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Yippee Ki-Yay Younger Looper

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Guys, I make a lot of books and t-shirts and plushies and what not and you are totally welcome to go procure some or all of that stuff for yourself or your loved ones. You can also get a a high quality print of any comic in regular or giant sized sizes.

Looper was… [ehem] SUPER DOOPER! Sorry, I had to. Thanks for being a trooper. Pooper scooper, Sterling Cooper.

Seriously though, Looper was exactly what I want from a stand alone sci-fi movie. It brings you into it’s world, quickly establishes why it’s different, how it’s futuristic, etc. then it tells a human story with the gimmick (in this case, time travel and a bit more) as the back drop. The futuristic aspects of the story are small elements of the narrative and while they make it possible, they do not overtake or even lead the story as it progresses. In Looper the characters (FANTASTIC performances by Joseph Gordon Levitt, Emily Blunt and a stunning/terrifying young boy) and their choices are the focus. So many one-shot sci-fi films get this formula backwards. It’s like someone writes a cool idea on a napkin (100 years in the future, money is all gone and people use hip hop dancing as currency), then scrambles to write another 119 pages just to make that idea take 2 hours to play out on screen.

My favorite part about Looper is that it was filled with actual “nearly didn’t see that coming” surprises. This was due mainly to the fact that the first round of trailers fooled you into thinking they were serving up the entire plot (young Bruce Willis has to kill old Bruce Willis from the future) on a silver platter, when in fact that only covers about the first half of the movie. The main story is much smaller, much more character-centric, and has nearly nothing to do with time travel. The current trailers are showing more of the 2nd half plot, but nothing that actually clues you in as to what’s going on.

As far as original sci-fi stories go, I have absolutely nothing but praise for this film. SURE, if you question the time travel premise even a little bit, the whole thing falls apart, BUT that’s why we have the old saying, “You can’t spell TIME TRAVEL BULLSHIT without BULLSHIT.” Leave it alone. Let it be. Enjoy the movie. It’s great.

Side note: The makeup effects better win somebody an Oscar. You don’t really get the full impact of JGL’s transformation into young Bruce until the two are face to face on screen for the first time. It’s rather shocking.

ADDITIONAL Side note: If you HAVE seen Looper, go read this interview with the writer where he explains many of the loose ends that might have nagged at your geek-brain.

UPDATE: 

COMMENTERS: What did you think of Looper? Also, what is your favorite/least favorite stand alone (non franchise, series, tv spin off, etc) cinematic sci-fi situation?

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The Hip Hop And The White Funk

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HijiNKS ENSUE Holiday Cards - Zombie cards, star wars cards, Calvin and hobbes Firefly serenity cards, Hobo Santa Cards

HijiNKS ENSUE Holiday Cards are back!

 

AWESOME NEWS! My Desertbus auction to appear in a HijiNKS ENSUE comic raised $410 for Child’s Play. Thanks to all who bid and especially to Fancy Bastard Luke T. who won!

FANCY BASTARD ASSEMBLE Limited print update: The prints are at my house and will start shipping this week. Thank you for your patience.

Josh may be a bit off base, but Jesus, are those shows really 20 years old? I guess I’ll just crawl in bed and wait for my organs to fail. I came up for the idea for this comic while watching YouTube videos of the 80’s cartoon Kidd Video. Each animated episode would feature a live action music video from the show’s real titular fake band. I couldn’t help but thinking things might not have gone well for the four ethnically diverse, hair teased teens miming those instruments. That’s when I remembered that Nickelodeon offspring channel TeenNick recently started airing many of the early 90’s shows I used to watch as a kid.

All That (the preteen’s answer to SNL and the pedophile’s answer to Kids In The Hall), Hey Dude (another Nick show about 16 year olds that NEVER EVER EVER leave their summer jobs) and Doug (which broke new ground in racial discourse by featuring the only white kid in an all colored neighborhood) are all part of the “90’s Are All That” block. This sent me down a man eatin’ jack rabbit hole of Youtube videos and wiki articles. I emerged on the other side, feeling so much older and hardly any wiser, yet grasping on to this fundamental truth: Out Of Control and Weinerville were actually things, and not just chickenpox induced fever dreams.

Like it or not, these shows (along with Clarissa Explains It All, Welcome Freshman, Double Dare, The Adventures Of Pete And Pete, Salute Your Shorts, etc) really informed my sense of humor and popular culture at an impressionable age. Back in the early 90’s Nick was a sort of content generating machine geared specifically to my age group. You also never needed to change the channel. I also wasn’t really allowed to. At the time, we had basic cable and I was allowed to watched the 3 major networks, Disney (11) and Nick (31). I was NOT allowed to surf through the channels in between. I had to dial those particular stations in directly, lest my young mind be inappropriately influenced by C-SPAN or worse yet QVC. This limited selection is actually the main reason I am so well versed in 50’s black and white TV. I pretty much dialed in channel 31 and left it there from afternoon cartoons to Nick at Nite. Well, except for when I was watching The Mickey Mouse Club. I was only human.

COMMENTERS: Any special affinity for 90’s Nick TV? Remember those weird british Sci-Fi shows they used to import? Alien tweens in search of their parents or some such. Also did you, like me, breathe a big sigh of relief when you finally realized a lot of Nick’s shows were filmed in Canada and that accounted for why they seemed ever so slightly off? No? Just me? I’m going back to the organ failure thing.

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Alive In The Superunknown

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CRUISE FUNDRAISER UPDATE: As of 10/27/11, all 100 print packs are sold out! I expected this to take weeks if not months instead of days. I have to escalate the production and shipping schedule accordingly. I will add the last couple of characters to the comic/print in the next few days. Thank you all so much for the support! If you didn’t get a chance to order before they sold out, I might make the 3 bonus prints available in a pack for $30 if there is any interest. Let me know in the comments.

HijiNKS ENSUE Holiday Cards are back!

HijiNKS ENSUE Holiday Cards - Zombie cards, star wars cards, Calvin and hobbes Firefly serenity cards, Hobo Santa Cards

Fulfilling a 16 year long dream, I saw Soundgarden live for the first time last night. Josh was supposed to go with me, but he bailed at the last minute and my friend Roger (HE Podcast listeners may remember him from “Roger Court”) stepped in to fill his dirty flanel and Doc Marten’s. They were always one of those bands that I regretted not seeing in their prime (being 15 years old and unable to drive 100 miles to a concert by myself, let alone get permission to see THE DEVIL’s MUSIC performed live), and had vowed to see no matter what should they ever reform. Well, reform they did and I jumped all over the chance to see them when tickets went on sale a few months ago.

Luckily, despite having a new album in the works, they just played the hits. It was a cavalcade of all of my favorite Soundgarden songs back to back with no filler, fluff or bullshit. They played extremely raw. Every amp was too loud, ever guitar was over distorted, the bass clipped for the entire show and the vocal mic squealed feedback constantly. They played like a garageband. It was perfect. I had forgotten that this is what music used to sound like. Unprocessed, unfiltered, agressive, emotional and genuine. And despite all reason and human comprehension, Chris Cornell is still able to hit every high note, ever scream with attack, power and sustain.

I know this isn’t the standard geek fare you are used to with HE, but 90’s rock music is something I geek out on almost as much as Star Trek, so please allow me momentarily  to indulge my nostalgic music fetish.

COMMENTERS: What band from your glory days did you miss seeing live and have kicked yourself about ever since? What band will you drop everything for a chance to see live and why? Alternately, what music makes you instantly feel 15 again? I actually had tickets to see Nirvana when I was 11. I got grounded over some trivial bullshit (really just as excuse to keep me from seeing the show), and wasn’t allowed to go. Kurt Cobain died about 6 months later. I never have and NEVER WILL (honestly) forgive my mom for that mistake.