Thursday, July 31, 2008

File #11: The Armed Intervention on Blu-Ray

The Official Mobile Suit Gundam 00 website has pictures of the box set for the Blu-Ray edition, also Volumes 1 & 2.

Official Site:

Also Check out:

The Celestial Blog for the other Gundam 00 related news
And The Darkness Files on MySpace, the original greatest blog in the universe.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

File #10: Crisis Of The Lame

Final Crisis # 2
Story by Grant Morrisson
Art by J.G. Jones
Coloring by Alex Sinclair

So here it is, yet another "crisis crossover", this time, DC's Final Crisis. DC have spent at least 2 years (?) promoting and tying in books to lead in to this. Any DC book you open up in the last 6 months has some advertisment with a splash page of their A-List Rouge's gallery grining like it drunk sorority chicks at a strip club with the tagline: "The Day Evil Won," or something like that. To cut to the chase, DC has dumped a TON of money into promoting their Final Crisis crossover, luring fanboys and non-fanboys alike to this epic.

Why did they bother, I don't know.

Maybe I'm missing something, but when a major crossover event is planned, shouldn't there be some kind of hook to lead in readers who aren't major fans of the franchise? May it a be a simple concept, decent action or comprehensible writing?

Final Crisis seems to toss those ideas out, this book is strictly made for ultra fanboys, the ones who know 60 + years of comic lore inside and out and would not mind shelling out four dollars an issue for something as boring as this.

Two issues in, I still don't know what's going on other than the Martian Manhunter and D grade hero Orion getting killed, Hal Jordan getting framed for beating up John Stewart, Batman getting experimented on in an "evil factory" and Barry Allen, (the third Flash) runing from the Black Racer harder than a crackhead in a looting spree.

Throw in subplots about the Super Society of Super Villians going on a membership drive and a group of Japanese supers (without the sentai or the giant robots? I don't buy it) upsurping their older American counterparts (hoo boy, is it 1941 again?) and you get a very mediocre exposition story that strangled me with bordom and a hell of a lot more questions then answers that can only be solved by a relaible wiki.

Grant Morrison's dialog is okay but not anything to shake a stick at. However, his handling of the plot flat out sucks. All of this could've been compressed in issue one with some of the more lame subplots dropped or pushed to a later issue. The only saving grace is the art by J.G. Jones and Alex Sinclair. The art and the epic covers save this book from going completely into the crapper.

Part two ended with Barry Allen runnig for his life and a epic reunion of three of the Flashes. Hopefully part three will pick things up, or at least, become more comprehensible.

2.5 out of 5 Stars

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

File #9: Return Of The Invincible

While I'm not a hard core fan of the character (I haven't seen the movie yet), I loved a lot of the Iron Man books from the 70's and 80's. The whole "Rich Idiot With No Day Job who fights crime with Money (Ironically, Tony Stark is a major subversion of it)" trope combined with the over the top light drama and those "Blasted Boot Jets" dialog always made it a fun read...

Which really disappointed me when I got back into comics a year ago, to see Tony Stark charactered derail
ed into a political soapboxing douchebag that shepherded Marvel's Civil War crossover into a new low of the Dork Age of Comics.

However, Invincible Iron Man, which deals with the more Repulsor Rays aspect of Tony Stark, is one of the better comic debuts of the summer.

"The Five Nightmares", penned by Matt Fraction and drawn by Salvador Larroca, opens with suicide bombers using Iron Man technology to lay down massive damage. The man supplying the terrorists happens to Ezikiel Stane, son of Obediah Stane (not the movie Version), the famed Magnificent Bastard who damn near destroyed Tony in every way possible in the 1980's.

Issue three, which is out now, finds Tony using a "familliar method" to save "his girl Friday", Pepper Potts. Plus theres a new retread on the Tony's origin story.

Fraction's writing is in good form here. He keeps the story on pace while maintaing the drama. Larroca's photorealistic art is very tight and he handles action scenes with a slick, cinemeatic flair.

Overall, a tight start to what will hopefully be a decent series.

4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, July 28, 2008

File #8: A Screen Made to Amaze

The other day I had the opportunity to check out the 27 by 87-foot LCD Video Screen installed in the lobby of the Comcast Center. The video below does not do it justice. You have to see it in person, preferably at night to capture the experience. Seriously, it's worth it.

The content delivery system and overall conceptual design was done by David Niles, of Niles Creative Group, based in New York.

More info from Youtuber stephanparidaen:

The LED-system consists of a Barco NX-4 LED product, a Barco DX-700 imag processing system and Barco Matrixpro image switching solution. The architectural mechanical integration (flush with wood-pannels, front access, etc) was designed by "Innovative Designs" an in-house Barco-group yet independent creatively active, led by Frederic Opsomer active in architectural, themepark and Concerts.

Glad to see Comcast's high cable fees go to something not too shabby.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

File #7: Unusual Play May Revolutionise Sport

California High School team utilize two Quarterback play to win game. And it's legit.

File #6: Smackdown in the ZBA, Part 1

In an ongoing story, Lawyers from Information Technology firm Unisys met with the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment to make their case to hang their logo in bright red letters onto Two Liberty Place yesterday.

Taking over 2 hours, Lawyers from Unisys made their argument about the benefits of having thier logo displayed on the skyscraper.

The ZBA has scheduled a meeting for the opposition to make their case against the sign in September. Notable opponents include:
The Center City Residents Association, Society Created to Reduce Urban Blight (SCRUB), Two Liberty Place residents Tom Knox and Richie Sambora and the archeitect of the building Helmut Jahn.

Butthurt Unisys is threatening to walk out of the deal if it falls through.

Yeah, like we wanted you in the first place.

For a first hand look on how a Skyscraper not designed for a sign looks like with one added on, check out the US Steel Tower in Pittsburgh and see how lovely that turned out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

File #5: A Sacrifice for Progress?

The Race Street Firehouse, built in 1925 and the last building slated for demolition for the expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center met its unfortunate end over the last couple of days.

Several pieces of art from the building, mainly stone gargoyles will be preserved.

While I'm usually for rebuilding and redevelopment, seeing a whole square block of very historical architecture, offices and homes being torn down, largely for an expansion of a tourist trap kinda sucks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

File #4: We're Taking a Short Break From The Armed Intervention

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Vol 7 Release Friday (Japan Only)

Available Friday
Contains episodes 23-25

15 Miniutes of Extras including:
- An Super Deformed short
- Season 2 promo

- Footage from last years' screening of Episode 1

Audio Commentary from:

- Mamoru Miyano (Setsuna), Shinichiro Miki (Lockon), Hiroyuki Yoshino (Allelujah), Hiroshi Kamiya (Tieria), and Seiji Mizushima.

Originally posted on Gunota Headlines, 5/28.
Reposted on The Celestial Blog and here, 7/22 by SFD.

Monday, July 21, 2008

File #3: A Tree Grows on West Market

SEPTA Market Frankford Line M-4 Railcars approaching the newly rebuilt Millbourne Station in Millbourne, PA. (Bob Vogel, Photo)

Last night I took a walk along Market Street in West Philly from 69rd to 40th Streets to see the results of the construction from the Market Street Elevated Reconstruction Project (MSERP).
What is that?

While I was stoked by the progress of project, I was more impressed by something much more rewarding.

The MSERP has been been a very hotblooded issue to residents in West Philly mainly due to many businesses along Market Street loosing swaths of money and the neighboorhood going to shit (well... even shittier) from the toll of the epic scale of reconstruction of the Market-Frankford line in the neighborhood.

But for the first time, I saw recovery. Businesses are starting to reopen, and a few existing ones have been remodeled. However It will be a long time before the corridor can make a fully recovery, and the likelyhood of it remains yet to be seen.

But for now, seeing freshly planted trees at 60th & Market is a good sign of a future that is coming.

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