Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ultimate Letdown

I'm almost better I think. Today I didn't need to take any Claritin and I managed to last until three in the afternoon before I started feeling worn out and tired. I still have a nagging cough which I suspect I'll have for a week or more (for some reason when I get sick, the cough sticks around long after I'm over the actual virus). Quinn also seems much improved and basically back to his old self.

Catherine's really been interested in trying to read lately, and has even started using the movable alphabet at school to write out some words. At this rate we're thinking she may actually start reading before Quinn does. That's not to say I think Quinn's incapable of mastering the art of reading, far from it, but rather it doesn't come easily to him so he doesn't put as much effort into it as he does tasks that he's good at (like math for example). It's also getting down to the wire where we have to decide whether we're going to have him attend public school next year. Ginger called the school to talk to them about their programs and didn't like the answers she got (she also admits that she was talking to a person that had been there for less than six weeks, so this person might not have been the best one to be promoting the school).

I watched "Ultimate Avengers" tonight on DVD. I had high hopes for this. After having my socks permanently knocked off week after week by Justice League Unlimited I thought for sure Marvel would bring their A-Game to this outing. Sadly, that's not the case. The story itself is an adaptation of the first volume (twelve issues) of the Ultimates comics books. That has some positives and negatives right from the get-go. The Ultimates is a great read since it's a complete reimagining of the Avengers team. The story got high praise when it first came out, but the fact of the matter is this was a complete reinvention of the characters. The heroes, if you could really call them that, are basically a bunch egotistical self absorbed schmucks with serious character flaws. Now a lot of that gets tossed in the video since, after all, this is being marketed to kids. Therefore it behooves them to have heroes that act like heroes. The problem is that enough of the bad qualities make it into the video that it makes the video feel like it's searching for it's identity. In the video they're not the completely arrogant individuals from the comic, but neither are they the larger than life / over the top moral compasses you normally expect from a super-hero story. Now you may be asking yourself "Self? How did they managed to get twelve issues worth of stories in a seventy minute video?" The answer, unfortunately, is "Not very well." Squeezing in a modern day reinvention of all the heroes, character introductions, internal team strife and the actual overall alien invasion plot and a resolution into only 70 minutes is going to be a tough sell no matter what. The video seems to realize it's all too much and basically ends up just having Captain America be the focal point of the story. The animation is passable at best and nothing to get overly excited about. They try to render what I would call scenic shots, but then screw it up by getting the perspective wrong as they zoom in or out. Overall, my recommendation is to skip this video (I plan on skipping the second one). If you're really interested in the idea of reimagining these characters for the modern day coupled with some fantastic art, check out the trade paperback collection of the first six issues of the comic it was based off of and simply skip this video (and for the record, I'm not sure I would suggest that book for kids, it has some fairly adult themes in it). If you want pure animated superhero goodness on video, then grab a DVD of some Justice League Unlimited episodes instead of this.

Finally, I've got a couple more shots of the snow to share.


BullBunky said...

Oooo, very nice b&w shot. I'm a big fan of snow and water.

JamesF said...

Thanks. I appreciate it. I thought I might just be wasting my time putting up more and more snow pictures.

CAPT_Sawyer said...

Blah, blah, blah comics crap...blah, blah, blah comics crap...oh! Cool Pictures!