Friday, April 08, 2005

Movies that are cool

Sin City rocks, but you already knew that. It's a great adaptation of a Frank Miller graphic novel. It's authentic in so many details. It's a delight to watch. Many comics just can't translate into film. I thought Spider-Man wouldn't and I was wrong. I think The Fantastic Four will suck and I will be right this time. But the blood-splattered and artistically violent Sin City is a different animal and I am very pleased with the results. I'm keen to see what the DVD extras will be for this. I was also impressed with Mickey Rourke, who showed that he can, in fact, act. There was a new and real character there instead of the slimy pedophile type he's been doing for the past few years.

While in Biloxi at CoastCon we were set up next to some guys selling cheap bootleg DVD's. He played a loop from a Japanese film called Cashern which I've hear a lot about. This clip was an absolutely amazing fight sequence, and I eneded up getting it based on that endlessly looped fight. Sadly, this fight is one of the only cool parts of the this overly-long film. The visuals are great but its really drags at times. Some editing could tighten it up. It may be released in the US and its worth a rent (or download off the internets if you're of the Piratical persuasion).

A also bought Appleseed, which was pretty damn good. This combination of Anime and realistic 3d has some stunning action sequences in it. I mean it. They blow the Matrix away. But the confusing story is again hampered by weak translation from Japanses. An english dub with some better dialog could make this a total winner. Go check it out for the eye candy. There are mechs shooting big guns and that's good enough for me goddammit.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Akira Bike Mod...Very Cool

Like many of you, I saw the Anime film 'Akira' a number of years ago. It was visually stunning, if a bit uneven in the plot department (something I seem to notice happens a lot in Anime. As soon as you hear someone use the word 'Gaia', just accept that there will be alot of allegory, and pseudo-mystical blah blah for the next hour and a half).

Anyway, in the film a character named Keneda rides a very sweet bike. There have been several attempts to replicate this bike, but its not easy since the drive train needs to bend around the driver and you need a very custom frame. But thanks to some very clever people over in the land of the rising sun (aka Japan) you can now buy a kit that will transform a Honda scooter into a Akira-style bike.

You can get a completely finished bike for only $10,700, a kit for $5,800.

Link to Gizmodo article
Link to Japanese site

Sunday, April 03, 2005

When will the smiting stop?

When will the smiting stop?

We departed the NC ren last weekend just as the first drops of rain
began to fall. When we arrived home, there was a message on the
answering machine "please come over and fix your tent". Hmmm, well that
wasn't going to happen. On friday we arrived back on site to find our
tent flipped upside down with the above sign taped to it. Thanks for the
help guys.

The tent was is fair condition so we re-set it up and went to bed. At
4am the rains came. I sat up thinking 'I have to check the tent' but it
was warm in the tent and freezing outside. At 5am I couldn't take it and
threw on pants and shoes and padded over to the site. the winds were far
worse on site, and I arrived to find the tent completely destroyed.
Unsalvadgeable. I woke rossana and she confirmed the fact. The rain was
still sporatic. We couldn't do the day wothout some kind of shelter.
There was nothing to do but get to Wal-mart and get a replacement. But
when we arrived we discovered that they didn't carry them. Fuck. But
where there is a wal-mart there are Sams clubs. We got the address and
spent the next hour trying to get to it. The town of Raleigh is built
like a big wheel, with an outer belt, and a series of spokes. These are
designed to quickly and efficiently take you away from wherever the hell
it is you need to go. I swear, this town was design to confound foreign
invaders through badly labeled and misguiding roads.

We eventuaaly found the Sams club, only to learn that they wouldn't open
for 30 minutes. The clock was ticking. The show opens at 10am. We
pounded on the door, flashed our membership cards, and fell on the mercy
of the manager. He took pity on us and we bought an EZ up. This is the
standerd tent for craft shows. Its well made, but not very medieval. We
threw it in the van and drove back to the site. The sky had been
lightening, but when we got back on site the rain was falling again. We
set up the tent and went for breakfast.

The weather changed wildly throughout the day, from sunny, to slate grey
skies, to rain, to wind. At times, we had to have customers help us hold
down the tent. How we managed to do sales was beyond me. By the end of
the day it was raining and there was a tornado watch in effect. We
called it quits. Rossana and I were wet and chilled to the bone. The
rain stopped, we dropped the tent, packed all the stock in the van and
went to change. Now we find that our camping tent has partially blown
down. We re-set it as best we can and abandon it. Fuck this event, I'm
getting a room. We check in and take hour long showers to thaw out.
turned on the tv to learn that the Pope died. Not a great day all the
way around.