Archive for the 'Editorials' Category

Aug 29 2014

Remembering Robin Williams Through Good Morning Vietnam

Published by under Editorials,Movies

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by Brian Hadsell

Robin Williams’ death took the whole world by surprise.  That affable clown and sometimes father-figure of our youth was now dead.  No, not just dead – hanged.  It’s as if his finals words were a silent curse: “But Doctor, I am Pagliacci!”

The immediate sting of Williams’ loss has begun to fade in the nearly three weeks since his death, and we can begin to look back on the prodigious body of work that he left us with a measure of objective clarity.  It is with this goal in mind that I watched 1987’s Good Morning Vietnam, produced at the cusp of his stardom, in which he plays irreverent D.J. Adrian Cronauer, assigned to a military radio station in 1965 Saigon.  As Cronauer clashes with his superiors over everything from the military’s suppression of news-worthy information to his crass brand of comedy, he befriends a young Vietnamese student named Tuan and romantically pursues the boy’s sister Trinh. Continue Reading »

One response so far


Aug 28 2014

Frank Miller: The Man, the Myth, the Maniac

Published by under Comics,Editorials,Movies

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They finally went and did it. After almost ten years of waiting, they’ve followed up on the best pure comic adaptation of all time and released a sequel to Sin City. Naturally, this has put me in a Frank Miller kind of mood, so this week I’m going to discuss one of the most polarizing figures in the comic book industry; a true legend who at some point completely lost their shit and became almost universally reviled. But did he get it together enough to bring his comic world to life again as convincingly as he did before? Behold the rise and precipitous fall of a true legend first and then we’ll revisit that question.

I don’t think any single figure is as responsible for my return to comics as an adult than Miller is. I bought The Dark Knight Returns as an exploratory purchase a decade or so ago and that was it. I needed more Batman, I needed more comics, and I needed more Miller. He was just one of the most engaging writer/artists of any medium I’d ever come across, but at some point he just became terrible. So what the hell happened to cause this descent into cartoonish madness?

Since most of his works have been discussed to death, I’ll make his rundown of comic credentials quick. He’s responsible for the Dark Knight’s most iconic origin story in Batman: Year One as well as his legendary comeback in The Dark Knight Returns, his run on Daredevil put the character on the map, his was the art that launched Wolverine as a solo act in the 80’s, and he created 300 and Sin City in the 90’s. This who’s who highlight reel of classic comics represents around twenty years of sustained win. Continue Reading »

6 responses so far


Aug 27 2014

Is Rain Our Next Big TV Show?

Published by under Editorials,Movies

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by Jake Thompson

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am for this to be my first article on Unreality. The site has always been a regular stop to get my entertainment news, and to put a smile on my dial. But it’s exciting on another level too, as John Rain is the main man in one of my all-time favourite novel series. And now he’s coming to TV thanks to that familiar, ageless face up there.

If you’ve read any of the Rain books by Barry Eisler (of which there are eight, plus various short stories), you already know why I’m excited about this. But for anyone unfamiliar with the story, here’s a general overview. A half-Japanese, half-American assassin with a colourful history of violence can take control of any combative situation. But as he attempts to balance this lifestyle with a ‘normal’ life, that control begins to slip through his fingers.

The novels are written beautifully. Rain flies almost as frequently as Bond, with each book taking him to at least one new country which Eisler consistently paints with an expert brush. And this is truly intriguing from a television point of view. Assuming the series adheres to the globe-hopping nature of the assassin, it’s an ambitious task which wouldn’t have been possible until recently. However, with TV and film finding themselves on an almost even keel, ambition can be rewarded. Continue Reading »

6 responses so far


Aug 27 2014

“Nerd” T-Shirt Tropes That Need to Go Away and Die

Published by under Editorials,Lists

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T-Shirts are great. They give us a chance to feel like we are expressing ourselves despite wearing the exact same garment every day.

The sudden rise of t-shirts that reference popular or “nerdy” pop culture minutia has given sub-communities a greater sense of belonging and identity. Before the early 2000s, finding a Batman t-shirt usually meant going to Six Flags or digging through catalogs. Now Wal-Mart sells them, along with original NES controller shirts, because the market for such things has become so big and reliable.

Artists making these type of shirts also get a chance to get their work seen. They can create a design as an homage to something that they love and give fans a new reason to be proud.

All of these aspects of the nerdy t-shirt market are great, but seriously, some of this shit has to stop.

The problem lies not in any one shirt design, but a host of copies or formulaic “insert combined reference here” cash-ins that start to feel lazy once juxtaposed with other nearly-identical work. The market has become saturated, and despite a slew of creative artists putting fresh spins on existing ideas, vendors seem to be picking the most lukewarm and uninspired designs to pad out their sales.

Here are some of the worst examples… Continue Reading »

2 responses so far


Aug 25 2014

Can We Please Get Over The Walking Dead?

Published by under Editorials

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There was a time when I was crazy about The Walking Dead. I read the comic books and fell in love with it at the same time I started watching the television show on AMC. It hooked me in mainly because it was what everyone else was into and it was quite gripping (well, the comics at least).

As time passed, Walking Dead  became so big that it spawns several adaptations and is known worldwide. Video game developer Telltale scored critical acclaim for their take on the franchise. I personally love the stories they craft with the game.

However, there are moments when I feel like the franchise is being stretched too thin. There’s going to be a new game from the Pay Day developers and a spin-off television show in addition to the main one. It certainly makes me wonder if The Walking Dead is pushing itself towards its own grave.

Continue Reading »

One response so far


Aug 21 2014

Nickelodeon Did What to The Legend of Korra?

Published by under Editorials,Television

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I really don’t get Nickelodeon. Sure, I used to watch it on purpose when I was a kid and Ren and Stimpy seemed like the funniest thing ever just because there had never been anything like it on the air. But despite the professed love from 90’s kids, nobody has ever made me understand the appeal of Rugrats, Doug, and pretty much every other cartoon they’ve put on the air since. Calling them “childish” is putting it too mildly. Spongebob Squarepants plays like it’s scientifically targeted to kill every last brain cell in your head. And don’t even mention Breadwinners around me.

But then there’s Avatar: The Last Airbender, the American anime that out-anime’d anime. They took the stylish visuals, Asian-themed mythologies and philosophies, great characterizations, and complex plots that make Japanese animation superior to the vast majority of Western kiddie toons and eliminated the chaff of silly tropes like over-the-top powers, crummy pacing in favor of formulaic drawn-out battles, and general perviness in favor of pure quality storytelling and brilliant fast-paced action sequences.

The sequel series, Legend of Korra, has had a rocky road with a lot to live up to, but has more than maintained fan interest. Sure, we may gripe that the title character is kind of unlikable and the overall cast isn’t as strong, but the show delivers the goods more often than not with a mixture of comedy and action fit for both kids and adults, engaging philosophical and political themes, intriguing concepts, and gorgeous animation. It’s still the best thing on Nickelodeon by miles and miles. So why isn’t it on Nickelodeon anymore? Continue Reading »

2 responses so far


Aug 20 2014

Understanding ‘the Leftovers’

Published by under Editorials,Television

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I’m continually blown away by this show. I know that plenty of people say that it paints a bleak and desolate picture, but those people are hastily judging without really watching what the show is depicting. If you haven’t made it past the first two episodes and you wrote the Leftovers off, please do yourself a favor and try and make it through episode six. (they’re on episode 8 now)

‘Cairo’ as the 8th episode is referred to, blew things wide open and introduced a lot of new ideas. Well, at least I took them as new ideas and developments. That’s what is awesome about the show – that it’s already 8 episodes in, with 2 left, and I’m still no closer to understanding much of what’s going on than when I started. Continue Reading »

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Aug 19 2014

Fall 2014: The Most Exciting Time for Video Games?

Published by under Editorials,Video Games

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I used to think that last fall was the most exciting time in video games in the last five years. With the arrival of new consoles, who wouldn’t feel excited about video games last November? Gamers saw the dawn of a new generation, but there weren’t a lot of game releases to sustain the momentum in my opinion. The transition is always awkward and there can be a bit of a drought as the industry gradually adjusts to new hardware.

Others would say that 2015 will definitely be THE year for gamers. However, Fall 2014 still has a lot in store for gamers down the line. If this year isn’t the most exciting, then it’s definitely the perfect kickoff to another great year in gaming. My wallet is already crying because it knows it’s going to lose a lot of weight in the next few months.

Let’s take a look at some of the upcoming highlights.

Continue Reading »

2 responses so far


Aug 14 2014

Arrow Desperately Needs a Birds of Prey Spin-off

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Well, DC finally appears to be tenatively trying on some big-boy pants for size in the wake of Marvel’s continuing epic success with their consolidated comic film universe. Awful casting choices aside, it looks like that Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman thing is going to happen with a lot more plans to expand into a full-on big screen DC universe.

Given the company’s spotty history with films, I’m betting this doesn’t end up happening, but hey, nice try, guys. But you know what DC has always been the king of? Comic book television shows. The current king of the hill is the CW’s Arrow, which has already garnered a Flash spin-off after introducing Barry Allen in a storyline, and they’ve already featured tons of notable villains and supporting characters -many of which are borrowed from Gotham- to set up a nice framework for a televised live action DC Universe.

I’d say that Arrow is actually suffering from a serious excess of supporting characters, and the solution might lead to a series that could potentially blow its parent show out of the water. Birds of Prey is one of the most underrated comic properties ever. It’s got everything anyone could want from an action/adventure franchise and represents that strived-after ideal of strong female leads flawlessly, but has failed so far to make a dent in the mainstream. It’s probably time for that to change. With a proper production team, it shouldn’t even be a challenge to make this awesome. Continue Reading »

5 responses so far


Aug 13 2014

2D Glasses: Helpful Solution or Foreboding Omen?

Published by under Editorials,Movies

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I once had a friend who was intrigued by a limited-run tropical flavor of Sprite. When he purchased the drink, he quickly discovered he didn’t care for the taste. Then, for some reason, he began to shake up the bottle to get rid of the carbonation, opening the lid slightly to let it escape.

This process of shaking and eking out the gas went on for a couple of minutes. Finally, when the soda had gone completely flat, he took a swig and declared, “Wow! This is almost as good as regular Sprite!”

The very next day he bought the tropical version again, and went through the same process.

I use this as an example of the perplexing behavior of consumer culture. What about the tropical Sprite prompted him to go through the trouble of making it uncarbonated when he could have just as easily bought a regular Sprite by pushing the adjacent button?

I experienced the exact same reaction when I heard about internet-famous Youtube host Hank Green’s invention: 2D Glasses. They take the optical information from a 3D projected movie and reflect half of it, resulting in a regular 2D image.

My question is: “Is this a natural evolution, or should this be taken as some sort of sign?” Continue Reading »

One response so far


Aug 13 2014

Back Off My TMNT

Published by under Editorials,Movies

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Do you remember what it was like to be a kid? Well apparently the critics out there in the movie world don’t have a clue. I won’t be coy about this, I have been anxiously anticipating the release of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles “reboot” like a kid waits for Christmas. Needless to say, I was there this weekend alongside all the other kiddos in their bandanas and costumes – though my wife didn’t let her 32 year old husband wear his.

Some of you might consider me an idiot for going out and spending my hard earned money to go see something that sites like RT (rotten tomatoes for those in the dark there) deemed rotten at 19%. But I remember what it was like to be a kid. Don’t worry Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – I’ve got your back!

Continue Reading »

7 responses so far


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