myself as a terrible writer.
After eight years, the lessons haven’t been learned. Evidence shows I haven’t even been listening. Yes, being a Writer/Blogger/Filmmaker sucks sometimes and only for a few reasons; we either hate how hard the work is to complete a project (or even launch it) or hate that in return for the hard work we are pushed to the back of the list to get that great and mighty reward. I expect that every time I hit send or publish and when it doesn’t arrive, I blame the one who held the pen.
I have this quote by Cyril Connolly on the right side of the blog page: “It is better to write for yourself and have no public, then to write for the public and have no self.” In big flashing letters, I see the number one lesson that I’ve failed to learn in my hobbyist years.
Write because you enjoy doing so, write because you can’t live without doing it, write to free your soul, write because you feel impulsed to, write because it’s your nature of expression; write to write. Film to film. Entertain to entertain. All because you want and need to, for you. Honestly, I know that only a minute number (if none at all) will read this post, but there’s one person that has and always will.
Me. And all that counts is that I achieved something; I wrote.
"Expect problems and eat them for breakfast."
-Alfred A. Montapert
"Anyone who says he can see through women is missing a lot."
"Because of their size, parents may be difficult to discipline properly."
-P. J. O'Rourke
"California is a fine place to live - if you happen to be an orange."
"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
"A great book can change a person’s life. A mediocre book is just commerce."