Friday, January 22, 2010

30 - Bite Commentary: January 21st, 2010

Quick introduction for some: since 2002, I generally keep a series of commentaries codenamed THE BITE, which is sort of a monthly online journal to express my thoughts on certain events of interest, as well as updates regarding personal side projects.

Since the site that I usually post these is under construction (and will be for another month), I decided to place this month's commentary here. Lots of reading for the most part, but I hope you enjoy... after the break.

Originally dated: January 21st, 2010

Welcome, readers. Are you enjoying the new year so far? I'm not. Twenty days into 2010 and it already feels like an Old Year.

It's been quite some time since the last Bite commentary and for better or worse, I've been reflecting on some stuff that has happened in the last couple months. Unfortunately, that reflecting has resulted in me uploading an incomplete 2009 in Review feature for the new year and delaying a couple other projects as well. Fortunately, every seems to be back on track... somewhat.

So what did I get for Christmas? Chocolates, some cash, and a scarf. Not much this year... big surprise.

What cash I did get, I used to buy myself a little camcorder to film stuff. Getting a camcorder was one of the things I had thought about for quite some time but never got around to doing it until now. It's fairly low-end, but considering its main storage is SDHC cards, I'd say it's perfect for my needs. I filmed a bit of footage with it at a couple New Years party and it looks fairly good on TV... although I may need to work on my hand movement.

The Camcorder is also a sign that I'd better start making some videos for the YouTube channel. Some of these may be mere fiddling with some camera features, but I'm sure someone will find some of this stuff remotely entertaining, considering the amount of stuff people usually put on YouTube... but I digress.

And oh yeah, I got a bunch of Super Famicom games from a friend. Now I got some company for my lone SMB3 Famicom cartridge, even if they're not part of the same console. Seriously, who needs eBay?

Ouch... that was pretty low. I may actually eat them words somewhere down the road just like I did with my FF.Net comments many years back, but for now... HA!

So let's touch on some other stuff...

First off, Disney unveiled the "new" and "improved" MMPR show on Jan-2; a reversion of the original first season with cleaner footage, new special effects, and a comic-book theme overall, with pop-up words and sound effects similar to the old Batman show from the sixties. Opinion of this reversion is decidedly mixed: People are okay with it, people are pissed about it, and a few want to disregard this completely and stick with their originals.

Now I had mentioned on a prior blog post that, after seeing the opening title on some site, that Disney "somehow managed to make an opening to a cheesy show from 1993 even cheesier." I also said that I "cringed for the final product, but as long as the younger kids get into it (after all, they are the target audience) and some older folks manage to check it out, I suppose it's okay."

I've only managed to catch the first couple episodes on YouTube... and much to my own surprise, I actually liked it. While there are some bits and effects that I could have done without, the new stuff that they added to the show along with the cleaner footage does a fairly good job of enhancing the experience a bit more. It's never going to a pure replacement for the MMPRs of old, but as a means of re-introducing old-school MMPR to a new generation of kids, it's actually pretty good.

Speaking of which, I also saw the last few episodes of RPM, the final PR show. I'll admit that I've only seen bits and pieces of it, but now I'd want to go through the whole series properly because this is fucking good. If new PR were to end for a good long while, then I couldn't think of a higher note to end it on than RPM. Who knows? It might make for interesting blogging.

Have yet to see Avatar, but it made a lot of cash and looks like a good film.

TNA and WWE went to war or something on the first Monday of 2010. Actually, to call this a war would be like calling Revenge of the Fallen a masterpiece of Shakespearian proportions.

WWE produced their usual stagnant sports-entertainment show, but featured the return of Bret. Bret forgave Shawn at the beginning of the show and then Vince kicked Bret in the balls at the end. Other than the novelty of seeing Bret again, it's the same old shit, but on the bright side, it's fairly entertaining shit.

Because I decided to catch RAW rather than TNA, I obviously didn't see the TNA show... and because I was recording the RAW show on DVD, I wasn't about to switch between shows. However, I decided to sample a bit of the "new TNA" while The Score was playing their usual RAW Countdown show and what was there to greet me?

Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, Kevin Nash, and Eric Bischoff bickering in the ring.

It was at that point where I said "Fuck it" and stick to RAW.

Now I did manage to catch the replay of the show on Thursdays and judging from the many skits, old-timers, and other brainfarts, I was sort of glad I stuck with RAW. Just about the only good thing about the show was the TNA Title match between AJ Styles and Kurt Angle, which was awesome... but of course, Hogan had to ruin it by showing up.

So if this was supposed to sell me on TNA, it didn't work. I'd liked the main event (even though it's essentially a PPV match given on free TV, so in theory I have no reason to buy their damn PPV) but the rest of the show felt like I was watching a WCW 2000 show... and that's NOT a good feeling to empart on a viewer when trying to sell a show's bold new direction. It's about as appealing as Tiger Woods' bold new direction of being a recluse for the rest of his life.

Um yeah, regarding the whole Tiger Woods thing... chances are you know what I'm talking about. I honestly don't care what happens to Tiger. He's a great golfer and all, but all those personal issues with Tiger is his business and no one else. If he comes back, great. If not, great. Not an issue for me. My opinion of him (that is, none at all) won't change regardless of whatever scandals come out.

However, I can't help but ask some of the people who are crying foul with regards to Tiger's private details: Why does this "startling" revelation of infidelity bother you? Is your life completely ruined because good ol' Tiger got laid with a bunch of women who weren't his wife? Is it any surprise that Tiger is just as human as the rest of us and not the squeaky-clean superhero role model that kids look up to? Do you really believe that in a world where drugs, steroids, scandals, and other indiscretions, there is anyone who is capable of producing the ideal role model for kids to follow?

I can imagine parents of many kids who looked up to Mark McGwire during his much-publicized home run chase and then finding out years later that the guy admitted he took steroids. Why is that a shock? We've seen celebrated stars fall from grace amid accusations and revelations that make us believe that maybe they didn't deserve all the fame and stardom that we bestowed upon them. The fact that Tiger joins the group shouldn't surprise anybody. People tend to forget that these sports stars and celebrities aren't gods walking the earth; they're just really rich people who get paid to do a job, whether it'd be filming movies, hitting a ball across a field, producing fake wrestling matches, or competing in barbaric martial arts competitions within a cage.

Parents, if you're worried about your kids not having the right kind of role model to follow and/or aspire to be, I suggest taking a good long look at the mirror and I think you'll find one there. It might not be the most perfect role, but it'll be the most realistic.

Unless, of course, you're a crappy parent. In that case, I suggest you keep looking.

So NBC has shitcanned the Jay Leno primetime experiment, with the last show being in mid-February before the Olympics begin. I wish I could say that I was surprised by this move, but I can't... because I'm not surprised. I'm not exactly privy at the details of how television works and I'm fairly ignorant of the decision-making process, but even I could tell you that this was a bad idea from the get-go. Isn't it about time Leno took a bow and walked off into the sunset?

But instead, Jay Leno will be returning to his former time slot, while Conan O'Brien ends his run THIS WEEK while taking a forty million dollar buyout that allows him to go anywhere he wants? Just what the fuck are they smoking over at NBC and can I get a snort? Because after reading this clusterfuck of fail, I really, really, REALLY need it.

I have more to say on the matter, but I'll wait until AFTER Conan's last show on NBC.

So word on the grapevine is that Spider-Man 4 has been canned in favor of a supposed reboot movie taking place during Peter's high school years. The news later appeared on The (Montreal) Gazette's movie blog, where the breakup between Sony/Marvel and Sam Raimi was bittersweet. I'm rather split on the issue. See, on the one hand, we've been spared the possible embarrassment of having to sit through Spider-Man fighting Nuclear-Spider-Man or pulling out Spidey-Credit-Cards (never leave the Web without it) or saving the whales.

But on the other hand, I'm kind of worried that we might get something worse. For what it's worth, I thought Raimi did a pretty good job with the trilogy, as they kept true to the comics and were amazing cinematic creations that revitalized the superhero movie and made it a genre to take seriously. Yeah, Spider-Man 3 wasn't all that great, but I can't say it's the worst thing I've ever seen and even then, I could still get some level of entertainment out of it. So whatever this next movie's going to be about, I'm just going to wish the new guys lots of luck, because they have a tough act of follow.

Now I read on Scott Keith's blog that he was shocked that they'd reboot the series after eight years... but he seemed to forget that The Incredible Hulk, released in 200x, was a reboot of the short-lived franchise that started (and ended) with the 2003 Hulk movie. So while it's a short wait for a reboot, it's not exactly the shortest.

Mega Man 10... same as Mega Man 9. I don't know if I should be like "Another Mega Man Game!!" or "Another Mega Man Game?!" Nah, go with the former. Mega Man is awesome.

You know another awesome game? Castlevania The Adventure ReBirth; a nice throwback to the old-school 'Vanias I enjoyed playing as a kid. The nice number of Wiiware-exclusive retro-revivals, along with the Virtual Console service and the spiffy Classic Controller, confirms my belief that the Wii was a good purchase. I'm not concerned with high-budget, cinematic computer entertainment; I want to play games that are FUN. And with a number of worthwhile retail titles on the way, I feel that my Wii library might grow a little more than the six discs I have there. I like the downloads, but solid games are cool too.

Wow... that's a lot of crap. I think this might be the longest Bite I've ever done. So I might as well end it with a quick checklist of stuff I'd like to get done in 2010.

• I've presently got four fiction projects in the work, with another one nearing completion. Won't spoil the beans on them yet, but let's just say that it's time to close the book on one of them. I'm presently aiming for March as the kick-off date... praying is probably the right word.

• I'm hoping to nail at least five reviews a month, whether they'd be games, movies, books, or whatnot. There're also a ton of unfinished stuff I'd like to get out of the way as well. I know that a bunch of reviews were sent to GameFAQs and should be up by the time this commentary gets posted.

• I'm also hoping to get the DTM Gaming Reflections video project (to be featured on the crisisded YouTube channel) up and running before mid-to-late February. I have four or five videos ready to go and want to get them up on a weekly basis. More details on that coming soon.

• The Twisted Realms site will be opened February 15th. This allows more time for me to make sure everything works (and to add all the missing content that should have been added months ago.)

• I'm hoping to nail at least five reviews a month, whether they'd be games, movies, books, or whatnot. There're also a ton of unfinished stuff I'd like to get out of the way as well.

That's all that comes to mind so far. Anyway, here's to a productive year... or at least a fun one. Until next time, dear readers...

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