Archive for the 'Lists' Category

Oct 07 2014

Seriously, This Needs A Sequel! Vol. 1

VIDEO GAME SEQUELS

Sometimes it’s terrible to love, especially in the wide world of electronic entertainment.

It’s rare to find a game that doesn’t, at some point in the future, have a 2 (or 3 or 64) slapped after its name.  Venerated titles celebrated for their artistry and innovation even fall victim to industry sequelization (Portal 2, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Bioshock 2 just to name…just so few) and more often than not, if you loved it once, you can have seconds.

But there are those childless titles that stand apart with one game to their name and no one to inherit the digital throne. For whatever reason, the video games I’ll be highlighting today have yet to be given an extra life. And before you scroll down, Chrono Trigger ain’t on here. Let’s just leave that (flawless) one be. Please? Thanks. Continue Reading »

9 responses so far


Oct 02 2014

5 Current Image Comics that are Putting Marvel and DC to Shame

Published by under Comics,Lists

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A while back talented Scottish purveyor of all things gritty in comics Mark Millar launched his own narcissistically-titled comic universe, Millarworld, declaring that “the Big Two has just become the Big Three”.  I was thinking that may actually be closer to reality than we think, but it’s got little to do with that particular creator striking out on his own. Image comics has been quietly putting out killer books for years now and it’s picking up steam fast.

Since its founding in 1992, Image has been the home of popular titles like Spawn, Witchblade, and The Darkness, all of whom successfully found their way to other forms of media, as well as highly-regarded cult series like Invincible and Chew. And they aren’t even on the list.

One thing sets the company apart from the big guys is that they are dedicated to complete creative control and ownership for the writers and artists they publish. Marvel and DC’s histories are littered with creators being screwed out of their rights to their own creations and left out in the cold as well as solid artists and writers being railroaded and having their works abandoned and/or dissected after they are booted from them. Jack Kirby practically created the Marvel Universe and he’s only just now getting his legal props twenty years after his death.

The Big Two’s corporate approach and deep pockets have allowed them to saturate our culture while riding on the backs of talented individuals, but Image is the company that works with the creators to make comics as art first and profit second. This talent-friendly approach may leave them a little short on making the Big Three a reality, but this reader’s comic subscription count currently reads Image: 4, Marvel + DC: 0, and I’m hoping to get caught up and adding the fifth soon.

Continue Reading »

10 responses so far


Sep 30 2014

New Tube: YouTube Channels You May Not Have Seen VOL. 2

NEW TUBE

Fire up your eyeballs, Unrealtors, today I’m sharing three new YouTube channels you may not have seen yet. Hopefully after you read this article the second button you hit after play is subscribe. Let’s get tubin’. Continue Reading »

One response so far


Sep 25 2014

Mandatory Viewing: Six Unmissable Samurai Epics

Published by under Lists,Movies

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Samurai films (aka jidaigeki or chanbara) are an essential part of any film fan’s international cinema diet. Japan has a long, long history of supplying art both philosophical and visceral by utilizing their nation’s exceptionally turbulent history and the many shades of its warrior caste as a storytelling backdrop. The stories and themes are universal and have supplied Western filmmakers with inspiration and material for longer than most of us have been alive.

Films ranging from Star Wars and A Bug’s Life to any number of westerns owe their existence to classic Japanese period dramas -some of which were inspired by Western writers like Shakespeare- creating a great give-and-take dynamic that has allowed storytelling as a visual art form to thrive worldwide for decades. This week, I’m taking you on a tour of my favorite samurai films and franchises of all-time from the arthouse to the grindhouse to the present day blockbuster.

I’ll be focusing more on iconic action-packed tales for chanbara newcomers rather than deep philosophy, but feel free to sharpen your katanas and chop into the comments section with further viewing recommendations because there’s a nearly bottomless well of quality in this genre. Dozo.

  Continue Reading »

4 responses so far


Sep 24 2014

Ten Screen Actors who Understand Voice Acting

Published by under Lists,Movies,Television

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An awful thing happened during my childhood. Following the success of The Lion King and Toy Story, animation studios erroneously began to think that casting nothing but celebrity voices was an okay thing to do.

Unfortunately, without a good casting director, incredibly poor choices are made. Worse yet, without a good voice director, we get awful performances that either fall flat or miss the mark by millions of miles. The result was a stream of hit-or-miss films bogged down by screen actors who had no experience in voice acting, and who were not being guided through the proper techniques.

Screen actors have the benefit of facial expressions, body movements, and general on-camera presence. Without all of these tools at their disposal, many A-list, well-recognized actors will inevitably flounder, especially without a rigorous director to show them the ropes.

John K., creator of Ren and Stimpy put it best by saying that good cartoon character voice acting involves having a good ear for sounds. Different inflections and creative ways of reading lines are necessary to “fill” the character within the animation.

Neglecting this element of craft makes a David Schwimmer character sound just like David Schwimmer, and allows someone as talented as Scarlett Johansson to sound devoid of emotion, especially when compared to her animation. You can tell this is not her fault when she gets some legitimate motivation to work with.

The bottom line is that becoming a character without makeup, costumes, or blocking can be difficult for many screen actors to handle. I get the feeling that most directors feel like making their celebrity actors go through too many takes will be a waste of their time, fat paychecks be damned.

In fact, some actors are just getting paid to be themselves or, worst of all, just have their names appear on the poster. Chris Rock’s smug as f*** Oscar presentation a couple of years back embodies how many screen actors are barely scratching the surface of what it takes to be a voice actor. He clearly has no clue that he’s being let off easy because Dreamworks thinks we want to hear the same character every single time.

So, to cut this rant short, there are a few shining examples that run contrary to this trend. Here are my favorites: Continue Reading »

18 responses so far


Sep 22 2014

5 Action Movies You Can Watch Again & Again

Published by under Lists,Movies

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Guns blazing, music pounding, and people in some kind of turmoil – yeah, everyone likes a good action movie. Not that every film needs this specific criteria to qualify as a “good” action movie. The summer blockbusters are clear evidence that we all enjoy munching down on some tasty popcorn as the CGI sequences blow our minds away. I find that time and time again if I’m ever in the mood to pop in a BluRay that it will more often than not be of the action/adventure genre.

What is it about these kind of films that makes us shell out our hard earned cash so easily? Doing some quick research on the topic at hand, I found that it might be due to the fact that for whatever reason we enjoy being stressed out. But this stress is “controlled stress” which, as I was reading, is referred to as being similar to a roller coaster ride. I don’t know about all of that, but I definitely consider the action movies I watch to be a great escape from the mundane. With this in mind, I felt that I should make mention of 5 action flicks that are my “go-to” when I need to indulge my senses.

Continue Reading »

10 responses so far


Sep 19 2014

This Week In Movie Trailers!

Published by under Columns,Lists,Movies

Hey there Unrealtors, how goes your week!? Anyone take a break from playing Destiny yet? I know it’s hard for some to pull themselves away from it **cough – Paul! – cough** and yet, my sorry butt hasn’t even played a minute of it. It’s not for lack of wanting to. I guess I’ll just browse the interwebs for more movie trailers to present to the readers. Speaking of trailers, this week was a big one for a particular film that many have been eagerly waiting for…I wonder what film that could be?

Let’s do this.

Continue Reading »

No responses yet


Sep 17 2014

The Seven Best Big Screen Jumps for Animated Series

Published by under Lists,Movies,Television

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Adapting a thirty minute TV series usually seems like a horrific mistake. The tidy length of most TV shows coupled with their episodic format allows a lot of writers to shore up issues that would spill out everywhere in feature length.

We’ve seen this happen, too. The X-Files movie was extremely vanilla as a feature-length film – although as a two part episode it would have been phenomenal. Most producers simply don’t understand the chops it takes to adjust to the new medium, so they try to stretch everything out. What ends up happening is a lot of puzzled audience members unfamiliar with the source materials and a lot of fan boys kind of wishing they were just watching the show on their own TV.

Considering all this, imagine the surprise when not just a TV show but an animated TV show – usually known for their low-brow sensibilities in any genre – actually turns out to be an entertaining and well-formulated movie.

So, since I’ve already talked about big games jumping to tiny screens, let’s look at the best animated TV show adaptations for the big screen. Continue Reading »

5 responses so far


Sep 12 2014

This Week In Movie Trailers!

Published by under Lists,Movies

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Sorry everyone, I’ll go ahead and apologize for the lack of trailers this week. For whatever reason all I could come across were a bunch of “international” trailers and a few miscellaneous ones that don’t seem to have big names attached to them. Not that those trailers are bad, but Summer has come to an end and Fall is upon us. That means the time of the blockbusters and pop corn flicks has come and gone. Now we can look forward to horror movies a plenty while we sit back and wait for Oscar season.

Let’s do this.

Continue Reading »

2 responses so far


Sep 10 2014

Ten of the Laziest and Least-Inspired Alien Designs

Published by under Lists,Movies,Television

Space-Dog-The-Enemy-Within-star-trek-the-original-series-6352208-694-530

Designing an alien is a tricky business. On the one hand, you want to unhinge your imagination and craft something that is truly foreign and unexpected. On the other hand, if you make the design too damn weird then people will be scratching their heads and wondering what the hell you were thinking.

A good movie alien takes balance – some familiar features but mixed in a novel way and with a little bit of wild card ideas thrown in. These design principles gave us awesome aliens like E.T., Yoda, and the Xenomorphs.

Coming up with these sorts of ideas takes creativity, planning, and effort. Here are some the designs that instead decided, “eh, f*** it.” Continue Reading »

4 responses so far


Sep 05 2014

This Week In Movie Trailers!

Published by under Lists,Movies

 

trailers-featured

After a long weekend we’re back at it. Labor Day didn’t seem to bring in any awe inspiring trailers but nevertheless, I trudge on. Hey, at least Football is on tonight! Who’s betting that Green Bay can pull the rug out from Seattle?

Let’s do this.

Continue Reading »

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Sep 03 2014

Six Best Handheld Installments of Home Console Series

Published by under Lists,Video Games

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Portable console gaming was huge when it first hit. Not only could game companies and investors drool over the fact that gamers would now be purchasing a second console and set of games, but the players themselves were also excited to take their favorite gaming experiences on the road with them.

One of the first things companies like Nintendo and Sega did when releasing a handheld was to give the console an installment of an already-successful series. Nintendo had learned early on that “What’s a Nintendo console without Mario?”

These entries were met with mixed levels of success, with some becoming fan-favorites and others… not so much. Some handheld development teams outdid themselves, though, and created rare gems that stand alongside some of the greatest games in venerable series, in some instances even exceeding them.

Keep in mind that these aren’t ports, but fully-fledged and original games that exist as part of a franchise. Otherwise, I would just list Final Fantasy IV remakes several times over. So without further adieu, here are the handheld games that kept our thumbs a twiddling even when outside of the house… Continue Reading »

2 responses so far


Aug 29 2014

This Week In Movie Trailers!

Published by under Lists,Movies

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I think everyone needs to clap for Paul for getting the comments back up and running! Hip hip hooray. Now maybe we can have some banter/discussions of movie trailers every week! I know you guys are out there – and you’re dying to let me know what you think of the trailers that Hollywood is dishing out.

Let’s do this.

Continue Reading »

2 responses so far


Aug 27 2014

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

Published by under Editorials,Lists

dumbts-title

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 »

3 responses so far


Aug 26 2014

You Really Should Give A Listen To…Volume 3

PODCASTING

It’s time to deepen your ear holes, Unrealtors! I’m going to be talking about three podcasts you may not have heard yet but you really should give a listen to. Fire up your iPods—since, presumably, you’re a time traveler visiting from 2004—and get your ears in gears. Continue Reading »

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