Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Summer Movie Preview '13

[UPDATE: Wow, I totally forgot Man of Steel. Because I am dumb. Oh I totally wrote it but I forgot to actually put it up. It’s fixed now.]

It looks like I’m doing another Summer Movie Preview, just like last year. Though I missed out on seeing a few of the films last summer, and others I simply didn’t review, the whole thing was fun and I enjoyed doing it. As I’ve said before I think that the Summer movie experience begins in May, which means I’m really cutting this close. But hey, it’s technically still April. As I said last year these are not reviews; it’s just me talking about movies coming out this summer that appeal to my nerdy side. There might be some films I missed that should go on this list but for now this will do. Notice that the Fantastic Four reboot still isn’t around. When is that happening, Fox?

Click below for more.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fake Review: G.I. Joe - Retaliation

This is the original post I uploaded on April 1st. I don't think it really fooled anyone, and it wasn't up very long, but I sure thought it was funny. So I'm putting it back up for shits and giggles. feel free to compare this fake review to the real one from earlier this month. But remember: this was a joke and not at all my actually feelings about this flick.

 Fake review after the jump. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Kickstarter Weekends: Emily and the Strangers, Code Monkey Save World, The Return

Well I think enough time has passed to justify another Kickstarter Weekend. Again, just like last time, the term “Kickstarter” is out of place because there’s another Indiegogo project on the agenda (for close almost identical reasons as last time). Maybe I really should change the name, especially since Indiegogo actually sent me a shout a while back thanking me for sharing This is Normal. Which means that Indiegogo (or at least whoever runs their twitter account) is nicer than Kickstarter. But I’m too lazy to make a new graphic this month so for now the name will remain.

Before we look at the new projects let’s look back at what happened with the projects from last time.

Sweethearts of the Galaxy: Funding Successful!

Final Earnings: $36,071 ($35,000 Goal)

I have to admit: I was thinking this one wouldn’t make it. Happily it turns out I was wrong and Sweethearts of the Galaxy will be made! It was close but a win is a win. Series co-creator Michael Premsrirat thanked me for spreading the word and mentioned that the tone would be “Whedonesque”. And you likely know how much I dig Joss Whedon. Seriously.

Jason Coffee’s Warhawks: Funding Successful! 

Final Earnings: $21,838 ($21,000 Goal) 

The real life story behind this project, of the later writer Jason Coffee, was what really moved me last time. I’m very happy to report that the man’s unpublished works will indeed live on through the hard work of his friends. I hope things work out well for them as they continue going forward.

This is Normal: Funding Successful!

Final Earnings: $31,185 ($30,000 Goal)

It felt like it happened down to the wire but This is Normal successfully made its goal. This should be a very unique movie experience and I’m glad to have helped it, even if it was ever so slightly. I’m happy for Ryan Welsh who, like I said last time, I used to know. But I will admit there’s a certain amount of jealousy on my part in regard to the somewhat stalled status of my own projects and goals (and this feeling will only increase when we talk about today’s third project).

Three new crowd funding projects after the jump.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nerd Rage #14: The Dark Age of Comics


"I'M NOT GAY!!!"
This is blog entry #250 for Beta is Dead. Now I honestly don’t think that 250 is a milestone to throw a party over but I still decided to do something a little more personal and a little bigger than my usual entries. Over the years I’ve take a lot of pit shots at what is known as The Dark Age of Comic Books, or to more specific the 90s. This is also referred to as The Iron Age of Comic Books by people who remember this period a little more fondly than I do. Anyway I’ve decided that, if I’m going to crack the jokes, I should explain why I have a problem with this particular era of comics.

For more info on the other Ages of Comics click here.

We should probably start by talking about the era itself. The range of this period is heavily contested however most would agree it began in 1986. This as the year that two masterpieces came out: The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. Both were dark, gritty deconstruction of the classic (i.e. “campy”, “corny”) idea of what it is to be a superhero. They were also both really good, especially Watchmen which is a contender for the greatest superhero story ever told. This was also the year that DC Comic’s mega crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, another beloved classic, was released. The series rebooted the entire DC Universe, cut all ties to the Silver Age and Golden Age and, while not starting from scratch, was supposed to be a more modern interpretation of their world. This was really what this era was shooting for in the following years: a fond farewell to the days where comics were for kids and embrace a more mature, more complex and above all edgier style.

Yeah, that sounds good on paper.

The end of this era is probably the most debated of any other era in comic books. For one many, many people firmly believe that the Dark Age never ended and we’re still there today. However others believe that it ended between 1995 and 1996 as those years saw the debut of Astro City, which was a reconstruction of the good aspects of superhero comics from the Silver Age, and Kingdom Come, which was itself a deconstruction of the Dark Age and the antiheroes that populated it. 1996 was also the year of the Comic Book Crash, which we’ll talk about today. Still others point at 2000, the debut of Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel Comics’ “Ultimate” line. Either way the idea is that by the late 90s the industry had gotten tired of the antiheroes and the dark and grittiness of the times and were moving back towards a more lighthearted vision of what it means to be a superhero. So now that we know the "when" we should look at the “why”.

Guns, tits, and pouches after the jump.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beta vs. The Ages of Comics

"F**k you, car; I'm Superman!"
As I mentioned in previous posts I’m approaching blog #250 (this is #249, not counting the April Fool’s Day post that has since been taken down). I don’t want to make a huge deal about it, since it’s not the huge milestone #200 was or #300 probably will be, but I still wanted to do something special. To that end I decided to do a Nerd Rage post regarding my least favorite era of comic books: The Dark Age of Comic Books, or more specifically the 1990s. You may recall me bitching about how annoying I found 90s comics in the past. However it has occurred to me that it’s difficult to talk about any age of comic books out of context. I know many of you are not comic book fans and may be a little lost. So for this post I’m going to, very briefly, look at all of the ages of comics form 1938 to present day.

A few things to keep in mind: 1) There is a lot of debate over when which era begins and which era ends and in some cases whether or not certain eras ever ended (such as the Bronze Age). So when reading this blog take in mind that this is how I view the divide and that other people may have it different. There’s no exact answer here. 2) I will likely not go into much of any of the detail for the Dark Age of Comics here, since I’m saving that for next time, so save any comments you may have about that for later. 3) I’m only going to sum up the Ages, not go into specifics. As such I’ll be doing A LOT of summarizing and leaving A LOT of information out. I’m not a comic book historian and there are a lot of resources out there that go into far greater detail than I ever could. So If I leave something out take that in mind before you start criticizing me in the comment section. 4) I'm mostly talking about superhero comics today, mainly because I'm significantly more knowledgeable about them than other genres from back in the day.

More after the jump.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review: G.I. Joe - Retaliation

Here's the real review of this film.

First of all let’s address the elephant in the room: why are we just now getting to G.I. Joe: Retaliation when I was doing my Summer movie preview last year. Wasn’t it supposed to be a Summer 2012 release? At the time the rumor was that the studio realized that Channing Tatum had somehow become a big star somewhere between the time they started filming this flick and Spring of last year and decided to shelf the film and add in more scenes with him there, as the original cut didn’t have too much of him. Apparently that was just hearsay and the real reason was that Paramount was afraid that the Box Office disaster that was Battleship earlier last year was indication that a similar fate would befall this movie. So they took it back for 3D conversation and to re-plan their marketing strategy. Ah Hollywood; you actually don’t know anything about art, do you? (Though I do find it pretty funny that Hasbro got screwed over in that they weren’t able to ship the giant amount of toys they planned, likely costing them a ton of money. Thanks for canceling G.I. Joe Renegades and Transformers Animated, assholes)

So here we are in 2013 and while I was excited for this movie last year now I feel like I’ve waited so long that I really don’t care too much about it. This movie is directed by Jon M. Chu who has directed such hits as Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never which is exactly the résumé you want someone to have when you hire them to make a movie primarily aimed at testosterone fueled action junkies.

 Also despite the fact that many sources referred to this as a “reboot” of the G.I. Joe movie franchise this is actually a direct sequel; it takes place after the last film and resolves or at least addresses several plot points from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Hell, despite what I assumed going into the this movie The Doctor from the last flick is Cobra Commander in this movie! The people who said it was a reboot may not know what a actually reboot is.

Full review after the jump.

[WARNING: I spoil this movie something fierce so proceed with caution]