214 Lois and Clark
Monday 7 August 2006 A few weeks ago, I received the box set of the first season of Lois and Clark. I used to love that series when it was first broadcast in the beginning of the nineties, and I was a bit worried that it would not have stood the test of time very well. After watching about half the season during the past weekend, I can say that surprisingly enough: it has. Sure, the special effects in the show are hopelessly outdated, as are most of the women's hairstyles and, and some of the main characters in the show overact a bit too much here and there, but Lois and Clark is still a very fun way to pass the time. The storylines are simple but interesting, the comedy moments are still frequently funny, and, maybe most important, the romance between Lois and Clark/Superman still works.
Dean Cain really was a very cool Superman, while Teri Hatcher still ranks as my favorite Lois Lane (sharing the title with Margot Kidder). When the show was first on, I was totally smitten with her, like every guy my age, and in the early days of the Internet Teri Hatcher was the most downloaded actress in the world. And after seeing the show again, I can only say that she really did have a special something that still makes her stand out.
It was also fun to watch the show with my wife. Although she did not watch all the episodes together with me, she did pop in every now and then to catch an episode or two. It's funny that she fell over most of the things that guys are supposed to find annoying, like the bad special effects, and she did not seem quite as into the whole Lois/Clark/Superman thing as I was. What struck her as most annoying was the fact that nobody could see that Clark was really Superman.
I browsed a little bit on the internet to find some information about the show, and saw that people who used to watch the show are divided into two camps. There's a camp that loves the show, and then there's a camp that thinks it's stupid, and that it ruins the history of the character. I don't agree with camp two. Lois and Clark may have been a simple series that misses a lot of the elements of the comic series, but you have to wonder if that is a bad thing. I used to collect Superman comics, and even now buy the occasional trade paperback, but the stories I enjoy the most are the ones that are the least connected to the running comic series. The thing with those series is, that there is such a huge amount of backstory, that it is almost impossible to follow what is going on if you are not up to speed. There are so many different characters, so many plotlines, that the comics seem to have a hard time telling a good story without tripping over everything that has happened before. Honestly, I am interested in Superman, in Lois Lane, in the Daily Planet and the people working there, Metropolis, Lex Luthor, Supergirl, Superboy, Krypto, Steel and some of the other minor characters populating the Superman universe, but I don't want to have to suffer through endless stories with alternate realities, hundreds of different villains and all the other incomprehensible stuff that goes on in the pages of the comic book. Lois and Clark, like the wonderful Superman Returns, distills the Superman experience to something that is accessible and understandable. Most of all, it can tell it's stories without having to constantly explain whatever has happened before.
213 Wild romance
Tuesday 1 August 2006 Yes sir, we are amping up the romance to the max!
Last weekend I had a bit of a Pixar weekend. I watched three of their greatest movies (then again, that can be said about almost anything they have ever made), Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. and was once again bowled over by the quality of these movies. The great thing about the Pixar movies is that they don't just look great, but the stories are also magnificent. I'm especially fond of Monsters Inc., a movie that is both inventive and touching, with some of the most memorable characters ever designed for an animated movie. I mean, how can you design a guy that is not much more than just a big eyeball on legs, and still make him have so much personality? It's pure genius, and when you watch a great movie again and again, you start appreciating things like this more and more.
Watching movies more than once is something that I love to do anyway. I know many people who watch a movie once, and who cannot understand why you would then want to watch it again, but to me it's a great way to discover new things, and to gain a better understanding of what it is that made this movie so great in the first place. Watching a movie for the first time, you don't know what's coming, and so you are surprised at what happens, eager to find out more and to see where everything is leading (with a good movie, at least). But when you watch it again, you don't have to concentrate on the main story so much, and instead you can watch the little jokes in the background, look better at what the main characters are doing when they are not speaking, and try to find hidden meaning behind what's happening.
The people at Pixar make sure their movies are great for repeat viewings. They cram them with little inside jokes, visual references to their previous (and future!) movies and with characters you may have seen in earlier pictures. And besides that, the stories of these movies are so well constructed that it's almost like meeting an old friend and discovering a new, interesting side to him.
I have been thinking over the past months: "What is my favorite animated movie?" Having seen practically every animated feature that has come out so far, it is almost impossible to make a choice. But after having seen Monsters Inc. again this weekend, now I know.
212 He is such a dream...
Friday 28 July 2006 I'm sure that I'm not the only guy who has been through this ;) Well, I don't really mind, since it gives us guys some leverage whenever that Scarlett Johansson Amazon movie is coming out!
The heat has been unbearable in Holland for several weeks now. The only place that is mildly bearable (apart from the supermarket, which is like a freezer) is our home, which means we have been watching a lot of movies lately. It was a lot of fun to see something like Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines again, which I remember vividly from seeing as a kid. Seeing it again after all those years, it was still fun, although most of the jokes have not really stood the test of time. Still, it was fun to see people like Terry Thomas and Benny Hill again. On the other hand, that new version of The Pink Panther was pretty awful. Almost awful enough to make me wonder if the old versions were actually any good. I'll have to watch those again soon to reassure myself!
Stay tuned to the site for some changes next week. Everything is going to get more integrated, so that it does not seem like this site is made up of 75 different sites anymore (well, it is made up of 75 sites, I'll just try to make it feel more like one big, happy site). According to Alexa, my site is almost in the top 1.000.000 of most visited sites in the world, and I want to try and crack the top 1 million as soon as possible! Before you go: What? ONE MILLION? Realizethat there are about ONE BILLION or more websites in this world, So it's not that bad at all ;)
P.s. You may notice the comic looks a bit different today. I made it on a different computer this time, which I hope explains at least some of it.
211 See Pirates
Monday 17 July 2006 Yeah, I saw Pirates 2, though not three times yet. I had a blast with it, thought it was very funny and adventurous, and what more can you ask for from a movie?
I've had the same problem as our hero has today, and no matter how hard you try to turn things around for the better, you always manage to put yourself into more trouble. All he wants to do is take Lotte to the movies, and all he does is to get himself further away from that. Wonder how this will end? Keep posted!
What is it with all these stage magician movies nowadays? First we have The Illusionist coming up, and then later this year The Prestige. And, if all goes well, next year Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Well, I think these movies could all be very cool (The Prestige is especially looking very good), and it's nice to see a new subgenre emerge. I'm just curious to see how many different story ideas screenwriters can come up with before the movies start to look a little bit too much like each other...
Monday 3 July 2006 Man, Superman Returns is great! I saw it at the Meta Sound studios in Amsterdam, as a guest of Warner Bros last friday. Meta Sound is the company in Holland that does the Dutch dubbing for practically every animated movie released over here (no, live-action movies are not dubbed into Dutch, luckily!). They have their own screening room with great sound and a very clear picture, and a select group of Dutch journalists (me? select? woohoo!) were invited to see the movie early, since it's only released over here in August. Before Superman started, we got a twenty minute preview of the very cool (no pun intended) looking Happy Feet, Warners animated comedy about tap dancing penguins. I'll post some more about that later in the week.
But then Superman started, and everybody in the screening room was brought back to their youth, and to the very first time they saw the original Superman. Men were once again transformed to little boys, wishing they could soar through the skies themselves, while the women in the room were looking glittery eyed at the romantic scenes featuring Supes and Lois Lane (or maybe they also wished to be soaring, who knows!). I think it was absolutely magnificent, and right now I'm wondering which is my favorite superhero movie ever: this or Batman Begins. I'm not sure yet, but if I decide later this week, I'll be sure to let you know.
209 It's Over
Monday 26 June 2006 Being a fan of the Dutch national football team means you are carrying a lot of trauma's with you. Even though the Dutch team has consistently been one of the teams playing the most attractive football, and even though they have always done well at big tournaments (well, maybe not always, but quite a lot of times), the big titles have always eluded us (save for the European Title in 88). And alas, this World Championship will also not be the first one for us to grab the cup and raise it. Even though Holland has a fresh, exciting team, their inexperience showed yesterday in their horrible game against Portugal. I'm saying horrible game, since 16 yellow cards were handed out, as well as 4 red ones. It was one of those games where me and my wife and our friends were jumping up and down the couch for 90 minutes, cursing at everything that happened that was not in our favor (which was sadly a lot) and giving mean looks to the Portugese restaurant opposite the street. Still, we lost, 1-0, and it sucks.
Well, it's over now, and even though there are still many more games to be played, and even though I watched almost every game before this one (I mean, I saw all the Dutch games and almost every game by the other teams), I think I won't be watching too much anymore, or at least not with full attention. I'll root for the Aussies and their Dutch coach Guus Hiddink now, and hope that England will defeat that bunch of diving actors that calls themselves the Portuguese national football team. Oh, and while you are at it, could you also defeat Germany and Brazil? Thank you!
Positive thing: Finally we can watch movies again! Woohoo! And what better way to celebrate that than by watching three Uwe Boll movies in a row?
Wait, that didn't sound right...
208 The World Championship has started!
Monday 12 June 2006 Months of anticipation are over, the World Championship has started! In case you belong to the five people on the planet who dont know what I am talking about, I'm of course referring to the World Championships Football in Germany. The Dutch team is one of the outsiders for the title, and yesterday they played their first game. After an anxious 90 minutes, we beat Serbia Montenegro 1-0, thanks to a great goal by the unstoppable Arjan Robben. It was not an easy game, mostly since it was extremely hot in the stadium, which ate away all the energy of the Dutch players, but I'm very happy with the victory nonetheless!
Im quite the football buff, so I'm sure most of my free time until 9 July will be spent watching the games. Whenever Holland is playing, we do this with a group of friends who are just as fanatical as I am, the other games I will watch alone (or with my wife, although she gets bored whenever there is a game like Poland - Ecuador, with teams without any big names and without any hope of winning the title). Does this mean I won't be watching any movies either? Probably not, although I am quite sure the number of movies I watch over the coming weeks will be significantly lower than usual ;)
207 Job Stress
Monday 22 May 2006 When I was a kid, and older people used to ask me what I wanted to become when I was old, I never once thought there was a possibilty that this answer would one day lead to stress, greying hair and little to no time for fun things. I had this magnificent plan to get rich in a few years time, but with all this work my boss has me doing, I hardly have time to execute this fiendish plot.
It sucks, because I can only update the website on a very irregular basis now. I'm going to try and work a bit in advance though, so that the Monday/Wednesday/Friday can be maintained in a more steady rhythm. The good thing about being busy is that I also don't have time to update those fifty plus websites I have running here. If you have been surfing a bit over the Scribble King Network (*cough*) you will know that I maintain many different sites based on a certain movie or actor/actress. Well, take a good last look at all those subsites, because a) they will not be updated anymore (at least not a lot) and b) in a few weeks from now they are probably gone forever. In my neverending quest to get make this site bigger and better, I have been forgetting what it is that used to make this site so much fun for me to make: watching movies and then writing about them. In my never ending ambitions towards bigger and better things, I have more or less forgotten this, which not only made me even more stressed out, but which also made it more difficult to update every single part of this website more regularly than once every fortnight.
Well, do you hear that cutting sound? That's me cutting away all the excess bagage from the site, and stripping it down to just this particular page with the comic, the page with the reviews and a page with interesting articles about movies and what makes it so great to be a movie fan. Making the decision to cut all the other sites has dropped a great load from my back, and I can tell you I am finally excited again to write lots of new stuff for the site. You can start seeing the new articles from next Monday (that's the 29th), when, amongst other things, you will find reviews of X-Men 3 (very cool), Mission Impossible 3 (also very cool) and The Da Vinci Code (dissapointing, though nowhere near as bad as a lot of the other reviews say). Do check back this wednesday though for a new comic :)
206 More HD-DVD
Monday 8 May 2006 Yeah, there is plenty more to say about HD-DVD and Bluray, but I'll just let the characters in the comic do the talking ;) Besides, I'm pretty sure there will only be more and more talking about these new formats in the future, and since I'm already bored with these discussions, I don't want to add too much fuel to the fire.
The sun is shining outside, which is perfectly visible from my position in the office, where I have a clear view of the windows. Yeah, it sure looks lovely from inside the hot and dusty office. Well, I'm bound to catch a few sunrays on my way to the bus...
205 Snakes on a Plane
Friday 5 May 2006 The inspiration for this comic comes from somebody actually asking me this question. But you know, I understand the question. Nowadays in Hollywood movies the plots are intricate and convoluted, and then when a movie comes along where you know everything you need to know just from hearing the title, it's kind of confusing...
Making a weblog is a frustrating business. When you just have a log for friends and family, where you tell about the things that happened to you during the day, a weblog is a really fun thing to do. But when you are like me, and you want to make a weblog that attracts tens of thousands of visitors each day, then frustration is bound to come along one day or another. I'm still struggling to find the right angle for my weblog. Through this weblog, I want to bring forth the feeling I get when I watch movies, or when I read a great article in a movie magazine, or when I watch the trailers to the big summer movies. Somehow, however, I still have not been able to evoke that feeling in the way I want. I like this part of the site you are reading now, with the comic and the posts every other day. The other part of the site, however, ScribbleKing.com, is giving me a lot of headaches. Throughout the time that it's active, I must have changed it at least ten times, and neither of those times was I really satisfied with what I was doing. I'm at a point in time where I should just let it drop for a few weeks, not think about it and then when my mind is fresh again, I should have a new look at things. That's pretty difficult for me, however. I don't want things in a few weeks, or even tomorrow, I want them now! If the weblog was a physical thing, I would probably pick it up and throw it against a wall, maybe kicking it a few times afterwards for good measure. Not that it helps anything, but I'm sure it would help against the frustration.
A good thing that it's nice and sunny outside, so we can relax in the park or the forest. The good thing about a forest is that if you accidentally yell "What the F#ck am I going to do with my Weblog!" a few times, not too many people will hear you...