Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Joker's on You: Nicholson Mad About New Batman Movie

I think almost everyone would agree that Heath Ledger did an incredible job as the Joker in the new Batman Movie, The Dark Knight. But there's at least one person unhappy - Jack Nicholson. Nicholson is mad because he wasn't asked to come back to play the Joker in The Dark Knight. I have sympathy for him because that was an iconic performance, which is now essentially replaced by Heath Ledger's. Then again, I didn't hear him standing up for Adam West when West was complaining about not being asked to play Batman in the 1988 movie. Nor did I see him saying they should get Cesar Romero to play the Joker in the 1988 version. And why's that? It's called moving on, Jack. The rest of us did it, you should try it sometime.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Quote of the Week: What's Happening!!

A look at urban black life that manages to capture the offensiveness of Amos and Andy while avoiding that program's fun.
- TV Guide's Review of What's Happening

[The idea for this feature was blatantly stolen from Maurice's Blog]

Friday, August 29, 2008

Flashback Friday: Caveman Ugh-Lympics

In honor of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, let's talk about a glorious old game, Caveman Ugh-lympics. The title is pretty much self-explanatory - it's the Olympics set in the caveman era, Summer Olympics meets the Flintstones. That being said, it was very clever. Like instead of just running, you have to run from a saber-toothed tiger. And instead of just doing a pole vault, you have to vault over the head of a carnivorous dinosaur that eats the losers.

One thing I find amazing about this game is that the humor still holds up. The term politically incorrect didn't exist back then, but if it had, features of this game like the mate-toss would be called politically incorrect.

* The game was released in 1989 by Electronic Arts.
* The movie parodies the popular Olympics-themed games by EPYX of the time.
* The game has six events - the matetoss, the dino vault, the dino race, the saber race, firemaking, and clubbing.
* Some of the events allow you to cheat. Like with firemaking, you can hit your opponent to slow him down.

*You can download the game and see screenshots at
*Wikipedia has an extremely brief article with I intend to correct.
* You can also read about and download the game at

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Whatever Knows Fear: The Problem With Man-Thing

I first encountered Man-Thing in the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe. The image of Man-Thing lurching towards me on the page will forever be my image of Man-Thing. I loved him before I ever saw his comic, and was massively disappointed when I read the actual stories.

I think that he's a better character functionally than Swamp Thing. He's also scarier - the tentacles on his face and the large round black eyes would scare the crap out of me coming at me in the night. And the fact that he's drawn to anyone who fears him (which includes pretty much everybody) makes him more terrifying because it creates a cycle - you encounter Man-Thing, you fear him, he chases after you relentlessly until he burns you alive. That, in turn, makes you fear him. But his lack of a mind does make him a poor story engine.

Then again, what's Jason Voorhees or Michael's motivation besides killing anyone they encounter? I think the real problem with Man-Thing is that they try to make him the hero. He's not. His profile and even his motto ("whatever knows fear burns at the touch of the Man-Thing") imply a figure of terror. If I had the series, I would make him the villain, sort of a monthly horror movie. People encounter him, run from him, are destroyed by him. People try to destroy him, but can't. The local town draws Man-Thing to them and he traps them all inside. Maybe even introduce a regular Man-Thing hunter trying to stop him. Oh, to own the rights to that character.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Leapfraud: Amazing Ballgirl Catch

There's an amazing video of a ball girl who makes a pro baseball player look stupid by catching a runaway ball.