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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Preview of New York Comic Con – The Antiscribe Attends

Over the next few days, I’ll be attending the annual New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan in a press capacity (representing this blog).  I’m pretty excited, all told; the NYCC is always a fun experience, and the event has made tremendous strides in its organization since its initial semi-disastrous debut in 2006.  (If you’re not aware, the event was oversold and actually shut down by the NY Fire Marshall on its first Saturday).  Though it doesn’t have near the same cultural footprint as the much more established San Diego Comic Con, the NYCC still offers an interesting smorgasbord of popular culture, and in recent years it has been combined with the New York Anime Festival, broadening its scope beyond the world of American comic books.  The NYCC generally has usually not been a very star-driven event, especially as compared to San Diego – pretty much the highest profile celebrities are Chris Evans, Jason Momoa, and Rose McGowan – the event does have the advantage of having access to many of the New York-based behind the scenes personnel at many of the major comic book publishing houses.  Read the rest of this entry

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DC Animated Original Movies: An Overview – The Antiscribe Appraisal

Introduction

On Tuesday, October 18, 2011, the much-anticipated animated adaptation of Batman: Year One, the latest DC Comics film produced by Warner Bros. Animation, will be released. Beginning in 2007, Warner Bros. have put out eleven animated films, adapted from DC’s most popular characters and storylines, for the direct-to-DVD market. Supervised by the acclaimed producer Bruce Timm, the chief force behind the legendary Batman: The Animated Series, and other series from the DC Animated Universe continuity, the films are generally standalone works set within their own individual continuities and featuring both highly contrasting styles of two-dimensional animation and varying casts of voice actors. Besides being consistently solid and appealing to fans new and old, the films are mainly interesting for demonstrating the rather diversified and anti-canonical nature of today’s highly postmodern comic book media, where famous characters are consistently reinterpreted by different artists and writers while incorporating the zeitgeist of their times. In the process, they sometimes illustrate both the positives and negatives of that approach. Read the rest of this entry

“Real Steel” – The Antiscribe Appraisal

What do you do when you have a still functional film genre based around a sport whose appeal and popularity have fallen off pretty dramatically over the last fifteen years? The sport, it should be noted, is boxing, that sweetest of sciences that has played to many moviegoers’ love of individualism, machismo, and violence for more than a century.  As a popular sport, however, boxing may be at the lowest cultural ebb that it’s ever been, and it seems likely to continue downward into the niche.  Quickly…who’s the World Heavyweight Champion? (To be honest, I’d have to Google it, too.)  If nothing else, Real Steel devises a viably high concept, if not especially creative, idea for addressing its problem, and one that plays well into the modern lust for CGI action.  The idea that can be summed in three words: big battling robots.  And with that, everything old feels new again…or at least, newly repackaged.  Read the rest of this entry

“Moneyball” – The Antiscribe Appraisal

For the record, I was born a Yankees fan.  I was raised a Yankees fan. I live life as a Yankees fan.  And when I die, I’ll die a Yankees fan (I cheated on them a little bit with the Mets during the 1986 World Series, but in my defense, they were going against the despised Boston Red Sox. Also, I was seven).  But being a Yankees fan sometimes makes it hard to be a baseball fan, because the system seems rigged for me to root for the bully.  Simply put, the Yankees, sometimes by a substantial margin, consistently boast the largest annual payroll in baseball.  The idea that it’s a fair game too often feels like an illusion, and being someone who frowns on the ruthlessness of unregulated capitalism, sometimes it’s hard to cheer the Yankees without feeling like I’m cheering for Wall Street.  I mean, how fair can a game be when a few teams that control all the wealth play against teams that have to make do with what little they can afford?   Once you get past the Americana and the athletic excellence and the legends and the legacy and the pride, it’s hard not to be more than a bit cynical about America’s pastime (and DO NOT get me started on BALCO…) Read the rest of this entry

“The Conspirator” – The Antiscribe Analyzes

One of the things I love in reading and studying history is that it is usually both informative and unbiased.   While there are certainly polemical perspectives on historical subjects and ideological approaches to historiography, most respected historical texts generally try to research a subject based on documentation and evidence, and then generally form an argument based on what that research supports or doesn’t support. Films, as works of art, generally speaking, are crafted from the opposite perspective – you start with an idea, lesson, thesis or argument and then typically craft a narrative to support that perspective.   Each represents two entirely different methods of synthesis, for sure, though in historical films, these methods sometimes find themselves in conflict with one another. History has always been and will always be a prominent source for great dramatic storytelling in film and any dramatic medium.  But certainly, it’s not always a happy marriage of content and form, and it’s a fairly common occurrence that dramatized films based on real life or historical incidents, even the best ones, can sometimes be highly inaccurate in regards to their subjects.  Typically, creative liberties are taken with historical facts in order to create compelling and clear drama; this creative license, however, then mitigates the authenticity of the film.  It’s a consummate Catch-22: you have to make a historical film entertaining to overcome the unfortunate prejudice that history is boring, and history as a popular discipline usually needs movies to makes sure certain historical subjects can enter and remain in the popular consciousness.  Therefore, many times people gain the unfortunate misconception that they understand a historical event because they see a movie that depicts it. Read the rest of this entry

The Antiscribe Recap: Doctor Who Season 6, Episode 13: “The Wedding of River Song” (Season Finale)

Developments So Far: 

Last time the Doctor prepared for his “last day,” and a potential final showdown with Silence by spending it with his former roommate Craig, who helped the Doctor confront both his own sense of regret and the fact that he needs a companion to keep him sane.  We also saw the table set for the culmination of the Silence’s final plot on the shores of Lake Silencio, as the Silence and the One Eyed Lady, Madame Kavorian, abducted River Song and placed her in the outfit of the Impossible Astronaut. Our last image of River Song/Melody Pond was her floating underwater in a trance-like state, ready for what we’ve been led to believe is inevitable: the Doctor’s Penultimate Death.  Read the rest of this entry

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