A Pirate’s Life for Me…

Briefly continuing with my current obsession with Deadliest Warrior, the Viking was defeated by the Samurai primarily due to the Samurai’s undeniable advantage of distance, same as the Apache’s.

In more recent combats, the Spartan crushed the Ninja, in a contest that I had actually thought too close to call. The Ninja team did some hard selling, and their displays of prowess were remarkable. But as it turned out, the Ninja could ‘hurt the Spartan, but could not kill the Spartan’, whereas the Spartan’s attacks would demolish the Ninja each time they struck. There are compelling arguments about some of the Ninja’s weaponry, most notably the black eggs, but apparently the computerized judging system doesn’t take disabling blows into account, only killing ones. Tripping and blinding the Spartan should have given the Ninja a greater percentage of wins, if not the win. Still, I’m happy that a tank took the victory.

Ninja beats Samurai, but Spartan Beats Ninja. Therefore, Spartan also beats Viking. Deadliest Warrior Math at its finest.

Ninja beats Samurai, but Spartan Beats Ninja. Therefore, Spartan beats Samurai, and also beats Viking. Deadliest Warrior Math at its finest.

Next week is Pirate versus Knight, and I’m super-excited. While the Knight has full plate armor, some kind of big, honking shield, and a large range of weapons ranging from d6s to d12s worth of damage, the Pirate has an ace in the hole that no one suspected:

Epic. Hip Hop. Music.

Phat beats. It's what they use to fight ninjas.

Phat beats. It's what they use to fight ninjas.

Some of the music’s content alone would offend the Knight’s chivalric sensibilities to the point where the Pirate would be able to get a hit or two in, but on the whole, Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew: From the Seas to the Streets is definitely worth a listen, even if you’ve never held a Letter of Marque.

C'mon, you know what I'm talking about.

C'mon. You know what I'm talking about.

I’ve always had a smiling and nodding acquaintance with pirates. Well, the popularized sort of pirates, who start every other sentence with ‘Arr’,’Nyar’, or in some rare cases, ‘Argh’.’ I’ve also been a longtime fan of rap music, and not always that which the General Public gives the biggest accolades to. “Macho Man” Randy Savage’s album, Be A Man, is prominent among my collection, for example.So when I came across “the most epic collection of pirate hip hop songs ever produced,” I was blown away.

The album is immersive. The beats bring the obvious nautical theme to mind, without being overly so, even when drawing directly from obvious staple songs, like ‘Blow the Man Down’, or ‘Drunken Sailor’.’ Other tracks, like ‘From the Seas to the Streets’ and ‘On the Account’ have more of a hip-hop feel to them, with an undercurrent of instrumentation that swells and ebbs like the tide.

The album features a wide and varied cast of swashbucklers, but the best two, as far as this blogger is concerned are Sea Dawg, the Scurvy Crew’s quartermaster, and Admirality, the representative of the, well, Admirality and the Royal British Navy, as well as a foil for the Crew. I think that this is because they never ‘break character’, with prochronism like some of the others (most notably Scott Free) do. That, and I find Sea Dawg’s nearly monotone delivery along with Admirality’s Britishesque pomp and swagger highly entertaining.

As for the lyrical content, as I mentioned, the album is unabashedly bawdy at times, although there is a relatively low expletive per minute ratio. The songs range from simple daily pirate life themes, like recruiting sailors or the pirate’s code, to the ridiculous, like Santa Claus, who seems to have clearly chosen a side in everyone’s favorite Internet meme rivalry. There’s even a few (not entirely flattering or PC) songs about wenches.

So, to conclude, the question of whether or not a flintlock pistol can fire a bullet through full plate has yet to be determined, but if it were a Battle of the Bands, then the Pirate would have The Edge, because the mic is just deadlier than the lute.

Glued to the Tube…

No, not the YouTube, the boob tube, that thing that people keep saying that no one is watching anymore because of the Internets.

It’s been a busy week so far, and it’s only been made busier because I have actually found some shows to watch. This is newsworthy because I haven’t gotten and stayed excited for a television show since Yu-gi-Uh! was on broadcast.

The shows that have grabbed and are vying to hold my attention are Deadliest Warrior, which I covered in the blog today, and Krod Mandoon, which comes on tomorrow. I might have a writeup on that for next week’s blog update.

Of course, in addition to all this TV watching, there’s my usual suite of Things to Do, like CottonFluff and so on, and I need to get back to work.

Be good,

-Sketch.

Warriors of the World.

Who has the Deadliest Logo?

Who has the Deadliest Logo?

Check out my brief spate of Twittering through the premiere episode here: http://twitter.com/sapo_group

Savage killing machines from bygone eras tearing into each other for your amusement. No, I’m not talking about Jurassic Fight Club (although I will in a moment), I’m talking about Deadliest Warrior a show in a similarly opened vein that instead of examining fossil records and performing 35 minutes of forensics and speculation, fills its time slot with fairly graphic weapons simulations, heavily recycled footage of warriors doing their thing, and friendly banter.

This last item makes Warrior more interesting than Jurassic, for while both of the shows have essentially the same theme: ‘Here’s What We Think Might Have Happened in This Confrontation Based on Science’, Warrior does it more compellingly, as opposed to Jurassic’s heavy reliance on a highly enthusiastic, but somewhat uninteresting Dinosaur George.

Too much George, not enough Dinosaur.

Too much George, not enough Dinosaur.

By making it into a competition between the teams trying to prove their fighter’s worth, the show’s clunky weapons simulation scenes become a lot more interesting. You suddenly have a stake in one of the teams being able to convince the judges that they deserve the ‘edge’, because ultimately, that’s what the computer is going to use to determine the outcome of the 1000 simulated fights that decide who wins. It’s like American Idol, but with more stabbing. While nothing’s been mentioned yet, I’m hoping that there will be some sort of bracket system, where each week’s winner goes on to face the winners of other weeks, ultimately culminating in a big crazy season finale to determine who truly is the Deadliest Warrior, ala Fred Saberhagen’s Berserker Planet.

On its inaugural night, Deadliest Warrior featured a Roman Gladiator facing off against an Apache Warrior, a matchup of a stealthy and merciless guerilla fighter versus a brawny bruiser known for taking and giving out punishment.

Both teams tried to sway the judges by bringing up their warriors ‘mindsets; the Gladiator team insisted that their combatant would not back down and simply batter his opponent to bits, and that the Apache would prefer to hit and run, but would not be able to in the arena; whereas the Apache team maintained that the Gladiator would be too slow and bulky, and his armor would restrict him from even seeing the swifter Apache approaching.

Both weapon sets turned out to be terrifyingly effective- even an innocuous sling bullet proved perfectly capable of staving in a human skull, but the Apache team had an ace in the hole that the Gladiator could not counter effectively enough- the bow and arrow. (Notice how laid back Alan Tafoya is as he demonstrates the bow’s effectiveness- as if he already knows that he’s won.)

Being able to reliably kill his opponent at a range of just under 50 feet without suffering harm led the Apache to win two-thirds of the simulated combats, at least according to the judges, and this will likely prove to be the downfall of most, if not all, of the fighters in the weeks to come. The judges took this aspect of an otherwise fairly well-balanced matchup, and let it tip the scales violently in favor of the Apache.

In a strict hand-to-hand contest, the Gladiator would have won, in my book, although the crafty Apache could have likely gotten around his shield and cut up his super-exposed chest a bit, much to the pleasure of the crowd. As it was already noted in the messageboard on SpikeTV’s site, the Gladiator’s cestus had shockingly little effect on the Apache’s face, despite its cow-maiming properties proven in the lab. The Gladiator should have won at that point, but it seems that the writers left that sequence in to make it more visually interesting. The full episode is online here- you can decide for yourself: http://www.spike.com/full-episode/apache-vs-gladiator/31444

Next week’s confrontation is Ninja vs. Spartan:

This looks like another bad matchup of stealth versus strength. Take away the anime-style powers that real ninjas never had, and it seems to get worse. Perhaps the ninja will surprise us, but the Spartan seems to have more armor and a bigger shield than the Gladiator did, and I’m betting that the Spartan team will play up the shield-wall tactic.

Other fights for this season include Taliban vs. IRA, Yakuza vs. Mafia, Green Beret vs. Spetznaz, Maori vs. Shaolin Monks, and a few fights that I’m actually interested in:

Viking vs. Samurai’ This can’t end well for anyone. But it’ll probably be fun to watch. Either the Samurai knocks the Viking down with the one sword stroke that they are famous for, or the Viking goes berserk and lays into him with an axe.
Pirate vs. Knight’ Does the pirate have a pistol? If so, based solely on the severe advantage that the bow gave the Apache, the Pirate wins. I’m rooting for the Knight, though.
William Wallace vs. Shaka Zulu’ This sounds ridiculous, and not necessarily in a bad way. However, since Wallace is known for shooting lightning bolts from his arse, I think that Zulu will not have much of a chance in this matchup.

On the whole, Deadliest Warrior is an entertaining bit of late-night TV. Probably not worth staying up for, but if you can DVR it, it’s a good way to spend an afternoon.

Violently yours,
-Sketch

Weekend in Review: Sunday at Comic-Con

Somehow, this post got delayed by a little over a month. While it’s not quite relevant, it was sitting on my desk for all that time, and kept getting shoved to the side.

So without further ado, I present to you my photoblog of Sunday at the New York Comic-Con 2009.

Sunday was a bright and, well, sunny day, a well as being Kids’ Day. As I walked to the convention, there were children being hoisted on shoulders and being told all sorts of fanciful half-truths to conceal the fact that they were being led to the con, most likely to surprise them.

Getting there is half the Fun.

Getting there is half the Fun.

The place was jumping when I arrived in the early afternoon, and the crowds were eagerly taking it all in. Faker stirred up a fair amount of surprised reactions,? and the crowd continually surged around him as they went into the Dealer’s Area or paused to take photos with him. Somewhere on Eternia, Adam is sharpening his magic sword.

Faker stands tall over his admirers.

Faker stands tall over his admirers.

I don’t know what this guy was, but people seemed to be very into him. More so when his head stopped bobbling and he wandered around the con.

Sits right on the dashboard- if you're Galactus, maybe.

Sits right on the dashboard- if you're Galactus, maybe.

Kids love an armored space guy. But perhaps the craziest thing that happened that day was when that black guy in the left corner…

They really do love Space guys. I'm telling you.

They really do love Space guys. I'm telling you.

turned into a Stormtrooper! I quickly fled the scene before the Force turned me into an Ewok or something.

Magical Transformation into a Stormtrooper... The Force was not quite as strong in that one.

Magical Transformation into a Stormtrooper... The Force was not quite as strong in that one.

After hiding out in a panel or two, I figured it was safe to walk the floor a bit more. That was where I was wrong. As I made my way around, some wild Pokemon appeared. I managed to get away safely, but it was a close one, let me tell you.

Charizard and Venasaur were up to no good. Me and my Tentacruel were having none of that.

Charizard and Venasaur were up to no good. Me and my Tentacruel were having none of that.

While I tried to be discreet with taking pictures of the Desktop Heroes booth…

Crikey! Look at that booth!

Crikey! Look at that booth!

I was quickly spotted, and any hope of capturing these gentle creatures in their natural habitat was shattered. I stowed my camera and fled before I did any more damage to their fragile convention ecosystem.

It was like when that plane flew over that undiscovered tribe, and the warriros started throeing spears at it.

It was like when that plane flew over that undiscovered tribe, and the warriors started throwing spears at it.

There was so much awesome going on with this group that they made my camera go blurry.

I'm prety sure they were vampires or something when they're not cosplaying.

I figure that they're vampires or something when they're not cosplaying.

I’m serious. These were the best two out of a large handful of pictures that I shot of them during the day.

Maybe half-vampires. Or possibly reverse vampires, considering that it was the middle of the afternoon.

Maybe half-vampires. Or possibly reverse vampires, considering that it was the middle of the afternoon.

While walking down a lonely stretch of carpet towards the back of the convention, I found CC the Banana. He was in good spirits, (as you can see across his peel,) and posed for me.

He's got fan appeal.

He's got fan appeal.

While I’m not excited about the upcoming GI Joe movie, I was excited about this guy’s costume. It was sweet. I wish that my camera was better so I could have shown you all the details. Funny thing was that he was pretty short, almost like a Mini-Cobra Commander.

Evil. Now in bite-size!

Evil. Now in bite-size!

I don’t think that I’ve ever seen anyone dress up as a Disney Princess at a convention, and Belle as a commoner is probably the last one I would expect (with the first being Princess Jasmine, and the second probably being Ariel, and Aurora from Sleeping Beauty as a close third), so there was something there that wasn’t there before, as far as this reporter’s concerned, anyhow.

Want something more than this provincial life? Visit the NY Comic-Con!

Want something more than this provincial life? Visit the NY Comic-Con!

Finally, the magic ended, and the convention offically closed. Faker was still vigilant, but only seemed concerned with people who might be trying to sneak into the con, so I snapped a few pictures of him as I walked out. If this one hadn’t been so blurry (lousy QuickCam Traveler…) It’d actually be a really good shot.

I probably used up all of my Artistic Photography powers with this one.

I probably used up all of my Artistic Photography powers with this one.

Finally, there was nothing left to do but join the masses leaving the convention, and walk back to 6th Avenue to take the train back to Brooklyn, and await the Comic-Con’s return in October.

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.

Time Flies…

Period.

Days seem to run into one another, and next thing you know, Anime Boston (or Sapo Entertainment’s birthday, regardless of the date that the convention falls on, as we like to say around here,) is right around the corner.

This will mark the fifth Anime Boston- I mean, the fifth year that Sapo Entertainment’s been trucking along. It’s a little strange to look back and think on all the things that we’ve done, and still have as yet to do in this little plot of Internet that we call our own, and the Real World, too.

So thanks for stopping by, whether this is your first year following our intrepid journey. The blog will be resuming its regular schedule this week, and keep your eyes peeled for the next CottonFluff Hollow page on April 4th.

-P

A Storm is brewing.

So what are we up to this week. First I (Sapo) wrote a review of the Watchmen movie on our blog. We are changing the sidebar to include the social networks we are a part of.

We are almost finished with the about us page. We are putting up a new links section. All that and the weekly updates of The World of Cottonfluff Hollow. We are trucking. Not much else to say so check out our blog and the World of Cottonfluff Hollow.

The Watchmen Came and went.

I loved this movie, I hated this movie.

Alright so I liked Watchmen. Watchmen was not a movie for regular people. It should have billed as an add-on for the comic. I like Watchmen because it created a moving visual to a comic I loved. It gave me what I yearned for at the moment. I think it had to do with the fact that I read the graphic novel so many times my mind fill in all the parts that were missing. If you read the comic you were thrilled to see some scenes on the big screen (in my case it was a super large screen I saw it at the IMAX).

Dr. Manhattan from comic to screen.

Dr. Manhattan from comic to screen.

To see Dr. Manhattan shrink, grow, teleport and dissintergrate was absolutely thrilling. Watching Rorschach’s face constantly change was something I wanted to see for years. The Nite Owl’s flying ship zipping into the sky. Everything in the movie looked very much like it did in the comic. It was very thrilling to see it. I really enjoyed the movie.

Comic to screen

Comic to screen

Half an hour after the movie the thrill wore off. If you never read the comic this was a very bad movie. I began to realize there was a lot missing from the movie that was in the comic. The missing parts gave the reader an understanding of the world the characters lived in. These parts would have also given the movie viewer a better understanding of the world. Of course it probably would have added another hour to the movie. The hardest part of the movie is the premise of the movie. It requires the viewer who have not read the comic to imagine the world of the 80’s in New York. So I did the math. Since the movie is rated R you have to be 18 years old to see this movie. If you are at least 18 that means you were born in 1991. New York in 1991 was on its way to becoming hooker and crime free (mostly). I remember seeing hookers in the street and being worried about crime. I was born in 1973. This is a movie for people who were born in the early to mids 70’s. You have to remember the fear of nuclear annihilation. The fear of the big red menace. If you are 18 you were born one year before the Soviet Union fell.

Then we have the dialogue which on the most part was taken right from the comic. For some reason it came off very flat and sometimes even lame. The dialogue works in the limited confines that a comic provides, which is a subject for another blog. Dialogue in a movie can be and often is the driving force of a movie. Add that to the fact most of Watchmen has characters with masks on. There is no facial expressions to match the dialogue of each character. So in the end I have to say as a movie Watchmen falls into the bad category.

The question remains; Could it have been a better movie? I do not think so. Sure some choices could have been made that would have made it a better movie. Maybe if they made it a trilogy. Maybe if they wrote better dialogue. In the end it still would not have been the Watchmen graphic novel. I keep thinking that they can do a much better job adapting and creating comic book movies. I have to say, I am wrong. Super hero comic books should remain comic books. Movies do not have the ability to give the characters what we comic book geeks love about superheros and their villains. There has only been a few times where this has worked. The last two Batman movies worked. Mostly because they started from scratch and rewrote the character to make movies that fit both worlds.

Matrix Heroes

Matrix Heroes

The only way to make movies that have comic book style characters is to start from

Jumper

Jumper

scratch. Stop adapting comic book character for movies. Start making comic book movies. Take a “Heroes” way of doing things. Movies like Jumper and Push are examples but are still adaptions from books. I guess the best example of a movie or movies are the Matrix Trilogy they created a world and some super heroes of that world.

Signs of the Times.

While the first day of spring is still a little more than a week away, I’ve been getting into the spirit. I turned all my clocks forward; I’ve been doing some spring cleaning, and I am even getting over a bit of spring fever. Not any of these, but an actual malady.

However, in the course of my cleaning, I encountered some things that I didn’t even remember having, or just haven’t plain used in ages, and having rediscovered them, decided that they would be better off in someone else’s hands. A big box of Stuff sits in my room, waiting to be disseminated, and I’ll be letting you know how it goes in the blog.

I’m off to get some more rest and fluids. I’ll see you next time.

The Watchmen is coming!

The Watchmen

The Watchmen

For those of you who do not know this about me, I am a Watchmen fanboy. Being a fanboy I am quite fearful of the upcoming film. You see to my kind the Watchmen is the bible of comics, there is nothing you can compare it to, and there will be nothing that can top it in the near future. Saying that and the fact that as far as I am concerned Hollywood can’t get there head out of their behinds long enough to realize how to make the perfect comic movie.

I do have faith though. Watchmen is being directed by Zack Snyder the same guy that gave us the comic adapted 300. Now there are people who did not like the movie 300, and there are people who loved it. I sit somewhere in the middle. As a story it had no where to go, personally I think it was a silly comic to make a movie out of. As a comic movie it was top

300 Graphic Novel Cover

300 Graphic Novel Cover

Zack Snyder photo by: Clay Enos

Zack Snyder photo by: Clay Enos

notch, 300 took what was on the comic page and gave it life and action and passion that a comic movie needs.

Another bit of faith I have about the Watchmen movie is the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time I see the trailer. I can see the characters coming to life in the bits and pieces of the film they have lets us see. I can tell that they have the look of the film right. Since it is also a rated R film my hope is they have not taken the darkness out of the film.

I have faith and my expectations are very high. For me the movie has to turn out twice as good as 300, Sin City, or the last two Batman movies. I am however expecting a Lord of the Rings brand of commitment from this film crew. I want to come out of the movie in extreme awe at what they have accomplished. I am not looking for perfection in this, they do not have the time or the money to to put all the nooks and cranny’s of the comic into this film. They just have to get the right nooks and cranny’s in. That’s all for now. I will be seeing the movie on the seventh and will be giving all of you my opinion next week.

Peace,

Sean “Sapo” Pisano

Check out the trailer.

Holy March BatMan!

Talk about in like a Lion, I woke up this morning to a mountain of snow on the ground. Put the radio on and heard that the public schools of New York City are all closed, this has not happened since January 28th, 2004. I said to myself Whoa Snow Day.

I realized I do not have to go anywhere to do the work I do. I decided since the snow day did not apply to me I will post a my thoughts on the Watchmen movie coming out this Friday.

We now have a facebook fan page. We are expanding ourselves to other social networks. Soon you will see us everywhere. Keep your eyes out for us on your favorite internet hang out.

Peace,
Sean “Sapo” Pisano